Differences between WebSocket and Socket.IO

Shams / September 15, 2020

2 min read

Differences between Websocket and Socket.Io

WebSocket and Socket.IO are probably two of the most popular solutions for implementing real-time communications in the modern web. But how do they differ?

When building a real-time application, there’s a moment where you have to choose how to implement the realtime data exchange between client and server. WebSocket and Socket.IO are probably two of the most popular solutions for implementing real-time communications in the modern web. But which one should we choose? What are the differences between these two technologies? Let’s find out!

Websocket

When talking about WebSocket, we’re referring to a web communication protocol that provides a full-duplex communication channel over a single TCP connection. In few words, it allows interactions between client and server with a minimum overhead, allowing us to build applications that uses the advantages of real-time communications.

For instance, imagine if you’re building a chat app: you need to receive and send data as soon as possible, right? Well, that’s the right job for WebSocket! You can just open one TCP connection and share data leaving it open as long as you need it.

WebSocket first appeared in 2010 in Google Chrome 4, and the first RFC (RFC 6455) has been published one year later, in 2011.

Great use cases for WebSocket includes:

  • Chat Applications
  • Live streaming
  • Multiplayer Games
  • Collaborative Editing
  • Social Feeds
  • Location-based Applications