Microsoft is testing a VPN-like service for its Edge browser, adding a new layer of security and privacy to the browsing experience. A recently-discovered support page on Microsoft’s website details the “Microsoft Edge Secure Network” feature, which provides data encryption and prevents online tracking, courtesy of Cloudflare.
While it isn’t available yet, even if you have the latest Dev channel build, the Microsoft Edge Secure Network feature appears to be similar in nature to Cloudflare’s 18.104.22.168 service. This is essentially a proxy or VPN service, which encrypts your browsing data so that it’s safe from prying eyes, including your ISP. It also keeps your location private, so you can use it to access geo-restricted websites, or content that’s blocked in your country.
Microsoft Edge’s Secure Network mode will require you to be signed into your Microsoft account, and that’s because the browser keeps track of how much data you’ve used in this mode. You get 1GB of free data per month, and that’s tied to your Microsoft account. Most VPN services aren’t free, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Cloudflare itself doesn’t keep any personally-identifiable user data, and any data related to browsing sessions is deleted every 25 hours. Information related to your data usage is also deleted at the end of each monthly period.
The support page goes into all the details of the service, including how to enable it, which suggests that it should be available in the near future. Most likely, users running Dev or Canary versions of the browser will get access to it first, with Beta and stable channel users following suit. Once it does roll out, Secure Network mode will be readily accessible from the three-dot menu in the top-right corner.
Microsoft Edge isn’t the first browser to offer some kind of VPN service. Opera has included a free VPN for a while now, and Mozilla launched a paid VPN service back in 2020. If you want to be one of the first to try it out, you might want to consider downloading one of the Microsoft Edge Insider channels, though we still don’t know when you can expect it to be available.