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Azure SignalR Service vs Pusher

Discover how Azure SignalR Service compares to Pusher, and understand which is right for your use case, based on dimensions such as core features, pricing, reliability, and scalability.

What is Azure SignalR Service?

Azure-hosted, fully managed realtime framework built on top of an open-source software library for Microsoft ASP.NET. It allows server code to send asynchronous notifications to client-side web applications. The library includes server-side and client-side JavaScript components.

Suitable for:

  • Live chat
  • Data broadcast (stock tickers, live dashboards)
  • Multiplayer collaboration

Not suitable for:

  • Mission-critical scenarios that require data integrity guarantees

Pros:

  • Fully managed service
  • Global reach
  • Seamlessly integrates with other Azure services
  • Built-in support for authentication and authorization
  • Monitoring & diagnostics capabilities

Cons:

  • Not reliable at scale or spikes
  • Must choose one data center to locate apps
  • Message latencies increase for clients further away from datacenter
  • No message delivery guarantees

What is Pusher?

Pusher is a first-generation pub/sub messaging service that provides bi-directional hosted APIs for adding realtime features to applications. Pusher offers two products: - Channels - Build scalable realtime features - Beams - Programmatic push notifications

Suitable for:

  • Realtime charts
  • Location tracking
  • Notifications
  • In-app chat

Not suitable for:

  • Audio and video

Pros:

  • Great developer experience

Cons:

  • Not reliable at scale or spikes
  • Must choose one data center to locate apps
  • Bigger message latencies for clients further away from data center
  • No message delivery guarantees

Compare Azure SignalR Service and Pusher

Let’s compare Azure SignalR Service and Pusher, looking at key dimensions such as their core features, pricing, integrations, QoS, performance, and security and compliance.

Disclaimer:This comparison was created based on documentation and resources freely available online about Azure SignalR Service and Pusher. The content was last updated on 10 Jun 2024 for Azure SignalR Service and on 10 Jun 2024 for Pusher. Be sure to double-check everything before you make any decisions. If you do find anything incorrect or out of date, then please contact us.

Core features
Pub/Sub messaging

Reduces communication code complexity, simplifying the process of building highly functional and architecturally complex realtime apps.

Azure SignalR Service

Partial

Azure SignalR does not provide pub/sub capabilities by itself but you can use it in combination with backplanes such as Redis or Event Grid, which support the pub/sub model.

Pusher

Yes

Chat capabilities

Accelerates the time to implement rich chat experiences with features such as read receipts, typing indicators, and more.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Documentation references chat, but it is not clear how you would deliver it. There's no native chat capability.

Pusher

No

Pusher has channels which enable read receipts, but no SDK, reactions, or read-receipts built in.

Read more
Collaboration capabilities

Enables you to quickly integrate realtime collaborative features like live cursors, member location, avatar stacks, and component locking.

Azure SignalR Service

No

An article on-site showcases a solution idea for collaboration, but not using SignalR.

Pusher

No

State sync capabilities

Enables realtime data synchronization across devices and users, ensuring a cohesive and up-to-date user experience.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

No

Pusher has 'cache channels', but this is just persist-last.

Read more
Presence

Maintaining a view of which users are connected, and their associated metadata, enables their online status to be updated in realtime.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

Yes

Occupancy

High-level metrics about the clients currently connected to a channel make it simple to show things such as connected user count, or display which channels are the most popular.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

No

Message interactions

Enables interaction with previously-sent messages, facilitating the implementation of features like message reactions and threads.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

No

Message history

Enables clients to catch up on missed messages when inactive, ensuring a user doesn’t miss any important messages.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

No

Pusher does not offer any message history functionality. But Cache Channels stores the last event sent to the channel - it is stored for a max of 30 min or until a new event arrives. This can be useful in some use cases.

Push notifications

Cross-platform push notifications make it possible to deliver important and timely messages to users even when they’re inactive.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

Yes

Pusher's product Beams is a cross-platform push notifications API.

Message delta compression

Minimizes bandwidth and can reduce latency, particularly in scenarios where continuous updates are sent.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

No

Programmatic management

Enables the automation of provisioning, management, and testing of service resources, simplifying integration with existing development workflows such as CI.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

No

Pricing
Free plan

With a free plan, you can test the service’s functionality and compatibility with your project before committing to a paid plan.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Offers 20 concurrent connections and 20,000 messages per day

Read more
Pusher

Partial

Only in 'sandbox', which is a free plan which gives you 200,000 messages and up to 100 concurrent connections per day.

Pricing model

The pricing model should align with your project's expected load, usage patterns, and budget in order to be cost-effective and efficient.

Azure SignalR Service
  • Free, standard and premium tiers
  • Availability zone support, fully managed auto scaling and customised domain name only available in premium tier
  • No SLA for free tier - 99.9% for standard tier, 99.95% for premium tier
Read more
Pusher

Free, Flexible pricing plans and Enterprise

See more information
Integrations & interoperability
SDKs

Supporting multiple languages and platforms offers greater flexibility when building cross-platform realtime apps.

Azure SignalR Service
  • .NET
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • Flutter
  • REST API (any language that supports HTTP requests)
Pusher
  • Android (uses Java library)
  • AngularJS (uses JavaScript library)
  • iOS: Swift and Objective-C
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • .NET
  • Unity
  • Flutter
  • React Native
Supported realtime protocols

Support for multiple protocols provides the flexibility to choose a protocol that best suits your project’s requirements.

Azure SignalR Service
  • WebSockets
  • HTTP
  • SSE
Pusher
  • WebSockets
  • Fallback to Comet (XHR) and Long Polling for older browsers
Serverless functions

Enables integration with third-party cloud providers by facilitating the execution of custom code against messages to perform business logic like on-the-fly translation.

