RabbitMQ vs MQTT – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons)

RabbitMQ vs MQTT – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons). Message brokers have simplified communication. Applications can send messages more efficiently with their integration. The two most popular and reliable messaging software are RabbitMQ and MQTT.

It is essential to understand what each of these brokers do and how they benefit the applications. In this comprehensive RabbitMQ vs MQTT guide, we have outlined the basic functions of these brokers. We have also highlighted the key features, differences and similarities of RabbitMQ and MQTT.

First of all RabbitMQ is the most widely deployed and increasingly popular open source messaging server. Also referred to as a message broker or queue manager. On the other hand we have MQTT a messaging technology created to support the Internet of Things (IoT) oriented devices.

In this comprehensive RabbitMQ vs MQTT guide, we have outlined the key features, differences and similarities of RabbitMQ and MQTT.

Let’s start with RabbitMQ vs MQTT – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons)

What is RabbitMQ?

First of all RabbitMQ is a common message server that is based on Erlang and was initially created to support Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) 0.9.1. However, now it has been modified to support other protocols, such as Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) 3.1.1, Streaming Text Oriented Messaging Protocol (STOMP), etc.

The best aspect of RabbitMQ is that it can easily be deployed in the cloud and runs on many different operating systems. Additionally RabbitMQ also provides a wide range of developer tools for common languages.

In Layman’s terms, RabbitMQ is a messaging software comprising queues to which applications connect to transfer messages. Also it gives the applications with a common platform to send or receive messages.

Altogether RabbitMQ is used by both small scale and large enterprises such as T-Mobile and Runtastic. Rabbit Technologies Ltd initially created RabbitMQ in 2007, but now it is being developed by Pivotal Software since 2013.

Now that we have learned about RabbitMQ. Let’s move forward and learn the exceptional features of rabbit.

Features of RabbitMQ

Some of the top notch features of RabbitMQ are:

  • Offers asynchronous messaging by supporting multiple messaging protocols. 
  • Additionally supports message queuing, delivery acknowledgment and multiple exchange types.
  • With RabbitMQ clients can apply all popular languages such as Java, .NET, PHP, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, Go.
  • You can deploy several RabbitMQ servers as clusters on a local network to form a single logical broker for high availability.
  • Moreover RabbitMQ supports TLS and LDAP and offers pluggable authentication.
  • Well it is easy to use and deploy in private and public clouds.
  • What is more it offers a Federation model for servers that are unreliable and loosely connected.
  • Supports replicated queues and ensures the safety of messages in the case of hardware failure.
  • Another feature of RabbitMQ is the shipping with easy to use management UI that provides you complete control over your message broker.
  • Also ships with various plugins that allow you to extend RabbitMQ functionality.
  • Deploy it with Kubernetes, BOSH, Chef, Docker and Puppet.
  • Gives multiple options to customize security for authorization as per the application requirements.
  • Provides UI and HTTP API to monitor RabbitMQ.

While RabbitMQ has unlimited features, it also has certain pros and cons.

Pros of RabbitMQ

Some of the pros of RabbitMQ are:

  • Multi language Support

The best aspect of RabbitMQ is that it provides client APIs and support for popular languages such as Java, Python, and Ruby,. NET, PHP, Go, etc.

  • Lightweight

RabbitMQ is extremely lightweight as it uses minimal ram and can be easily deployed on public and private cloud.

  • Good Connectivity

More with RabbitMQ is that it supports different messaging protocols like AMQP, MQTT, etc.

  • Cluster Broker

Basically RabbitMQ is highly flexible as it can be deployed as clusters to ensure high availability and scalability in federated configurations.

  • Popularity

Many companies like T-Mobile, Reddit, Accenture, Stack, Alibaba Travels, etc. use RabbitMQ as a part of their Microservices Architecture

Cons of RabbitMQ

Some of the cons of RabbitMQ are:

  • Dashboard in RabbitMQ is not user friendly and is a bit complex.
  • Pretty slow at processing large datasets.
  • Limited number of brokers and premium integration services.
  • No SSL/TSL support.
  • Offers poor documentation as it does not explain how to use the features mentioned above.
  • Basically RabbitMQ is a bit tricky to maintain and it’s clusters fail for high traffic environments.

What is MQTT?

MQ Telemetry Support or MQTT is a lightweight publish subscribe communication protocol explicitly developed for IoT based devices. Mainly designed to connect with remote devices that have limited network bandwidth or are costly. What is more it allows a simple flow of data between devices.

An example of MQTT is Facebook which uses it in its mobile apps. Nowadays, MQTT is used in many industries including automotive, logistics, manufacturing, telecommunications, oil and gas.

For example MQTT’s application dates back to 1999, when IBM created a protocol to ensure minimal battery loss and use less bandwidth to connect with oil pipelines via satellites.

Now that we have learned what is MQTT, next let’s proceed to learn about its exceptional features.

