WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) is a technology which provides web browsers and mobile applications with real time communication like video, voice or data transfers without extra plugins or hardware. The technology was initially released in 2011 and has steadily grown in popularity and adoption since then. The technology is increasingly important to most business operations today, for it was engineered to greatly improve the capabilities for developers and businesses. With its ample data transmission potential, capability for peer to peer connection (P2P), businesses will have access to data in volumes without taking into consideration the technical limitations.
WebRTC is a technology which enables Web applications and sites to capture and optionally stream audio and/or video media, as well as to exchange arbitrary data between browsers without requiring an intermediary. The set of functions that WebRTC consists makes it possible for users to communicate on a common platform. Its task is to share data and perform teleconferencing peer-to-peer natively between browsers. You can also integrate WebRTC in applications if you have source codes.
You cannot plan peer-to-peer communication without signaling. WebRTC signaling proceeds over the Internet to set up, control, and complete WebRTC media flow from one peer to another. Let’s imagine you want to have a video conference with your business partners to discuss an issue you are working on. To start a discussion, you need to send some audio or video data directly to them without going through an external server. So that you both know on what you are working on. In a nutshell, signaling allows to exchange this metadata to coordinate communication. However, it’s doesn’t seem possible for WebRTC signaling to connect without any detours or sidetracking for now. That’s why it needs the route to reach its destination quickly and easily － Stun Server.
Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN) (Network Address Translation) is a protocol to find your open location and solve any limits in your router that would prevent an immediate peer connection. You send a request to a STUN server on the Internet, and it will provide the customer’s public address. The need for public address is vital to continue the work of WebRTC. Here is an example of NAT at work: all of your devices at home or at work join the same Wi-Fi and they all have the same private IP address. NAT protocol decodes your private IP address into public to enable all the devices in your home network to relay information back and forth between your router. Given the involvement of a NAT device, you will know what IP address to send audio and video back to.
A few routers utilizing NAT have a limitation called ‘Symmetric NAT’. This implies the routers to know peers you’ve previously connected to.
Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) is intended to sidestep the Symmetric NAT limitation by opening a connection with a TURN server and transferring all data through that server. You need to connect with a TURN server and advise all peers to send packets to the server which will at that point be sent to you. It basically takes media from you and sends it to other users. Thus, you all begin to communicate with each other.
Web RTC Best Practices
Today the project continues to enhance its capabilities. And it is already supported by the following wide range list of browsers:
• Microsoft Edge
• Google Chrome
• Mozilla Firefox
• Google Chrome
• Mozilla Firefox
• Opera Mobile
• Chrome OS
• Firefox OS
• Blackberry 10
• iOS 11
In the end, let’s sum up the main advantages of using Web RTC:
• It is free;
• You can use it to have calling service, add recording to it, or use it only for data delivery;
• It is available for mobile applications;
• It is capable of serving large scale of webinars, conferences, and video calls.
WebRTC is a great and highly disruptive project that includes the organization of numerous technologies and protocols. It intends to provide simple communication service in business processes. It is constantly improving and provides easy and transparent communication. If you go on to start building projects with a need of WebRTC, you can choose any browser for a specific solution. Be sure to take into consideration all technical aspects of this or that browser to find the most suitable one for your project.