iCloud has long been Apple’s online resource for backing up, syncing, and sharing your online files. With the release of iOS / iPad 15, Apple has introduced an expansive update of paid iCloud subscriptions, called iCloud +, which adds special features aimed at enhancing your online security and privacy.
These additions include Private Relay, Hide My Email, Custom Domain, and HomeKit Secure Video. The app is available on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV, and can be shared with up to five family members.
iCloud vs. iCloud + vs. iCloud Drive
Apple’s use of the word iCloud to describe various apps and services is confusing. Now what’s the difference? First of all, iCloud is a backup service with Apple’s standard file. You can back up and sync your photos, email, contacts, calendars, notes, reminders, messages and other online content. The basic iCloud version offers 5GB of free online storage.
Cloud +, meanwhile, is a paid upgrade available when you upgrade to iOS 15 or iPadOS 15. Includes tiers of 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB of iCloud storage, as well as some advanced features that are not available with the free 5GB program.
Apple’s online storage is called iCloud Drive, which is where your backed up and synced content resides. You can also upload, download, and share files directly via iCloud Drive.
What comes with iCloud +?
A great new addition to iCloud is Private Relay, Apple’s take on a VPN that aims to keep your online activities private and secure when using Safari. However, it differs from traditional VPN services by substituting your IP address for another from a range of anonymous addresses based on your general region. Your internet traffic is sent in two different categories, or transfers, by two different companies, so no single business (even Apple) can view your work online.
Hide My Email is an improved version of Apple’s Sign-in version that allows you to use an anonymous Apple ID to sign up with certain apps and websites. While Apple Login only works with supported apps and websites, Hide My Email lets you use a random email address on any website or online form to reduce spam.
Designed for anyone who already has their own domain name, Custom Email Domain allows you to send and receive iCloud Mail using your domain name, instead of the iCloud.com address. Cloud Mail supports five personal domains with up to three email addresses per domain.
Cloud + also has many options for those who use HomeKit Secure VideoHomeKit Secure Video. Depending on your purchase, you get 50GB of storage and video recording support from a single HomeKit Secure Video camera, 200GB of HomeKit Secure video camera support, or 2TB iCloud storage and unlimited HomeKit Secure Video video cameras.
How to upgrade your iCloud system
Not sure which part of the subscription you have? After upgrading to iOS / iPadOS 15, you can check your app or upgrade to a paid version on your iPhone or iPad. Open Settings> [your name]> iCloud. If the Storage section above says Cloud +, you’re ready to go. If it says Cloud, then you are in the free program.
To upgrade to paid subscriptions, tap Manage Storage, and select Change Storage Program. Choose one of the three available plans – 50GB for 99 cents a month, 200GB for $ 2.99 a month, or 2TB for $ 9.99 a month – and select Upgrade to iCloud + to use the new system. Cloud + is included in all Apple One subscriptions.
How to Set Up an iCloud Private Relay
You can enable iCloud Private Relay under Settings> [your name]> Cloud> Private Transfer (Beta). Turn on the switch next to Private Relay (Beta). From there, tap the location option of the IP address.
There are two options. Tap Save General Location to use IP address depending on your location so you can see local content when using Safari. Select Country & Period Time to use an address based on a larger and more widely available location in your country and local time.
You can now browse the web in Safari. If the site supports Private Relay, everything should work normally. Websites that do not display incorrect regional content, add an additional sign-in step, or do not work at all.
If you get in trouble with Private Relay, or want to turn it off, completely disable the feature or for certain networks. By turning it off, go back to Settings> [your name]> Cloud> Private Transfer (Beta). Turn off the button next to Private Relay (Beta).
To turn it off on certain Wi-Fi networks, go to Settings> Wi-Fi and tap the More button next to the specific Wi-Fi network. Turn off the button next to the iCloud Private Relay.
You can also turn off the private transfer of any mobile communications. Go to Settings> Mobile> Mobile Data Options. Turn off the next secretly transferred iCloud button.
How to Set Up My Email
The Hide My Email page shows any random addresses you have already used with Sign in with the Apple feature. Tap the address you want to use again as a way to hide your real email address, and make sure it transfers to your actual email address.
You can also tap Create a new address to create a new email. A new random address will be created automatically with the name of Cloud.com. If you are correct with the address, tap Continue. Alternatively, select Use a different address and another email will be created.
Once the address has been selected, you can add a label to help you remember this address. Tap Done on the All Set screen. Now the next time you need to create an online account or fill out a form, you can enter this random address.
Any emails sent to this account will be sent to your real address. But the good news is that you can close an address if you get a lot of spam or other unwanted messages. Just go back to Settings> [your name]> iCloud> Hide my email. Select a random address for forward mail, then tap Disable email address. Tap Deactivate to confirm your request.
How to Set Custom Domain Email
You can set a custom email domain from the iCloud settings page. Select the Manage button under Custom Email Domain. A window appears asking if you want to use only your domain or your entire family.
Next, enter the domain name you want to use with iCloud and follow the necessary steps. You must enter the email addresses you use with the domain.
Records with your domain registrar should also be reviewed, and verify that your domain and addresses are set up via iCloud email.
Share your iCloud plan with Family Members
Your iCloud + subscriptions and benefits can be shared with other family members. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings> [your name]> Cloud> Manage Storage> Share with Family.
Tap Share End Plan on the next screen, then select Send Invitation to compose a message to be sent to your family members. As each person accepts the invitation, they are added to your iCloud family.
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