Microsoft introduces Secure DNS controls in Edge Canary browser

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 19, 2020
Internet, Microsoft Edge

Microsoft released a new version of Microsoft Edge Canary recently that introduces support for Secure DNS in the browser. Microsoft Edge Canary is the cutting edge development version of the web browser, similarly to how Chrome Canary is the cutting edge version of Google's web browser.

Features land in Edge Canary first before they are pushed to Beta and then eventually to Stable versions of the browser. Secure DNS is Microsoft's implemention of DNS-over-HTTPS, a technology to encrypt DNS traffic. The domain name system DNS is used for a variety of purposes including translating domain names to IP addresses. Any request made in the Internet browser, and may requests made by other programs with Internet connectivity, rely on DNS.

Unencrypted DNS lookups mean that Internet Service Providers and other third-parties may see, record, or even manipulate these requests. DNS-based blocking is still a common form of preventing access to some Internet services in some regions of the world. While it is not very effective, as switching DNS provider is often enough to circumvent the ban, it highlights the powerful nature of DNS.

Microsoft introduces support for encrypted DNS in Windows 10 earlier this month. The feature is available in development versions of Windows 10 currently but it will make its way soon in the stable version of Windows 10 as well.

Many browser makers, Mozilla and Google need to be mentioned specifically here, have implemented support for DNS-Over-HTTPS in their browsers. Microsoft follows Google's implementation of the feature in Chrome as it decided that it would not switch the DNS provider by default. While that is arguably better than changing the DNS provider to another one automatically, it means that some users may not benefit from the feature; this is the case if the active DNS service provider does not support secure DNS. Most ISPs don't support the feature right now, for example.

Configure Secure DNS in Microsoft Edge

microsoft edge secure dns controls

Secure DNS is enabled by default in Microsoft Edge Canary. It is likely that the feature will also be enabled in Beta and Stable releases once it reaches these as nothing will change for the user as the active DNS service provider will still be used by default (either with Secure DNS supported or not supported).

The default setting uses the active DNS service provider but secure DNS is only used if the provider supports it. You can use a third-party site to check if your browser supports Secure DNS and if the active Service Provider does, too.

To configure Secure DNS in Edge, do the following:

  1. Select Menu > Settings > Privacy, search and services, or load edge://settings/privacy directly in the browser's address bar.
  2. Scroll down to the Security section on the page.
  3. The setting "Use secure DNS to specify how to lookup the network address for websites" can be toggled on or off there; it should be on by default and the feature should be set to "use current service provider".

You may want to switch to "choose a service provider" instead if the active service provider does not support secure DNS. Another option that you have is to change the system's DNS configuration to set it to a service provider that supports secure DNS. The main difference is that the former enables secure DNS only in Edge while the latter may enable it for other browsers and Internet programs as well.

Back to Microsoft Edge. When you switch to "choose a service provider" you are presented with a list of providers to choose from. Just click in the empty field and select one of the four available providers: Quad9, Cloudflare, CleanBrowsing, Google.

edge-select secure dns provider

You may also select a custom provider that is not integrated by default by pasting the DNS server address into the box.

Now You: Do you use secure DNS already or do you plan to?

Microsoft introduces Secure DNS controls in Edge Canary browser
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Microsoft introduces Secure DNS controls in Edge Canary browser
Microsoft released a new version of Microsoft Edge Canary recently that introduces support for Secure DNS in the browser, and we tell you how to configure the feature.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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