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Microsoft’s Edge Browser Will Offer A Free Built-In VPN

by Victoria Marian Belmis / May 02, 2022 10:17 AM EDT
Microsoft Edge Browser

Microsoft is implementing a free built-in virtual private network (VPN) service to its Edge browser to improve security and privacy, according to a Microsoft support page.

The preview feature is a Cloudflare-powered VPN service called "Edge Secure Network". The company is currently testing the VPN and says it will roll it out to the public as a part of a security upgrade.

READ: Microsoft Reportedly Plans To Display Ads In Free-to-play Xbox Video Games

Upon activation, Edge Secure Network should encrypt users' internet connection to help protect data from online threats like hackers, as well as encrypt web traffic so internet service providers can't collect browsing information you'd rather keep private, like, health-related searches.

According to the page, "data is routed from Edge through an encrypted tunnel to create a secure connection, even when using a non-secure URL that starts with HTTP. This makes it harder for hackers to access your browsing data on a shared public Wi-Fi network." 

The new feature will also let users hide their location by letting users browse the web with a virtual IP address that replaces your geolocation with a similar regional address. Having a virtual IP address means users could access content blocked in their countries like certain Netflix or Hulu shows.

However, data use per user is limited to a free 1GB per month. Users will need to be signed in to a Microsoft account for the company to keep track of the amount of Microsoft Edge Secure Network data that is used each month. Microsoft adds that while Cloudflare will collect support and diagnostic information from the service, the company will permanently get rid of that data every 25 hours.

READ: Google's New Play Store Policy Cracks Down On Third-Party Call Recording Apps

The feature is still under development and is not yet available for early testing. Instead, Microsoft detailed how users could try out a preview, hinting that it can appear in one of the Microsoft Edge Insider channels first.

Microsoft is one of many web browsers that offer some type of VPN service. Opera comes with a free one as well, but other popular browsers such as Mozilla only offer a paid VPN service, and so does Google Chrome. This distinction could potentially help improve Edge's value proposition.

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