WhatsApp Calls Get an Additional Layer of Security With IP Address Protection

WhatsApp says Protect IP Address in Calls is meant for their “most privacy-conscious users.”

  • WhatsApp introduces the Protect IP Address in Calls feature on its platform.
  • The new feature allows users to relay WhatsApp calls through servers.
  • This prevents cybercriminals from intercepting the peer-to-peer WhatsApp calls.

WhatsApp Calls are now more secure with the new Protect IP Address in Calls feature. The Meta-owned instant messaging platform has sent out an email to publications that the feature will soon become available to all WhatsApp users. As of writing this, we have not received the advanced security feature on iOS but have received it on Android. According to WhatsApp, the new feature allows users to relay their WhatsApp calls through company servers. This will prevent hackers and cybercriminals from accessing the IP addresses of users and misusing them. Let’s take a look at the latest security feature from WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Rolls Out Protect IP Address in Calls Security Feature

Protect IP Address in WhatsApp Calls allows users to relay their calls through servers.
Protect IP Address in WhatsApp Calls allows users to relay their calls through servers.

WhatsApp uses a direct peer-to-peer VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) connection between two users to make calls. The P2P connection facilitates better call quality and faster data transfer. However, it requires the caller and recipient devices to share an IP address to send data packets back and forth for stable connectivity. While these calls are end-to-end encrypted, cybercriminals can use packet sniffing technology to intercept a data packet containing sensitive information. It can include sensitive data like location, ISP details, and IP addresses.

As you can see in the screenshot above, WhatsApp is now implementing a new feature called Protect IP Address in Calls to prevent cybercriminals from using packet sniffing. The feature works by relaying WhatsApp calls through company servers. It means any miscreants lurking in the shadows trying to listen in will not be able to track your or the recipient’s IP address. For extra security measure, the calls will continue to be end-to-end encrypted for the privacy of the user.

Users can activate the new security feature by following the below steps on Android and iOS, But bear in mind that the feature is yet to arrive on iOS but the steps will remain the same.

  1. Open WhatsApp on your smartphone.
  2. Tap on the three-dot icon in the top right in Android and select Settings or click on the Settings tab on the bottom bar in iOS.
  3. On the next page, click on Privacy and click on Advanced at the bottom of the page.
  4. Toggle on the Protect IP address in calls option on the next page.

Once turned on, WhatsApp will relay calls through its servers and protect the IP address from miscreants. However, there’s a catch. Since the calls will now be redirected through WhatsApp’s servers, they will not be as clear as the peer-to-peer connection. However, WhatsApp reassures users that the standard peer-to-peer connection is safe enough for most users. The new feature is an attempt to offer an option to its “most privacy-conscious users.”