Built-In VPN Security Coming to Microsoft Edge
Microsoft recently announced that its Edge browser will be receiving support for virtual private networks (VPNs).
The new service, called Microsoft Edge Secure Network, will allow for private connections to be made on public networks and when browsing the Internet. The upcoming feature, which is currently in preview, is in conjunction with Internet hosting company Cloudflare. Microsoft said the San Francisco-based company will help provide a level of privacy to Microsoft's browser that users have been asking for.
"Cloudflare is committed to privacy and collects a limited amount of diagnostic and support data acting as Microsoft's data subprocessor in order to provide the services," said the company in a blog post announcing the new preview. "Cloudflare permanently deletes the diagnostic and support data collected every 25 hours."
Microsoft Edge Secure Network will be free to use and will provide users with a level of online privacy "through an encrypted tunnel to create a secure connection." Microsoft says that the data will be encrypted as long as a URL starts with HTTP -- no matter how unsecure the visited site might be.
The company said that encrypting user data when online will help stop online tracking through cookies, and will help protect against hackers from accessing a user's browsing data when connected to a public network.
While the new browser feature will provide another layer of security for Edge users, it won't replace your standalone VPN. Microsoft said that while Edge Secure Network will be baked in for all users at no cost, it will only provide VPN support for 1GB of data per month and will require being signed in to a Microsoft account. The VPN will disengage once the browser is closed, which should help to extend how long users can browse before hitting the data limit.
Microsoft has yet to announce when the built-in VPN support will leave preview.
Microsoft Edge Secure Network aims to provide users another reason to switch to the company's latest browser, which has been gaining popularity as of late.
Just this week, Statcounter reported that Edge has passed Apple Safari for the second most-used browser, with a market share of 10.07 percent. While this shows a steady uptick in users, it still has a lot of ground to make to catch Google Chrome and its 66.64 percent of the desktop market.
The uptick is good news for the company, which is looking for Internet Explorer users to make the switch to Edge. Microsoft's aging browser will officially be disabled on June 15.