Enhancing WebRTC with WHIP and WHEP

5 min read
November 24, 2023

In today's digital age, it is difficult to overstate the significance of real-time communication. It enables individuals and businesses to connect, collaborate, and share information seamlessly across the internet. 

WebRTC revolutionised real-time communication and transformed how we interact online. In 2021, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standardised it, which ensured its widespread compatibility and adoption.

Table of Contents

  1. WebRTC: a primer 
  2. What is WHIP? 
  3. Benefits of WHIP
  4. Use cases of WHIP
  5. What is WHEP? 
  6. Benefits of WHEP
  7. Use cases of WHEP (WebRTC-HTTP Egress Protocol)
  8. Comparison between WHEP and WHIP in WebRTC
  9. Why use WHIP and WHEP & how do they work together? 
  10. Embrace secure real-time communications with Digital Samba

This article explores WebRTC, examining the core concepts of WHIP and WHEP within this technology framework. To understand WHIP and WHEP in WebRTC, let's begin by unravelling the foundations of this cutting-edge technology.

WebRTC: a primer 

WebRTC, a transformative technology, enables real-time communication directly on the web and apps. It empowers seamless video, audio, and data exchange between users without additional installations or plugins. Key components include APIs for developers, secure peer-to-peer connections, and support for multiple browsers. With its ability to enhance online interactions, WebRTC continues to shape the digital landscape by fostering efficient, interactive, and secure communication across the web.

What is WHIP? 

WHIP (WebRTC HTTP Ingest Protocol) is a solution by Millicast that addresses the challenge of integrating media into WebRTC, enhancing its functionality. It simplifies media ingestion, making it easier for software and hardware encoders to support WebRTC. WHIP uses HTTP, a widely supported protocol. Despite being relatively new, it is gaining popularity in the streaming and broadcasting industry.

Moreover, WHIP boosts WebRTC's technical superiority over older protocols, such as Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) and Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), in terms of resilience, flexibility, encryption, security, and codec support. It is a standard signalling protocol for seamless integration into software and hardware, ensuring a robust WebRTC experience.

To see the WHIP Protocol operation, visit here

Benefits of WHIP

  • WHIP uses cryptography to secure and authenticate communication, ensuring data integrity.
  • WHIP provides a mechanism for identity verification, allowing authorised access.
  • WHIP enables secure, low-latency live streaming for high-quality content.
  • In sensitive remote collaboration, WHIP enhances security and efficiency through end-to-end encryption, access controls, and low-latency communications. 
  • WHIP is designed for scalability, enabling the efficient ingestion of WebRTC streams for real-time communication and content delivery in various applications to meet user demands.

Use cases of WHIP

Here is a list of a few use cases of WHIP. 

What is WHEP? 

WHEP (WebRTC HTTP Egress Protocol) is a significant component in WebRTC, modernising media delivery by focusing on the outbound stream. It complements WHIP, which handles inbound media, resulting in a standardised and optimised media delivery experience. 

WHEP streamlines egress through a POST mechanism, where offer and answer SDPs are exchanged in a single call, with ICE protocol completing the connection for smooth content delivery to subscribers. While WHEP is still a draft specification with varying implementations, it's expected to become more standardised, offering a consistent experience for users and enabling the full potential of WebRTC in content delivery.

WHEP offers several features that enhance content delivery. It prioritises speed, enabling real-time communication and swift streaming with minimal latency. Its flexibility ensures adaptability across diverse platforms and use cases, while its simplicity streamlines the content egress process, making it accessible to a wide audience.

To see the WHEP Protocol operation, visit here

Benefits of WHEP

  • WHEP assesses the viewer's device capabilities for an optimal content delivery experience.
  • It efficiently manages bandwidth to ensure smooth streaming and minimal disruptions.
  • WHEP allows selecting the most suitable codec for optimal audio and video quality.
  • It dynamically adjusts media delivery parameters in real-time to adapt to changing network conditions and viewer preferences.

Use cases of WHEP (WebRTC-HTTP Egress Protocol)

Let’s explore the use cases of WHEP.

Comparison between WHEP and WHIP in WebRTC  

The table below provides a comparison between WHEP and WHIP in WebRTC


WHIP (WebRTC-HTTP Ingestion Protocol

WHEP (WebRTC-HTTP Egress Protocol)


Ingests media content into the WebRTC framework.

Egresses media content out of the WebRTC framework.

Key Focus

Inbound content ingestion. 

Outbound content delivery.

Cryptographic Identities

WHIP authenticates and authorises broadcasters before they can ingest media.

WHEP authenticates and authorises viewers before they can receive media

Security Enhancement

End-to-end encryption, authentication, authorisation, and TLS

End-to-end encryption, authentication, authorisation, and TLS.

Typical Use Cases

Video conferencing, live broadcasting, financial services.

Content delivery, streaming to viewers, video conferencing. 

Access Control 

Authentication & authorisation.

Authentication & authorisation.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Ensures compatibility with various encoders, software, and hardware.

Supports seamless content delivery across platforms.

Traffic Direction 

Ingress - Content flows into WebRTC infrastructure.

Egress - Content flows out to viewers and destinations.

Why use WHIP and WHEP & how do they work together? 

WHIP and WHEP are integral components of the WebRTC ecosystem, working together to optimise real-time communication and live streaming. WHIP streamlines content ingestion into the WebRTC framework, simplifying integration and ensuring security. On the other hand, WHEP focuses on content egress, efficiently serving it to viewers. Together, they create a comprehensive and standardised webRTC cycle. 

WHIP and WHEP offer cross-platform compatibility and access control, empowering developers and organisations to enhance their applications. By using WHIP for inbound content and WHEP for outbound delivery, the entire content delivery process benefits from low latency, secure communication, and simplified signalling, ultimately providing an exceptional user experience in various use cases.

Embrace secure real-time communications with Digital Samba

Digital Samba's WebRTC video API ensures GDPR-compliant, end-to-end encrypted live video integration into your applications. With low latency and robust user authentication, our platform offers seamless hardware and software integration, ensuring secure real-time communication with 99.99% uptime for uninterrupted interactions. 

Schedule a demo with Digital Samba today to discover how it can enhance your products with its video communication solutions.

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