PRIVATE RELAY is already online in macOS 12 b3 (Monterey), as well as iOS 15 b3, and iPadOS 15 b3
I've always been somewhat leery of iCloud (uncertain about storing private information anywhere other than drives I control) but I find this quite interesting....did a quick look around and see that Private Relay will be part of a paid subscription called iCloud+, which will have other security benefits. It seems to be headed for iOS 15....it'd be good if it was also ported over to OS (and very nice if it started in OS 14).
. As it is a MAJOR FEATURE of these next generation Apple operating systems, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to be retrofitted into the current macOS 11, iOS 14, or iPadOS 14.
Private Relay works quite well, has no appreciable impact on download or upload speed, and in general is totally unobtrusive. The only problem I have encountered was when I chose the option to use "Country and Time Zone"
location, I ran into problems with Amazon and one other e-commerce site that wanted to charge the tax rate where my IP address had me located and would not accept my destination address (which is weird as there is no problem if I am traveling and log onto a site in that time zone). Switching to "Maintain general Location"
solved the problem neatly. In both settings my IP address and Whois data belonged to Apple's service partner and had no link back to my actual IP address, physical address, or actual ID. 😎 For example my current IP address places me in Bedford, Texas (several miles away) and WhoIS identifies me as a company in Amsterdam.
Private Relay enables another iCloud+ feature Hide My Email
that permits you to log onto internet accounts with an email address that is only valid for that single site
and can be turned off at any time. Emails from that site are routed to a Private Relay address and from there rerouted to your Apple email address, so your email and you remain hidden behind the Private Relay wall. The downside is the site has to be setup to support Apple login (similar to sites that allow login with your Google or Facebook account). In practice when you log onto the site you enter your logon password — which never goes beyond your device — and Private Relay handles everything else.