Apple introduced a new iCloud+ service during the WWDC 2021 keynote speech. The service brings a bunch of new privacy features alongside the iCloud storage. These includes iCloud Private Relay, Hide My Email, and expanded support for HomeKit Secure Video cameras. The iCloud Private Relay feature brings added security to all the traffic leaving the device, making it nearly impossible for anyone to view the data including Apple. The privacy-focused features will be offered to all existing iCloud paid subscribers.
The tech giant is offering the iCloud+ service with all the new features at no additional cost. The new iCloud+ plans therefore start at $0.99 per month in the US and Rs. 75 per month in India. The base plan offers 50GB iCloud storage with storage support for one HomeKit Secure Video camera. Users can also opt for a higher plan priced at $2.99 per month in the US and Rs. 219 in India that comes with 200GB iCloud storage and support for up to five HomeKit Secure Video cameras. There is also a 2TB iCloud storage plan with unlimited number of HomeKit Secure Video cameras support priced at $9.99 per month in the US and Rs. 749 in India.
Among the new iCloud+ features, Private Relay is a new Internet privacy service that allows users to connect and browse the Web in a more secure and private way. When browsing with Safari, Private Relay ensures all traffic leaving a user’s device is sent through two separate Internet relays. The first assigns the user an anonymous IP address that maps to their region but not their actual location. The second decrypts the Web address the users want to visit and forwards them to their destination. This separation of information ensures that no one between the user and the website the user is visiting can access and read the data, including Apple as well as the user’s network provider.
The second features that iCloud+ introduced is Hide My Email. This lets users generate unique, random email addresses that can forward their emails to their personal inbox in case they wish to keep their email address private. This feature is built directly into Apple products including Safari, iCloud settings, and Mail. It also enables users to create and delete as many email addresses as needed at any time, helping users have more control on who is able to contact them. This can be used to hide email address from services and reduce spam.
Even the subscribers to iCloud’s top tier plan were limited to storage support for a maximum of five HomeKit Secure Video cameras, which has been changed to unlimited with iCloud+. This enables users to connect to more cameras than ever before in the Home app. The Unlimited support is only available with the top-tier plan of iCloud+ service.