What’s the difference between public and local IP addresses?
You’ll see two classes of IP addresses displayed while using the leak checker: public and local.
Public IPs are highly specific to you. You can protect your identity by using the gratis VPN. When you use a TrueVPN, sites see your public IP address of the VPN server instead of yours.
WebRTC can detect your public IP address while you are connected to a VPN, as opposed to using a VPN server. In this case, third parties can identify your identity. If you see a public IP in the test results, then you may have a privacy leak.
Local IPs are not specific to you. Your VPN router assigns you IP Address data that is reused millions of times by routers around the world. This means that if a third party knows your local IP Address, they will not be able to link it directly to you. If you see a local IP in the test results, it is not a threat to your privacy.
Be sure that you will undoubtedly share some of your confidential information with third parties if you do not use a VPN.
Leak test (in case you are using online free VPN and still suspect a leak):
1. Disconnect from your VPN gratis and open this page in a new tab or window;
2. Make a note of any public IP addresses you see;
3. Close the page;
4. Connect to your VPN and reopen the page;
5. Still see any of the public IP addresses from Step 2? Then you have a privacy leak.
If you’re using a VPN and the tool specifically tells you there is no leak, you’re safe!
You can also find a useful test in the TOOLS section on our website:
Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a collection of standardized technologies that allows web browsers to communicate with each other directly without the need for an intermediate server. The main advantages of WebRTC are faster connection speeds and less latency for web applications, such as video calls, file transfers, or live streaming.
A precondition for using WebRTC technology is to know each other’s real IP Addresses. This way a third-party website can detect your real IP Address and use it to identify you. This is the WebRTC Leak.
Any leak of your public IP address is a threat to your privacy, but WebRTC leaks are lesser-known and easily overlooked, and not all VPN providers protect you from them!
The problem with WebRTC uses modern methods of detecting your IP addresses, as opposed to the standard IP-detection.
The Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) Protocol helps WebRTC detect IP Addresses. You can use it to identify several methods for detecting IP Addresses, two of which we will discuss below:
STUN/TURN servers function as follows: they allow web browsers to ask the question “What are my public IPs?” and they also facilitate two devices talking to each other even if they are behind NAT firewalls. This undoubtedly affects the privacy of your personal life. STUN/TURN servers detect your IP addresses the same way a website sees your provider when you visit it.
Usually, most devices have multiple IP Addresses and they are hidden from websites by servers through firewalls. According to the ICE Protocol, browsers can still collect these IP Addresses by reading them from your device.
Detecting the most frequent IPv4 addresses does not affect your Internet privacy in any way. However, this does not apply to IPv6.
IPv6 addresses work on the principle of uniqueness for the user, it is public. Thus, it can be detected using ICE, which makes your anonymous access vulnerable.
A malicious website could use STUN/TURN servers or host candidate discovery to trick your browser into revealing an IP Address that could identify you, all without your knowledge.
These browsers have WebRTC enabled by default:
- Microsoft Edge
This means that the security of your online activity on the Internet is under threat.
We recommend that you use our WebRTC Leak Test by TrueVPN to detect leaks in all browsers you use.
TrueVPN works on the quality of services provided, so it can guarantee protection from WebRTC leaks. When you open new web pages, you don’t have to worry about leaks of your public IP Addresses.
For example, some browsers save your real IP Address by caching it from old open tabs that you opened before connecting to the VPN server. These IPs can persist even if you refresh the tab, which puts your privacy at risk.
Our online VPN unlimited solves this problem by allowing you to disable WebRTC in the settings menu, making the settings as flexible as possible for users of our service. This approach guarantees security against vulnerabilities of caching problems.
True VPN protects its users from WebRTC leaks in browsers and platforms. This technology has come to the modern world relatively recently, so it is necessary to conduct various tests in browsers and on platforms. TrueVPN leads the industry with a team of dedicated engineers who constantly investigate new leak vectors and rapidly develop any necessary fixes.
You can also disable WebRTC manually in your browser.*
1. Type about:config into the address bar
2. Click the “I accept the risk!” button that appears
3. Type media.peerconnection.enabled in the search bar
4. Double-click to change the Value to “false”
This should work on both mobile and desktop versions of Firefox.
There are two Chrome extensions known to successfully block WebRTC leaks:
- uBlock Origin is a general all-purpose blocker that blocks ads, trackers, malware, and has an option to block WebRTC
- WebRTC Network Limiter is an official Google add-on that specifically stops IP leaks without totally blocking WebRTC
To disable WebRTC in Opera, you’ll need to download the extension WebRTC Leak Prevent and follow these steps:
- Access the extension’s settings (View → Show Extensions → WebRTC Leak Prevent → Options)
- Choose “Disable non-proxied UDP (force proxy)” from the dropdown menu
- Click Apply settings
At the moment, you can’t completely disable the WebRTC function in Microsoft Edge, but you can configure hiding the local IP Address:
- Type about:flags into the address bar
- Check the option marked Hide my local IP address over WebRTC connections
As we have already found out, disclosure of the local IP Address does not pose a threat to the user’s privacy. Therefore, the best way to stop WebRTC leaks when using Microsoft Edge is to use the TrueVPN for Windows.
The Safari browser’s permission model is much stricter than other browsers, so there is no need to disable WebRTC in Safari. By default, websites are not provided with any IP addresses other than the one you use to access the site. Therefore, no WebRTC leaks occur when using this particular browser. Please note, however, that if you grant any particular site permission to use audio or video capture, you can set your IP Addresses.
*Disabling WebRTC probably won’t affect normal web browsing. Most websites don’t depend on it. But as WebRTC becomes more popular, the functionality of certain sites may decline if you disable it completely.
Please contact our support team, which works for you 24/7 on our website: