How to choose Top 5 Best Twilio Alternatives communication APIs?

Brick and mortar businesses have moved online to be relevant and easily accessible to their target audience. Brand building, purchase, pre-sales, and post-sale support are made available online and communication is virtual. Communication API is the most preferred technology for businesses to communicate virtually amongst themselves and with their audience.  Twilio alternatives has been top in virtual communication since 2008, but now there are several  best Twilio alternatives.


Why should you choose Twilio alternatives

Twilio has been in the market since the beginning of virtual communications and has captured a vast portion of the market. The yearly revenue of Twilio exceeds $1.4 billion. But several  best Twilio alternatives have come into the market with equally good features. Also, Twilio has limitations concerning regions for data exchange. This opens the prospects to explore other Twilio alternatives that fulfill the requirements of the business.

World's Top Most 5 alternatives of Twilio APIs & SDKs

1.Vonage Voice API

Vonage works on UCaaS and CPaaS to offer the best communication service. This is not available in the Twilio SDK. Vonage, a Twilio chat alternative, boasts a user base of over 7 billion across the globe. It offers communication APIs that integrate calls, SMS, MMS, videos, and social chat applications.

Vonage vs Twilio

Vonage utilizes adaptive routing that routes messages to be delivered at a lightning-fast pace to user devices. Also, Vonage uses the carrier’s network directly whereas Twilio uses an SMS gateway that delays the delivery process. Vonage is one of the best Twilio alternatives.

When to opt for Vonage?

Businesses that operate in the EU region, UK, Germany, and Sweden can utilize Vonage as it complies with the data regulation policy of the EU. Twilio WebRTC is yet to comply with the norms of the EU region.

Advantages

  • High-end video API
  • The web-based console integrates administrative functions into management reports
  • Utilization of adaptive routing
  • Utilization of carrier network for SMS delivery for quick delivery
  • Integration of social chat applications

Disadvantages

  • Advanced features are not a part of the package and have to be purchased additionally.
  • No video conference option.

2. Plivo Programmable Chat API

Plivo is used to program customer SMS and calls using API. It has connectivity in over 195 countries and has networked with over 1,600 operators globally. Plivo offers recording, conference calls, and multi-language support for text-to-speech. Pricing is based on the API used which proves to be cost-effective.

Plivo vs Twilio

livo offers an SMS feature that can capacitate more than 160 characters. If the user types the longer message, it is split into two messages while sending, but the receiver receives it as one message. The maximum SMS limit is 1600 characters in Twilio WebRTC and Plivo, but Plivo has a free call recording and storage feature.

When to opt for Plivo?

Financial organizations benefit the most from Plivo’s browser-based call SDK when compared to Twilio WebRTC.

Advantages

  • Users can connect to 65 countries across the globe
  • 40 group messages can be sent in one second
  • The message limit is 16,000 characters
  • Three-way calling facility

Disadvantages

  • Text-to-speech feature is available only in 16 languages when compared to 25 in Twilio alternatives programmable voice
  • Only premium users have access to call-in systems

3. Sinch Rest API

Since supports REST API to integrate message and calling features in Android and iOS applications. It has a clean UI and can be set up quickly. Over 25 billion transactions are executed through Sinch in one year.

Sinch vs Twilio

The SDK solution offered by Sinch is comprehensive and is easy to use. It is one of the best Twilio alternatives chat alternatives as it is cost-effective when compared to Twilio.

When to opt for Sinch?

Sinch works well for automobile industries when compared to Twilio programmable voice iOS SDK. It can be used to embed communication into buses, cars, trucks, and other vehicles.

Advantages

  • Call verification and message verification is done through API
  • Comprehensive SDK solution
  • Offers Android, iOS and Javascript SDK
  • Free SMS up to 25,000 users/mo

Disadvantages

  • No call recording
  • No toll-free number
  • No live calling facility

4. Telnyx Real-time Communication API

Unlike Twilio programmable voice iOS SDK, Telnyx connects the user with the carrier without any aggregator platform. It also provides high call quality since it has a private network which reduces telecom markups .Twilio alternative programmable voice takes time on-call switchover when compared to Telnyx. Telnyx has FastPort service that enables faster call switchover making it better than Twilio SDK.

Telnyx vs Twilio

Telnyx enables call automation for its users and integrates voice workflows. This feature can be used to create new communication channels. Twilio WebRTC does not have this call control feature. Also, Telnyx provides free inbound SMS that provides real-time audio.

When to opt for Telnyx?

Companies that require real-time data on customer communications can choose Telnyx. It can record voice data and enhance audio that makes it easy to track calls and use for future reference. Telnyx’s enhanced audio feature is better than Twilio SDK react native as it makes it the better choice.

