In iOS 15, Apple introduced a new privacy feature that hides your iPhone’s IP address and Safari browsing activity from network providers and websites. This service is called Private relay and can be activated on any iPhone, iPad and Mac as long as a ICloud + subscription is active on the current Apple ID.
Facts about private relays
How does private relay work?
When enabled, all internet traffic on your iOS, iPadOS, or macOS device is routed through two separate relays. A temporary IP address is assigned to your device allowing Apple to protect your browsing activity. This way no network tracker can know who you are and what websites you are browsing.
How much does the private relay cost?
If you have already subscribed to iCloud +, Private Relay is free in iOS 15. Otherwise, you must subscribe. The smallest 50 GB iCloud + plan is sufficient. It costs $ 0.99!
Made: In addition to 50 GB of iCloud storage space and the new Private Relay feature, the iCloud + subscription also includes the Hide my email, HomeKit Secure Video and Family Sharing services.
Advice: Any Apple One plan also covers the Private Relay feature!
Does Private Relay replace VPN?
Yes, Apple’s Private Relay feature works the same as a VPN. The only advantage a VPN service still has is that most VPNs allow you to select the country of your new IP address. With Private Relay, you can only choose between Specific and Large location.
How to activate private relay
- Private relay in iOS 15 is enabled in Settings.
- Tap on your Apple ID, available at the top of the Settings home screen.
- Go for iCloud and press Private relay.
- Activate private relay, using the ON / OFF switch available nearby.
- Then press Enable for Safari to also activate the privacy service for the Internet browser built into iOS.
Made: If there is not ICloud + subscription in place, you are prompted to select a plan and subscribe.
Advice: You can also adjust how much you want to hide your location. Press on IP address location and choose from Keep approximate location or Use a wider location. The former will keep your IP address hidden but allow applications and the browser to know your approximate area. This way, you make sure you keep getting targeted content like location specific search results from Google. The wider location provides increased privacy, at the expense of the benefits of content targeting.
- Private Relay in macOS Monterey is enabled from System Preferences.
- Click on Apple ID, available in the upper right corner.
- To select iCloud in the left side menu.
- Enable Safari IP address masking making sure that the box next to Private relay is verified.
Advice: Click on Options… available next Private relay and choose how much you want to hide your whereabouts. The default option is Keep approximate location. You can also opt for Use a wider location to further improve your privacy!
How to configure a private relay
With Private Relay enabled on iPhone, iPad or Mac, your IP address is hidden by default system-wide, for every Internet connection, whether you go through a WiFi hotspot or use the mobile data plan of your operator. However, you can individually configure this
How to turn off private relay for a specific Wi-Fi network
So at some point you might need your IP address to appear and can temporarily disable Private Relay for a specific type of Internet connection.
- Open Settings and press Wireless.
- Tap blue ‘I’ icon available next to the Wi-Fi network you are currently connected to.
- Deactivate ICloud Private Relay.
On Mac: Open System Preferences -> Click on Network -> Select the Wi-Fi network on the left sidebar. Uncheck the Use iCloud private relay option.
How to turn off private relay for the mobile data network
- Open Settings on your iPhone.
- Press on Mobile data.
- Go for Mobile data options.
- Switch off ICloud Private Relay.
Do you plan to use Private Relay on iPhone, iPad or Mac? What is your feedback? do you have any other questions? Use the comments section.
Related: For more iOS 15 features, please check:
– Protection of confidentiality of mail
– Add text from camera
– Filter notifications with Focus
– Drag and drop files to iPhone
-> all the features available here.