Web Socket : overview

Web Socket : overview
Techiio-author
Written by Nilima PaulDecember 13, 2021
6 min read
Websockets
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Techiio-author
Nilima Paul

Technology Security Analyst

In this article, we will know about what is WebSocket, its features, and its advantages and disadvantages.

What is WebSocket?

WebSocket is a computer communications protocol, providing full-duplex communication channels over a single TCP connection. The WebSocket protocol was standardized by the IETF as RFC 6455 in 2011, and the WebSocket API in Web IDL is being standardized by the W3C.

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Web Sockets – Definition

Web sockets are defined as two-way communication between the servers and the clients, which memeansoth the parties communicate and exchange data at the same time.

The key points of Web Sockets are true concurrency and optimization of performance, resulting in more responsive and rich web applications.

Description of Web Socket Protocol

This protocol defines a full-duplex communication from the ground up. Web sockets take a step forward in bringing desktop-rich functionalities to web browsers. It represents an evolution, which was awaited for a long time in client/server web technology.

Why use websocket

The WebSocket API is an advanced technology that makes it possible to open a two-way interactive communication session between the user's browser and a server. With this API, you can send messages to a server and receive event-driven responses without having to poll the server for a reply.

The main features of web sockets are as follows −

  • Web socket protocol is being standardized, which means real-time communication between web servers and clients is possible with the help of this protocol.
  • Web sockets are transforming to cross-platform standards for real-time communication between a client and the server.
  • This standard enables new kinds of applications. Businesses for real-time web applications can speed up with the help of this technology.

The advantages and disadvantages of Websockets

Following are the benefits or advantages of Websockets over HTTP:

➨It supports duplex communication.

➨Using WebSockets, one can send and receive data immediately faster than HTTP. Moreover, they are faster than AJAX.

➨Cross-origin communication (however this poses security risks).

➨Cross-platform compatibility (web, desktop, mobile)

➨HTTP takes up to 2000 bytes of overhead whereas WebSocket takes only 2 bytes.

➨Replace long polling

➨Websockets are data typed but AJAX calls can only send string datatypes.

disadvantages of Websockets

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Websockets:

➨Web browser must be fully HTML5 compliant.

➨Websockets have no successful functions like AJAX.

➨Intermediary/Edge caching is not possible with WebSockets, unlike HTTP.

➨To build even a simple protocol of your own, one can not be able to use friendly HTTP statuses, body, etc.

➨If the application does not require a lot of dynamic interaction, HTTP is much simpler to implement.

The benefits of WebSockets

So, we know a little about how WebSockets work at the layman’s level. But why do they matter? Or rather, what are their specific advantages?

We can break this into 4 easy to understand areas:

  • Connections – i.e. how clients and servers communicate
  • Latency – i.e. delay
  • Flexibility – i.e. how data is shared
  • Security – i.e. how data is protected in transit

Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits of WebSockets.

Conclusion

The grouping of WebSockets as the model for information push and constant correspondence is all things considered a misnomer around the web as it is portrayed these days. Free of some open-source goals, WebSockets are only a piece of the riddle when growing constant applications.

There is a huge number of functional issues an engineer might run into when utilizing WebSockets as their continuous arrangement, especially as the application scales and the client base develops innovation like: Firewalls, Network geography, Load Testing, and Security.

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