Gadgets & apps

This article was published on April 28, 2022

Edge’s prospective free VPN would be a tempting reason to ditch Chrome

Google's browser has lost its charm


Edge’s prospective free VPN would be a tempting reason to ditch Chrome
Thomas Macaulay
Story by

Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW Writer at Neural by TNW

I’m one of countless people who are foolishly faithful to Chrome.

Despite the browser’s horrible rep for privacy, memory-hogging, battery-draining, and supporting Google’s monopoly, I can’t call it quits. We had too many good times together — and the old bastard is still pretty.

Our relationship, however, may soon face a new threat. According to a page on the Microsoft website that was spotted by Neowin, the software giant has developed a built-in VPN for the Edge browser.

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The service remains a preview feature for now, but it could be available in an upcoming version of Edge.

Named the “Microsoft Edge Secure Network,”  the VPN is powered by Cloudflare. The company promises to delete the diagnostic and support data it collects every 25 hours.

Microsoft says the feature encrypts your connection, helps prevent online tracking, and keeps your location private. But perhaps the most attractive attribute is that the service is free to use.

Users will need to sign in to their Microsoft account to use the feature. You can find out how to turn it on at the Microsoft website.

Unfortunately, there is one major drawback: the service has a limit of 1GB of data.

This isn’t a problem for me, as I only use VPNs to fight oppressive governments and protect confidential sources. But fans of illegal streams and downloads may have to commit their ghastly crimes elsewhere.

It could nonetheless give Edge an, um, edge over its rivals. Opera already has a free built-in VPN, but the service is slow, while Mozilla’s VPN for Firefox remains a paid feature. Chrome, meanwhile, doesn’t have an integrated VPN.

I still haven’t ditched the browser, but the old deadbeat isn’t looking as hot as it used to.

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