Advantages

  • Call automation
  • Enhanced audio
  • Call control
  • Real-time audio processing
  • Easy migration
  • 24/7 customer support available

Disadvantages

  • No call routing
  • No contact management
  • No direct inward dialing (DID)
  • Phone number porting to other platforms is chargeable

5. CONTUS MirrorFly Voice, Chat & Video API

CONTUS MirrorFly offers a 100% customizable solution with an interactive front-end user interface and a strong back-end system. It also has the full source code SDK that is provided to its users which in turn can be hosted onto the users’ servers. When you compare MirrorFly vs Twilio, Mirrorfly is the best Twilio alternative as MirrorFly’s WebRTC API can be integrated into web pages of the users for audio and video chat.

 

MirrorFly vs Twilio

MirrorFly is made available to the user after a one-time payment whereas Twilio is a monthly subscription facility. Unlimited audio and video communication can be done using MirrorFly after purchase as the WebRTC API is integrated into the web pages of the user with lifetime validity. WebRTC and VoIP protocols are used for audio and video call transmission that is faster and more effective.

When to opt for MirrorFly?

MirrorFly is a real-time chat solution that offers more than 150 chat features. It has end-to-end encryption for data security, several UI designs to choose from, and hosting on the cloud. Twilio SDK react native cannot be hosted on the cloud. MirrorFly can be integrated into any chat application that is on Android, iOS or web. Any industry can use CONTUS MirrorFly for virtual communication with their clients.

Advantages

  • Call monitoring
  • Call management
  • Cross-platform messaging
  • Integration into other applications
  • Push notifications
  • Broadcasting message
  • Real-time messaging
  • Audio and video call
  • Video conference
  • Live broadcasting
  • Elastic SIP trunking

Disadvantages

  • Updates can be installed only with a fast internet connection
  • No free trial

Final thoughts

Twilio has been a market leader in the virtual communication space for the longest time. But, it does not have certain features or reach in certain geographical areas making other alternatives a viable option. Twilio charges for inbound SMS to its users making it difficult for startups and small businesses to shell out money for every SMS they receive.

The best alternatives for Twilio detailed above have all the features that a business needs and more – free incoming SMS, live customer support, direct connection with network carriers for the lightning-fast delivery of SMS, MMS, video, audio, calls. Twilio does not offer customer support in its trial version which means the user is left on his own to figure out any issues that he faces.

The Twilio alternatives listed above are cost-effective when compared to Twilio regarding customer support and services. Any business that wants to sustain and grow fast has to provide the best customer support that they can to their existing customers and prospective customers. Choose the virtual communication solution that suits the needs of your business and that can integrate with your existing applications and web API to offer the best customer experience for your audience.

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How to choose Top 5 Best Twilio Alternatives communication APIs?

Top 10 API Security Threats Every API Team Should Know

As more and more data is exposed via APIs either as API-first companies or for the explosion of single page apps/JAMStack, API security can no longer be an afterthought. The hard part about APIs is that it provides direct access to large amounts of data while bypassing browser precautions. Instead of worrying about SQL injection and XSS issues, you should be concerned about the bad actor who was able to paginate through all your customer records and their data.

Typical prevention mechanisms like Captchas and browser fingerprinting won’t work since APIs by design need to handle a very large number of API accesses even by a single customer. So where do you start? The first thing is to put yourself in the shoes of a hacker and then instrument your APIs to detect and block common attacks along with unknown unknowns for zero-day exploits. Some of these are on the OWASP Security API list, but not all.

Insecure pagination and resource limits

Most APIs provide access to resources that are lists of entities such as /users or /widgets. A client such as a browser would typically filter and paginate through this list to limit the number items returned to a client like so:

First Call: GET /items?skip=0&take=10 
Second Call: GET /items?skip=10&take=10

However, if that entity has any PII or other information, then a hacker could scrape that endpoint to get a dump of all entities in your database. This could be most dangerous if those entities accidently exposed PII or other sensitive information, but could also be dangerous in providing competitors or others with adoption and usage stats for your business or provide scammers with a way to get large email lists. See how Venmo data was scraped

A naive protection mechanism would be to check the take count and throw an error if greater than 100 or 1000. The problem with this is two-fold:

  1. For data APIs, legitimate customers may need to fetch and sync a large number of records such as via cron jobs. Artificially small pagination limits can force your API to be very chatty decreasing overall throughput. Max limits are to ensure memory and scalability requirements are met (and prevent certain DDoS attacks), not to guarantee security.
  2. This offers zero protection to a hacker that writes a simple script that sleeps a random delay between repeated accesses.
skip = 0
while True:    response = requests.post('https://api.acmeinc.com/widgets?take=10&skip=' + skip),                      headers={'Authorization': 'Bearer' + ' ' + sys.argv[1]})    print("Fetched 10 items")    sleep(randint(100,1000))    skip += 10

