Mozilla is expanding its offerings once again. This time, they are offering VPN service to their users.
Mozilla, famous for their FireFox browser, is expanding what it is offering to their users once again. The developer is offering VPN service for $10 a month. Many are suggesting that it is a step towards more financial independence.
Currently, the organization generates revenue thanks to the Google search tool bar built into the browsers. I users initiate searches through that search function, then Mozilla gets a small kickback from Google. Of course, depending on one revenue stream may or may not be sustainable. After all, what happens if that revenue stream dries up one day? That’s what makes diversification an ideal way to go.
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Now, though, Mozilla is experimenting with a VPN (virtual private network) service to get a little financial wiggle room from people willing to spend some money to have their internet traffic encrypted better to thwart internet service providers and others from snooping on their online activity. Mozilla will test the offering with a portion of Firefox users in the US starting Wednesday.
“With this VPN experiment … we’re starting the process of exploring new, additional sources of revenue that align with our mission,” said Chris More, product leader for growth and services at Firefox, in a blog post Monday.
While the report delves into the various privacy debates currently going around, the timing is definitely interesting. As we reported last week, many American’s are witnessing the war over network neutrality play out in their country and find themselves fleeing to the safety of VPNs. Some might see this as something of a small gold rush to try and be a go-to service to help retain Internet freedom in the face of ISPs clamping down on any potential competition. With so much happening with litigation and heads butting, the future of the open Internet remains uncertain from the American standpoint. An announcement like this right in the midst of American’s thinking twice about trusting their ISP is certainly ideal timing.
What’s more is that ProtonVPN gains an added layer of credibility. After all, there is a certain degree of trust with FireFox given that it is open source. If Mozilla feels they can partner up with ProtonVPN from a security standpoint, then it’s effectively a major endorsement as well. So, not only does ProtonVPN get that added exposure, but also that boost in credibility which will no doubt be great for business.
In return, Mozilla not only gets a cut of the revenue, but also gets to portray themselves as a company trying to make the web a better place. Here’s an organization that is actually trying to look out for your best interest. As a result of all of this, it’s a win win for both parties both on the financial side and PR front.
Now, whether or not average everyday users take Mozilla up on that offer is another question. Many people who are fearing for their access to the open Internet have already, at least, looked into what services they want to use. Some have already gone with their choice, so word of mouth is going to play a role in all of this. Maybe there is a service out there that is just as good, but charges less for instance.
Regardless, it’s easy to say that this is a smart move on the part of Mozilla. Their may be some risk with projecting the image of being the protectors of everyday Internet users, but for now, it’s an experiment that does sound quite good on paper.