I've been checking out some of the latest multiplayer engines in HTML all supporting multi-user games (Very nice) - I believe all these engines use Web Sockets for communication.

That’s why we’ve decided to disable support for WebSocket in Firefox 4, starting with beta 8 due to a protocol-level security issue. Beta 7 of Firefox has support for the -76 version of the protocol, the same version that’s included with Chrome and Safari. Beta 8 of Firefox 4 will remove that support. Anne van Kesteren of Opera also announced that Opera are dropping Websocket support. We are confident that other browser developers will follow.

Source: Websockets Disabled in FireFox 4

I've just come accross the above, so no sockets in Firefox 4 or Opera.... thats big. Is anyone aware of an alternate or is it Chrome or do we need to just sit and wait for the next release of the major browsers.

More info : Rocket Engine appears to work with all browsers including IE8 (http://rocketpack.fi/engine/) what will it be using as a method of communication?

  • It may also happen that the security issue will be resolved and WebSockets will be back in FireFox. They are not disabled forever, they are disabled until they are made secure.
    – StasM
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 16:23
  • 2
    WebSockets are enabled again now Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 15:11

3 Answers 3


Yes, there are alternatives:

  • Adobe Flash Socket
  • AJAX long polling
  • AJAX multipart streaming
  • Forever Iframe
  • JSONP Polling

Take a look at socket.io which handles these automatically depending on what is available.


You can always use Flash Sockets though the native Web Socket implementation will be faster with less hassle.

As it stands, without Flash there is no decent substitute. Many libraries that wrap many different transport modes under one "hood" but nothing that performs the same.

  • Does Silverlight have something similar? Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 22:02
  • @Robert: I have not used Silverlight so I can't answer that. I would assume they have some equivalent ability to equate with Flash.
    – Josh K
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 22:14
  • @Robert You can use HTTP Duplex polling in silverlight.
    – LiamB
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 8:40
  • Does the Flash Sockets have a solution for port blocked and not. Let say that only port 80 is open... can it share this port with Apache? Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 2:57
  • @Daok: Sure, if you do some sort of reverse proxying on the server side.
    – Josh K
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 4:25

There's still orbited sockets.

Simply put, Orbited allows you to communicate in real-time with your visitors. Using streaming networking for JavaScript... Orbited allows you to write real-time web applications...

Orbited bridges TCP streams to your browser. Thus, you can connect your clients to any TCP/IP service (IRC servers, custom applications, STOMP daemons such as RabbitMQ and ActiveMQ). Orbited uses js.io to hande protocols such as IRC and STOMP...


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