Windows 11 may soon have a system tray indicator that alerts you whether your machine is linked to a VPN, allowing users who want to surf secretly to verify they are connected.
When you connect to a VPN server, your Internet connections flow through the provider’s IP addresses, keeping the website or online service from seeing your IP address.
However, suppose you use a VPN to download a file or view a website, and it abruptly disconnects. You could continue using the internet without recognizing it, compromising your IP address.
According to Neowin, Twitter user PhantomOcean3 uncovered a new hidden feature in Windows 11 ‘Dev’ build 25247 that, when activated, displays a little shield symbol superimposed on the Network system tray icon while connecting to a VPN.
Unfortunately, the new function has some limits since it only connects to VPNs created using the built-in Windows 11 client and cannot operate with wifi.
According to PhantomOcean3’s tweet about the new feature, the feature seems to function only if you connect to a VPN through the quick setting or the Network & Internet > VPN tab in Settings.
The feature may not make it into a general release
Furthermore, the functionality does not operate when linked to commercial VPN providers via their programs.
When linked to a VPN, the indication does not appear in BleepingComputer’s testing using both NordVPN and ProtonVPN. However, because this is an undisclosed, in-development feature, it is incomplete and in its early phases.
Furthermore, while this is a handy feature, Microsoft has previously said that features uncovered in a Windows Insider build are not guaranteed to get official releases.