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Here’s How Apple’s iCloud Private Relay Enables Fast, Secure Browsing

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In a new blog post, Apple’s cloud partner Cloudfare has shared some new details about Apple’s iCloud Private Relay service, explaining how it allows iOS 15, iPadOS 15, or macOS Monterey users to browse the internet more securely and privately.

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The iCloud Private Relay feature uses modern encryption and transport mechanisms to relay traffic from user devices through Apple and partner infrastructure before sending traffic to the destination website.

By adding two relays, the connection metadata is split. Here’s how it works:

  • The user’s original IP address is visible to the access network and Apple, but the server or website name is encrypted and not visible to either.
  • The first relay hands encrypted data to a second relay (e.g. Cloudflare) but is unable to see “inside” the traffic to Cloudflare.
  • Cloudflare-operated relays know only that it is receiving traffic from a Private Relay user, but not specifically who or their client IP address. Cloudflare relays then forward traffic to the destination server.

Moreover, adding intermediate network “hops” between a user and a server can often speed up overall network performance, rather than slow it down. The networks that power iCloud Private Relay are exceptionally well-connected to other networks around the world.

Check out the original article for more information regarding Cloudflare’s role in iCloud Private Relay.

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