Azure SignalR Service
  • Microsoft Azure Functions
Pusher
  • Own serverless functions
Streaming & queueing

Provides a dependable method to reroute messages from the service to third-party streams and queues for further processing.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

No

Observability services

Enables realtime monitoring and troubleshooting by offering insights into service behavior directly in your observability platform of choice.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

Yes

Pusher provides Datadog and Librato integrations.

CI/CD tools

Makes it possible to provision and configure service infrastructure as part of a CI or CD pipeline, enabling repeatable and reliable deployments.

Azure SignalR Service

While Azure SignalR itself doesn't have specific integration points in CI/CD tools, the broader Azure ecosystem and the Azure CLI or PowerShell can be leveraged in your CI/CD scripts to manage Azure SignalR resources.

Pusher

No

Quality of Service
Scalability

Scalability is vital as it ensures the service can handle increased data load or users without compromising performance.

Azure SignalR Service

No metrics available

Pusher

No scalability metrics published.

Guaranteed message delivery

Ensures messages are never lost during transmission, even in the presence of network disruptions.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

No

Guaranteed message ordering

Maintains the sequence of messages as they were sent. This is particularly important in apps where the chronological order of messages is essential for meaningful communication.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

No

Exactly-once message delivery

Guarantees that each message is processed exactly once, preventing data inconsistencies that can arise from duplicate processing or missing messages.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

No

Performance & availability
Uptime Guarantee

An uptime guarantee instills confidence in the reliability of the service and protects your business from the negative impacts of downtime.

Azure SignalR Service
  • On the free tier there is no SLA
  • Standard tier: 99.9% uptime SLA
  • Premium tier: 99.95% uptime SLA
Pusher

Channels SLA: API will be made available with an Annual API Uptime Percentage of 99.95%.

Pusher will use commercially reasonable efforts to make Pusher Beams available with an Annual Uptime Percentage of > 99.95%.

Read more
Global edge network

By bringing servers (Points of Presence, or PoP) geographically closer to the devices of end users, and routing requests to the nearest PoP, global latency is reduced to a minimum.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

No

Multi-region data replication (message durability)

By replicating data across multiple regions, the risk of data loss or downtime is greatly mitigated since if data is lost or a server fails in one region, the information can be retrieved from another.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

No

Pusher apps are located in a single data center rather than distributed across multiple data centers. Any latency issues that occur in that data center will affect all apps hosted there.

No single point of failure or congestion

Having no single point of failure means a system is resilient and can continue to operate even if one part fails. Avoiding a single point of congestion ensures messages flow efficiently across the system and avoids bottlenecks that could lead to performance issues under load.

Azure SignalR Service

No

Pusher

No

Pusher apps are located in a single data center rather than distributed across multiple data centers. If that data center goes offline then all apps hosted there are affected.

Latency

Low latency is crucial for realtime apps as it ensures swift and efficient data transmissions, providing a smoother and more responsive user experience.

Azure SignalR Service

Unknown

Pusher

Not shared. Because apps exist in only one region, message latencies increase for clients the further they are from your chosen data center.

Security & compliance
API key authentication

Simplifies the authentication code on trusted servers compared to requesting, managing, and refreshing tokens.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

Yes

Token-based authentication

Provides a means to securely authenticate user devices against your user management system.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

Yes

Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication

SSO streamlines login processes, boosts security by minimizing password use, and meets compliance needs for secure data access management.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

Partial

For GitHub and Google.

Rules for permissions and operations

Provides control over which users can subscribe and publish to certain channels.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

Partial

Requires you to implement an endpoint they will call to check if operation is allowed.

End-to-end encryption

Ensures that the data transmitted between the client and the API server remains confidential and secure while in transit.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

Yes

Encryption at rest

Ensures data stored by the service is secure and compliant, while also mitigating the risks of a data breach.

Azure SignalR Service

Yes

Pusher

No

Compliance

Compliance with regulations can impact your ability to meet legal obligations in your industry.

Azure SignalR Service
  • SOC 2 Type I
  • SOC 2 Type II
  • HIPAA
  • EU GDPR
Pusher

EU GDPR compliant

Alternatives to Azure SignalR Service and Pusher

Whilst both Azure SignalR Service and Pusher are worth considering as options for realtime experiences, they aren’t without their limitations. We suggest evaluating them against the following alternatives to make sure you find the right solution for your needs.

Alternatives to Azure SignalR Service

PubNub is a developer API platform that powers the realtime infrastructure in apps to build engaging Virtual Spaces where online communities can connect.

Socket.IO is a library that provides realtime, bi-directional communication between clients and servers. It allows the management of connections, sending and receiving messages, and more.

Pusher is a first-generation pub/sub messaging service that provides bi-directional hosted APIs for adding realtime features to applications.

Alternatives to Pusher

PubNub is a developer API platform that powers the realtime infrastructure in apps to build engaging Virtual Spaces where online communities can connect.

Socket.IO is a library that provides realtime, bi-directional communication between clients and servers. It allows the management of connections, sending and receiving messages, and more.

Ably is the definitive realtime experience platform of the internet. Serving more WebSocket connections than any other pub/sub platform on earth. Businesses trust us to power their critical applications - reliably, securely and at serious scale.

Discover how Azure SignalR Service and Pusher stack up against Ably

Ably is the definitive realtime experience platform of the internet. See how we compare to Azure SignalR Service and Pusher on key dimensions such as core features, pricing, integrations, QoS, performance, and security and compliance.

Try Ably for free to discover the benefits for yourself

Ably has built reliable realtime infrastructure so you don’t have to. On our free plan you benefit from:

  • 6M Monthly messages
  • 200 concurrent channels
  • 200 concurrent connections