In a significant move to enhance user privacy, WhatsApp has introduced a new feature that allows users to shield their IP addresses from callers during voice and video calls. This feature, known as “Protect IP address in calls,” is particularly beneficial for privacy-conscious individuals who wish to safeguard their location and other sensitive information.
Previously, WhatsApp calls could be established directly between users, enabling peer-to-peer connections that often resulted in better call quality. However, this method also exposed users’ IP addresses to each other.
With the new feature, all calls will be routed through WhatsApp’s servers, masking the user’s IP address and preventing the other caller from identifying their location or internet service provider. This added layer of privacy is especially valuable for individuals who reside in regions with stricter internet surveillance or those who simply value their online anonymity.
While the new feature enhances privacy, it’s important to note that it may slightly impact call quality. WhatsApp acknowledges this possibility, emphasizing that “call quality might be reduced” when using call relay. However, the company also stresses that calls remain end-to-end encrypted, ensuring that even WhatsApp cannot listen to the conversation.
To enable the “Protect IP address in calls” feature, users should update to the latest version of WhatsApp and follow these steps:
- Open WhatsApp and tap “Settings”
- Select “Privacy”
- Tap “Advanced”
- Toggle on the switch next to “Protect IP address in calls”
It’s worth noting that group calls are already relayed through WhatsApp’s servers by default, so this feature primarily applies to one-on-one calls.
The introduction of the “Protect IP address in calls” feature underscores WhatsApp’s commitment to user privacy and security. This feature, along with other privacy-enhancing measures like Silence Unknown Callers and Privacy Checkup, demonstrates the company’s dedication to providing users with greater control over their personal information.