All you need to know about Microsoft Edge Secure Network. Microsoft has started testing Edge Secure Network, a new VPN-like security feature for its Edge browser. Microsoft is not the first company that is introducing VPN capabilities in its browser. Opera launched its VPN in 2016 and has been operating it since. Mozilla has not integrated its VPN into Firefox natively, but it is operating a VPN of its own and offering better integration in the Firefox web browser.
This new feature promises to offer a secure browsing experience, especially when you are connecting to public networks in a cafe, restaurant, airport, or other public places. In this article, we have detailed what is Edge Secure Network and how you can try out this free VPN service in Microsoft Edge right away. (Similar post: Best Privacy Tools And Anonymous Browsers To Protect Online Privacy)
Microsoft notes that Secure Network turns itself off automatically when the Edge browser is closed. Users need to enable it again in the next browsing session if they want to use its functionality. (Similar post: How To Change Your Netflix Account Region Without A VPN)
The company highlights the following advantages of Secure Network:
- The connection is encrypted, which adds another layer of protection. Data is “routed from Edge through an encrypted tunnel” to create a secure connection; this works on all connections made in Edge, including those that support HTTP only.
- Internet Service Providers who collect browsing data can’t do so anymore because of the encrypted web traffic.
- The local IP address is not revealed to destinations in Edge. The “Microsoft Edge Secure Network lets you browse with a virtual IP address that masks your IP and replaces your geolocation with a similar regional address”.
- It is free.
What Is Microsoft Edge Secure Network?
Microsoft’s Edge secure network is a new security feature that lets you securely browse the web with the Edge browser. Built-in in partnership with Cloudflare, the feature masks your device’s IP address, encrypts your data, and routes it through the closest Cloudflare server in your location. Much like other popular browsers like Opera and Firefox, Microsoft is offering a free VPN service baked into its Edge browser.
Edge Secure Network is currently available on Edge Canary build 104 and newer. As part of the early preview, Microsoft is offering free 1GB of monthly quota for users to test out the feature. We could expect more new plans with higher data caps, perhaps locked behind a subscription when the feature reaches Edge’s stable version.
Moreover, the browser requires you to log into your Microsoft account to access the VPN feature. If you want to try out the feature ahead of its rollout to the stable channel, you can follow the steps below.
How to enable Microsoft Edge Secure Network on Edge
Before we move to the steps, it is important to mention that though we are using Edge Canary to showcase the steps, they will essentially remain the same in the stable release as well. So, let’s see how to enable this feature in your Edge browser:
- First, head to this link and download Microsoft Edge Canary on your computer. Open Edge Canary and click on the horizontal three dots icon at the top-right corner. When the list of options appears, choose “Settings” at the bottom to view Edge settings.
- Next, switch to the “Appearance” tab from the left sidebar and enable the “Secure network (VPN) button” toggle to access the Cloudflare-backed VPN service on your Edge browser.
- You will now notice the secure network icon appear in the toolbar next to the address bar and in the settings context menu. Clicking the icon lets you enable or disable Edge’s secure network.
How to Use Edge Secure Network in Microsoft Edge Browser
After clicking the secure network icon in the toolbar, click on the “Try Now” button to test Edge’s secure network. As mentioned earlier, you will have to sign in to your Microsoft account to try out the secure network right now.
And that’s it! You have turned on secure network protection on your Edge browser. There’s a progress bar in Edge Secure Network pop-up menu to indicate how much data you have used from the 1GB free monthly quota. In case you change your mind, you can turn off the “Secure Network protection” toggle to disable Edge’s secure network.
As mentioned above, Edge secure network hides your IP network. For example, here’s a comparison of my IP location before and after enabling Edge secure network on my browser. Unlike the original result where my location was almost accurate, the Edge secure network feature masked my IP address and showed an approximate location instead.
Microsoft Edge Secure Network Conclusion
Edge’s secure network is a nifty security feature that you can use when you are using public Wi-Fi networks. That said, the 1GB monthly quota is limited, and we hope Microsoft offers more bandwidth right in time for the stable release. That said, don’t consider this feature to be an alternative to a traditional VPN though, as a VPN offers more privacy features, including the option to pick your own virtual location.
Microsoft Edge Secure Network is a browser proxy that is being tested by Microsoft currently. It gives Edge users with a signed-in Microsoft Account 1GB of free proxy traffic per month, provided by Cloudflare. There is no option to add more data to the account, and it is unclear if such an option will be introduced if the feature is made available to all Edge users.
Some may find the requirement to sign in with a Microsoft Account problematic, and others may object to the selection of Cloudflare as Microsoft’s partner.
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