Cell towers but for software.
PixelTwenty WebSocket Towers allows logically separated software processes – apps, multiplayer games, IOT devices, and so on – to find and communicate with each other.


Worldwide Coverage


Towers exist in Newark, Dallas, London, Mumbai, and Tokyo. Data is shared and networked across all the towers worldwide. While users can connect to the tower closest them for reliability, anyone using the same channel worldwide will receive the app (your app) channel data.


Terms


The service is provided for free. It has some data restrictions to help prevent abuse while still accommodating the primary purpose of the towers - discovery and low bandwidth data transfer. Breaching the restrictions results in a 10 minute blacklisting. A blacklisted IP address will not be able to reconnect to the tower during that time. For testing purposes, an isolated sandbox (not connected to other towers) is provided. It does not blacklist when an infraction occurs but may close the connection. Following are the restrictions:

  • Max WebSocket connections per IP address: 10
  • Max bytes per minute sent per IP address: 10000
  • Max participants per channel per tower: 100 (enforced but not blacklisted)
  • Max channel name length: 100
  • Max bytes per message: 1000


Using The Towers


Connect to PixelTwenty WebSocket towers using WebSocket client software of your choice. A simple JavaScript example is given here in the form of a small chat app and demonstrates usage well and without additional complexity. The code can be viewed on that page. PixelTwenty Encrypted Chat also utilizes WebSocket Towers. The WebSocket connection is opened using the following format:

wss://[tower IP address]/towers?channel=[channel name]
wss://tower-newark-1.pixeltwenty.com/towers?channel=abcxyz for example

Testing has shown that WebSocket clients can close the connection if data is not sent periodically. The sample chat app demonstrates sending empty messages every 50 seconds to prevent this.

Your channel name is as unique as you want to make it, up to 100 characters long. Anyone who knows your channel name can connect and share data on that channel.

Two towers exist in each worldwide location. These should be accessed by the client in failover fashion. If a connection cannot be made to one tower, say within Dallas, the other Dallas tower should be attempted and used. Failover can also be made to other towers worldwide, of course, not just the closest one. The tower IP addresses are as follows:

tower-newark-1.pixeltwenty.comtower-newark-2.pixeltwenty.com
tower-dallas-1.pixeltwenty.comtower-dallas-2.pixeltwenty.com
tower-london-1.pixeltwenty.comtower-london-2.pixeltwenty.com
tower-mumbai-1.pixeltwenty.com  tower-mumbai-2.pixeltwenty.com
tower-tokyo-1.pixeltwenty.comtower-tokyo-2.pixeltwenty.com

The sandbox address is tower-newark-sandbox.pixeltwenty.com

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