How to Disable WebRTC and Prevent Leaks
By Nancy William 9 minutes
WebRTC leaks in most browser extensions like Firefox or Chrome can cause major vulnerabilities; exposing your IP address. The issue is recorded even while using a VPN, which is why choosing the right one is crucial. FastestVPN helps fight against such vulnerabilities, including WebRTC leaks! So, if you’re wondering how to disable WebRTC and prevent leaks and more, let this guide show you the way!
Table of contents
- What is WebRTC?
- What is a WebRTC leak?
- Blocking WebRTC leaks
- Causes of WebRTC leaks and how it works
- How to test for WebRTC leaks
- How to disable WebRTC leaks on Chrome
- How to disable WebRTC leaks on Firefox
- Is there a way to disable WebRTC on Microsoft Edge?
- How to disable WebRTC leaks on Safari
- How to disable WebRTC leaks on Opera
- FastestVPN helps improve the issue against WebRTC leaks
For those of you using a VPN, keep wary of the fact that most providers aren’t stable enough to protect you online nor prevent data leakages caused by vulnerable web browsers like Firefox or Chrome! It’s why we encourage users to check if a VPN leaks IP addresses and other data.
What is WebRTC?
Before going through what a WebRTC leak is, let’s first understand the term first. WebRTC stands for Web Real-Time Communication. It’s an open-source technology that supports generic data between peer-to-peer allowing real-time connections on browsers, and with supporting data like videos, and voice activity. It’s crucial for bypassing lagging and for faster or improved speeds.
For starters, if you’re using a Chrome browser, it allows any audio or visual files, or data needed to be sent or coordinated to and from one user to the next. There’s no need to download and install separate applications for it to run.
In short, it is the communication set up through any website, where information such as IP addresses or more can be exchanged without your permission. Keeping that in focus, it becomes a huge threat to user data when leaked or exposed to external parties or vulnerable websites.
What is a WebRTC leak?
Now that you know what WebRTC means, and what it stands for, let’s talk about what a WebRTC leak is. A WebRTC leak in short, can be called a vulerability that’s mostly recorded on browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Brave and others.
It might seem like a vague error to consider, but in turn, is a huge threat to your privacy and security, exposing your IP address. In most cases, the issue behind WebRTC leaks are caused by VPNs that are uunsecure or vulnerable.
There are a few VPNs that can protect you from it, but that isn’t the case for all providers just because they claim to do so. It’s why we recommend using FastestVPN, since it offers protection against WebRTC leaks.
Blocking WebRTC leaks
We’ve lined up a couple of tutorials on how to disable WebRTC to prevent any leaks, but before that, make sure you understand a little more about what you’re dealing with. Even though there are some manual tutorials or steps taken through using extensions, the best and easiest way to prevent WebRTC leaks is by using a VPN.
Of course, the root of the issues starts with VPNs not being strong enough to prevent the leaks in the first place, but that also has alot to do with the provider you’re using. FastestVPN, on the other hand, offers great security that does help prevent WebRTC leaks along with IP and DNS leaks. Both the VPN app and extensions for Chrome and Firefox work the same.
Causes of WebRTC leaks and how it works
As mentioned above, most WebRTC leaks occur when a VPN isn’t up to the mark nor can provide ample protection against it. So, if you’re connected to a VPN, and data or communication level bypass the encyrpted tunnel of a VPN, it can cause a WebRTC leak. When that happens, any website you enter can detect your IP address, and possibly use it to its advantage.
It’s quite unfortunate, no matter how required the function of WebRTC is, it’s a bigger threat at the same time. Despite being connected to a VPN, just about any website you visit will be able to request your IP address. The issue isnt’ fixable, but can be prevented by blocking or disabling WebRTC leaks. Secondly, the VPN you use needs to be strong enough to prevent any data leaks, which is one of FastestVPN’s many strengths.
Luckily, there are a couple ways to test for WebRTC leaks, take a look below.
How to test for WebRTC leaks
If there is a slightest chance that you’re experiencing WebRTC leaks, here’s how you can run a few tests to detect it:
- If you’re using a VPN, disconnect from it.
- On Google, type in “What’s my IP” and click on enter.
- Note down the IP address.
- Now, launch your VPN again, and connect to any server.
- Go back to “What’s my IP” on Google. Make sure that the IP address displayed matches the one provided by the VPN, when you connect to its server. If the results reflect the physical (first) IP address, it means your WebRTC is leaking.
