WhatsApp Now Lets You Hide Your IP Address During Calls

WhatsApp has introduced a new privacy feature that lets you hide your IP address from whoever you call over the encrypted communications platform.

Whatsapp Feature
As it stands, one-to-one calls over WhatsApp are established as a direct peer-to-peer connection between users. While this ensures the best possible voice quality, it means the connected devices must reveal their IP addresses to each other.

According to WhatsApp, the new privacy setting introduced today works differently by relaying all of your calls through WhatsApp's servers to obfuscate your location, rather than connecting you directly to the person you are calling. Meta engineers elaborated on the feature in a blog post:

Most calling products people use today have peer-to-peer connections between participants. This direct connection allows for faster data transfers and better call quality, but it also means that participants need to know each other’s IP addresses so that call data packets can be delivered to the correct device – meaning that the IP addresses are visible to both callers on a 1:1 call. IP addresses may contain information that some of our most privacy-conscious users are mindful of, such as broad geographical location or internet provider.

To address this concern, we introduced a new feature on WhatsApp that allows you to protect your IP address during calls. With this feature enabled, all your calls will be relayed through WhatsApp’s servers, ensuring that other parties in the call cannot see your IP address and subsequently deduce your general geographical location.

WhatsApp Calls image

At the same time, all relayed calls through WhatsApp's servers remain end-to-end encrypted, so no-one – not even WhatsApp – can listen to them.

Before you consider using the new call relay privacy setting, WhatsApp says to bear in mind that call quality might be reduced as a result. To enable the setting, make sure you have updated to the latest version of WhatsApp, then follow these steps.

  1. In WhatsApp, tap Settings ➝ Privacy.
  2. Tap Advanced.
  3. Toggle on the switch next to Protect IP address in calls.

whatsapp

Note that group calls are always relayed through WhatsApp's servers by default.

In June, WhatsApp added a Silence Unknown Callers feature for the encrypted messaging platform. Like the similar option in iOS, the feature is designed to automatically screen out spam, scams, and calls from unknown people for increased protection.

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Top Rated Comments

Oh-es-Ten Avatar
7 months ago
"I'll keep a close watch on this henhouse and make sure it is super secure!"
(signed The Fox)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cocky jeremy Avatar
7 months ago

I thought messengers learned better than this back when I was WinNuking people off their 28.8 modems back in the 90s via ICQ.
Sub7 is where it was at. Get them to download "ThongSong.exe" and that computer was as good as yours. lol.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
7 months ago
This sounds like security theater, but worse.

Want to hide your IP address? Just tell us (and we'll tell the government or anyone else who pays us) about your "secret" call.

Why would you want to hide your IP address from the caller, but reveal literally everything about your call to WhatsApp and whoever they choose to sell your data to? If you really want to hide your IP, call from behind an actual VPN. But I'm curious what legitimate usecase you'd have for hiding your IP from the person you're calling.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
louis^ Avatar
7 months ago

I don't know what it took me until this moment to understand the real reason they changed their name to Meta. They have all the metadata. Makes way more sense.
Better use threema or signal. Avoid those privacy nightmares like meta or tiktok.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
louis^ Avatar
7 months ago
They are still collecting meta datas. No thanks!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarAnalogy Avatar
7 months ago

They are still collecting meta datas. No thanks!
I don't know what it took me until this moment to understand the real reason they changed their name to Meta. They have all the metadata. Makes way more sense.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)