There's plenty of solid virtual private networks (VPN) out there for people who value their privacy, but the best ones usually aren't free. That could change now, though - Cloudflare has unveiled "Warp," its own proprietary VPN service.
So, why should you care? For starters, Warp will be completely free. No, that's not an April Fools joke. In fact, Cloudflare seems to harbor some resentment for the day, choosing it as their Warp announcement time purely out of spite.
"While most days the Internet is full of promise and innovation, on 'April Fools' a handful of elite tech companies decide to waste the time of literally billions of people with juvenile jokes that only they find funny," the company wrote in their Warp announcement. "Cloudflare has never been one for the traditional April Fools antics."
Warp is technically not a completely new service, but rather an addition to Cloudflare's existing 126.96.36.199 DNS app. Warp is designed to essentially be a VPN for non-VPN users - or, rather, those who aren't very tech-savvy.
"...we think the market for VPNs as it’s been imagined to date is severely limited," Cloudflare writes. "Imagine trying to convince a non-technical friend that they should install an app that will slow down their Internet and drain their battery so they can be a bit more secure."
Fortunately for those less tech-savvy folks, Warp simplifies VPN usage considerably. While it's currently for mobile only, using Warp is as easy as opening the 188.8.131.52 app and switching on the dedicated VPN toggle - that's it.
According to Cloudflare, using Warp will grant you all the benefits of a normal VPN (such as obfuscating your internet traffic) in addition to faster browsing speeds; a unique bonus given that most VPNs slow down your connection rather than speed it up.
Concerned about the privacy of your data when it's in Cloudflare's hands? If so, the company has a few assurances to make: it won't "write user-identifiable log data" to its hard drives, it won't sell or use your browsing data for advertising purposes, and you don't need to provide any personal information (such as your name or phone number) to Cloudflare to use Warp.
Finally, if "fast" isn't fast enough for you, Cloudflare is planning to launch Warp+ at some point in the future, which will be a paid version of Warp that offers extra features and even faster browsing.
For now, Warp isn't rolling out to everyone. However, you can sign up to be added to the access waitlist now by downloading the 184.108.40.206 app for your iOS or Android device.