WebRTC makes it easier for people to communicate between browsers, without the need to install additional software. WebRTC lets you talk, video conference, or share files with other people.
WebRTC may expose a device's local and public internet addresses, even if you obscure your device's location with a virtual private network (VPN). This is referred to as a WebRTC leak since it leaks private information. Once an advertiser or website host knows the public internet address of a device, they can identify the region, city, and internet service provider linked to that address.
If you don't need WebRTC, disable or restrict it in your browser. You can prevent a WebRTC leak in many, but not all, modern browsers.
Check Your Browser for a WebRTC Leak
Open the browser you use and go to https://browserleaks.com/webrtc. This page tests the browser for WebRTC leaks and displays three categories of information.If the site displays True next to RTCPeerConnection and RTC DataChannel, the browser supports WebRTC.If the system displays any numbers next to the Public IP Address or IPv6 address, those numbers are the device's internet addresses.The WebRTC Media Devices section may display information about the device's microphone and camera.
After you make any of the settings changes listed below, return to the https://browserleaks.com/webrtc page to verify the impact of the change.
How to Disable WebRTC in Firefox
Of all modern browsers, Firefox is the only one that allows you to disable WebRTC entirely.
Open Firefox, then type about:config where you would normally type a web address, and press Enter (or, on some systems, Return).
Select I accept the risk. This gives you access to several Firefox configuration settings.
In the search box at the top, type peer and press Enter.
Double-click the media.peerconnection.enabled row. The row displays in bold text, and the value changes to false, which indicates peer connections are disabled.
In the search box at the top, type media.navigator and press Enter.
Double-click the media.navigator.enabled row. The row displays in bold, and the value changes to false, which indicates device navigation is disabled.
WebRTC will no longer work in Firefox on your device.
How to Block WebRTC in Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
You may block WebRTC with a browser extension, WebRTC Control. The extension is available to install in Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Open a browser and go to https://mybrowseraddon.com/webrtc-control.html.
Select the icon for your browser (for example, Chrome, Firefox, or Opera).
You will now be on the WebRTC Control extension page for your browser. Select Add to Chrome, Add to Firefox, or Add to Opera to add the extension in Chrome, Firefox, or Opera, respectively.
A prompt displays and asks your permission to allow the extension to access your data for all websites, as well as to read and modify privacy settings. Select Add (or Add extension) if you agree.
If you use Firefox or Opera, you may need to select an additional OK after the extension is installed.
The extension's icon displays in the upper-right corner of the browser.
When the circle is blue, WebRTC leak protection is enabled. Select the extension to toggle the status.
How to Block WebRTC in the New Version of Microsoft Edge
Newer versions of Edge include a privacy feature that blocks your local IP address over WebRTC. It's simple to enable and protects against most leaks without the need for an extension.
Type about:flags into the address bar, and press Enter.
Scroll down and select the Hide my local IP address over WebRTC connections check box.
A notice appears telling you to restart the browser. Close Edge and open it again. Repeat the browser leak test to ensure WebRTC is no longer leaking your IP.
Block WebRTC on Edge With an Extension
The new version of Microsoft Edge also supports Chrome extensions. Much like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, the new version of Microsoft Edge relies on the open-source Chromium core code, which is why the extension works with all these browsers.
Open the new version of Microsoft Edge and go to https://mybrowseraddon.com/webrtc-control.html.
Choose the icon for Chrome, even though you are using the new version of Microsoft Edge.
A prompt appears and informs you that you can add extensions from the Chrome Web Store to Microsoft Edge. Select Allow extensions from other stores.
The system displays a notice that extensions from other stores are unverified. Select Allow.
Select Add to Chrome.
A prompt displays that asks your permission to allow the extension to access your data for all websites, as well as to read and modify privacy settings. Select Add extension, if you agree.
The extension's icon displays in the upper-right corner of the browser. By default, the extension is enabled and active after you install it.
Prevent WebRTC Leaks in Any Browser With a VPN
Some browsers don't offer any way to disable WebRTC. For example, as of June 2019, there's no built-in way to disable WebRTC in current versions of Safari on laptops or desktops. You also can't disable WebRTC on mobile devices in either Safari on iOS or in Chrome on Android. Microsoft doesn't let you disable ORTC, their alternative to WebRTC in versions of Microsoft Edge (those not based on Chromium). Internet Explorer doesn't support WebRTC, so there's no need to disable it or worry about WebRTC leaks.
You might consider a virtual private network (VPN) to protect against WebRTC leaks. A VPN won't disable WebRTC, but it can hide your location. For example, you might be in Chicago and choose to enable a VPN connection routed through Los Angeles. The IP address reported in WebRTC would appear as an address in Los Angeles, not Chicago.
Most, but not all, VPN services safeguard your location when using WebRTC this way when enabled. Check with your VPN provider. If you don't have a VPN, check out the best VPN service providers to find a service that works for you. Additionally, the WebRTC Network Limiter Chrome extension can work in conjunction with a VPN to protect your internet address privacy.