firefox relay it is the latest commercial service launched by Mozilla and the first to extend beyond the limits of the fox browser, although said like this it may seem that we speak in amounts that do not correspond to reality. No. Mozilla currently has three payment services, of which Firefox Relay is possibly the most interesting… a priori. A posteriori…
Namely. In its search for economic independence without which its presumed fight for user privacy is weighed down because without independence, what there is is dependence, nothing more and nothing less than Google, Mozilla undertook a strategy based on the services with which to be able to support the development of Firefox (and the millionaire salaries of Mozilla’s leadership, although as they say, this is another story… a much uglier one than the official one from the “Mozilla Foundation”).
Total, that Mozilla launched Mozilla VPN, a service whose name says it all and whose true game has been made known more recently, as a result of its integration with Firefox (when they do things right, you have to admit it); and then they launched Firefox Relay, an alias service for email quite interesting, which is the one that now comes to Chrome.
One aside: long before all this, Mozilla spent undetermined money on Pocket, the store service for articles to read later, which they also market and which should also be told, but which was not born in the same way as Mozilla VPN or Firefox Relay. Be that as it may, while Mozilla VPN only offers paid plans, both Pocket and Firefox Relay can be used for free and their functionality can be extended for a fee.
Focusing now on Firefox Relay, a couple of years ago the little leg appeared, but only a few months since it was opened to ordinary users, and that is just like what happens with Mozilla VPN or Pocket, because of the type of service that it is , anyone can use it, whether you are a Firefox user or not.
Of course, precisely because of the type of service that it is, its integration with the web browser is essential for it to be efficient and if, naturally, Firefox users were the first to have it at their disposal, Chrome users are the second . And who says Chrome, means any browser derived from Chromium and compatible with Chrome extensions, so Microsoft Edge, Brave, Opera and Vivaldi, among others, also fall into this bag.
The integration of Firefox Relay with Chrome and co comes via an extension, which you can install from the Chrome Store. Then you must log in with your Firefox account (the same one you use to synchronize data with Firefox; if you don’t have one, you must create one) and you will be able to use the service, being able to create up to limit five aliases with the free plan. To add unlimited aliases, your own domain and more options, you have to subscribe to the paid plan.
What is Firefox Relay? What is this about aliases? We explain it in more detail in the article linked above, but basically it refers to email aliases. As you know, to register on any site you generally need an email address and spam and other dangers are the order of the day, so the less you use your email on a questionable site, the better. But what if you want to sign up for whatever? You use an alias and you heal a little fright.
Please note that Firefox Relay does not allow you to create custom aliases, it creates them automatically. They are of the type “firstname.lastname@example.org” and redirect all incoming messages to the email account with which you are registered in the service. The positive thing about this method is that you can create as many aliases as you want, once you have deleted the previously created ones, but beware, because once they are deleted, they cannot be recovered and if you use them as credentials to log in somewhere… you will lose the access.
On the other hand, and although Firefox Relay is only supposed to carry out redirection functions (with attachments of up to 10MB), you have to trust Mozilla to manage something as delicate as email and… in principle, it is a reliable company. Without going any further, if you use Firefox you are trusting them with your browsing and probably other data, such as your bookmarks, history and even passwords.
But as soon as you install the extension (see image above) the option in which they ask you for permission to collect information about how you use the extension is activated by default, and as you enter the service you see that the option is marked in the preferences from “Allowing Relay to collect data showing the sites on which your aliases are created and used”… It’s the same thing they do in Firefox and it’s just as bad. And it doesn’t come from now.
To top it off, messages sent through Firefox Relay aliases, at least with the free plan, arrive with a couple of horrific advertising banners that also include images, a tracking practice used by Mozilla is sheer folly after what I just pointed out in the previous paragraph. But embedding such advertising is, above all, ugly.
In summary, the service, except for the details exposed, is not bad and that they have created an extension for Chrome is fine, it is what they should have done from the beginning. But in my opinion, if you use Firefox Relay for silly things, go ahead; if not… your email service already allows aliases, albeit to a limited extent and, depending on the service, without the privacy obfuscation provided by Firefox Relay. However, think carefully about what you do and how you do it.