What is WebRTC technology and how to disable it in the browser

How to disable WebRTC in browsers

WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications) – a standard for transferring streaming audio and video data, text content between browsers or other applications that support it in real time. The technology works independently, that is, it does not require the installation of additional extensions, plug-ins. With its help, any browser turns into a full-fledged video conferencing terminal. Now let's take a closer look at the features of this technology, its advantages and disadvantages. We will show you how to disable it in the most popular search engines today, if for you personally the advantages turn out to be less significant than the disadvantages.

A little about the features, advantages and disadvantages of WebRTC

WebRTC technology was developed to provide high quality and convenience of communication between Internet users. It is already included in the basic settings of browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Yandex Browser, Microsoft Edge and Safari. To make it clearer, Web Real Time Communications – it is a direct competitor to Skype. This app works like this:

  1. User opens page with relevant content.
  2. The search engine requests access to the webcam, microphone.
  3. The browser initiates the connection, creates a special text file with information about all connection parameters – SDP package.
  4. The file is transferred to the second participant or participants.
  5. After receiving an SDP packet, the receiving party generates its own, but based on the information received from the sender, sends it back.
  6. The network connection status is being analyzed. Clients receive the address of a special STUN server, with the help of which the real IP address of the participants in the connection is identified. Depending on the modification, the so-called "client-client" connection is formed; or "client-server-client".
  7. A connection is being established.

This is an omitted description of the WebRTC standard. But this is quite enough to understand how it works, allowing users of different browsers to exchange information.

WebRTC Benefits

If we talk about the advantages of the WebRTC standard, then it is worth highlighting:

  • Independence and full functionality. No specialized software needs to be installed. The project has an open source code, which allows you to make changes to its functionality, adjusting to your own work features.
  • Excellent call quality. It is ensured by the use of modern audio and video codecs, the presence of built-in noise and echo cancellation modules, automated adjustment of the stream quality in accordance with the connection parameters and adjustment of the sensitivity level of the participants' microphones.
  • Good level of security, support for SVC technology as part of the implementation of VP9 and AV1 codecs. Connections are protected based on the DTLS and SRTP (HTTPS) protocols. · Ability to implement different interfaces based on JavaScript and HTML5. There is also a built-in content capture mechanism.
  • Cross-platform. Ensures the stability of the application on any operating system, both desktop and mobile versions. The only prerequisite – technology support by the browser itself.

WebRTC Disadvantages

If we talk about the disadvantages of WebRTC technology, then it is worth highlighting:

  • Complete mutual incompatibility of different WebRTC solutions. The matter is that action of the standard extends only to ways of an exchange of video and a sound. And here is how the addressing of subscribers is implemented, the process of data transfer, monitoring the availability of the recipient and sender, planning the work of – it's all up to the developer. That is, communication is possible only with those users who have identical WebRTC applications installed.
  • Remote desktop support is not provided. There is only the simplest screencast – one-way video stream, without interaction with the source of this stream. This moment was intended to provide additional security for the work, since the JavaScript code operates exclusively within the current browser.
  • The WebRTC application identifies the real IP addresses of the users. This is necessary in order to establish a direct connection between PCs of different users, browsers, a website or a mobile application. And this is one of the most significant disadvantages for those who prioritize the privacy of the network. And even the use of regular or mobile proxy servers cannot provide anonymity.

It is the last moment that makes many users think about disabling WebRTC from their browser. This is especially true for those who, in their daily work, are faced with solving professional network problems.

Sequence of steps to disable WebRTC in the most common browsers

Disabling WebRTC in browsers – this is a way to hide the real IP address in order to maintain a high level of privacy while browsing the Internet. This process will only take you a couple of minutes and does not require any in-depth knowledge and skills. Every PC user will cope with these works. It will be enough to use our instructions, following them step by step. Please note: the process of disabling WebRTC will be performed through the browser and directly depends on which search engine is installed on your computer. Now consider in detail the sequence of actions in:

  1. Google Chrome.
  2. Mozilla Firefox
  3. Opera
  4. Yandex.Browser.
  5. Microsoft Edge and Safari.

We have specially combined the last 2 browsers into one paragraph. Why? More on that below.

