What you need to know
- Microsoft is now testing out its Secure Network feature for its Edge browser.
- The tool allows users to securely connect to public Wi-Fi networks.
- In its preview phase, Microsoft Edge Secure Network is only available for select Edge Canary users.
Microsoft Edge Canary has a new feature in testing that allows people to securely connect to public Wi-Fi networks. Microsoft Edge Secure network is now available for select users of Edge Canary. It protects people's data by masking a device's IP address, encrypting user data, and routing web connections through a secured network.
Microsoft Edge Secure Network was already available for some Edge Canary users before this week, but Microsoft officially announced the feature on May 12, 2022. A blog post by the company explains how Secure Network works.
The tool, which is powered by Cloudflare, makes it more difficult for internet service providers (ISPs) to collect browsing data. It also prevents advertisers from using your information to show targeted ads.
Microsoft will give users 1 GB of free data each month, at least while the feature is in preview. It's unclear if Microsoft will remove this free allotment in the future. Streaming video will use up data more quickly than generally browsing the web, so it would be wise to use Secure Network's controls to customize when you enable the tool.
Just like the best VPNs, Microsoft Edge Secure Network protects privacy by encrypting data and routing connections through a server. The feature, however, won't replace other VPNs for some people.
While VPNs are often used to protect privacy and data, they are also popular for their ability to bypass region restrictions for streaming content. This use case doesn't appear to be an option for Microsoft Edge Secure Network.
In areas where VPNs are allowed, Secure Network will connect devices to a "local data center and the IP address your browsing data flows through will be geographically similar to your actual region," according to Microsoft. This will protect privacy because it won't share your IP address, but it will not allow you to pretend to be in another region.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.