WebRTC is a powerful open-source project that allows web browsers to communicate with each other without an intermediary server. Known for enabling real-time communication, WebRTC is commonly used for voice and video chat applications, live streaming, and even file transfer.
WebRTC has revolutionized the way we communicate online, providing seamless audio and video communication right within your browser without the need for plugins or third-party software. It's a game-changer for industries like teleconferencing, online gaming, education, and telemedicine, just to name a few.
However, while WebRTC is undeniably robust and versatile, it's not without its limitations. Some users encounter issues with integration, network firewalls, and NATs, while others may be concerned about privacy and security. Additionally, WebRTC might not be the best fit for every project due to its inherent complexity and the need for precise control over certain aspects of data transmission.
This is where WebRTC alternatives come into play. In this blog, we'll explore some of the most promising alternatives to WebRTC currently available on the market. Whether you're seeking more robust security features, better scalability, or simply a different set of capabilities, we've got you covered.
Why look for a WebRTC Alternative?
WebRTC is a powerful technology that has revolutionized real-time communication over the web. However, it does have some limitations. Here are a few:
- Complexity: WebRTC can be complex to implement and requires a comprehensive understanding of the underlying technology. This can make it challenging for developers who are new to the technology.
- Interoperability issues: While WebRTC is supported by many modern browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, there are still some browsers (like Mi Browser) that do not support it. This can lead to compatibility issues.
- Firewall and NAT traversal: One of the biggest challenges with WebRTC is dealing with Network Address Translators (NATs) and firewalls. Although WebRTC includes protocols to handle these issues, they can still pose problems, especially in corporate networks with strict firewall rules.
- Privacy concerns: Since WebRTC enables direct peer-to-peer communication, it could potentially expose the IP addresses of the users involved. This can raise privacy concerns for users.
- Quality of Service: WebRTC does not guarantee a certain quality of service. The quality of the connection depends on the network conditions, which can vary greatly.
- Scaling: WebRTC is designed for peer-to-peer communication, so scaling up to support large numbers of users can be a challenge. You might need additional infrastructure, like media servers, to handle more extensive broadcasts.
- No built-in signaling: WebRTC does not specify a signaling protocol, leaving it up to the developer to implement. This adds an additional layer of complexity while integrating.
These WebRTC limitations don't necessarily make it a wrong choice, but they're important factors to consider when deciding whether it's the right solution for your specific needs.
Developers often look for Managed WebRTC solutions instead that are built on top of Raw WebRTC. Learn more about the difference between Raw WebRTC and Managed WebRTC in our blog.
List of Top 10 Raw WebRTC Alternatives (aka Managed WebRTC platforms)
- Zoom SDK
- Twilio Video
- AWS chime
Dyte is a powerful video SDK platform built on top of WebRTC that empowers businesses of all sizes to seamlessly integrate high-quality live video functionality into their applications. The platform's unique selling point lies in its flexibility and customization options, allowing users to adapt the live video solution to their specific needs. Dyte's Video SDK boasts superior call quality and robust scalability, backed by a foundation on multiple cloud providers.
Key Features of Dyte:
- Comprehensive collaboration tools: Dyte offers a wide range of interactive features such as chat, reactions, polls, and file sharing, enhancing the user experience.
- Open APIs: The platform provides open APIs, making it easy to embed the video SDK into your application.
- Detailed analytics: Users can access in-depth analytics on various video call metrics.
- Cross-platform streaming: Dyte allows you to stream across multiple platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more, thanks to built-in RTMP.
- High-quality communication: With Dyte, participants can enjoy lag-free voice and video communication.
Pricing for Dyte:
Dyte's pricing model is designed to cater to businesses of all sizes, offering 10,000 free minutes every month. Further usage is priced at $0.001/min/user for Voice Conferencing and $0.004/min/user for Video Conferencing. Dyte is lauded for its ease of use, extensive features, competitive pricing, excellent customer support, and vibrant community. The platform ensures secure streaming with encryption, keeping your content private and safe. For customized pricing options, you can get in touch with Dyte's Product Team or start building with your 10,000 free credits.
Vonage Video (TokBox/Opentok)
Vonage or TokBox is a real-time communication SDK that facilitates the development of platforms for users to engage in video, voice, and text chat. This web-based solution offers features like screen sharing and recording sessions, along with secure messaging capabilities.
Features of Vonage:
- No application installation is necessary for usage, although a mobile app is available.
