PubNub vs. Ably Comparison

Why PubNub is the preferred real-time platform for Atlassian, Autodesk, DocuSign, and 2,000+ more established enterprises.

Be rewarded for your growth

PubNub has no concurrency or channel limits, so you can scale without worrying about breaking the bank.

Quickly incorporate logic on your messages without touching code on your servers

PubNub Functions are serverless and enable the creation and execution of business logic on messages at the edge of the network.

Focus on innovation not infrastructure

The PubNub Virtual Space platform enables you to accelerate your product roadmap and stay ahead of the competition

Interested in learning more about PubNub?

Fill out the form below and one of our experts will be in touch soon.

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

 AblyWhy does it matter?
Uptime guarantee 99.999%
For all customers.
Only for enterprise customers at an additional cost.
An uptime guarantee offers peace of mind for you and confidence in the service we provide.
Low Latency WAN < 20 ms
50% of PubNub’s messages have below 20ms delivery speed. Our intranet latency is below 1ms, while our WAN latency is sub 30ms.
WAN median ≈ 46 ms
Ably’s WAN median global latency is 46 ms.
Low latency provides a true real-time experience for users, which is crucial for increased engagement and adoption.
Data availability and replication Yes
PubNub starts at 45 replicas with custom options for more and replication distributed globally over 15 data centers.
However, Ably only offers 4 replicas across 2 regions and 4 AZs.
Having more data availability and replication ensures that data can always be accessed quickly by users around the globe.
Selective replication Yes
PubNub offers custom configuration options for data sovereignty and where data is replicated.
Not listed
Selective replication allows for customization to make sure your data is available where it needs to be.
Wildcard subscribes Yes
PubNub offers a subscription wildcard hierarchy to subscribe to an unlimited number of channels based on a channel dot pattern.
Wildcard Subscribe simplifies code and speeds time to launch by offering the ability to subscribe to many channels with a single name declaration.
Multiplexing Yes
PubNub offers high-volume channel subscriptions, with up to 20,000 channels for each connected user.
Multiplexing allows the transmission of a large number of messages to a large number of channels over the same connection. This is important to reduce complexity and optimize client resource consumption/usage.
Channel groups Yes
PubNub offers a server-side channel subscription control.
This allows end-users to subscribe to a channel group that controls channel subscriptions for each end-user by a Server-side API.
Compression for messages Yes
PubNub offers GZIP compression for both inbound and outbound messages.
Compressed messages require significantly less storage capacity and in turn may provide lower latency.
1:1 direct messaging Yes
Connect users directly. One-on-one.
Group messaging Yes
Pubnub also has no limit on the number of users.
Though large scale events are constrained by maximum number of users in a channel.
Connect groups. No limit on the number of users means no worries when hosting large events.
Presence indicators Yes
PubNub Presence lets you track the real-time status of millions of users on a single channel.
However, Ably’s presence is limited to the hundreds per channel.
Allows users to see when others are there, allowing for more seamless engagement.
Push notifications Yes
This feature ensures the messages users get are seen and received.
Access controls Yes
PubNub's Access Manager includes a spoof prevention feature.
Access Manager provides built-in enterprise-grade security with fine-grained access control to all applications.
User & channel metadata Yes
Our Objects feature provides easy-to-use, serverless storage for the user and channel metadata.
PubNub Objects provides serverless storage for the user and channel metadata without starting an external infrastructure.
Programmable Functions Yes
PubNub can be used to transform messages in transit to provide real-time language translation or profanity filtering.
Ably supports “Reactor Events” that can trigger business logic on 3rd party systems like Amazon lambda only AFTER a message has been published and sent to all subscribers.
Programmable functions enable you to write code or leverage existing integrations to address your business needs, whether it's transforming, re-routing, augmenting, filtering, and even aggregating data for subsequent use. PubNub Functions are also serverless.
Webhooks Yes
Webhooks allow for the publishing of messages on the client-server over HTTP to trigger events.
Chat UI Components Yes
Our chat UI components help you easily build the in-app features you want and get to market faster.
