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Pusher vs SignalR: What are the differences?


Pusher and SignalR are both technologies used for real-time communication in web applications. While they serve the same purpose, they have some key differences that set them apart from each other.

  1. Scalability: Pusher is a cloud-based service that handles all the real-time communication infrastructure, making it highly scalable. On the other hand, SignalR requires additional configuration and infrastructure setup to achieve scalability, as it needs to be hosted on a server.

  2. Platform Compatibility: Pusher provides libraries and SDKs for various platforms, including web, mobile, and IoT devices, making it compatible with a wide range of platforms out of the box. SignalR, on the other hand, primarily focuses on providing support for .NET platforms, making it more suitable for developers using Microsoft technologies.

  3. Ease of Setup: Pusher is known for its simplicity and ease of setup. It offers a ready-to-use cloud-based service that requires minimal configuration, making it easy for developers to get started quickly. SignalR, on the other hand, requires more configuration and setup, as it needs to be hosted on a server. This can be a bit more complex for developers who are not familiar with server-side technologies.

  4. Real-time Data Syncing: Pusher uses a publish-subscribe model, where clients subscribe to specific channels and receive relevant data updates in real-time. SignalR, on the other hand, supports multiple communication patterns, including real-time data syncing, but also provides features like RPC (Remote Procedure Call) and persistent connections.

  5. Authentication and Security: Pusher provides built-in authentication and security mechanisms, making it easier for developers to secure their real-time communication channels. SignalR, on the other hand, requires additional configuration and implementation of authentication and security measures, which can be more complex and time-consuming.

  6. Community and Ecosystem: Pusher has a large and active community of developers, with extensive documentation and resources available. It also offers integrations with popular frameworks and services, making it easy to integrate with existing tech stacks. SignalR, on the other hand, has a smaller community and a more narrow focus on .NET technologies, which can limit the availability of resources and community support.

In summary, Pusher and SignalR differ in terms of scalability, platform compatibility, ease of setup, real-time data syncing, authentication and security, as well as the size and activity of their respective communities.

Advice on Pusher and SignalR
Needs advice

I am building an IoT application that will utilize connected air quality sensors to provide real-time indoor air quality in offices. I want to be able to share this data with a few different databases, etc.

Wondering if anyone has any advice on which real-time streaming API would be best for this sort of application, or even how I should think about it?

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Replies (2)
Ben Gamble

For IoT, we support MQTT along with websockets and SSE. The pattern you're suggesting that involves harvesting data from devices and soaking into a database is easy to achieve with one of the Ably integrations (Serverless functions/webhook) . Here are some tutorials to do things like this:

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Philip Rossen

We use Pusher at It works fine. When you reach more users, Pusher gets expensive. We use Pusher for live chat between users. Their software is easy to use. We have had issues with auth on Pusher.

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Pros of Pusher
Pros of SignalR
  • 55
    An easy way to give customers realtime features
  • 40
  • 34
  • 27
    Easy to get started with
  • 25
    Free plan
  • 12
    Heroku Add-on
  • 11
    Easy and fast to configure and to understand
  • 9
  • 6
  • 6
    Azure Add-on
  • 5
  • 4
    Push notification
  • 32
    Supports .NET server
  • 25
  • 18
  • 16
    Fallback to SSE, forever frame, long polling
  • 15
  • 10
  • 9
    Open source
  • 8
    Ease of use
  • 8
  • 5
  • 0

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Cons of Pusher
Cons of SignalR
  • 10
  • 2
    Expertise hard to get
  • 2
    Requires jQuery
  • 1
    Weak iOS and Android support
  • 1
    Big differences between ASP.NET and Core versions

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What is Pusher?

Pusher is the category leader in delightful APIs for app developers building communication and collaboration features.

What is SignalR?

SignalR allows bi-directional communication between server and client. Servers can now push content to connected clients instantly as it becomes available. SignalR supports Web Sockets, and falls back to other compatible techniques for older browsers. SignalR includes APIs for connection management (for instance, connect and disconnect events), grouping connections, and authorization.

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What companies use Pusher?
What companies use SignalR?
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