Firefox Send, Mozilla’s free, encrypted file transfer service, is officially launching to the public today following its debut as a “Test Pilot” experiment back in August 2017. The service allows web users to share files up to 2.5 GB in size through the browser, while protecting them with end-to-end encryption and a link that automatically expires to keep the shared files private.
When Mozilla first began testing the web-based Send tool, file shares were limited to 1GB. Today, that remains the limitation until users sign up for a free Firefox account. They can then opt to share files up to 2.5GB.
Unlike the tiered systems offered by the likes of Dropbox and WeTransfer, which let you pay for more storage, Firefox Send only comes with a basic free option. Of course, that means power users can’t buy extra space. Neither does it benefit from being integrated into an existing operating software, in the vein of Google Drive on Android or Microsoft OneDrive on Windows. But it should boast enough security perks to keep general Firefox users happy: You can choose when your file link expires, the number of downloads, and whether to add an optional password. Recipients, on the other hand, simply receive a link to download the file regardless of whether they have a Firefox account or not
To use the service, the sender visits the Send website, uploads the files, and sets an expiration period – a design choice seemingly inspired by Snapchat, and its concepts around ephemerality. You can also opt to have the files protected with a password before sending.
Firefox Send then offers a link you can give to the recipient however you see fit, which they simply click to start the download. They will not need a Firefox account of their own to access the files, Mozilla notes.
The new tool could help Firefox attract a new audience to its web tools and services. Firefox was once a top web browser and household name, but its market share declined over the years as the built-in options from larger tech companies took hold – like IE, Safari and Chrome. However, with people’s increasing suspicion of big tech, as well as far-too-frequent data breaches, and the overall decline in online privacy, it’s the best time for Firefox to try to stage a comeback. Whether it will actually be able to deliver is another matter.
Firefox Send is launching today on the web at send.firefox.com and will be available as an Android app in beta later this week.