How does Apple’s Private Relay compare to a VPN?
If this sounds like a VPN to you, you are not completely wrong, but there are some important differences between the two. First, unlike VPN, Apple Relay will decrypt your browsing data on the second server; VPN always keeps your data encrypted.
In other words, setting up two Apple Private Relay servers adds an extra layer of privacy that many VPNs lack. Some (but not all) VPNs keep track of who connects to their servers. Since all activity occurs on a single server, someone can use VPN logs to track user activity on their server. Apple Relay separates all content between the two relays, similar to the way Tor browses data anonymously, but with fewer relays; In theory, this means that Private Relay shouldn’t have much of an impact on browsing speed. After the first server encrypts your data, once it is sent to the second server, no one (not even Apple) can trace it. At least, that’s what Apple said.
Another difference is the way Apple Relay handles IP masks. Most VPNs allow you to choose a proxy server region so that you can bypass geoblocking; This is how VPNs allow US users to view exclusive Netflix content from other countries. Apple Relay will disguise your IP as a VPN, but the fake address will match your current location, which means you cannot use it to bypass regional geographic restrictions. Some countries also do not have private broadcasting, especially China and Saudi Arabia.
Finally, Apple’s Private Relay is only available for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monteray users’ Safari. VPNs can run on any devices and browsers they support.
Apple is commendable, the company made it clear that Private Relay is not a VPN. But unless you specifically need to use a VPN to bypass geoblocking, or only use a browser other than Safari, Private Relay may replace the paid VPN for iCloud + subscribers. At least once iOS / iPadOS 15 and macOS Monteray will be launched in the future. year.