Firefox Private Network is an extension for the Firefox browser that is designed to protect you from hackers and trackers. You can use it on your home computer, but it’s especially useful on a laptop that uses public Wi-Fi networks.
Most web browsers do not have built-in hacker protection; usually you have to rely on third party tools. This is what makes the Firefox private network so attractive to Firefox users — and it installs quickly and works seamlessly.
If you think you’ve already been hacked, or just want to keep your online identity as secure as possible, Firefox’s private network is a great way to help.
Note. The Firefox private network is free while in beta, but is currently only available to US residents.
What is the Firefox Private Network doing?
Firefox’s private network makes Firefox more secure by encrypting two things while you browse the web – the URLs you visit and the data you send to most websites. This information is then sent through the Cloudflare proxy to hide your identity.
This means several things to you:
- Your location is being hidden. See what your IP address is in Chrome and then again in Firefox to see how they differ.
- It will be more difficult for websites to target you with personalized ads.
- Anyone When monitoring network traffic, it can be difficult to understand what you are doing, including your ISP.
However, the Firefox private network is not inclusive:
- Only data transmitted through Firefox is encrypted and hidden, so you cannot expect it to protect your other programs and browsers.
- Not all web traffic is encrypted; in particular, non-TCP traffic such as some video conferencing services is excluded and will not be hidden.
All encryption and proxy details are done automatically in the background when you use Firefox. There are no settings to change or choices. When you install Firefox Private Network, there is only one button to turn it on and off.
You can even use Firefox’s private network with an existing VPN service or other privacy protection tools running on your computer. You don’t even need to make any changes to these programs; just install it in Firefox and enjoy an extra layer of protection.
Council. Firefox has another security tool that you might like – Firefox Monitor, which reports whether your email address was part of a data breach.
Is Firefox Private Network Safe?
Since you are concerned about your privacy, let’s be clear on what Firefox does and does not collect about you while you use this extension:
- Firefox does not use a tool to collect information about your browsing. habits.
- Firefox does collect general data, such as how you interact with an extension when you turn it off, and hidden details about how the extension works.
- Cloudflare obtains the IP address of your computer, the IP address of the site you are viewing, the time of your visit and a unique identifier.
- Cloudflare does not transfer the collected data to other users and deletes it after 24 hours (unless it needs to be kept for security or legal reasons).
You can read more in the Firefox Private Network Privacy Notice.
Are there any drawbacks?
Not everything in a good tool is always a rainbow, and this is also true of the Firefox private network. Depending on the current speed of your computer and your internet connection, running this anti-hacking software can result in a very slow connection as the data is encrypted and then transmitted through the remote server before any web pages are sent back to you.
If your browser also works with a bunch of other extensions – and there are plenty to choose from – adding this to the group can slow down your computer’s overall performance, not to mention that (probably) Firefox won’t get any faster.
However, it is important to ask if the cost of using this tool is worth the benefits. We think this is a solid yes ! If you find that using it creates other problems, remove some of the extensions you are not using and stop streaming movies while trying to browse the web. Then you will most likely be able to use Firefox’s private network without any performance or bandwidth issues.
How to use the Firefox Private Network
Open Firefox and visit the Firefox private network. Select “Add to Firefox”.
Select “Add” at the prompt to install Firefox Private Network.
Click the extension icon in the top right corner of Firefox and select Sign in.
Sign in with your Firefox account information. You can create a Firefox account here if you don’t already have one.
Wait a few seconds until the extension icon changes and a green check mark appears. This will let you know that Firefox’s private network is on and protecting you.