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iCloud Private Relay vs VPN

iCloud Private Relay vs. VPN: Which Option Is the Best

iCloud Private Relay vs VPN: Which is better? Well! iCloud Private Relay and VPN both hide your online stuff and keep it safe. They might seem the same, but they’re different. Learn about them to pick what’s best for you.

What is iCloud Private Relay?

Apple introduced iCloud Private Relay with the iOS 15 update for added security. It’s for those with iCloud storage (bought alone or in Apple One). You can use it on iOS 15, iPadOS 15, or macOS Monterey and newer devices.

It keeps your internet traffic safe by hiding what websites you visit and where you are. This way, your internet provider and websites can’t track and learn about you based on your Safari searches.

How Does Private Relay Work?

Apple Private Relay is like an easy VPN for Apple devices. If you have iCloud+, you can turn it on. It uses two servers to hide your info. The first, by Apple, hides where you go online. The second, by another company, helps you access websites without showing your real location or IP address. So, one server knows your IP but not your websites and the other knows your websites but not your IP. It keeps things private!

Is iCloud Private Relay the same as a VPN?

Private Relay is not a VPN. It might seem like one because it hides your online info, but it’s not as versatile. VPNs do more—they secure all your device connections and let you access restricted content. Use a VPN instead of a Private Relay if you want extra features.

VPNs handle internet traffic from everywhere, but Private Relays mainly boost privacy for Safari. They’re not called VPNs because they don’t provide complete security solutions.

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or a virtual private network, acts as a shield for your internet connection. It’s a tech tool that secures all your online activities by encoding them. This comes in handy, especially when you’re on shared networks like public Wi-Fi. 

Usually, others on the same network can see what you’re doing online. But with a VPN, it’s like having a secret tunnel that keeps your internet actions private. It also helps protect against common tricks that hackers might try. 

Here’s how it works: your internet traffic goes through this secure tunnel to a special VPN server. Before it reaches its final destination, your traffic goes through this server, and your actual IP address gets replaced with the VPN server’s IP address.

 So, to the rest of the internet, it seems like you’re in the same location as your VPN server.

 iCloud Private Relay vs VPN: The Key Differences

Exploring the Key Contrasts: iCloud Private Relay vs. VPN

1. Privacy and Identity Safeguards

  • VPNs: Provide robust anonymity, concealing IP addresses and regions, making identity tracing challenging.
  • iCloud Private Relay: Secures your IP address in Safari yet reveals your general region. Functions as a proxy server with potential identification.

2. Scope and Compatibility

  • VPNs: Compatible across diverse devices and systems, ensuring comprehensive protection for all applications and browsers.
  • iCloud Private Relay: Limited to Apple devices (iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey), safeguarding Safari browsing exclusively.

3. Accessibility and Geo-Restriction Bypass

  • VPNs: Grant flexibility in choosing server locations, facilitating access to region-locked content, and enhancing online accessibility.
  • iCloud Private Relay: No option to select server regions or effectively bypass strict geo-restrictions.

 iCloud Private Relay vs VPN: Which One You Should Choose?

Deciding between iCloud Private Relay and a VPN depends on what you need. If you mainly use Apple devices, especially Safari, and want things to work smoothly with Apple services, go for iCloud Private Relay. It’s good if you just need basic privacy protection in Safari.

 But if you use different devices, not just Apple ones, and want consistent protection for everything online, choose a VPN. VPNs are better if you really want to stay private, access content from specific regions, and be extra safe on public Wi-Fi. Also, if you like connecting to various server locations, a VPN is the better option.

How to Turn On iCloud Private Relay

  • Navigate to Settings and select your Apple ID at the top.
  • Choose iCloud and tap on Private Relay.
  • Switch on Private Relay by toggling the switch to green.
  • After activating iCloud Private Relay, visit the IP Address Location to choose the level of location information you wish to share.
  • You have the option to use a general location or your country’s time zone.
  • For macOS, access the Private Relay feature by visiting Apple ID and then iCloud in System Preferences.

iCloud Private Relay Pros and Cons

Apple Private Relay has its pros and cons. Let’s understand each other to evaluate. 

Benefits of Apple Private Relay:

  • IP Address Masking: Private Relay offers a different IP address, concealing your real one from Apple and third-party entities.
  • User-Friendly: Apple product users find the service simple to use, requiring no downloads or payments.
  • Anonymous Email Creation: Users can send emails using automatically generated addresses, ensuring email anonymity.

Limitations of Apple Private Relay:

  • Lack of Security Features: Private Relay lacks additional security features, such as a kill switch or split tunneling, commonly found in VPNs.
  • Fixed Server Location: Users cannot change the server location, limiting access compared to VPNs that offer global server options.
  • Privacy Concerns: While Private Relay hides IP addresses and web activity, its privacy policy mentions minimal data logging, raising potential concerns, especially in the context of government requests.
  • Unspecified Encryption Level: The level of encryption used by Apple in Private Relay is unspecified.
  • Exclusive to iCloud+ Subscribers: Access to Apple Private Relay requires a subscription to iCloud+, adding a cost for users.

Conclusion-iCloud Private Relay vs. VPN

Apple Private Relay is good at keeping our online activities private and protected from tracking. It makes browsing on Safari more private and shows that Apple values our privacy. However, it’s not as effective as a VPN in enhancing online safety. A reliable VPN, such as iProVPN, gives an extra layer of security and privacy that a relay service doesn’t provide.

If you want to try it out without any risk, you can invest in iProVPN for your iPhone or Mac offering a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

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