Microsoft Edge just got a new way to protect your privacy

Microsoft Edge just got even more secure. After teasing a few weeks ago, Microsoft just officially announced the availability of Edge Secure Network, the new built-in VPN feature for the Microsoft Edge browser.

While Microsoft is still in an experimental stage with a small audience using the Canary version of the browser, Microsoft hopes this feature can provide additional peace of mind when using Edge on unsecured networks. Like most other VPN services, this built-in secure network can mask your device’s IP address, encrypt your data, and route it through a secure network that’s geographically in the same location. This makes it harder for hackers and others with bad intentions to see your true location. Also, the company that supplies your internet cannot collect your browsing data for advertising.

Just like when the feature leaked, this initial test of Edge Secure Network is limited to 1GB of data and bandwidth per month, so you may not want to send all your websites through it. To get started with it, you need to download the Canary version of the browser through the Edge Insider program. You must also sign in with a Microsoft account. You’ll know you have this built-in VPN when you see a shield icon in Microsoft Edge’s Settings and more menu. Clicking that will enable it and show you a summary of how much data you have used with the VPN service.

“A lot of web technology relies on trying to intelligently deliver results based on where you are. We want to make sure the internet is still working the way you expect it to, so when you search for a nearby restaurant or check the showtimes of local movies, you can still get relevant results. We also want to help protect you as an individual so that you are not personally associated with those results just by browsing the web,” Microsoft said.

Under the hood, Edge Secure Network is powered by Cloudflare. When the feature is enabled, your browsing traffic is encrypted and routed through Cloudflare servers and then to its final destination. This can prevent websites from seeing your individual network address.

Once testing of the feature is complete in the Canary version of Microsoft Edge, you can expect to see it rolled out more widely to the other versions of the browser. This usually takes a few weeks or sometimes months.

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