Instructions for disabling WebRTC in Google Chrome

To disable WebRTC from working in the Google Chrome search engine, you need to follow these steps step by step:

  1. Launch a browser on your computer.
  2. Go to the online store for extensions. Here we need to find the "WebRTC Control" application. The easiest way to do this – use the built-in search engine. Click on the "Install" button.Instructions for disabling WebRTC in Google Chrome
  3. After installation, you need to activate the extension. After its icon is highlighted with a blue circle, the IP address of your computer will be protected from distribution. It will be enough to click on the plugin again to disable it completely.

A couple of minutes of time – and you're done!

Instructions for disabling WebRTC in Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla's Firefox browser allows you to directly disable WebRTC. That is, you do not need to download and install additional applications. In this case, you can completely disable WebRTC from working. If this option suits you, then do the following:

  1. We launch the Mozilla Firefox browser and directly in the search bar we write two words «about» and "config" through a colon. That is, your request should look like "about:config"; (without quotes). Press the "Enter" button ("Enter").
  2. A warning message "Proceed with caution" will appear on the screen. We get to know him, just in case, put a tick in the box next to the inscription "Warn me when I try to access these settings", and then click on the blue button "Accept the risk and continue."
    Instructions for disabling WebRTC in Mozilla Firefox
  3. Again we return to the search bar of the browser, where we already write three words: "media", "peerconnection" and "enabled", separating them with a dot. That is, your entry should look like this: "media.peerconnection.enabled", but without the quotes.
    Disable WebRTC in Mozilla Firefox ZuuxStuce
  4. A new line opens, in which we need to click on an icon that looks a bit like two differently directed arrows – "Toggle".
    disable WebRTC in Mozilla Firefox toggle

With your last action, you completely disabled WebRTC from working.

But such a cardinal decision may not suit all users. Some of you may need this application from time to time. In this case, we would still recommend installing an additional WebRTC Control plugin, which will allow you to control the operation of this software, provide the ability to quickly disable it and re-enable it. If this option suits you, then you need to follow these steps:

  1. Launch the browser. Click on the icon of its main Menu – three horizontal bars in the upper right corner of the screen. From the drop-down tab, we are interested in the "Add-ons" option, click on it.
  2. A new window opens again, in which you need to find "Extensions"; and enter this option.
    WebRTC in Mozilla Firefox extensions
  3. Directly enter the name of the application "WebRTC Control" into the built-in Firefox search engine; and press the "Enter" button ("Enter").
    WebRTC in Mozilla Firefox
  4. Check out the search results and select the plugin you need from them. Click on the blue "+Add to Firefox" button.
    WebRTC in Mozilla Firefox add to browser
  5. The system will once again ask you about the intentions of the – a window will appear with the question "Add WebRTC Control?" and a warning about which rights will be requested. We get acquainted with the information and click on the "Add" button.
    WebRTC in Mozilla Firefox add
  6. The message from the system reappears on the screen, indicating that the application has been added to the browser. We get acquainted with the information provided and then click on the "OK, I see" button.
    WebRTC added to Mozilla Firefox

This completes the settings. Pay attention to whether the plugin is highlighted with a blue circle. If yes, then it has been successfully launched.

Instructions for disabling WebRTC in Opera

Now in detail about how to disable the WebRTC application in the Opera search engine. Step by step, we perform the following actions:

  1. Launch the browser and go to its "Menu" – icon with three horizontal stripes in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. From the drop-down list of options, select "Settings", and then – "Security".
    Instructions for disabling WebRTC in Opera
  3. A new window opens. We need to go down to the "WebRTC" block. Here are 4 possible interaction options: "Use any suitable network interface (recommended)", "Use only public and private network interfaces by default", "Use only public network interfaces by default" and "Disable unproxied UDP". We are interested in the last option, click on the circle next to it.
    disable WebRTC in Opera Disable non-proxied UDP

That's it, you've disabled WebRTC. If you want to easily and simply control the operation of this application, we recommend installing the "WebRTC Control" plugin. on Opera. The sequence of actions in this case will be identical to those that we described in the paragraph for the Mozilla Firefox browser. Use the instructions above.

Instructions for disabling WebRTC in Yandex.Browser

To disable WebRTC in Yandex.Browser, do the following:

  1. Launch the browser and immediately go to the directory of its extensions.
  2. Here you need to find the "WebRTC Control" plugin. To speed up this process, use the built-in search engine.
  3. Install the application on your computer and activate it.

This is the simplest and most reliable way to securely hide an IP address while still being able to occasionally use WebRTC without complex settings and connections.

How to disable WebRTC in Microsoft Edge and Safari

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