Macos MontereySource: Apple / iMore

One of the newest features set to arrive with macOS Monterey is iCloud Private Relay. As part of Apple's new iCloud+ feature, the tool adds a layer of web security to your Mac. Here's a quick look at the new tool and why it's important on the best Macs.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas. While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

What is iCloud+

Announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, iCloud+ is a mixture of a rebrand of the existing paid iCloud service plus new features. Like iCloud itself, iCloud+ is available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Besides iCloud Private Relay, iCloud+ brings to the table for the first time Hide My Mail, custom email domains for iCloud Mail. and expanded HomeKit Secure Video support.

What does iCloud Private Relay do?

When activated, iCloud Private Relay automatically encrypts the traffic leaving your device. In doing so, it uses two internet relays so no one can see your IP address, location, and browsing activity.

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How to turn on iCloud Private Relay

The iCloud Private Relay tool is automatically installed on Macs with macOS Monterey. We don't yet know whether Apple plans on having it activated at launch. Regardless here at the steps to turn it on — and off.

On your Mac:

  1. Click on System Preferences on your Mac dock.
  2. Choose Apple ID.
  3. Either click Upgrade or Activate next to iCloud Private Relay on the right. Whether you already have a paid iCloud+ account will determine your available choice. If you select Upgrade, you'll be asked to select a plan to continue.

    To turn on iCloud Private Relay, click on System Preferences on your Mac dock, then choose Apple ID. Either click Upgrade or Activate next to iCloud Private Relay on the right. Source: iMore

To turn off iCloud Private Relay

You can switch off iCloud Private Relay by taking these steps:

  1. Click on System Preferences on your Mac dock.
  2. Choose Apple ID.
  3. Select Options next to iCloud Private Relay on the right.
  4. Click Turn Off in the pop-up box.

    To turn off iCloud Private Relay, click on System Preferences on my Mac dock, then choose Apple ID. Select Options next to iCloud Private Relay. Click Turn off in the pop-up box. Source: iCloud

A work in progress

At the time of this writing, macOS Monterey remains in beta and is an unfinished product. Because of this, the steps mentioned above could slightly change before the first official release of the updated OS. Therefore, we'll update this post as needed.

If you have any questions about iCloud Private Relay or macOS Monterey, let us know in the comments below.

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