A support document revealed that Microsoft is developing a secret of its own.Edge Secure Network with VPN-like capabilitiesWhich leads many to believe that Edge will get a full-fledged VPN tool similar to Opera. However, as we have seen, Edge Secure Network is not actually a suitable alternative to VPNs.
The Microsoft Edge Secure Network is now available for some users and one of the Edge Canary installations has received this feature as well.
As explained in the support document, Edge Secure Network uses Cloudflare to encrypt traffic through one of the largest DNS in the world. Similar to VPN services, Cloudflare VPN from Microsoft Edge can prevent online tracking by encrypting your traffic and keeping your location private.
Your ISP cannot monitor your activities as the IP address is replaced by Cloudflare and the data is routed through an encrypted tunnel to create a secure connection, which means the result is a secure web experience even when browsing an unsecured URL, web pages starting with HTTP, or using SSL certificates not reliable.
- Microsoft Edge’s Tracking Protection makes it more difficult for hackers to access your browsing data.
- Sharing data with public Wi-Fi is prohibited.
- Your data cannot be linked to your browser as your traffic is routed through Cloudflare and your IP address is hidden.
Is Edge Secure Network an Alternative to a VPN?
While Edge Secure Network serves the original purpose of a VPN by encrypting your data with Cloudflare, it does not offer any form of proper site protection.
Edge allows you to browse the web using a Cloudflare IP address, but the location is similar to your regional address. That’s because Cloudflare Warp (which appears to support the Edge Secure Network) was not designed with geospoofing in mind.
As a result, servers cannot be changed. This means that Edge’s VPN cannot be used to watch geo-restricted Netflix or Prime content, but you can still use it to unblock services blocked by your ISP.
On the other hand, a full VPN or VPN extension gives you more control over the location and IP address, as most services offer a huge network of servers to choose from.
Another issue is that users will only get 1GB of free data each month and you’ll need to sync the feature with your Microsoft account. This doesn’t make sense because Cloudflare Warp is a free service.
It’s also unclear if the company is working on any paid plans, but the support document notes that Microsoft will consider feedback from users.
Edge’s Secure Network can be a convenient solution to prevent or reduce online tracking, but can it replace your VPN app or extension? Mostly not.
This feature is currently rolling out to Canary users, so if you want to try it out as soon as possible, don’t forget to download Edge Canary and visit Edge://vpn.
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