How to secure against pagination attacks

To secure against pagination attacks, you should track how many items of a single resource are accessed within a certain time period for each user or API key rather than just at the request level. By tracking API resource access at the user level, you can block a user or API key once they hit a threshold such as “touched 1,000,000 items in a one hour period”. This is dependent on your API use case and can even be dependent on their subscription with you. Like a Captcha, this can slow down the speed that a hacker can exploit your API, like a Captcha if they have to create a new user account manually to create a new API key.

Insecure API key generation

Most APIs are protected by some sort of API key or JWT (JSON Web Token). This provides a natural way to track and protect your API as API security tools can detect abnormal API behavior and block access to an API key automatically. However, hackers will want to outsmart these mechanisms by generating and using a large pool of API keys from a large number of users just like a web hacker would use a large pool of IP addresses to circumvent DDoS protection.

How to secure against API key pools

The easiest way to secure against these types of attacks is by requiring a human to sign up for your service and generate API keys. Bot traffic can be prevented with things like Captcha and 2-Factor Authentication. Unless there is a legitimate business case, new users who sign up for your service should not have the ability to generate API keys programmatically. Instead, only trusted customers should have the ability to generate API keys programmatically. Go one step further and ensure any anomaly detection for abnormal behavior is done at the user and account level, not just for each API key.

Accidental key exposure

APIs are used in a way that increases the probability credentials are leaked:

  1. APIs are expected to be accessed over indefinite time periods, which increases the probability that a hacker obtains a valid API key that’s not expired. You save that API key in a server environment variable and forget about it. This is a drastic contrast to a user logging into an interactive website where the session expires after a short duration.
  2. The consumer of an API has direct access to the credentials such as when debugging via Postman or CURL. It only takes a single developer to accidently copy/pastes the CURL command containing the API key into a public forum like in GitHub Issues or Stack Overflow.
  3. API keys are usually bearer tokens without requiring any other identifying information. APIs cannot leverage things like one-time use tokens or 2-factor authentication.

If a key is exposed due to user error, one may think you as the API provider has any blame. However, security is all about reducing surface area and risk. Treat your customer data as if it’s your own and help them by adding guards that prevent accidental key exposure.

How to prevent accidental key exposure

The easiest way to prevent key exposure is by leveraging two tokens rather than one. A refresh token is stored as an environment variable and can only be used to generate short lived access tokens. Unlike the refresh token, these short lived tokens can access the resources, but are time limited such as in hours or days.

The customer will store the refresh token with other API keys. Then your SDK will generate access tokens on SDK init or when the last access token expires. If a CURL command gets pasted into a GitHub issue, then a hacker would need to use it within hours reducing the attack vector (unless it was the actual refresh token which is low probability)

Exposure to DDoS attacks

APIs open up entirely new business models where customers can access your API platform programmatically. However, this can make DDoS protection tricky. Most DDoS protection is designed to absorb and reject a large number of requests from bad actors during DDoS attacks but still need to let the good ones through. This requires fingerprinting the HTTP requests to check against what looks like bot traffic. This is much harder for API products as all traffic looks like bot traffic and is not coming from a browser where things like cookies are present.

Stopping DDoS attacks

The magical part about APIs is almost every access requires an API Key. If a request doesn’t have an API key, you can automatically reject it which is lightweight on your servers (Ensure authentication is short circuited very early before later middleware like request JSON parsing). So then how do you handle authenticated requests? The easiest is to leverage rate limit counters for each API key such as to handle X requests per minute and reject those above the threshold with a 429 HTTP response. There are a variety of algorithms to do this such as leaky bucket and fixed window counters.

Incorrect server security

APIs are no different than web servers when it comes to good server hygiene. Data can be leaked due to misconfigured SSL certificate or allowing non-HTTPS traffic. For modern applications, there is very little reason to accept non-HTTPS requests, but a customer could mistakenly issue a non HTTP request from their application or CURL exposing the API key. APIs do not have the protection of a browser so things like HSTS or redirect to HTTPS offer no protection.

