Along with changing its paid iCloud subscription service to iCloud+ when Apple rolled out iOS 15, the tech giant also introduced a new privacy feature. Apple dubbed it iCloud + Private Relay, a new privacy feature that many have interpreted as a VPN or Virtual Private Network. However, according to Apple, iCloud + Private Relay helps protect user privacy while browsing the web in Safari. And therein lies the difference between iCloud + Private Relay and VPN. Read on to find out everything you need to know about iCloud Private Relay.
iCloud Private Relay – What it does
As mentioned, iCloud + Private Relay helps protect your privacy while browsing using Safari. Apple said the feature was designed to protect your privacy by ensuring that no party, not even Apple, can see who you are or what sites you visit when you browse the web using Safari.
When enabled, Private Relay sends your requests to two separate, highly secure internet relays. Apple operates one of these internet relays and, together with your network provider, can see your IP address. Although they also receive your DNS records, they have no way of associating your IP address with your DNS records because this data is encrypted. Therefore, your personal travels will be safe and secure.
So what about the second internet relay mentioned? Operated by a third-party content provider, this relay generates a temporary IP address and decrypts the name of the website you request before sending the website to you. All of the above processes are done using the latest internet standards to maintain a high performance browsing experience for you while protecting your privacy.
How to Enable iCloud Private Relay on Your iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Enabling the feature on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac is pretty easy to do. Just follow the steps outlined below to start using iCloud Private Relay.
Necessary time : 1 minute.
To activate iCloud+ Private Relay on your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps.
- Go to Settingsthen touch your name.
- Faucet iCloud > Private Relay.
- Enable Private Relay.
- Faucet IP address locationthen choose one of the two options below:
Faucet Maintain general location if you want to allow sites to show you localized content in Safari while hiding your IP address. If you want to use a broader location, still within your country, and time zone for your IP address, tap Use country and time zone.
To enable Private Relay on your Mac running macOS Ventura or later, follow these steps:
- Choose Apple menu > System Settings.
- Click your name, then select iCloud.
- Click on Private relay.
- Click on Enable private relay.
- Choose a setting for your IP adress (see the options described in the previous section), then click Do.
The steps differ slightly if your Mac is running macOS Monterey.
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
- Click on Apple IDthen select iCloud.
- Click it tick next to the private relay.
- Choose a setting for your IP adress (see options in previous section)
How to Disable iCloud Private Relay
Keep in mind that iCloud Private Relay isn’t currently available in all countries or regions. If available in your country, you can enable or disable the feature as you wish. You can turn it off on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac by following steps 1-4 in the previous section. Note that once the feature is disabled, you won’t get that extra layer of protection the next time you browse the web with Safari.
Final Words: Other Important Things You Need to Know
Since iCloud Private Passthrough is not yet available in all countries and regions, it will automatically turn off when you travel to a country where it is not supported. When you return to your own country or enter a new country where it is available, the feature will automatically reactivate. Additionally, your device will notify you whenever it becomes unavailable, as well as when it becomes available again.
In some cases, when browsing the web using Safari, you may need to temporarily disable Private Relay. For example, when visiting websites that rely on filtering, monitoring or rate limiting. In these cases, you may need to make your IP address visible. To do this, you don’t need to turn off and then turn on Private Relay. When browsing the website using Safari on your iPhone or iPad, all you have to do is press the Page setting button then press Show IP address. If you are browsing on Mac Safari, just choose View > Reload and Show IP Address.
The bottom line is that it’s always up to you to enable this feature on your Apple devices for that extra layer of privacy when browsing websites on Safari. Note that this feature is an add-on to iCloud+ premium subscription. So it’s still part of an extra expense after all.