- The SDK is compatible with various platforms, including both mobile and web, allowing easy application development for multiple devices.
- Voice, video, and signaling traffic are encrypted using either AES-128 or AES-256 encryption.
Limitations of Vonage:
- Vonage Video does not manage the live video backend, which could require additional resources for building edge case management capabilities.
- There's a limit of 55 participants per call.
- Customer support is provided through chat, but responses might take up to 72 hours.
Pricing for Vonage Video:
Vonage Video offers plans starting at $9.99 per month, which include 2,000 minutes. Additional usage beyond the included minutes is billed at a rate of $0.00395 per minute per user.
Learn more about Tokbox pricing.
Agora is a service provider that offers a real-time engagement platform. The company's aim is to enable communication between anyone, anytime, anywhere, in any application. Agora's SDK and APIs let developers integrate real-time video and voice engagement functionalities into their applications.
Features of Agora:
- Agora's Video SDK offers some degree of customization, although the extent of this may vary.
- The platform can support up to 250 participants per call, which could be considered adequate in specific scenarios.
Limitations of Agora:
- Due to its low-level nature, getting familiar with Agora might pose some challenges.
- The pricing structure is somewhat complex and may not be suitable for businesses operating on a tight budget.
- The level of customer support provided by Agora leaves much to be desired.
- Even for creating a simple live video app, multiple SDKs [video, stream, chat, and more] are required.
- Network degradation scenarios need to be manually coded, adding to the development complexity and time.
Agora's pricing model is based on usage, charging $0.0009 per minute per user for Voice Conferencing, $0.0039 per minute per user for HD Video Conferencing, and $0.0089 per minute per user for Full HD Video Conferencing. While this model allows businesses to pay for what they use, it could potentially become expensive for those with high conferencing needs.
Check out the in-depth analysis for Agora v/s Dyte.
Zoom Video SDK is a service that allows businesses to incorporate video call features into their applications. The platform provides functionalities for various meeting scales, from individual interactions to large conferences.
Features of Zoom SDK:
- Allows for up to 1,000 co-hosts or participants in a single session.
- Supports seven major languages and has an open translation extensibility feature, potentially aiding in the international expansion of applications.
- Provides the ability to stream meetings on Facebook.
- Does not offer interactive features.
- Allows limited customization of the live video.
- The predetermined roles of host and participant are the only ones manageable by the SDK.
- Customer support may take more than 48 hours to respond to queries.
Pricing for Zoom SDK:
Zoom SDK offers 10,000 free minutes every month. Beyond this, the charge for Video Conferencing is $0.0035 per user per minute. There is an additional cost of $100 per month for 1 TB of storage for recordings. Telephony services are also available at a rate of $100 per month. However, these costs may add up and become significant for businesses with high usage requirements.
Twilio Video SDK is a cloud-powered communication tool that allows developers to integrate custom video calling features into their applications. Twilio also provides additional services like phone numbers and SMS automation, making it easier to start using the platform.
Features of Twilio Video:
- Easy integration with web or mobile applications.
- Provides scalability to handle thousands of users without any issues.
- Cross-platform compatibility, working smoothly on the web, iOS, Android, and React Native.
- Includes a dashboard for error tracking and analysis.
Limitations of Twilio Video:
- Supports only up to 50 viewers per call.
- It does not offer plugins to facilitate product development.
- Basic functionality: providing only live video without interactive elements like chat or reactions.
- The pricing structure can be complicated to understand and calculate.
Pricing for Twilio Video:
Twilio Video charges $0.004 per minute per user for Video Conferencing. Recording costs are also set at $0.004 per minute, and recording compositions are priced at $0.01 per minute. However, the pricing structure might be a bit complex to decipher independently, which could potentially cause confusion.
Jitsi is another open-source platform that comprises various projects, each catering to a different aspect of video conferencing. It works well for proficient developers who prefer building applications from scratch. However, for users seeking a straightforward solution, Jitsi might pose certain complexities.
Jitsi includes two key projects: Jitsi Meet, a WebRTC-based app requiring Jitsi Videobridge for video conferences, and Jitsi Videobridge, a server component managing multiple video streams from one server, ensuring quality but consuming considerable bandwidth.
Features of Jitsi:
- Open-source, allowing freedom to modify, change, and use as desired.
- Offers basic features including text sharing via Etherpad, room locking, text chatting (web only), raising hands, accessing YouTube videos during calls, audio-only calls, and third-party app integrations.
