In this blog post, you will find out how to disable WebRTC in different browsers for popular operating systems.
What WebRTC is and How it Works
WebRTC refers to Web Real-Time Communication. It is an open standard protocol that facilitates streaming video and audio content in real-time.
For this, you don’t have to download and set up any software as all configurations directly take place in the browser.
Popular browsers are compatible with this protocol. WebRTC helps in organizing remote conferences and network settings.
It was made to protect and swiftly transfer confidential data in local network streams.
This technology was created by Google to safely exchange audio and video content between two users (P2P connection) without using any third-party program.
It means that you don’t have to install any other program on your PC. You can just use WebRTC on your computer’s browser.
However, WebRTC does not complete its tasks. This standard protocol enables third-party users to simply find out a network user’s IP address while bypassing the SOCKS, TOR, VPN, and other network protector obstructions.
However, this is not because that these services do not operate properly but because of your browser.
Since WebRTC is available in several browsers by default, all of them are likely to be at risk. They obliterate your efforts to make your PC anonymous on the network.
Thus, you must disable this feature within your browser. For this, you have to continue reading this blog.
Why WebRTC-leaks are Dangerous
Even though WebRTC allows you to use it only on your internet browser without having multiple apps, it puts your online privacy in jeopardy.
As mentioned before, this technology directly connects your browser to the browser, website, or web application of another user.
Irrespective of the program you use, WebRTC will overlook network settings. This is why it discloses your actual external and local IP address that is provided by your internet service provider.
You can use an anonymous VPN service such as NordVPN in this case, which can resolve the issue of privacy by hiding your IP address and blocking the leak of WebRTC.
However, the service can still identify the VPN server address or local address. You do not have to worry about the local address since it’s the same as using a Wi-Fi router for accessing the network.
Plus, you can use a proxy service, but then also WebRTC can reveal your actual address. This will make restricted resources inaccessible to you and if you use them, then you can be discovered and punished.
How to Check for WebRTC-leaks
First, you need to see if your web browser reveals WebRTC or not. You can do this by running a simple test with the help of several online services.
For this, you can try whoer.net, which is a great platform for checking your connection privacy.
This service provides thorough info about the connection you are using. It also lets you access both extended and lite versions of the test.
In case your WebRTC leaks, the service will show that WebRTC is enabled.
How to Disable WebRTC in Different Browsers
There are no in-built features that allow you to disable WebRTC in the Google Chrome version for Linux, macOS, and Windows.
It might be because Google thought that WebRTC enhances your online experience and this is why no one will disable it. However, this feature is in the Chrome version for Android devices.
So, how can you disable WebRTC in the desktop version of Google Chrome? For this, you have to use one of the extensions that you can find on the Chrome Web Store.
You can try popular extensions, such as uBlock Origin, ScriptSafe, uMatrix, Easy WebRTC Block, WebRTC Leak Prevent, WebRTC Control, etc.
Some of these have more features than others. But, all of them allow you to disable WebRTC within your Google Chrome browser.
Among these, you can use WebRTC Control since it is easy to use and disables WebRTC in a single click. In order to set up this extension, you have to follow the steps mentioned below:
- First, you need to launch the Chrome Web Store in your Google Chrome browser.
- Then, you have to enter WebRTC Control within the search field.
- After this, you have to click on the button of ‘ADD TO CHROME,’ which you can see in the search results.
- Then, you have to wait for the installation to finish, after which you will see a pop-up on your screen.
- Now, turn on the plugin and if it’s active, then its icon will appear in blue.
As compared to Chrome’s computer version, its version for Android allows you to disable WebRTC with the help of its in-built features. In order to do so, you have to follow these steps:
- First, you have to enter chrome://flags/#disable-webrtc within the address bar of the browser.
- Now, you have to choose the option of ‘Enable’ in order to activate this feature.
- Restart your Google Chrome browser as well as your smartphone so that the changes can take effect.
However, you will not find this feature in the Chrome browser’s latest versions. So, if you are using the latest version of the Google Chrome browser, then you are left with only one option, that is, to use a trustworthy VPN like NordVPN to block WebRTC leaks.
Even though Opera’s browser engine is akin to Chrome’s browser engine, its most recent version supports the blocking of WebRTC. In order to activate this feature, you have to follow these steps:
- Within the menu provided on the left-hand side, you have to click on ‘Settings’ and then on ‘Privacy & security.’
- Then, within the section of ‘WebRTC,’ you have to check the box of ‘Disable non-proxied UDP.’
This is all you have to do. Isn’t it simple? However, if you are using Opera’s older browser version, then you would not find the default feature to disable WebRTC.
In such a scenario, you have to employ additional extensions to stop this protocol, just like you did for Google Chrome.
These extensions are the same as the ones in Chrome with similar functions. You can use the WebRTC Control extension as it’s simple to employ.
Follow these steps to install WebRTC in your Opera browser:
- From the menu, you need to choose the option of ‘Extensions’ to get additional extensions from the extension store.
