April 13, 2024

No, Apple's Private Relay is NOT a VPN

Published June 11, 2023, 11:20 p.m. by Jerald Waisoki

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This video explains the Similarities and Differences between iCloud+ Private Relay vs vpn.

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so every year at wwdc apple

usually releases a bunch of new features

and even a new os

but this year something that really

caught my eye was

apple's private relay what exactly is it


as some people call it it's apple's new

vpn so what's exciting about apple's new

vpn is it

any different from the ones that we

normally use like say smart dns proxy

well that's what we're here to find out

i'm vampirina smartness proxy and in

this video i'll see

what the comparisons are between a

regular vpn

and apple's new private relay which is


basically apple's vpn let's get to it

shall we


so both services mask your ip address

and hide it from trackers and internet

service providers

for example on the left i've got my

iphone running ios 15 with private relay


and on the right side i've got a regular

smartphone that runs stp's vpn

throughout the video i'll use them to

show you the difference so whenever you

search for you know what's my ip address

on google

with and without vpn turned on as you

can see you'll be greeted with a

different ip address

and not just that both private relay and

vpn hide your exact location from



another similarity between these two

services is that they can unblock

websites that are restricted

by your internet service provider for

example it's common knowledge that vpn

helps you unlock websites that are


by your isp or your government so i

won't talk a lot about that however on

this iphone running ios 15

i was surprised to see the adult website

such as playboy.com which is blocked in

the indian government

was easily accessible with apple's

private relay

although this could change in the future

with the public release of ios 15.

so far you know the vpn and private

relay look kind of similar so you might

be thinking

let's just you know let go of the old

one and just use apple's vpn because

it's native and whatnot

but before we do that let's just

actually take a deeper look

and see what the actual difference is

between a traditional vpn and apple's

new private relay

basically a vpn


so one of the biggest differences you

probably would notice right away

is that apple's private relay only works

on safari's browser

all right this way apple is trying to

give users an incentive to switch to

safari instead of google or chrome

you know whereas a traditional vpn works

on all browsers and

apps and even devices so if you're using

chrome firefox over a desktop or smart


a vpn is still your only option


so another major difference in both of

these services is in its you know

jurisdictions and

how you can unblock it so private relay

masks your location but still keeps it

within the country

for example when i search what's my

location on google with private relay

turned on

it showed my location as delhi india but

if i search the same thing on google


it's just my actual location that's

noida india there's no option to change

my location to another country of my


so therefore with private relay i can't

really access netflix us or bbc uk or

you know

amazon prime from us or even hbo max for

that matter

similarly i can switch to any us server

to get access to netflix us catalog

although you'll most likely need a paid

vpn to unblock your restrictions


so another popular belief is apple's

private relay will be free right

no no it's not expensive as a regular

vpn but

it's not for free for example if you're

already paying for icloud storage which

starts as little as a dollar the private

relay feature along with many other

privacy options are already added at no

extra cost

most vpns cost a separate subscription

which usually starts around

you know three dollars to five dollars a

month although you get a free vpn as


but those are either not reliable or

secure even

and offer limited bandwidth we highly

recommend that you use a paid vpn

like smart dns proxy


so in an interview with fast company

apple's software chief

craig federighi talked about the issues

that are most common with vpn services

with a traditional vpn user's internet

traffic is encrypted and the isp

doesn't actually know what site you're

using or your actual ip address

but with the vpn provider itself you

know the real ip

and the websites you're visiting and the

problem is you can never be sure of what

vpn is doing with your browser data

so icloud private relay on the other

hand uses a dual hop architecture

encrypting it before

and after it leaves your device in

simple words not even apple knows where

you headed on the internet


another minor difference is actually the

availability of private relay in other

countries unlike you know other vpns

which are country based

so apple's new encrypted browsing

feature will be available in china

saudi arabia belarus colombia egypt


saudi arabia south africa turkmenistan

uganda and the philippines so if you're

living or you know planning to visit


there in any time in the future vpn is

your only choice

that said only a few vpns that are

registered with chinese government

are officially allowed to work in china

so if you're planning to visit china

it's advisable that you do your thorough

research because we all know how that

goes with the ccp


another difference between both these

services is that apple's private relay

always stays on and encrypts all of your

browsing data from your browser

and you don't have to manually turn it

on or turn it off like a regular vpn

well there are some similarities between

apple's private relay and a regular vpn

like say you know ip masking because you

have to do that if you want to encrypt

your data

so apple is really good at privacy and

security but

a regular vpn on the other hand is

really good for unblocking jio

restrictions and accessing different


so if you don't want to be restricted to

safari browser alone

a regular vpn or private vpn is the best


that you can find


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