How iCloud Private Relay affects you

With iOS 15, Apple added a feature called iCloud Private Relay to iPhone and iPad.

It’s important you understand what it does, how to turn it on and off, and how it affects your use of the internet on our network.

What is iCloud Private Relay?

Private Relay is a feature only available to those with an iCloud+ subscription. When enabled, it sends your Safari internet traffic through 2 separate internet relays. One is operated by Apple, the other by a third-party content provider. This effectively protects your identity online, ensuring no party can identify you or what sites you’re visiting.

For a more detailed explanation, see Apple’s Private Relay support page.

How to turn iCloud Private Relay on or off

Turning iCloud Private Relay on or off is easy.

  1. Go to your Settings app on your iPhone or iPad
  2. Tap your name at the top
  3. Tap iCloud
  4. Tap Private Relay in the list
  5. Use the toggle to turn Private Relay on or off

Potential impacts of using iCloud Private Relay on our network

Using iCloud Private Relay may affect your use of some elements of our network. So, there may be times when you need to turn it off.

When visiting zero-rate webpages

When using our network, we don’t charge you or deduct from your data allowance when you visit certain webpages. This is because they’re vital services you may need to access even when out of data or credit. These include but aren’t limited to:

  • NHS websites
  • Many charity websites, including Samaritans
  • Our Top-up services

If you try to access these pages with iCloud Private Relay turned on, data will be taken from your data allowance or you’ll be charged at our standard data rates.

When using adult content blockers

If you’ve set up a phone to block adult content, you’ll need to turn iCloud Private Relay off to keep it working. This is particularly important if you have children using iOS devices. If iCloud Private Relay is on, we’re unable to prevent it from bypassing our adult content blockers. This means users will be able to access age-restricted content.

When wishing to avoid fraudulent links

Occasionally, we implement systems that prevent you from accessing fraudulent links. When iCloud Private Relay is on, however, this safety feature won’t work.

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