Dynamic user state Yes
Users can set flexible, dynamic user states. State changes generate state-change events.
Dynamic user state allows for real-time updates and support needs such as leaderboards etc.
Typing indicators Yes
You can use Signals API to send typing on/off events.
You can enable typing indicators using Ably’s standard APIs but each typing indicator signal costs the same as a message, which is very costly.
This is crucial to providing an engaging chat experience and is built-in to your Chat UI components; implemented in the most cost-effective way.
Delivery and read receipts Yes
This function gives end users the assurance that their messages are being delivered and read.
Unread message counts Yes
Users can add logic to store the last timestamp of messages read locally, or using objects in each channel.
Not listed
This allows end-users to easily navigate their messages and catch up with their conversations since their last interaction.
Pre-delivery message filtering Yes
Clients can select messages to filter out on the server. Customers only pay for delivered messages.
However customers are charged for each filtered message.
Stream filtering reads input, filters, and passes it on. This can help to reduce overall transaction costs.
Message updates and deletes Yes
Users can update messages (or delete them) by passing another version of the message, using the message actions feature. Users can 'hard' delete although 'soft' delete is recommended.
File and image sharing Yes
File sharing adds new functionality to your chat application, allowing users to share files like images, records, documents, etc.
Message reactions Yes
PubNub offers message reactions through our first-class native API.
With Ably, you have to design it yourself using the standard APIs.
Allows users to share custom reactions to other posts, allowing for a more dynamic experience for the end-user.
Real-time Translation Yes
via PubNub functions.
Reactor events are only offered after a message has been published.
Real-time translations help to break down language barriers and create a more global conversation.
Giphy Yes
Supported via a pre-built function that integrated with Giphy APIs.
With PubNub’s Giphy integration, you can integrate the world’s largest GIF library, customize a suite of powerful features, and boost engagement with just a few lines of code.
Profanity filters Yes
The profanity filter function allows you to customize dictionaries and control message behavior on profanity detection.
Ably has integration with Neutrino, or you can custom build your own.
By implementing a filter for your chat, you are taking precautionary actions against offensive words and behaviors before they reach your audience.
Image moderation Yes
We have integrations with third-party vendors such as SightEngine and you can use any vendor of your choice.
Not listed
SightEngine’s image moderation allows developers to moderate and filter user-generated photos for adult content, validation, and phototype - Ideal for chat apps, forums, social media aggregators, and more.
Moderation Dashboards Yes
via our open source Moderation Dashboard.
Not listed
Moderation dashboard allows for moderation in realtime, to keep your chats clean and safe for all ages.
Mute/Block users Yes
The access manager feature allows you to manage permissions to mute or ban users on individual channels.
Not listed
This enables you to manage access controls for individual users, so they can be muted or blocked on specific channels.
Ban users Yes
Ban users
This function enables you to manage access controls for individual users. It’s important to be able to ban users if they are sharing inappropriate content or violating other terms of use.
Flagging users Yes
This is easily done through our open-source Moderation Dashboard.
A mechanism where users can report offensive content directly from their real-time applications. Moderators can then fetch these flagged messages from storage and delete or take appropriate action against the user who sent the messages.
Message history (persisted data) Yes
Allow persisting messages forever.
Allow persisting messages up to 72 hours.
Data persistence is important because of its non-volatility, reliability, stability, and time-independent features.
Operational dashboards Yes
Not listed
Ability to monitor your app in realtime for any potential issues.
Support Team 24/7 support team
Physically located in four time zones and backed by 10 years of experience.
UK business hours
24/7 support for Enterprise customers only.
Support, whenever you need it. No time constraints means timely help and more seamless development.
Access to experienced Architects during launch Yes
Our experienced Architects team will work with you during launch, from designing the architecture through testing and launch.
Not listed
A team dedicated to you from inception through launch.