MQTT and HTTP : Comparison between two IoT Protocols

MQTT and HTTP - difference between two communication protocols


Approaching the IoT world, one can be wondered on how many protocols we can use to communicate IoT devices.

There are many protocols such as  AMQP, CoAP, MQTT and the omnipresence HTTP.

Trying to stay in the practical world, we can shortly compare two of them:  MQTT and HTTP

MQTT protocol is designed as a machine-to-machine (M2M) & IoT connectivity protocol.


MQTT stands for Message Queuing Telemetry Transport.


This protocol is thus light-weight that it is often supported by some of the littlest measure and monitoring devices, and it can transmit information over way reaching sometimes intermittent networks.  simple MQTT protocol architecture (broker based) for more read here


RelatedIntroducing MQTT for beginners- Connectivity protocol for M2M and IoT


HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol; most of us know about this, HTTP connection between client (web user) and the web server.

It is the common used protocol for the Internet, can be the most used for IoT devices that need to publish a lot of data. It uses normal IP header for routing of packets and data are not encrypted before transmission.

Details on HTTP visit here

Comparison between MQTT and HTTP protocols

Full formMessage Queue Telemetry TransportHyper Text Transfer Protocol
ArchitectureIt has publish/subscribe architecture. Here devices can publish any topics and can also subscribe for any topics for any updates.It has request/response means Client/Server architecture.
Upper layer protocolIt runs over TCP.It runs over TCP and UDP.
message sizesmall, .Large,
Message format binary with 2Byte headerASCII format.
Data distribution1 to 0/1/None to one only , more POST
Data securityYes, It uses SSL/TLS for security NO, hence HTTPS is used to provide data security
ComplexitySimpleClient more complex (ASCII parser)
EncryptionIt encrypts payload i.e. it is payload agnosticdata are not encrypted before transmission
When to use if your project is to let the fridge to communicate with the thermometer to adapt the engine pump, you can use the MQTT easilyif you need to collect big data from around the world, then you can think to use HTTP


See alsoMQTT and CoAP: IoT Developers dilemma


MQTT Protocol is easy of use. If your project is to let the fridge to communicate with the thermometer to adapt the engine pump, you can use the MQTT easily, if you need to collect Big data i.e large amount of data from around the world, then you should think to use the HTTP protocol.

HTTP is worthy and extendable.  But MQTT is more suitable when it is referred to as IoT development.


See alsoIoT Weather Station Using Node-Red as MQTT Broker


Let us know what you think about MQTT and HTTP and their difference in the comment section below.


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