WebRTC is short for Web Real-Time Communication, an application programming interface that supports voice calling, video chat, and P2P file sharing apps without the need for extra plugins. It uses the STUN (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT) protocol, which in turn is responsible for making IP addresses visible while online.
As it is widely known, IP addresses are visible for any website, allowing services to check whether the user is located outside the area from which that same service is accessible. But when using a VPN or proxy, it’s important that they work flawlessly so that real IP addresses can’t be detected – even for a glimpse.
What Is a WebRTC Leak?
How to Test for a WebRTC Leak
The best way to test and check if the browser suffers from any WebRTC leak is heading to BrowserLeaks.com’s WebRTC tool. The tool displays various things about your connection: local and public IP addresses, IPv6 address and the WebRTC media devices enabled in the browser.
However, it’s best to turn on the VPN first before visiting the site: if you see your real IP address, along with your correct physical location – despite an active VPN – it’s safe to assume that your browser has WebRTC leaks. But if the IP address and location on this testing site are the same as they appear for the selected VPN server in your VPN client, then there are no leaks.
Protection Against a WebRTC Leak
The good news regarding WebRTC leaks is that they can be solved easily. Browser updates arrive on a regular basis, so it is very likely that both Firefox and Chrome have fixed this issue by the time it occurs. However, there might be occasions when a simple update is not enough, meaning that additional methods should be applied. One such method is the handy proxy extension for Chrome provided by NordVPN, a company known for its remarkable security features, like in-built double encryption. With this browser add-on’s proxy turned on, you can be sure that the WebRTC leaks are taken care of in a jiffy.
Enabling WebRTC protection in Firefox is trickier, but it’s not impossible. By typing “about:config” into the URL bar and hitting enter you are taken to a gigantic list of configuration settings. Scroll down until you find “media.peerconnection.enabled” that, by default, is set to “true”. Set it to “false” by double clicking on it and voila, no more leaks. However, be careful not to alter any other configuration by accident as it may result in a browser that won’t work properly.
Once either of these aforementioned solutions is implemented, revisit BrowserLeaks.com with your VPN turned on and check if the problem was indeed solved. But regardless of the browser, always make sure that the VPN you’re using offers top security features, particularly a kill switch – a feature that stops all internet connections the moment the tiniest leak is detected. This way it’s guaranteed that internet connections remain private and anonymous.
Best VPN Services of 2023
|Editor's Choice 2023
Get the Best VPN Deals
Want to stay up to date on the latest VPN news and discounts? Get exclusive offers and deals sent straight to your inbox!