[UPDATE: This is currently free while in beta, but in the future may not be.]
This will be a simple one: Mozilla (maker of Firefox) is trialing a new, free VPN for its browser and you should use it. It’s called Firefox Private Network. It’s a free plugin for Firefox (which is the browser you should be using) that will encrypt all your browser traffic.
Why do you need to use a VPN? I’ve already covered that one, so I won’t go through that all again here. But suffice to say that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) sees everything you do. And thanks to recent rollbacks of privacy regulations, they’re free to sell that data as they see fit. VPNs are a must when you use any public internet connection: coffee shops, hotels, airports, library, etc.
Be aware that this is not a full VPN – it’s only protecting your browser traffic. If you already have a full-fledged VPN, then you don’t need this. Keep using the full VPN. But if you haven’t signed up for a real VPN, this is a great (and free) stepping stone.
I would normally caution against a free VPN. How are they making money? However, in this case, I trust the companies involved: Mozilla and Cloudflare. This is truly an altruistic offering and both companies are committed to your privacy.
Note that it will require you to create a (free) Firefox account. This has other benefits, like allowing you to synchronize tabs, history, settings and bookmarks across devices.
Be aware that (as with any VPN) some sites will complain because they don’t like VPNs. And some sites will say “hey, I don’t recognize this device” because you have a new IP address. This is normal for any VPN. It would be nice if Firefox allowed you to disable the VPN for specific sites or tabs. But let’s show them that we really appreciate this effort. GO GET IT.
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