What is a WebRTC IP Address Leak?

WebRTC is a relatively new web communication protocol that is designed to work with JavaScript, and it might be leaking your IP address even while behind a VPN tunnel. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly WebRTC is so there is a better understanding of why we want to prevent the WebRTC IP leak and not just how to prevent it.

WebRTC, which stands for Web Real-Time Communication, is an open and free project that provides mobile applications and web-browsers with RTC (Real-Time Communications) functionality via peer-to-peer communication protocols and simple JavaScript APIs. WebRTC not only allows mobile apps and web-browsers to request resources from external servers, but also request real-time data and information from other users’ apps and browsers.

Many different web applications utilize WebRTC technology in order to not require additional software or plugins to function. A few of the software types using WebRTC are video conferencing apps, file transfer apps, chat software, as well as desktop-sharing apps. The WebRTC project is supported by Google, Mozilla, Opera, and Microsoft across all the major operating system platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.

So, What Exactly is a WebRTC IP Leak and Why is it Bad?

Simply put – because WebRTC relies on peer-to-peer protocol connections it can reveal your true external IPv4 or IPv6 IP address to the outside world, even while tunneling through a VPN! Looks at the box below – if you see any IP addresses listed, then your browser currently has WebRTC enabled.

Even though WebRTC can be blocked via add-ons and extensions such as uBlock Origin and NoScripts, it’s generally a good idea to manually block this protocol, if possible, just to be sure.

Here’s a list of WebRTC supported Web-Browsers and how to disable WebRTC if possible:

Learn more at the WebRTC Wikipedia page. Thanks go to diafygi for the WebRTC Checking script.

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  • Tom Harmon

    I could not find

    all others changed.

    did the leak test and it showed an ip

    How do I find the above setting and change to false?

    • Get Fast VPN

      Are you sure you have media.peerconnection.enabled set to false? That alone should disable WebRTC, the other settings are just extra precautions in case media.peerconnection.enabled gets accidentally enabled.

      I too no longer have media.peerconnection.video.h264_enabled in about:config, I think it’s because Mozilla is pushing for media.peerconnection.video.enabled to be the standard default.

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