Practice the new built-in VPN feature in Microsoft Edge 2022-04-28 18:25:18

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Microsoft Edge

Microsoft is working on a built-in VPN functionality for Edge called “Edge Secure Network,” but there’s a catch – it’s not a proper alternative to your VPN.

Edge’s Secure Network is powered by Cloudflare – one of the most trusted DNS hosts in the industry – and aims to protect your device and sensitive data while browsing. The feature is in an early stage of development available for select users in Edge Canary and it is not a full VPN service available in competing browsers like Opera.

So how does Microsoft Edge’s secure network actually work? according to support document In our tests, Edge uses Cloudflare routing to encrypt your internet connection and protect your data from online threats like hackers.

Microsoft says the Edge Secure network feature sends your traffic through an encrypted tunnel to create a secure connection, which means that HTTP URLs are accessed securely in an effort to make it more difficult for attackers to get hold of your browsing data and it also eliminates any possibilities to track online.

Cloudflare edge IP
Edge replaces the IP address with Cloudflare

Since your traffic is routed through Cloudflare, your location is clearly private and your actual IP address is hidden behind the Cloudflare network. It replaces your geographical location with a similar regional address (the closest Cloudflare server) to make it more difficult for online trackers to follow you online.

Edge Secure is not a substitute for your VPN

While Edge Secure Networks looks like an attractive solution, it is not like regular VPNs.

In fact, you could even use Cloudflare’s Warp – a free service that ensures that your traffic between your device and the original server is kept private.

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Toggle Secure Network in Edge Toolbar

In our tests, we noticed that Edge’s VPN does not allow you to choose your location. It only protects your traffic by encryption and uses 1.1.1.1 to improve your DNS for a faster connection.

The good news is that we can still use the secure Edge network (powered by Cloudflare) to pass local restrictions set by your ISP or government.

Edge VPN
Edge Secure unblocks a torrent site that is blocked by your local ISP

In the example above, we were able to use Edge Secure Network to access a Torrent site that is blocked by our ISP.

However, the Cloudflare-based Edge Secure network is not good for streaming. Since it doesn’t let you choose your location, geo-restricted content cannot be streamed on platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Another issue with Edge Secure Network is its 1GB limit. According to the support document, only 1 GB of free data will be provided each month when you sign in to Microsoft Edge with your Microsoft account.

Edge’s Secure Network is safe, reliable, and useful, but it’s currently not a good alternative to existing traditional VPNs or Opera’s built-in VPN.

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