Credit where credit is due: Microsoft Edge has gotten pretty good. Since the browser started using Chromium as its base, and the company began adding its own improvements on top, it actually provides a nice browsing experience — that is, whenever it’s not begging you to stick with it. But despite Microsoft’s best efforts and the fact that it’s starting to see some growth, Chrome still has an indisputable market lead. The latest attempt to bridge the gap and get you to switch while also boosting your security and privacy includes an in-browser VPN.
The feature was detailed on a Microsoft support page (via The Verge). It’s called Microsoft Edge Secure Network, and it’s meant precisely as a means to armor yourself from insecure networks and shady websites. The feature is currently in a preview stage — you’ll need to log in with your Microsoft account in order to use it, then head to the settings panel and click “Secure Network” to turn it on.
The VPN, itself powered by Cloudflare, will give you 1GB of free data every month — it’s not immediately clear whether you’ll be able to get, or rather buy, more data, but the “free” wording indicates that might become a possibility in the future.
It’s far from the only browser these days coming with a VPN. Opera also has one, and if you’re willing to pay, you can get an official VPN running in your Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome instances. The presence of a fully-free VPN on Microsoft Edge gives the browser an edge (no pun intended) over its two main competitors, and it’ll sure come handy for folks looking to boost up their online safety.
If you want to try it out, it’ll likely land first for those on the Edge Insider channels. For regular users, though, it might be a few more weeks. It’s also not clear whether it’ll move to the Android version of Edge just yet, but this definitely sounds like the kind of feature that would make its way to multiple platforms.
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