Limitations of Jitsi:
- Some features like screen sharing, video/audio call recording, and telephone dial-in to a conference are not readily available in Jitsi Meet but can be accessed by setting up Jibri and JIgsai (other Jitsi projects).
- Not suitable for users seeking low-code, instant-deployment-ready SDKs, as code writing is required during setup.
- While video calls are end-to-end encrypted, chat or polls are not.
- The SFU architecture of Jitsi Videobridge, while reducing resource strain on client devices, can consume a lot of data.
- Lacks certain features, such as "raising hand" and "file sharing."
If you are looking for a Jitsi alternative, we have a list handy.
Pricing for Jitsi:
Jitsi is free to use, with all projects under Jitsi available at any time. However, there's no dedicated technical support, and users have to rely on community support. This lack of direct assistance may pose challenges for some users.
Whereby is a video conferencing SDK that aims to assist in integrating video and audio chat into web and mobile applications. The Whereby Video SDK provides developers with a basic way to incorporate video communication into their applications without requiring extensive technical expertise. It also permits the alteration of various UI elements of the live video experience, such as screen-sharing capabilities and custom backgrounds.
Features of Whereby:
- Quick and user-friendly, ideal for spontaneous calls.
- No need to install any third-party app on the computer.
- Allows easy creation of a "room" and invitation of guests for a quality video call.
Limitations of Whereby:
- Users may experience occasional drop-offs.
- It can cause meetings to slow down.
- Switching between small and big rooms can be perplexing.
- Provides only a basic set of collaborative features.
As for pricing, Whereby offers a free tier that accommodates up to 4 participants and one room. For more extensive needs, there's the Pro plan, which costs $9.99/month and includes 2,000 participant minutes, with an additional charge of $0.004 per extra minute. For businesses seeking more scalability, the Grow plan is available, though you'll need to contact the sales team for more information.
Check out an in-depth analysis of Whereby vs Jitsi.
AWS Chime SDK
AWS Chime, an online video call SDK from Amazon, allows you to conduct meetings with as many as 250 attendees. It lets users connect with others via video calls, audio calls, and text messaging.
Amazon Chime SDK is the tech that lets Amazon Chime but without its shell.
Features of AWS Chime:
- Enables online meetings with HD video/audio.
- Provides collaborative features such as screen-sharing, remote desktop control, and individual/group text-based chats.
- Can accommodate team meetings with up to 250 participants.
Limitations of AWS Chime:
- Only allows recording of audio content in .m4a format with no option to record attendees.
- Session analytics are only accessible with the pricier enterprise plan.
- The platform lacks capabilities to manage edge cases, which might necessitate extra effort.
So, if you are looking, here is a list of the top 10 AWS chime SDK alternatives.
AWS chime pricing
As for the pricing of AWS Chime, it offers a free tier that includes 1-on-1 audio & video calls and group chat that costs $0.0017 per participant.
EnableX is yet another WebRTC alternative provider for embedding videos, voice, and SMS into applications. Supporting a range of coding languages like Java, PHP, Python, and more, it distinguishes itself with its minimal code requirement.
Features of EnableX:
- Video API enables the addition of a custom video-calling solution to existing apps with minimal coding. This comes with features such as a whiteboard, live recording, co-browsing, screen sharing, and live analytics. It let's ~100 people can join live video meetings.
- Low code video API allows for the creation of a custom video calling app with your own UI and branding using simple drag-and-drop elements.
- The APIs are compatible across iOS, Android, and most browsers.
- Live streaming is possible directly from mobile and web apps or alternatively through a connection with YouTube.
Limitations of EnableX:
- Cost-wise, EnableX may not be the most economical alternative.
- Despite being a low-code alternative like Dyte, EnableX lacks advanced logic for managing video quality during poor network conditions.
When it comes to pricing, EnableX charges $0.004 per participant per minute for a room accommodating 50 people. For rooms larger than 50, custom pricing applies. Recording and storage come at an additional cost of $0.01 per participant per minute and $0.05 per GB per month, respectively. If you require video encryption, that's another $500/month added to the bill.
Apphitect, a provider of digital technology services, offers a variety of solutions, including mobile app development, e-commerce, and cloud solutions. While it supports multiple platforms and coding languages, its offerings are pretty standard in the crowded tech services market.
Features of Apphitect:
- Provides mobile app development services.
- Offers e-commerce solutions.
- Delivers cloud solutions.
