Articles on: General

How to Disable WebRTC in Web Browsers

What is WebRTC?

Web Real-Time Communication or WebRTC is a set of standardized protocols and API’s, that allow browsers to establish real-time peer-to-peer connections directly in your browser. WebRTC enables direct communication of different peers, which can be used to build rich web applications such as audio and video conferencing tools, instead of relying on third-party plugins or proprietary software.

It is well known that the WebRTC feature in Chrome will leak your IP address even if you are behind a proxy server or using a VPN service. While most people who do not use proxy or VPN reveals their IP addresses to whatever web server they visit all the time, the IP address is the most easily accessible piece of information to track a website visitor. For the minimum, big companies such as Google and Facebook are using the IP addresses to analyzing your habits and behavior and send your highly-targeted ads. While most people are fine with targeted ads, there are people who don't like to be tracked at all for whatever reason. They will choose to use either proxy or VPN service to avoid being tracked. However, in a browser which supports WebRTC, including Chrome, Slimjet and Firefox, the website owner can easily obtain the website visitor's IP address by a simple piece of Javascript.

How to disable WebRTC on Chrome

Disabling WebRTC on Chrome is pretty tricky, and we strongly recommend using a Chrome extension to do so. The extension-free way involves manually editing setting files that can potentially make your Chrome browser malfunction if you do it wrong.

WebRTC Leak Prevent is the leading Chrome extension for preventing WebRTC leaks. As the developer has noted, this extension only changes WebRTC’s security and privacy settings – it will not turn WebRTC off.

How to disable WebRTC on Firefox

Type in “about:config” into your browser bar and hit Enter. You will be prompted with a warranty warning. Click on “I accept the risk!”.

It will then give you a long list of settings, which you shouldn’t touch. There will also be three columns showing the status of the setting, the type of setting, and its value. To find the one you need, open your page search function (by default: Ctrl+F on Windows, Cmd+F on Mac) and look for “media.peerconnection.enabled”.

Once you find this in the settings list, it should have the type “boolean” and value “true”. Double click on it so that the value changes to “false” and the status changes to “modified”. That's pretty much it!

How to disable WebRTC on Safari

Click on “Safari” and choose “Preferences” from the drop-down menu.

Click on the “Advanced” tab and check the checkbox that reads “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.

Click on the new “Develop” tab in the menu bar and choose “WebRTC” from the drop-down menu. If “Enable Legacy WebRTC API” is checked, click on it to disable it.

Updated on: 10/01/2019

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