Microsoft is testing out a free VPN add-on for its Edge browser. It’s called Microsoft Edge Secure Network, and it’ll give you a small amount of data usage per month, capped at 1GB.
The free VPN is powered by Cloudflare and it shields your internet traffic from any other devices on the network. With a 1GB cap, and no way to increase the amount, it’ll be useful for occasional usage, like if you need to use the free WiFi at a coffeehouse.
Microsoft isn’t positioning Secure Network as a replacement for traditional subscription VPN services. It can’t, not with 1GB as a hard cap on data use.
It’ll be handy for those who prefer to do their sensitive tasks, like online banking, away from the watchful eyes of their internet provider.
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Microsoft says that the Microsoft Edge Secure Network does the following:
- Encrypts your connection
- Helps prevent online tracking
- Keeps your location private
- Is free to use
That last point is technically true, but you will need to sign in with your Microsoft account. That’s only to track your aggregated monthly data use. When switched on, the VPN will automatically close if you close Edge.
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Cloudflare says they delete the “diagnostic and support data collected every 25 hours.” That means even the minimal data collected won’t be around for long.
All of this sounds pretty great from the upcoming Microsoft Edge feature. Anything that improves online security is a great addition, although the 1GB usage cap will limit how useful it is.
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