MacOS Monterey Private Relay

There are some nice new features in MacOS Monterey. One of those features is Private Relay. Here is some information on what Private Relay is and how it works.

iCloud Private Relay is a new privacy feature baked into iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey that’s designed to hide your browsing habits inside Safari… Although Apple won’t describe iCloud Private Relay as a VPN — because it isn’t — it does have some similarities. The feature masks your real IP address so that no one can see your exact location or browsing activity. Private Relay does this by routing your traffic through two relays, much like a VPN. The big difference between this and a real VPN is that it only works inside Safari, and it allows others to see you’re using a “proxy server.” Nevertheless, for most iPhone, iPad and Mac users, iCloud Private Relay — included in iCloud+ — is more than enough to keep your browsing habits under wraps.

Here is how to activate or deactivate Private Relay in MacOS Monterey. 

Private Relay

You need to go into your Apple ID area in System Preferences to activate Private Relay in MacOS Monterey. 

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Once inside the Apple ID area, just check the box next to Private Relay.

Check Private Relay

Once you have turned Private Relay on, it is a good idea to click on the “Options” button and see how it is set up.

Private Relay Options

The next window explains a little how Private Relay works and offers a setting that allows your location to be more generalized. 

Private Relay Settings

I ended up setting my Private Relay to “Use Country and Time Zone”, a more general location which provides more privacy in my opinion.

The knock against Private Relay is it only works in the Safari web browser. As far as I am concerned, that is good enough. What I want protected the most is my online surfing activity. I do run a VPN at this time, but I think I can forgo the cost of the VPN subscription and make do with Private Relay. By the way, to turn Private Relay off, just uncheck the box.


MacOS Monterey has some helpful new features. I think Private Relay is one of the best ones. I will be using it, how about you?