Before you go ahead and start with the explanation, you should understand what iCloud Private Relay means in the first place.
What is iCloud Private Relay
Apple iCloud Private Relay is a privacy add-on to hide your IP address and browsing activity from advertisers and trackers. It is currently available for Safari and Mail. The service will prevent third-party companies from reviewing your web browsing routine.
Anyone on your local network can peek at the websites you have visited through DNS queries while browsing the web. These companies then build your profile on the internet and track your activities on the web. With iCloud Private Relay, Apple wants to prevent this practice.
First of all, the add-on is only available to iCloud + subscribers (those who have paid for one of the iCloud plans). The service runs silently in the background and most users won’t even see the effect during working hours or while browsing the web.
On by default, every time you visit a website in Apple Safari browser, Private Relay splits your IP address and DNS query. It encrypts your DNS query to an Apple-branded proxy server and sends the encryption keys to the third-party server.
Because the DNS query is encrypted, Apple cannot see the website you are trying to visit. The company only has your IP address (approximate location).
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Instead of sending your IP address to a third-party server, Apple only sends an anonymous IP address related to your region or city. Yes, iCloud Private Relay does not act like a VPN and does not send an IP address from a different country. The third-party server still gets your location, but it won’t be able to pinpoint your exact location.
Based on research, Apple uses Cloudfare servers to hijack user data. Whenever these servers have downtime, you will see the iCloud Private Relay service stop for a while.
The failure normally only lasts a few moments. As soon as iCloud Private Relay comes back, users notice that iCloud Private Relay is an active notification on iPhone.
How to turn off iCloud Private Relay is active pop-up
There might be times when Apple-branded servers have a day off and you end up with dozens of iCloud Private Relay notifications turned off or on.
Suppose you are already using Safari alternatives like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge on iPhone. In this case, it does not make sense to activate iCloud Private Relay as the feature will not work with other browsers on iPhone.
Step 1: Open settings on iPhone.
2nd step: Go to the profile menu.
Step 3: Select iCloud and open the Private Relay menu.
Step 4: Disable the Private Relay toggle in the next menu.
Since all of your web traffic is transmitted through an Apple branded server, you will also notice a drop in internet speeds. In this case, you can also turn off iCloud Private Relay.
From now on, you will no longer see iCloud Private Relay is an active pop-up window at the top. The service is disabled on your iPhone, but it will remain active on your other devices, such as Mac or iPad.
Disable iCloud Private Relay for a Wi-Fi network
Apple also offers an option to turn off iCloud Private Relay for a specific Wi-Fi network. For example, you can keep it off on home Wi-Fi and turn it on for public networks.
Step 1: Open the iPhone’s Settings menu.
2nd step: Go to the Wi-Fi menu.
Step 3: Select a Wi-Fi network.
Step 4: Deactivate Limit tracking of IP addresses switch to the next menu.
Turn off iCloud Private Relay for Mail
As mentioned earlier, iCloud Private Relay works on Safari and Mail apps. You can deactivate Protect email activity for the Mail application as well. Here’s how.
Step 1: Open the iPhone Settings app and go to the Mail app.
2nd step: Open the Privacy protection menu.
Step 3: Deactivate Protect email activity switch to the next menu.
Understanding iCloud Private Relay on iPhone
We advise iCloud + users to keep the Private Relay service enabled on iPhone by default. If you are constantly bothered by Private Relay notifications on your iPhone, you can follow the steps above and turn off the service.
Last updated on January 5, 2022
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