- Now, you have to enter WebRTC Control in the search bar.
- Within the search results, you have to click on the button of ‘Add to Opera.’
- After a while, you will receive a notification telling you that the extension has been successfully installed. You would be able to see the icon in the bar of extensions.
- Just like you did for Google Chrome, you have to turn on the extension in order to halt WebRTC. The color of the icon will turn blue when it’s active.
UC Browser also uses the same browser engine as Chrome, which means you cannot disable WebRTC by default.
But, you can still get a Google Chrome extension in order to turn this feature on. The recommended extension to use here is WebRTC Control.
You can install the WebRTC Control extension in the UC Browser by following the steps mentioned below:
- First, you need to go to the page of Chrome Web Store and enter WebRTC within the search bar.
- Then, you need to click on the button of ‘Add to Chrome’ within the search results. Now, wait for a while for the installation to end.
- Now, you just need to switch on the extension. When it disables WebRTC, the color of its icon will turn blue.
In the Mozilla Firefox browser, you can disable WebRTC through two methods. You can either do so by using third-party extensions or advanced settings.
For using the advanced configuration to disable WebRTC, you must follow these steps:
- First, you have to enter about:config within the address bar.
- You have to hit the button of ‘<I accept the risk!>.’
- Now, copy and paste ‘media.peerconnection.enabled’ in the search bar.
- Then, you have to right-click on the search results and choose the option of ‘Toggle.’
This will stop your Firefox browser’s WebRTC. In order to use third-party extensions for disabling WebRTC, you have to do as follows:
- First, you must click on the button that has three horizontal lines, displayed on the right-hand side at the top of the page. From there, you have to choose ‘Add-ons.’
- Now, you have to enter ‘WebRTC Control’ in the search bar.
- Then, you must click on the button of ‘Install’ that is shown in the search results in order to complete the installation.
- Now, reload your browser to trigger the add-on, making its icon blue.
Microsoft Edge has recently started supporting WebRTC technology. However, you cannot block it entirely and you can only do so to some extent. In order to disable WebRTC partially in your Edge browser, you have to do as follows:
- First, you have to type about:flags in the address field.
- Within the section of ‘WebRTC,’ you have to check the ‘Hide my local IP address over WebRTC connections’ box.
- Now, you need to start your Edge browser again for the changes to take effect.
Brave Browser has in-built features to stop WebRTC since it is a highly secured program. You can deactivate this feature by following these steps:
- First, you need to hit the menu option displayed at the right-hand side on the top, and then you must go to the option of ‘Settings.’
- From there, you need to click on the ‘Security’ button.
- In the ‘WebRTC IP Handling Policy’ section, you need to choose the option of ‘Disable non-proxied UDP’ from the drop-down menu.
- Now, start your Brave Browser again in order to let the changes work.
Epic Browser also uses the search engine of Google Chrome. Even though it is a highly secure browser, it leaks WebRTC and has no features for disabling it. You can solve this issue of WebRTC leaks by using a trustworthy VPN.
Lately, Apple has also started supporting WebRTC on its latest browser versions for both iOS and macOS.
This is an experimental setting, but you can still disable this protocol on your smartphone and PC. You can do so in your MacOS as follows:
- First, open your browser and hit the ‘Safari’ button from the menu.
- Then, go to ‘Preferences’ and then to the option of ‘Advanced.’
- Now, check the ‘Show Develop’ box within the menu displayed at the bottom of the page.
- Then, return to the primary menu and go to ‘Develop.’
- After this, you have to turn on ‘Remove Legacy WebRTC API.’
This way you can stop WebRTC in your Safari browser’s desktop version. For the iOS version, follow these steps:
- First, you need to go to ‘Settings’ in order to disable WebRTC from the Safari browser on your iPad or iPhone.
- In ‘Settings,’ go to the option of ‘Safari.’
- Then, go to the section of ‘Advanced – Experimental Features.’
- Now, turn on ‘Remove Legacy WebRTC API.’
- When you start Safari, WebRTC will already be deactivated.
Dolphin Browser (Android)
Android’s Dolphin Browser is a modern internet browser that incorporates all popular safety protocols, including WebRTC technology.
However, you cannot disable or manage the features of WebRTC in this phone browser. You can do so by installing a trustworthy VPN on your smartphone to avoid WebRTC leaks.
WebRTC is a great protocol for direct video streaming and online conferences between two web browsers.
It lets you do so directly in your browser without installing any extra programs. However, WebRTC does not protect your online privacy as it shares your actual IP address and other network info with third parties and overlooks all network settings.
Therefore, you should deactivate WebRTC in your browser settings to avoid information leaks and mask your actual data.
But, every web browser does not allow you to manage the settings and disable WebRTC, including Chrome and other browsers with similar engines.
In such scenarios, you can disable WebRTC with the help of popular add-ons or extensions. You can try the WebRTC Control extension as it’s simple to use and available for several known web browsers.
However, in a few cases, you still cannot disable this feature. In such situations, you can go for a trustworthy VPN service such as NordVPN.