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IoT Hub Overview

Reviewed on 06 May 2024Published on 31 August 2021

IoT Hub is a managed message broker that dispatches messages between devices, services and applications using a publish/subscribe pattern.

It allows true hotplug, many-to-many, and asynchronous communications.


Networks are the front door to your IoT Hub. They allow Devices and applications to exchange messages with the Hub through multiple protocols: MQTT, WebSockets, LoRaWAN, SigFox, REST, among others.

Each Network has its protocol-related specificities, which you can find in the Networks reference documentation.


Device communications can be secured with Mutual TLS authentication and encryption, server-authentication TLS along with per-device message filtering. It is also possible to use plain communication for development or testing setups, we do not recommend this in production.

For more information about the different authentication protocols, refer to the Devices reference documentation.

Message dispatching

At the heart of your IoT Hub is a highly available publish/subscribe message broker.

The publish/subscribe pattern is simple: when a client publishes a message to a topic, all clients which have previously subscribed to the topic receive a copy of the message.


Topics can be any slash-separated string, just like a file path. There is no need to configure them before usage.

There are also multiple additional features such as topics wildcards, message retention and QoS levels. Head to our Hubs reference documentation for more information.


Routes are the glue between your IoT Hub and other non-publish/subscribe services.

They subscribe to the requested topics and forward messages to services such as databases, Object Storage, REST APIs, Serverless Functions, AI Inference models and much more.

Services can reply with a message to publish back on your IoT Hub. For more information, check our Routes reference documentation.

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