This is an experimental technology
Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for usage in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the specification changes.

The RTCDataChannel interface represents a network channel which can be used for bidirectional peer-to-peer transfers of arbitrary data. Every data channel is associated with an RTCPeerConnection, and each peer connection can have up to a theoretical maximum of 65,534 data channels (the actual limit may vary from browser to browser).

To create a data channel and ask a remote peer to join you, call the RTCPeerConnection's createDataChannel() method. The peer being invited to exchange data receives a datachannel event (which has type RTCDataChannelEvent) to let it know the data channel has been added to the connection.

Properties

Also inherits properties from: EventTarget

binaryType
The property binaryType on the RTCDataChannel interface is a DOMString which specifies the type of JavaScript object which should be used to represent binary data received on the RTCDataChannel. Values allowed by the WebSocket.binaryType property are also permitted here: "blob" if Blob objects are being used or "arraybuffer" if ArrayBuffer objects are being used. The default is "blob".
bufferedAmount Read only
The read-only RTCDataChannel property bufferedAmount returns the number of bytes of data currently queued to be sent over the data channel.
bufferedAmountLowThreshold
The RTCDataChannel property bufferedAmountLowThreshold is used to specify the number of bytes of buffered outgoing data that is considered "low." The default value is 0 (meaning no bufferedamountlow events are sent).
id Read only
The read-only RTCDataChannel property id returns an ID number (between 0 and 65,534) which uniquely identifies the RTCDataChannel.
label Read only
The read-only RTCDataChannel property label returns a DOMString containing a name describing the data channel. These labels are not required to be unique.
maxPacketLifeTime Read only
The read-only RTCDataChannel property maxPacketLifeTime returns the amount of time, in milliseconds, the browser is allowed to take to attempt to transmit a message, as set when the data channel was created, or null.
maxRetransmits Read only
The read-only RTCDataChannel property maxRetransmits returns the maximum number of times the browser should try to transmit a message before giving up when in unordered mode, as set when the data channel was created, or null, which indicates that there is no maximum.
negotiated Read only
The read-only RTCDataChannel property negotiated indicates whether the RTCDataChannel's connection was negotiated by the Web app (true) or by the WebRTC layer (false). The default is false.
ordered Read only
The read-only RTCDataChannel property ordered indicates whether or not the data channel guarantees in-order delivery of messages; the default is true, which indicates that the data channel is indeed ordered.
protocol Read only
The read-only RTCDataChannel property protocol returns a DOMString containing the name of the subprotocol in use. If no protocol was specified when the data channel was created, then this property's value is "" (the empty string).
readyState Read only
The read-only RTCDataChannel property readyState returns an enum of type RTCDataChannelState which indicates the state of the data channel's underlying data connection.
reliable Read only
The read-only RTCDataChannel property reliable indicates whether or not the data channel is reliable.
stream Read only
The deprecated (and never part of the official specification) read-only RTCDataChannel property stream returns an ID number (between 0 and 65,535) which uniquely identifies the RTCDataChannel.

Event handlers

Also inherits event handlers from: EventTarget

onbufferedamountlow
The RTCDataChannel.onbufferedamountlow property is an EventHandler which specifies a function the browser calls when the bufferedamountlow event is sent to the RTCDataChannel. This event, which is represented by a simple Event object, is sent when the amount of data buffered to be sent falls to or below the threshold specified by the channel's bufferedAmountLowThreshold.
onclose
The RTCDataChannel.onclose property is an EventHandler which specifies a function to be called by the browser when the close event is received by the RTCDataChannel. This is a simple Event which indicates that the data channel has closed down.
onerror
The RTCDataChannel.onerror property is an EventHandler which specifies a function to be called when the error event is received. When an error occurs on the data channel, the function receives as input an ErrorEvent object describing the error which occurred.
onmessage
The RTCDataChannel.ommessage property stores an EventHandler which specifies a function to be called when the message event is fired on the channel. This event is represented by the MessageEvent interface. This event is sent to the channel when a message is received from the other peer.
onopen
The RTCDataChannel.onopen property is an EventHandler which specifies a function to be called when the open event is fired; this is a simple Event which is sent when the data channel's underlying data transport—the link over which the RTCDataChannel's messages flow—is established or re-established.

Methods

Also inherits methods from: EventTarget

close()
The RTCDataChannel.close() method closes the RTCDataChannel. Either peer is permitted to call this method to initiate closure of the channel.
send()
The send() method of the RTCDataChannel interface sends data across the data channel to the remote peer.

Example

var pc = new RTCPeerConnection();
var dc = pc.createDataChannel("my channel");

dc.onmessage = function (event) {
  console.log("received: " + event.data);
};

dc.onopen = function () {
  console.log("datachannel open");
};

dc.onclose = function () {
  console.log("datachannel close");
};

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WebRTC 1.0: Real-time Communication Between Browser
The definition of 'RTCDataChannel' in that specification.
Working Draft Initial specification.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) 22 (22) [1] No support (Yes) ?
onbufferedamountlow No support No support No support 33 No support
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile Chrome for Android
Basic support No support 28 [2] 22.0 (22) [1] No support No support No support (Yes)
onbufferedamountlow No support No support No support ? ? ? No support

[1] The interface is called DataChannel and not RTCDataChannel in Firefox. However, a binding has been in place since Firefox 24 so that either name will work.

[2] WebRTC, including RTCDataChannel, was introduced in Chrome 28 for Android behind a flag, and enabled by default starting in Chrome 29 for Android.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: Sheppy, jpmedley, vonagam, bemasc, kscarfone, teoli, m0ppers, tOkeshu
 Last updated by: Sheppy,