The Internet, for many years, has operated with insecure protocols : HTTP, FTP, Telnet, etc. However, luckily, things are changing. Both web page developers and the large companies behind the development of the main browsers work to standardize the use of secure protocols and to be able to deactivate insecure and obsolete protocols as soon as possible. Since January of this year, Chrome forces the use of HTTPS connections by default in the address bar. And Firefox, Mozilla’s browser, does the same. Therefore, in order not to be left behind, as far as security is concerned, now it is Edge‘s turn to move token.
HTTP and HTTPS are, broadly speaking, very similar protocols. Both are used to establish the connection between our browser and the web page server. HTTPS works exactly the same as HTTP , but instead of sending data as is over the network, it uses an SSL tunnel to encrypt it and prevent anyone or anything from spying on it.
HTTPS for everyone on Edge 92
Right now, if we try to enter a web by typing “http” in the address bar, and the server still accepts this protocol, we will be able to enter the web through it. The same happens if we try to enter a website without using the “https: //” in front of the URL, since if it is configured to accept HTTP connections by default it will connect us through it.
Starting with Edge 92 , this is going to change. Microsoft is already working to implement a new security measure that allows us to connect to the Internet safely, always automatically forcing HTTPS connections. In this way, as long as the server supports secure connections, this protocol will be used instead of HTTP, even if we write it in the URL itself. This new function is very similar to how we get with the HTTPS Everywhere extension, but without having to install anything else.
If the web does not yet support the HTTPS protocol and only supports HTTP connections, we will be able to access it normally. In addition, this new function will be optional, that is, we can let Edge take care of always using the secure protocol, or continue working as before.
Today, the use of HTTPS connections does not imply any loss of performance. What’s more, once this function is available in Edge, the websites that will load the slowest are the HTTP, since the packets will have to go around more in case of having to return from the server to our PC and request the load through the protocol unsafe. One more reason to keep running away from unsafe websites.
When will this new feature arrive?
At the moment, the use of HTTPS connections by default in Edge is being tested. Some users of the Canary branch of the browser may already have a first contact with this new function, although for now in a very experimental phase.
Microsoft plans to bring this security measure to all users with the arrival of version 92 of Edge. This version, according to Edge’s release plan, should hit the stable branch in July 2021 . Therefore, we will still have to wait a while before we can take advantage of this security measure, which will undoubtedly help us to navigate more safely. Especially if we use it with DNS-over-TLS, another feature that is already available in the new Edge.
One more step towards eliminating insecure protocols. And it is that, sooner or later, HTTP will be history.