Google Chrome users may have their heads turned by an inbound update for Microsoft’s Edge browser. The Windows 10 and 11 makers are rolling out a free VPN feature for Edge that’s dubbed Edge Secure Network. The free upgrade for Edge is being rolled out as part of efforts to improve security and privacy for users of the Microsoft browser.
The feature was mentioned in a Edge support page online and was spotted by The Verge.
When it’s activated the new Edge tool will encrypt users traffic so information you want kept private from internet service providers (ISPs) will stay that way.
This feature could be turned on if you’re heading to Google for sensitive search queries such as looking up health information or if you’d like to hide the location you’re in while surfing the web.
The free VPN is set to roll out in a future security update, however if you already pay for a VPN service such as SurfShark, NordVPN or ExpressVPN then the new Edge tool is unlikely to replace it.
That’s because the free Edge VPN is limited to 1GB of data each month.
Outlining how the feature will help users, Microsoft explained in a support document online: “By encrypting your web traffic directly from Microsoft Edge, we help prevent your internet service provider from collecting your browsing data like details about which websites you visit.”
The Edge makers went on to add: “Online entities can use your location and IP address for profiling and sending you targeted ads. Microsoft Edge Secure Network lets you browse with a virtual IP address that masks your IP and replaces your geolocation with a similar regional address to make it more difficult for online trackers to follow you as you browse.”
For those not in the know, VPN stands for virtual private network, with many providers out there offering paid-for subscriptions. Besides privacy and security reasons, people turn to VPNs to help them unblock content that usually they can’t access in their country, such as access to their Sky Go account (which is region-locked to the UK) when abroad.
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