- Use Cases
Turn off your VPN or proxy and open this page in a window or in a new tab. Then, check what IP address is shown. It will be your public IP address assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Write it down or simply remember.
Connect to a VPN, you can use any server to test a WebRTC leak. Then, open this page once again. Keep in mind your public IP address from Step 1. Start the test by clicking on the green button above. Check the IP that appeared.
If the test shows your public IP address despite the VPN connection – your browser has a WebRTC leak, and your privacy is at risk. If you see a different IP address after launching a VPN, you have nothing to worry about.
WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) - is a set of technologies that enables web browsers and mobile apps to establish a direct connection and real-time communication (RTC). Simply put, WebRTC is a feature in the browser that allows them to speak to each other directly, without any intermediate servers. Obviously, WebRTC has multiple benefits because it doesn't use the standard 'client-server' method. In most cases, WebRTC ensures faster speeds, less lags in web apps, quick file transfer and smooth streaming. Compared to HLS (HTTP Live Streaming), WebRTC is way better because it uses bidirectional peer-to-peer connections for real-time communication. At the same time, HLS requires a server to send any file or video to clients, so it usually takes more time than real-time communication between clients regardless of any intermediate servers.
Being an open source project, WebRTC is used to maintain real-time communications between web apps and browsers. WebRTC is mostly used for live streaming, real-time voice, text, video messages and chats, file transfers between different devices, etc. WebRTC is used by developers that configure APIs to create a peer-to-peer (P2P) connection. The best thing here is the communication between web browsers and mobile applications can be established without worrying about compatibility and support for different content. So, WebRTC is designed to make audio, video, and data communication faster, easier, and more smoother.
WebRTC leak is happening when your IP is exposed to any third-party website despite the VPN connection. WebRTC is a good way to speed up your browser or mobile apps but a lot of people overlook privacy concerns of this technology. When two devices speak to each other via WebRTC, they know each other IP addresses. Apparently, it can be exposed to any third-party website that sends the requests to you via WebRTC. If you VPN isn't good enough to prevent WebRTC leaks, your privacy will be at risk.
There are a few ways to prevent WebRTC leaks in your browser. The best way is to use a reliable VPN provider that protects your browser from any possible leaks including WebRTC, DNS, and other IP leaks. A decent VPN masks your IP, hides your identity and prevents leaks from happening.
The other way is to install a specific browser extension that blocks WebRTC requests and makes WebRTC impossible. On top of that, some browsers have functionality to disable WebRTC directly in browser settings. For example, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge have built-in features that allow you to disable WebRTC completely without installing any third-party extensions.
However, you need to be careful with those settings. If you disable WebRTC in your browser at all, you risk to lose some critical features and limit the performance of your browser. This way, media streaming can be damaged, video chats and other functions can be limited, and so on. So, the best and easiest way to ensure you don't have WebRTC leaks is to run a powerful VPN that prevents a WebRTC leak.
If you want to get a WebRTC leak shield, you need to get a good VPN first. A VPN with powerful features ensures all your traffic is routed through a highly-encrypted VPN server and your IP is never exposed. It creates a real WebRTC leak shield for you protecting every piece of transferred data. If you don’t use a VPN, but rely on browser extensions, it will also create a WebRTC leak shield, but other leaks are still possible.
Generally, it depends on your browser because every browser has its own way how to handle WebRTC. In Google Chrome, for example, the best way to block WebRTC is to install a separate Chrome extension, like WebRTC Leak Prevent, WebRTC Control, or Easy WebRTC Block. These extensions have a possibility to block WebRTC in your Google Chrome browser. If you use Opera, it's the same - you need to install one of mentioned extensions to block WebRTC.
When it comes to Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge, you have a possibility to disable WebRTC directly in the browser settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
To disable WebRTC on Android in Google Chrome browser do the following:
1. Open the URL chrome://flags/#disable-webrtc in Chrome.
2. Scroll down and search for “WebRTC”. After that, you will have a few WebRTC settings that you can disable.
3. Because of security and safety concerns, you can also disable the WebRTC Hardware Video Encoding/Decoding options, but it isn’t always necessary.
Google Chrome has no built-in settings that let users disable WebRTC leaks. So, the best way is to get a VPN that will make sure you have no WebRTC leaks.
The other way is to install a dedicated extension from the Chrome store, for instance, WebRTC Leak Prevent, WebRTC Control, or Easy WebRTC Block.
The setup process is the same as adding any other extension to the Google Chrome browser:
Firefox is a powerful modern browser that has a lot of features out of the box, including the possibility to disable WebRTC hassle-free. To do it, follow the next steps:
You can check if you have a WebRTC leak here.
Just run a test and we will show if you have a WebRTC leak. Make sure to remember your public IP address without a VPN or proxy, and compare it to one you see after the test.
If you want to disable WebRTC in Safari, you are lucky because Safari has a great functionality to do it without any third-party extensions.