Improving Caller Privacy on Gruveo

Since its launch more than 10 years ago, Gruveo has been primarily a peer-to-peer video calling service. Whenever possible, one-on-one calls were established directly. Only if there was a particularly restrictive firewall would the call get routed via one of our TURN relay servers. (It's important to note that even in that case, the call would remain encrypted end-to-end.)

Peer-to-peer connections have a drawback, however. A sufficiently tech-savvy person could delve into the browser's internals to determine the other party's IP address and, consequently, their approximate geographical location—usually the city they're in.

Although this is not a critical privacy issue in itself, this drawback concerned us enough to prompt a change: routing all one-on-one Gruveo calls through TURN servers. The transition process started earlier this year and is now fully complete.

Here is how TURN routing is a net positive for all Gruveo users:

  • Instead of the other party's IP address, the curious tech-savvy user on a one-on-one call will only see the IP of the TURN server in the browser logs.
  • The end-to-end encryption of one-on-one calls on Gruveo stays intact. The relay server is not able to decode the video and audio content.
  • Gruveo has relay infrastructure in key points around the globe. This ensures a smooth calling experience with minimal latency, regardless of who you're calling.

Calls with three or more participants, as well as any recorded one-on-one calls, have been concealing the participants' IPs all along. This is because these calls are already routed through our SFU servers.

With the additional routing of one-on-one calls via TURN, we are now making your IP address safe across all of your Gruveo conversations.

If you have questions about Gruveo's privacy and security, check out our Privacy Policy for details and don't hesitate to get in touch.