I've decided that securing my own cloud MQTT broker is not worth the struggle/too difficult for me so looking to put the money towards using a commercial one instead and wondering if anyone uses one themselves?
Ideally, looking for something that lets me have totally private topics but ideally public read only ones as well
I mean ones I can read-write to and others can read only from [/edit]
I don't know if this meets all your requirements but here's what I do. I run NR and a Mosquitto broker on my internal net(s) and block them from reaching the Internet. I also setup OpenVPN so I can get a virtual presence "inside" my system from anywhere.
Well, I'm not really an expert but the times I've looked at such things, the cost of a cloud service that would serve MQTT securely was a lot more than, lets say, running your own VPS.
I think that both Azure and AWS have MQTT compatible services Microsoft will give you some free developer services on Azure, I think that AWS is only free for 1yr. I know that IBM cloud also has MQTT but I don't know whether the free tier includes secure MQTT. I expect that Oracle cloud has something as well. Not sure about other options.
I am a stickler about keeping everything local. Cloud is just a word for someone else's computer.
Setting up the Mosquitto broker was very easy. The VPN was tricky for me because my head gets into a tornado whenever crypto is mentioned. But it was a good exercise in turning the tornado into just a gustnado so that was good in the end.
Maybe one of these:
CloudMQTT: a Swedish based company providing such services
Beebotte: a US company basically doing the same
Ah, I was trying to remember the name of Beebotte, I even have an account with them. Created in 2015.
84codes is a good call though. Be interesting to try their cloudmqtt.com service. Sadly they don't have any free accounts available right now but do have a USD5 per month service which is easier to bear than the minimum $10 pm from Beebotte though of course they have the free service for up to 1.5m msgs per month (in+out).
Having taken a quick look at 84codes FAQ, I'm actually quite impressed by their approach to things including security and privacy. Helps being in a European country I think.
I also like that for both of these services, you aren't having to wrangle with the arcane costs associated with a global Cloud provider like Azure or AWS. With extra costs for data transmission, storage as well as the base service. Makes life a lot easier.
Of course, for $5-10 per month, you could get a basic VPS - even a KVM one (required to run Docker if that's what you want) though you will have to shop around for a KVM based VPS at that price. Mosquitto requires hardly any resources to run well.
I used a free cloudmqtt.com service for a while and really liked it so moved to a paid plan. The strange thing was that I could not upgrade to a paid plan from the website as there was a "region" issue. They suggested a pain plan on Heroku, so that is what I did a few years ago. Works great.
I have also recently setup an MQTT broker from https://www.emqx.io/ on Google Cloud and this is also an option. The EMQX broker has a useful UI
I use emqx at work. Has amazing features.
I used cloudmqtt on the free 'Cute Cat' plan, and have it now as a backup service in case my self hosted Mosquitto server lets me down.
I found it extremely reliable, and the free tier is very generous as the only cap is;
- 5 connections per server
- Data transfer rate <10kb/s
The least expensive plan currently available is $5 per month, and for that you get;
- 25 connections per server
- Data transfer rate <20kb/s
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