Microsoft is updating its Edge browser by adding a free built-in Virtual Private Network (VPN) feature as part of security and privacy enhancements. As The Verge saw, the upcoming feature is detailed on a support page.
The feature is called “Edge Secure Network” and Microsoft makes sure it works well before it’s released to the public as part of a security update. Edge Secure Network will be a VPN service powered by Cloudfare that, when activated, will allow Edge users to encrypt their web traffic so that browsing information can be hidden and protected.
VPNs are widely used by corporations for security, as well as by individuals to protect their browsing information or to bypass country-specific controls. For example, enterprising citizens and expats in China often use VPNs to get around the country’s so-called Great Firewall to access blocked sites like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google, and the websites of various international media outlets.
For gamers, it can also be used to access servers in different regions, although this may be against the rules or terms of service of many online games. One example is Lost Ark, which recently cracked down on VPNs, although Amazon said the reason was to disable the growing number of bots in the game.
Other VPN uses include the ability to watch TV shows on, say, BBC iPlayer without being in the UK, or access content, for example, from Netflix that is available in different countries. All of which makes the free VPN to be added to Edge sound like a nice bonus. But there are limits.
The catch is that the VPN will have data limited to just 1GB per month, and users will also need to have a Microsoft account and sign in when using the feature. This means Microsoft can track your VPN usage, but the software giant says it will delete that data permanently every 25 hours.
While Google Chrome remains far ahead of Edge in terms of browser popularity, by adding a free built-in VPN to Edge, perhaps Microsoft could win back some of the market by offering something potentially very valuable to Edge users.
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