(Pocket-lint) – Microsoft has quietly revealed it is adding a free built-in virtual private network (VPN) service to its Edge browser. The announcement was spotted in a Microsoft support page. Called Edge Secure Network, Microsoft is now testing the Cloudflare-powered VPN service. Eventually, it will release over the air to the public as a part of a security update.
Here is everything you need to know about Edge browser’s VPN service.
How does Edge’s free VPN work?
Edge Secure Network, when turned on, should encrypt your web traffic. That means internet service providers can’t collect browsing information you’d prefer to be private. The VPN service will allow you to hide your location, by letting you browse the web using a virtual IP address. And, yes, you should be able to use Edge browser’s built-in VPN to access blocked content in your country (like certain Netflix shows).
Are there limitations to the free VPN?
Edge Secure Network will be a free service, and therefore it has some caveats. For instance, data use is limited to 1GB per month, and you will need to be signed in to a Microsoft account to use the VPN. Microsoft said the VPN is powered by Cloudflare, which will collect support and diagnostic information from the service, but the company will permanently delete that data every 25 hours.
How to try the free VPN in Edge browser
Edge Secure Network is still under development and not yet available for the public to use. Microsoft is currently testing a preview, which should roll out soon to one of the Edge Insider channels first.
You can join Edge Insider channels from here. Once it lands in an Insider channel, you can try out an early version of the VPN by:
- Opening up Edge.
- Heading to Settings and more.
- Clicking on Secure Network.
- You will then be prompted to sign in to or create a Microsoft Account.
- Once you do, a solid shield icon will appear in the browser frame.
- This signals Microsoft’s Edge Secure Network is now turned on.
Edge Secure Network will turn off after you close the browser.
Do other browsers offer VPN services?
Microsoft is one of many browsers that offer a VPN service. Opera comes with a free one, while Mozilla and Chrome have paid VPN services, for instance.
Writing by Maggie Tillman.