WebRTC is an exceptional framework for enabling real-time interactions between users. Although it may appear simple—needing just a web browser and a stable internet connection—the backend architecture involves intricate signaling servers that developers must configure for seamless peer-to-peer data transfer.
WebRTC, despite being peer-to-peer at its core, can't function without some server intervention. This is where a method known as "signaling" comes into play, enabling devices to locate and negotiate with each other.
WebRTC's API doesn't offer signaling functionality natively. Therefore, it falls on developers to set up an architecture that helps WebRTC navigate the intricacies of real-time communication.
For effective real-time interaction, devices need to connect through a server that both parties agree upon. Here, STUN (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT) and TURN (Traversal Using Relays around NAT) servers come to the rescue during the signaling phase, albeit for distinct purposes.
STUN servers primarily help in revealing the IP addresses of the participants. Known for their efficiency and minimal resource usage, they are commonly employed by WebRTC applications. They play a role only in the initial setup phase, helping to discover and exchange the external host and port information. Once this is done, data gets transferred directly between the peers. However, STUN servers might get blocked by firewalls, which is when TURN servers take the stage.
In environments with restrictive firewalls or closed corporate networks, TURN servers act as intermediaries to facilitate communication. Unlike STUN, a TURN server remains active in the media transfer even after the initial setup.
Using TURN servers can introduce some latency into video calls and potentially hike up IT operational costs. The greater the data flow through your TURN server, the more robust your infrastructure needs to be.
Do you want to know more? Read our article STUN and TURN servers in WebRTC
Harnessing STUN and TURN through Digital Samba
Grasping STUN and TURN is crucial for understanding the complex networking backdrop that supports real-time communication. For those looking to integrate these protocols into their digital offerings, Digital Samba stands out as a dependable choice.
Compliant with GDPR and hosted within the EU, Digital Samba not only offers end-to-end encryption but also enables effortless integration through its flexible API and SDK. Whether you aim for simple peer-to-peer interactions or large-scale global conferencing, Digital Samba’s technology delivers smooth and secure communications.
Our compliance and data protection standards are aligned with stringent GDPR regulations, guaranteeing robust data privacy and security. By utilizing Digital Samba, you navigate the maze of real-time communication protocols while adhering to compliance and data security standards, all while providing a superior user experience.