What Is Web RTC Meaning? How It Works And What Is It Good For?
How long have we been using the Internet? For a decade or two? In fact, some may have been using it even before that. We have been using WebRTC for more than a decade now. But did we ever thought what is web RTC meaning and how does it work? We browse the Internet for doing business, making online transactions, using social media, watching live streams, etc. We also use the Internet for real-time audio and video chat using services like Skype, WhatsApp, and such. Regardless of how long we have been using these technologies, we never take a moment to understand why the technology is necessary or how it works unless we come across a problem that compels us to dig deep and learn more about it. It is our utmost responsibility to secure your digital footprints. Get PureVPN with WebRTC equipped features that may help you in maintaining your online security.
So, what is Web RTC meaning? It is indeed one of those questions (or problems) that often troubles netizens, especially when it comes to VPN users.
Read on to learn what the technology is all about, how it actually works and what aspects of it do VPN users need to be aware of.
What Is WebRTC?
WebRTC stands for Web Real-time Communications, better known as WebRTC, is an open framework that enables swift communication on browsers.
Nearly all of us have been using the internet for years now, but have you ever thought how communications on the web take place? Probably not. Internet calls, be it Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, and others utilize the WebRTC framework to facilitate your communications with others on the web.
What makes WebRTC so important is the constant need of to stay connected. Whether it’s a business or a customer, both parties require a constant connection to speak with customer representatives or to others in general.
Voice communication on the web has become an integral part of our daily lives, bypassing the traditional medium of staying connected via telephony providers. At the same time, WebRTC comes with slight challenges when connected to a VPN service – WebRTC leak.
However, there’s a fix to WebRTC leak when you’re connected to PureVPN. On your Chrome and Firefox browser, simply install the PureVPN extension, login, and start using the ‘WebRTC Leak Protection’ functionality. Once enabled, your entire communications via your browser and your IP are protected.
In simple words, WebRTC allows web applications to run features like:
- File Sharing
- Video Conferencing
- Screen Sharing
- Broadcasting, etc.
How WebRTC Started?
WebRTC started as an open-source project in 2011 by Google, and since then the technology has evolved significantly.
Since WebRTC is an open-source project it is completely free to use and developers from all over the world are utilizing WebRTC API to build different Web apps. In fact, most popular free browsers like Chrome and Firefox have built-in WebRTC technology.
Now, WebRTC is deemed as a standard real-time communication means. by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as well as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
What Makes WebRTC a Popular Technology?
Before the advent of the WebRTC technology, users had to waste their time on installing and using third-party plugins. Moreover, developers had to deploy C/C++ (a programming language) which requires time and resources due to never-ending development cycles.
Apart from the APIs, WebRTC comes built-in in various popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc. It is also important to note that WebRTC isn’t limited to web browsers but the technology also expands to mobile OS. For instance, you may use WebRTC on Android.
The technology actually allows users to access the device’s mic and camera so they can enjoy real-time communication. Now you may wonder…
How Does WebRTC Work?
Since WebRTC allows real-time communication or data sharing, it requires the actual local IP of the endpoint to connect. To communicate with the other browser, the technology needs RTCPeerConnection. The technology then passes through a Session Description Protocol (SDP).
However, due to the involvement of a Firewall or a NAT (Network Address Translation) traversal, the two peers cannot see each other’s local IP to connect. Here, STUN (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT) / TURN (Traversal Using Relays around NAT) servers help the peers get connected
What Is WebRTC Used for?
There are a great number of WebRTC use cases that can range from simple audio or video communication to file sharing or even screen sharing, etc.
- For Communication: WebRTC allows users to communicate with one another through their web browser (such as using Skype or WhatsApp), without installing any additional plugin or add-on.
- For Customer Support: Since the technology provides the live interaction feature between browsers, such a capability can be used by customer support so that they can answer queries in real time.
- For Browser based interaction: Truth be told, there are a great number of services that are using the WebRTC technology as a business model, offering browser-based live communication services to users around the globe.
- For P2P File Sharing: WebRTC isn’t limited to online communication but the technology extends its use to even file sharing as well as screen sharing.
Is WebRTC Secure?
So, you may be wondering is “Is WebRTC Secure?”. Yes, WebRTC is secure as it uses end-to-end encryption. As a result, no 3rd party can pop in to see your data. But if you are using a VPN, the bad news is that WebRTC might leak your I.P address.
What Is WebRTC Leak and Why VPN Users Should Fear It?
While WebRTC offers multiple benefits, WebRTC leak is a glitch that affects the Firefox and Chrome browsers on Windows. Therefore, if a user is behind a VPN and the VPN isn’t WebRTC leak protected, then the glitch may leak the user’s real IP address. In fact, you can easily check whether your browser is leaking your IP address or not.
If the real IP address is leaked, the user would be exposed to government surveillance, ISP monitoring, hackers, or other cybercriminals.
Users use a VPN to not only circumvent content that is not available in the region but also to make their online data secure which is possible through the VPN’s encryption protocols. Hence, a VPN not just provides its users with anonymity but also complete online security.
It is because of that users try to find ways to prevent WebRTC leak.
How To Avoid WebRTC Leak?
Since WebRTC leak is a serious concern for VPN users, it is important that the matter is dealt with immediately. Luckily, there are preventive measures through which you can disable WebRTC leak on Firefox as well as on Chrome browser.
Since the technology hasn’t been implemented on all the commonly used web browsers, users may have to stick to the non-WebRTC means to communicate with their loved ones.
Regardless, for VPN users, WebRTC leak may translate into huge problems which is why it is necessary that they take the necessary steps to prevent the leak.