How to ensure proper SSL

Test your SSL implementation over at Qualys SSL Test or similar tool. You should also block all non-HTTP requests which can be done within your load balancer. You should also remove any HTTP headers scrub any error messages that leak implementation details. If your API is used only by your own apps or can only be accessed server-side, then review Authoritative guide to Cross-Origin Resource Sharing for REST APIs

Incorrect caching headers

APIs provide access to dynamic data that’s scoped to each API key. Any caching implementation should have the ability to scope to an API key to prevent cross-pollution. Even if you don’t cache anything in your infrastructure, you could expose your customers to security holes. If a customer with a proxy server was using multiple API keys such as one for development and one for production, then they could see cross-pollinated data.

#api management #api security #api best practices #api providers #security analytics #api management policies #api access tokens #api access #api security risks #api access keys

Autumn  Blick

Autumn Blick

1602851580

54% of Developers Cite Lack of Documentation as the Top Obstacle to Consuming APIs

Recently, I worked with my team at Postman to field the 2020 State of the API survey and report. We’re insanely grateful to the folks who participated—more than 13,500 developers and other professionals took the survey, helping make this the largest and most comprehensive survey in the industry. (Seriously folks, thank you!) Curious what we learned? Here are a few insights in areas that you might find interesting:

API Reliability

Whether internal, external, or partner, APIs are perceived as reliable—more than half of respondents stated that APIs do not break, stop working, or materially change specification often enough to matter. Respondents choosing the “not often enough to matter” option here came in at 55.8% for internal APIs, 60.4% for external APIs, and 61.2% for partner APIs.

Obstacles to Producing APIs

When asked about the biggest obstacles to producing APIs, lack of time is by far the leading obstacle, with 52.3% of respondents listing it. Lack of knowledge (36.4%) and people (35.1%) were the next highest.

#api #rest-api #apis #api-first-development #api-report #api-documentation #api-reliability #hackernoon-top-story

Autumn  Blick

Autumn Blick

1601381326

Public ASX100 APIs: The Essential List

We’ve conducted some initial research into the public APIs of the ASX100 because we regularly have conversations about what others are doing with their APIs and what best practices look like. Being able to point to good local examples and explain what is happening in Australia is a key part of this conversation.

Method

The method used for this initial research was to obtain a list of the ASX100 (as of 18 September 2020). Then work through each company looking at the following:

  1. Whether the company had a public API: this was found by googling “[company name] API” and “[company name] API developer” and “[company name] developer portal”. Sometimes the company’s website was navigated or searched.
  2. Some data points about the API were noted, such as the URL of the portal/documentation and the method they used to publish the API (portal, documentation, web page).
  3. Observations were recorded that piqued the interest of the researchers (you will find these below).
  4. Other notes were made to support future research.
  5. You will find a summary of the data in the infographic below.

Data

With regards to how the APIs are shared:

#api #api-development #api-analytics #apis #api-integration #api-testing #api-security #api-gateway

Marcelle  Smith

Marcelle Smith

1598083582

What Are Good Traits That Make Great API Product Managers

As more companies realize the benefits of an API-first mindset and treating their APIs as products, there is a growing need for good API product management practices to make a company’s API strategy a reality. However, API product management is a relatively new field with little established knowledge on what is API product management and what a PM should be doing to ensure their API platform is successful.

Many of the current practices of API product management have carried over from other products and platforms like web and mobile, but API products have their own unique set of challenges due to the way they are marketed and used by customers. While it would be rare for a consumer mobile app to have detailed developer docs and a developer relations team, you’ll find these items common among API product-focused companies. A second unique challenge is that APIs are very developer-centric and many times API PMs are engineers themselves. Yet, this can cause an API or developer program to lose empathy for what their customers actually want if good processes are not in place. Just because you’re an engineer, don’t assume your customers will want the same features and use cases that you want.

This guide lays out what is API product management and some of the things you should be doing to be a good product manager.

#api #analytics #apis #product management #api best practices #api platform #api adoption #product managers #api product #api metrics

An API-First Approach For Designing Restful APIs | Hacker Noon

I’ve been working with Restful APIs for some time now and one thing that I love to do is to talk about APIs.

So, today I will show you how to build an API using the API-First approach and Design First with OpenAPI Specification.

First thing first, if you don’t know what’s an API-First approach means, it would be nice you stop reading this and check the blog post that I wrote to the Farfetchs blog where I explain everything that you need to know to start an API using API-First.

Preparing the ground

Before you get your hands dirty, let’s prepare the ground and understand the use case that will be developed.

Tools

If you desire to reproduce the examples that will be shown here, you will need some of those items below.

  • NodeJS
  • OpenAPI Specification
  • Text Editor (I’ll use VSCode)
  • Command Line

Use Case

To keep easy to understand, let’s use the Todo List App, it is a very common concept beyond the software development community.

#api #rest-api #openai #api-first-development #api-design #apis #restful-apis #restful-api