There’s some good news for those who want to hide their online browsing activity and improve privacy when browsing the web because the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge will be getting a built-in Cloudflare-powered VPN service with up to 1GB of monthly allowance for free.
Microsoft Edge’s built-in VPN service is called “Edge Secure Network” and it’s similar to Opera’s no-log VPN where the browser won’t track your online activities, meaning Edge won’t log your activities in any form and it will also prevent your ISP from finding your location or sites you visit.
In a support document, Microsoft is not explicitly calling its ‘Edge Secure Network’ a VPN service, but the description gives it away. For example, the Microsoft documentation states that the browser’s built-in VPN or “Secure Network” will encrypt your internet connection to protect your data.
This is possible because the browser sends your traffic through Cloudflare encrypted tunnel and the result is a secure connection even when you’re browsing a non-secure webpage.
Using Microsoft Edge’s Cloudflare VPN-like service
It’s obvious that the company wants more people to care about their internet privacy and it’s always convenient to have the VPN or VPN-like service built-in rather than having to download third-party services.
As you can see in the above screenshot, it’s very simple to launch Edge’s Secure Network – you’ll find the option in Edge’s context menu. Once turned, can monitor the usage in the browser’s toolbar.
In addition to privacy, Edge’s Secure Network promises to make it harder for hackers to access your browsing data. Since the traffic is routed via Cloudflare’s network, Microsoft prevents ISPs from collecting your browsing data, including the details about the sites you visit or videos you watch.
Edge offers 1GB of free data every month and Microsoft wants you to sign in to Microsoft Account to use the service. At the moment, it appears that users won’t get the choice between virtual locations from across the globe. That means you can appear from any of the locations where Cloudflare is available.
As you can see in the above screenshot, the Edge toolbar will alert users when they have reached the 1GB limit. You can click on the icon to learn more about the feature and when data will be refreshed, but it doesn’t include any link to purchase additional data, suggesting that the company is still evaluating the pricing.
While the main goal is to differentiate Edge from mainstream browsers like Chrome and make it more appealing, it’s possible that the company plans to charge money in future, especially when we consider the 1GB limitation.
Other features coming to Microsoft Edge
In addition to a built-in VPN, Microsoft Edge is also getting another visual refresh on Windows 11 with rounded corners for tabs strip and more.
Edge is continuously evolving in terms of both features and design. As far as its design is concerned, Microsoft is taking steps to improve Edge on Windows 11. In the most recent update, Edge has been updated with rounded tabs and Mica for the browser’s tabs strip.
These visual improvements are not available for everyone, but they can be turned on from the browser’s Settings > Appearance tab. To try out the update, make sure that “Show experimental appearance settings” are enabled in the Edge://flags menu.
Once you enable it, look for two new options “Show Windows 11 visual effects” and “Use rounded corners for browser tabs” in Settings, and turn them on.
Additionally, Edge is also getting a new sidebar on the right side of the browser. This will allow users to access features like MSN Games, Outlook, Bing, and even web-based tools like Calculator.