How to disable WebRTC leaks on Chrome
The procedure to disable WebRTC leaks on Chrome isn’t complicated, but neither is it easy. You’ll first need a good Chrome extension that blocks WebRTC leaks, because fixing the issue manually might cause further problems.
There are 3 great Chrome extensions for disabling or preventing WebRTC leaks. They are:
- WebRTC Leak Prevent – you won’t be able to switch off WebRTC, but you will be able to change its privacy and security settings.
- WebRTC Network Limiter – helps stop IP leaks but doesnt’t completely block WebRTC.
- uBlock Origin – offers an option to block WebRTC, along with ads, malware, trackers and more.
Once you choose any one of them, get the extension by clicking on “Add to Chrome” and then on “Add extension.” Once the extension is installed, launch it and tweak with the settings to disable WebRTC leaks partially.
How to disable WebRTC leaks on Firefox
There isn’t any extension required for this, luckily, and can be solved in a few simple steps. Here’s how you can disable WebRTC leaks on Firefox:
- On your browser, type in “about:config” and click on enter.
- Now, click on “Accept the Risk and Continue.”
- Click on “Show All.”
- A sheet will open up, with a bunch of options to choose from. Don’t click on any. To find the right one, type out “media.peerconnection.enabled” in the search bar, and click on enter.
- On the far-right, toggle over the options and click on “Fasle.”
- That’s about it!
Is there a way to diable WebRTC on Microsoft Edge?
There isn’t any definite way to disable WebRTC on Microsoft Edge, but there is still a way to toggle with the browsers settings to hide your local IP address. Here’s how you can get started:
- On the address tab, type in “about:flags” and click on enter.
- Now, you’ll see a bunch of options, either scroll and look for “Hide my local IP address over WebRTC ”, or type it in the search box.
- That’s all.
How to disable WebRTC leaks on Safari
You do have a way to disable WebRTC leaks on Safari, however, the procedure isn’t as simple as the other browser tutorials. WebRTC implementations are still at a starting phase on Safari, and isn’t recommended to be accessed just yet. However, if you’re still set on going ahead with the settings, here’s how you can start:
- On your device, click on “Safari” and then click on “Preferences.”
- From the tab, now click on “Advanced” and tick the box against “Show Develop menu in menu bar” towards the bottom.
- Click on a new “Develop” tab from the menu and then from the drop-down menu, click on “Experimental Features.”
- Scroll towards the bottom of the menu and if you see “WebRTC mDNS ICE candidates,” make sure it’s unchecked.
- That’s all!
How to disable WebRTC leaks on Opera
Just like the Chrome extension, you’ll need to download a WebRTC leak prevention extention for Opera. You could go with “WebRTC Leak Prevent.” Once you’ve installed the extension, here’s what you can do:
- Go to the extension’s settings and click on “View,” then on “Show Extennsions,” and then on “WebRTC Leak Prevent.”
- Click on “Options.”
- Now, choose “Disable non-proxied UDP (force proxy)”
- Click on “Apply settings.”
- That’s all!
FastestVPN helps improve the issue against WebRTC leaks
Coming towards the end of the tutorials, we know that disabling WebRTC or preventing leaks is a crucial matter towards protection of online security and privacy. However, is it quite enough? It’s not. The right path to move towards would have to be with the help of a VPN that prevents WebRTC leaks so that you avoid taking the extra troublesome steps to disable it. FastestVPN comes equipped with the right tools to help protect users against WebRTC, IP and DNS leaks.
Other than that, there is a whole array of VPN features that you can use to heightent the overall security of device, data, browser activity and privacy of data. It offers a Kill Switch to further anonymize data and IP addresses. Plus, with operating using AES 256-bit encryption, all the data or online traffic that passes through its secure tunnel is protected.
What happens when we disable WebRTC?
Disabling WebRTC eliminates possible threats to user IP addresses or data from being exposed when entering certain websites or using particular services. WebRTC can determine your real IP address, and by disabling it, you’re securing the connection where data passes from one user to the next, or to a website, app, or service, etc.
Is it safe to disable WebRTC?
You won’t be completely disabling WebRTC, because there is no possible way, but you will be controlling it. The tutorials given above will show you the best ways to disable WebRTC to prevent any leaks, but there is still no guaratee of that. It’s why we recommend a safer alternative and that is through using a VPN.
And that’s about it! No matter what web browser you’re using, you now know how to disable WebRTC and prevent leaks! Always remember to first read up on the possible issues that could come from manually disabling WebRTC, especially from browsers like Safari. It’s why using FastestVPN could be a quicker and safer way to prevent any WebRTC leaks, as you can’t completely disable it.