- Supports multiple platforms and coding languages.
Limitations of Apphitect:
- Doesn't particularly stand out in a saturated market.
- Its solutions are pretty standard, not necessarily innovative or unique.
- Does not allow unlimited participants
When it comes to pricing, details about Apphitect's costs are not readily available. It's likely that they offer custom quotes based on the specific needs and requirements of each client. Potential customers should reach out directly to Apphitect for more precise pricing information.
Compare Top 10 WebRTC Alternatives
|Video SDK||Key Features||Pros||Cons||Pricing and Additional Notes|
|Dyte||- High-quality live video integration - Flexibility and customization - Comprehensive collaboration tools - Open APIs - Detailed analytics - Cross-platform streaming - Lag-free communication||- Competitive pricing - 10,000 free minutes per month - Excellent customer support - Secure streaming||No major cons mentioned||Competitive rates, 10,000 free monthly minutes. Custom pricing available.|
|Vonage (TokBox)||- Real-time video, voice, and text chat - Screen sharing and recording sessions - Secure messaging||- No app installation needed - Compatibility with various platforms - Encrypted traffic||No live video backend management - Limit of 55 participants per call - Chat support responses may take time||Starts at $9.99 per month, $0.00395/min/user for extra minutes.|
|Agora||- Real-time video and voice engagement - Customization options - Support for up to 250 participants per call||- Support for up to 250 participants - Extensive scalability - Cross-platform compatibility - API documentation||Requires learning curve - Complex pricing - Limited customer support - Multiple SDKs needed for features||Variable pricing based on usage.|
|Zoom SDK||- Various meeting scales - Up to 1,000 co-hosts/participants - Multiple languages support - Facebook streaming - Free tier||- Scalability - International expansion - 10,000 free monthly minutes - HD video/audio - Recording||Limited customization - Predetermined roles - Slow customer support - Costs may accumulate with high usage||Free tier, $0.0035/min/user for Video Conferencing, $100/month for storage.|
|Twilio Video||- Custom video calling features - Scalability - Cross-platform compatibility - Error tracking and analysis||- Scalability - Cross-platform compatibility - Error tracking||Limited to 50 viewers per call - No plugins - Basic functionality - Complex pricing structure||$0.004/min/user for Video Conferencing, additional charges for recording.|
|Jitsi||- Open source platform - Basic features - No need for third-party apps - Room locking - Multiple projects||- Open source - No cost for all projects - Basic features - Freedom to modify - Audio end-to-end encryption||Screen sharing, audio/video recording not readily available - Code writing required - Lacks end-to-end encryption - Data consumption - Limited features||Free to use with no dedicated support.|
|Whereby||- Quick, user-friendly integration - No app installation required - Easy creation of video call rooms - Customization options||- No app installation - User-friendly - Scalability||Occasional drop-offs - Meeting slowdowns - Limited collaborative features - Basic customization options||Free tier, $9.99/month Pro plan, contact sales for Grow plan.|
|AWS Chime SDK||- Online meetings with HD video/audio - Collaborative features - Team meetings for up to 250 participants||- Free tier - Collaborative features - HD video/audio||Limited audio recording format - Session analytics cost extra - No edge case management - No direct customer support||Free tier, $2.50/user/month for Plus tier, $15/user/month for Pro tier.|
|EnableX||- Video and voice integration with minimal coding - Low-code video API - Cross-platform compatibility - Live streaming - Customization options||- Minimal code required - Low-code video API - Cross-platform compatibility - Live streaming||Not the most economical option - Limited logic for video quality management - Variable pricing for large rooms - Added costs for video encryption||$0.004/min/participant for rooms up to 50, custom pricing for larger rooms.|
|Apphitect||- Digital technology services - Mobile app development - E-commerce solutions - Cloud solutions - Multi-platform support - Multi-language support||- Variety of digital technology services||Fairly standard offerings - No unlimited participants - Custom pricing based on specific client needs||Custom quotes based on client needs.|
Please note that pricing details may change over time, and it's recommended to visit the respective websites for the most up-to-date pricing information.
In conclusion, WebRTC is the backbone of today's video calls. But, despite its strengths, it has challenges of its own.
Unless you have the technical expertise & resources, the integration can be cumbersome.
That's why teams prefer to integrate Managed WebRTC like Dyte over Raw WebRTC.
So check out Dyte because, unlike Raw WebRTC, Dyte actually allows developers to create live experiences in under 5 minutes.