Microsoft Edge will become faster and more secure thanks to new experimental features

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Microsoft is planning to turn Edge into the fastest and most secure browser out there and is  experimenting with some new features to achieve this goal. While Microsoft’s battery life experiment turned into a fiasco for the company, with Opera successfully challenging the Redmond giant’s claims, it appears that this time Microsoft means serious business.

In a recent blog post, the company describes how it’s going to make Edge faster and more secure thanks to three experimental protocols: TCP Fast Open, TLS False Start, and TLS 1.3

The TCP Fast Open feature will improve the data transfer speeds between users’ computers and servers. The only necessary condition is that both the browser and the server run the TCP Fast Open feature. The latest Windows 10 builds already incorporate this feature, but it’s turned off by default.

To turn on this feature, go to Edge’s Settings and check what browser version you’ve got. Make sure it’s EdgeHTML 14.14361 or higher.
Go to the address bar and type about:flags and press Enter. Then click on Enable TCP Fast Open under Networking and launch Edge again.

When TCP Fast Open is enabled, data can be sent before the connection complete, and the responses will arrive immediately.

Bear in mind that you’ll see speed improvements only for the websites whose servers already support TCP Fast Open.

The TLS False Start option allows the users to start sending encrypted data immediately after the first TLS roundtrip. The TLS 1.3. is a new security standard that will allow developers to eliminate the delay while still encrypting content. This translates into better performance and security in Microsoft Edge, as modern encryption technology is used on top of the continually improved TCP stack.

We trust the internet with our most important information, including financial data.  Ensuring the integrity and security of these transactions is critical to the entire community.  More than half of web connections use TLS for securing the network traffic on the web […] This is great for security and privacy, but we would like to deploy encryption without slowing down the web.

Perhaps such a technology could have prevented Acer’s customer credit card information leak.

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