Believe it or not, Microsoft Edge is actually a pretty decent browser these days. Admittedly that’s because, under the hood, it’s powered by Chromium, but facts are facts. And here and there, Microsoft continues to add useful features—including a test for a new (and free) VPN.
As first spotted by XDA-Developers, Microsoft published a support page that revealed the upcoming VPN option before it’s even available in the browser. According to Microsoft, future builds will come with a VPN feature powered by Cloudflare. Cloudflare is well known for its strict privacy stances and tools to obscure your data from your ISP and other prying eyes.
As the support page explains, you’ll be able to activate “Microsoft Edge Secure Network,” which will encrypt your traffic “even when using a non-secure URL that starts with HTTP.” It’ll also enable a virtual IP address so the websites you visit can’t track your location and target you so precisely. Instead, the websites will see an IP address in a similar geolocation region.
When Microsoft rolls the “Microsoft Edge Secure Network” feature out, it will start as a limited test. VPN services usually cost money, and while Microsoft will provide this feature for free, it comes with a strict limit. You’ll only get 1 gigabyte of free data, and then you’ll have to wait until next month to use the feature again. That’s probably enough for basic browsing and email checking, but you won’t use Microsoft’s VPN to stream Netflix.
Whether or not Microsoft will offer an option to pay for more data down the road is unclear from the current support page. The company says that Microsoft Edge Secure Network is a test only for now. That means Microsoft could abandon the feature altogether, if it ever even rolls it out. But a built-in VPN to a commonly used browser is an excellent feature for privacy.