A new security feature in iOS 15 brings a new level of privacy to web browsing beyond what VPNs offer. But while the feature benefits from full encryption, there is a potential downside to keeping it enabled. Here is how to turn iCloud Private Relay on/off on iPhone and iPad in iOS 15.
Update 12/23/: Apple has published a technical document with detailed details of how Private Relay works. It delves into the double hop architecture, how it manages IP addresses, identity and location, transport and security protocols, coverage and compatibility, etc.
Apple announced iCloud Private Relay as part of the enhanced iCloud+ features at WWDC with live functionality in iOS 15. At first glance, it looks like a VPN, but it differs markedly with the process including two “relays.” Disconnect the Internet.” The second relay means that even Apple doesn’t know who the users are and what sites they visit.
While browsing with Safari, Private Relay ensures that all traffic leaving the user’s device is encrypted, so that no one between the user and the website they are visiting can access and read it, not even Apple or the user’s network provider. All user requests are then sent through two separate Internet stages. The first assigns the user an anonymous IP address that matches their region but not their actual location. The second decrypts the web address they wish to visit and redirects them to their destination. This separation of information protects the privacy of the user because no single entity can determine the identity of the user and the sites they visit.
As Apple’s Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, explained iCloud Private Relay in more detail in an interview, including, “We hope that users will believe in Apple as a trustworthy intermediary, but we don’t even want you to trust it. We.” [because] We do not have this ability to find your IP address and the destination you are going to at the same time, this is different from VPNs.
iCloud Private Relay is available with iCloud + and the feature only works with Safari in iOS 15 on iPhone, iPad, and Mac with macOS Monterey.
How to turn on/off iCloud private paging
Keep in mind that the downsides you may see when using the feature are slower internet speeds and some websites may block access when using the private relay feature.
On your iPhone or iPad running iOS 15, open a file Settings app
Faucet your name Click > select iCloud
Faucet special sequence
Press the button to turn iCloud Private Relay on/off. When enabled, you can also choose “Keep global location” which is the default or change it to “Use country and timezone” (more private but may delete local content in Safari) on Mac, if you’re running macOS Monterey, go to System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud > Private Migration.
Here’s what the process looks like on an iPhone:
You can now activate/deactivate private relay or change your IP address settings.
If you enable the feature, Apple provides a detailed warning about what privacy is giving up when the feature is disabled.
What do you think of iCloud Private Relay, did you test it? If your connection is slower when running, is it worth the increased privacy?
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