Here’s How Apple’s iCloud Private Passthrough Enables Fast and Secure Browsing

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

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

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

  • The user’s originating 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 forwards the encrypted data to a second relay (e.g. Cloudflare) but is unable to see “inside” the traffic to Cloudflare.
  • Relays managed by Cloudflare only know that they are receiving traffic from a private relay user, but not precisely from whom or from their client IP address. Cloudflare relays and then forwards the traffic to the destination server.

Additionally, 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 original article for more information on Cloudflare’s role in iCloud Private Relay.

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