Features of MQTT

I prepared some of the top features of MQTT below:

  • Most importantly it is lightweight and effective messaging protocol that uses a pub sub system to transfer data.
  • Provides efficient data transmission, such as in the case of WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.
  • Users can subscribe to particular topics and receive data they want to receive via MQTT.
  • Additionally MQTT distributes data more effectively and increases scalability.
  • Substantially lowers network bandwidth consumption. Interestingly MQTT does not require that both the user and the server create a connection simultaneously.
  • MQTT offers Bi Directional communication by allowing the cloud and device to send and receive the messages.
  • Cost effective as it minimizes update cost and maximizes available bandwidth.
  • Secured with permission based security.
  • Stores development time and assembles more information with less bandwidth compared to polling protocols.
  • Helps IoT devices communicate with each other.
  • Many companies such as Facebook and Amazon use MQTT.

In addition to various features, MQTT also has certain pros and cons.

Pros of MQTT

Some of the pros of MQTT are:

  • Bi-Directional Communication

The best feature of MQTT is that it offers Bi-Directional communication, i.e., it allows messaging to and from the cloud to the device.

  • Scalability

Indeed the MQTT is highly scalable as it can connect to millions of IoT devices.

  • Reliability

Furthermore MQTT offers reliable message delivery. For that, it has defined three quality of service levels that are:

  • QoS 0 level – at most once: implemented when data loss is acceptable. Suitable for smart home projects.
  • QoS 1 level – at least once: It is implemented to ensure the message is received by the consumers.
  • QoS 2 level – exactly once: Implemented in critical scenarios that require delivery of messages.
  • Security

Here the MQTT allows message encryption using TLS. Hence it authenticates clients using modern authentication protocols, e.g., OAuth.

  • Battery-Friendly

MQTT is a battery friendly protocol as it uses minimal battery consumption. Even more, developed by IBM for use in harsh conditions such as the desert.

Cons of MQTT

Some of the cons of MQTT are:

  • Some issues reported with speed and latency as it lags in some operations.
  • Not well equipped with additional security.
  • Low powered devices may not be able to run MQTT.

Now that we have learned about RabbitMQ and MQTT’s key features, pros and cons, it is time to find out their similarities and then differences.

So RabbitMQ vs MQTT – What’s the Difference? 

RabbitMQ vs MQTT Comparison and Key Differences

Foremost RabbitMQ and MQTT are top notch messaging protocols known for their excellent features. After analysing their differences, developers can identify which protocol benefits them. We have provided you in depth analysis of RabbitMQ and MQTT.


Purpose of RabbitMQ is to be a general messaging protocol that is used for peer to peer data transfer. Generally you can use it for all types of messaging scenarios that have been developed over the past 25 years.

If you have a high powered device, then RabbitMQ is sufficient for you. On the other hand MQTT is a publish/subscribe based messaging technology designed for IoT based devices.

If you have a low powered device with constrained bandwidth, then MQTT is sufficient for you.

Message Routing

Routing of messages in RabbitMQ supports it’s powerful messaging routing. What is more there is flexibility in sending the messages to different servers. This is essential when we need to have more dynamic message flows. Contrarily MQTT does not support complex message routing. Why? because it only relies on the traditional message flow to a specific server.


Next the efficiency in RabbitMQ is not wire efficient and requires more effort to implement on a client. The messages do not easily publish in case of RabbitMQ. The first step is to create a link. The next step is to enable flow to send messages.

But on the other hand with MQTT is wire efficient and requires fewer efforts to execute on a client. In nutshell it does not require complex steps to send messages.

Message Support

Message queues are well supported with RabbitMQ and pub sub technology. Hence perfect for long lived messages. Otherwise is MQTT which does not support message queues. Presently it only supports pub sub technology. Particularly useful in situations where messages are short lived with MQTT..


Here the security with RabbitMQ offers a high profile security via the latest SASL mechanisms such as GS2 and SCRAM-SHA. Also supports proxy security servers and allows users to select the security they desire.

There is less efficiency of  security with MQTT. This tool allows short usernames and passwords only. We need to equip MQTT with additional security measures to secure it.

Multiple Messaging

Overall with RabbitMQ it supports multiple message namespaces. Each of the namespace supports multiple ways of finding messages. Though MQTT does not support multiple message namespaces. Only has one message namespace and all of the messages go into it.

LVQ Support

Lastly RabbitMQ does not support Last Value Queues (LVQs) out of the box. Clients cannot skip the previous messages. But MQTT supports LVQs that allow users to get the latest updates. They can skip the previous messages and receive the latest ones.

Thank you for reading RabbitMQ vs MQTT – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons) till the end. It is time to conclude which one of them is better.

RabbitMQ vs MQTT: What’s the Difference? Conclusion

We have conducted an in depth analysis of the two protocols, RabbitMQ and MQTT. We see that RabbitMQ is better in overall performance. If you are looking to design a general purpose messaging program, then RabbitMQ will be optimal.

Lastly RabbitMQ has additional security, offers complex routing, and supports multiple messaging techniques. Undoubtedly MQTT needs to improve its message routing support and security. Since cyber crime has increased, MQTT needs to work on introducing advanced security measures.

However, if you want to create IoT based application, then MQTT is a better choice. It also consumes less battery and minimal bandwidth.

Avatar for Farhan Yousuf
Farhan Yousuf

I am a content writer with more than five years of experience in the field. I have written for a variety of industries, and I am highly interested in learning new things. I have a knack for writing engaging copy that captures the reader's attention. In my spare time, I like to read and travel.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x