iPhones now include a VPN service operated directly by Apple. Let’s see how to activate it and use it to protect web browsing
Who subscribes to iCloud+ to increase the photo storage space on the iPhone (at the price of €0.99 per month for 50 GB) will unlock numerous additional functions on the Apple phone, among which it certainly stands out Private relay.
The Private Relay is to all intents and purposes a VPN service which encrypts the iPhone’s Internet connection (on Wi-Fi and mobile data), hiding the user’s IP address, blocking many web trackers and making it impossible to recover the phone’s geographic location.
In the following guide we will show you How to activate the iCloud Private Relay featurehow to decide the geographical position to use and how to use the other security services combined with the Private Relay, in order to increase connection security and privacy when we browse websites online.
READ ALSO -> Best free VPNs for anonymous browsing from your phone
1) Check if iCloud+ is active
Before proceeding with any activation let’s make sure we have iCloud+ active on our iPhone: Without the iCloud Private Relay subscription it is not available on your Apple phone, thus making the rest of the guide useless.
To carry out this check we launch the app Settingslet’s get into the menu ID Apple at the top, we press on the menu iCloud and check if the wording is present iCloud+ above the remaining space bar.
If iCloud+ is not active, the entry will also appear in the window, scrolling through the various items present Upgrade to iCloud+a clear sign that we are using the free version of iCloud (which we remind you only supports up to 5 GB of cloud space).
If we are on a PC or Mac we can control the activation of the subscription using the sito iCloud and clicking on the box iCloudwhich will immediately show the type of active subscription or, if we have the free version, will show the use of the version with only 5 GB of cloud space.
2) Turn on iCloud Private Relay
With iCloud+ active on our iPhone we can immediately activate Private Relay by opening the app Settingspressing on the name of the Apple ID at the top, pressing on the menu iCloudwe press on Private relay and activate the switch next to the item Private relay.
From this moment on our iPhone’s Internet connection will be private and encrypted: any site we contact will not know who we are, will not be able to record our IP address and will not be able to use tracers to store our browsing habits.
All navigation traffic will be diverted to Apple servers set up to work as VPN proxies: this makes the service much more practical than a dedicated VPN service, since it will always be active without us realizing it, covering both the Wi-Fi connection and the cellular data network connection.
3) Change geographic location
Although this service works exactly like a VPN, for the moment we cannot choose the country in which we go out with iCloud Private Relay; however, we can choose whether to appear in the same country in which we live (in an anonymous way, without providing the real position) or whether provide a location and a generic IP addresstotally intercept-proof.
To make this choice, let’s take the path again Settings -> Apple ID -> iCloud -> Private Relaylet’s press on IP address location and we choose between Maintain generic position o Use country and time zoneaccording to our needs.
To learn more we can read our guide on how to connect to a VPN from the USA for free.
4) Additional security services
In addition to the integrated VPN connection, iCloud+ also unlocks some interesting security and privacy features:
- Hide my email: allows you to create email aliases to use for the web services to which you subscribe; emails received from aliases will be forwarded to our preferred address or the official address used for Apple ID.
- Custom email domain: in addition to aliases, we can create our own personalized email address, to be used for work, study or to provide an email address dedicated to marketing or assistance service.
The advantages of using these two functions are decidedly numerous: we can sign up for various services with valid and accepted aliases and, if the service sends too many emails or includes us in useless newsletters, just delete the alias to stop the spam flowleaving our primary email address intact and pristine.
With your custom domain we can create serious and professional work emailsavoiding using old emails created with ridiculous names or with names that are not inclined to provide a sober and refined appearance to work colleagues or suppliers to contact.
On the same topic we invite you to read our articles on how to protect your email inbox and electronic mail come on how to get an email address with a custom domain.
Apple made a smart move by adding the Private Relay on iCloud (see also Apple guide): in this way it is possible to protect the privacy of iPhone users without slowing down your connection or burdening your systemmaking browsing anonymous, hiding the IP address and blocking the monitoring of habits and geographic location.
Unfortunately iCloud VPN service does not allow us to choose which country to hide in: we cannot change country (going for example to France or Spain), but we will have to settle for generic IPs or protected IPs based on the country we live in (always anonymous but compatible with Italian sites).
The email filtering and domain systems are a welcome addition that will appeal to all those who subscribe to the services and would like to avoid wild spam on their inbox.
For further information we can read our articles at differences in methods to bypass site blocking come on how to choose a secure VPN that doesn’t spy or share data.