One of the new features in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey is iCloud Private Relay, which is an additional layer of security that protects user privacy when browsing the web. While Private Relay has been available since June in beta versions of Apple's operating systems, the company now considers it a "beta," which means it will no longer be active by default.
Ahead of its public release in a few weeks, Apple has released the seventh beta version of iOS 15 for developers. While the update doesn't include any significant changes, the company mentions in the description that iCloud Private Relay will be released as a "public beta."
iCloud Private Relay is part of iCloud+, which is what Apple now calls iCloud's paid subscription plans with more storage. With Private Relay, Apple provides several security proxies that reroute user traffic and keep it private. To put it extremely simply, Private Relay is Apple's VPN for iCloud subscribers.
When this option is enabled, the user's real IP address is not shown to third-party servers. Ahead of the release of iOS 15, Apple has decided not to force users to browse the web with the Private Relay option active, as the feature is still not working as expected.