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Frequently asked questions
What is WebRTC in VPN?
In the context of virtual private networks, WebRTC is primarily associated with online privacy concerns stemming from how the communication technology works behind the scenes.
Unlike HTTPS websites, whose location is known to the entire Internet, your devices are protected by firewalls and network address translation (NAT) technology.
To establish peer-to-peer connections between devices using web and mobile browsers, WebRTC turns to session traversal utilities for NAT (STUN) servers. These servers help translate your local IP address into a public IP address, bypassing NAT restrictions. STUN requests are sent outside of the VPN tunnel, revealing your IP address and location to a website’s or application’s host.
This undermines the very concept of virtual private networks — especially if you download a VPN for streaming to view location-restricted content.
Does WebRTC work over VPN?
When you are connected to a virtual private network, your traffic is encrypted and routed through the VPN server before reaching its destination. This helps protect your data and hide your IP address from the websites or services you access.
WebRTC, on the other hand, is a technology built into modern web browsers that enables real-time communication, such as audio, video, and data sharing, directly between browsers. It can potentially bypass the VPN and reveal your real IP address, compromising your privacy.
The interaction between WebRTC and VPN can result in IP leaks, where your real IP address and whereabouts are inadvertently exposed despite being connected to a VPN. This occurs because WebRTC can utilize all available network interfaces, including your physical network interface, which may reveal your real IP address to third parties.
Can WebRTC bypass VPN?
The short answer is yes, but a WebRTC leak’s impact on your cybersecurity depends on several factors, including your browser and operating system, as well as your preferred VPN service and its configuration.
To avoid WebRTC leaks, we recommend you install a reliable VPN client and run WebRTC tests when connecting to websites and apps with audio and video streaming capabilities.