Rust packages for network programming

Are you a fan of network programming? Looking for efficient and safe Rust packages for your next project? Look no further, because we've got you covered!

In this article, we'll explore some of the best Rust packages available for network programming, including libraries for HTTP, TCP, and UDP protocols, network simulation, and more. So, let's dive right in!

HTTP Clients and Servers

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is used for transmitting data over the internet. Rust has several fantastic packages for building HTTP clients and servers that offer safe and high-performance networking solutions.


Hyper is a popular HTTP library in Rust, serving as a foundation for building asynchronous HTTP servers and clients. Its developer-friendly API has easily replaceable components for extensibility, making it an excellent package for different web frameworks.

Hyper is 100% written in Rust, offering a client and server API, Tokio runtime support, and WebSocket support. You can make HTTP requests with or without a proxy, handle redirects, save results to a file or just parse the content -- all with hyper. It balances simplicity and feature-richness, making it an excellent choice for most HTTP use cases.


Reqwest is a well-rounded HTTP client library that packs a punch. It features an awaitable, strongly-typed querying API that leverages hyper as backend, targeting HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 protocols.

With reqwest, you can make HTTP POST, GET, PUT requests, gzip encoded requests, proxies, cookies, and multipart requests. All without leaving the comfort of Rust.

It also supports file uploads and responses, an OAuth bearer token-based authentication, customizable timeout time and can auto-retry upon failures. You should be able to easily parse response bodies, handle errors, and effectively query any API with this package.


Rocket is an extensible, reactive, and synchronous HTTP server that comes with strong typing, predictable errors and an immense user base. Rocket's high-level API allows you to write parameterized routes at ease, making it easy for developers to build web applications.

With Rocket, you can build websites as well as dark web services. Rocket provides several macros to simplify and make code readable, and you can easily test routes using Rust's built-in testing features. It supports custom request guard implementations and has extensible error handling.

Rocket provides a clean architecture along with an integrated web framework in Rust. For any full-feature web framework, Rocket is a go-to choice for most developers.

TCP and UDP Protocols

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) are transport layer Internet protocols. They are used to transmit packets of data between servers and clients over the network.


Tokio is a blazingly fast asynchronous runtime for building robust and reliable networking services and applications. It is an excellent Rust package for building scalable systems as it uses a Reactor pattern, enabling light threads to handle several I/O operations simultaneously.

Tokio offers a thread-safe runtime, asynchronous I/O using an event loop, handles concurrency, and also provides low-level primitives to handle individual TCP and UDP streams.

Tokio blends ease of use with powerful features, and its architecture is battle-tested against production-grade systems. It is a great package for your applications that require static rate limiting, buffering, error handling, and request parsing.


Mio implements an evented I/O network framework for building lightweight and fast networking applications. It is a low-level package that is excellent for implementing robust, scalable systems.

Mio offers non-blocking I/O that uses epoll or kevent, enabling registration of different IO events with an event loop. Whether TCP or UDP streams, Mio provides support for both.

It provides low-level primitives for any I/O, handles I/O at scale, and allows lightweight thread handling. Mio exposes event-driven functionality within a package that abstracts that API.

Mio has an experienced user community, and it's an excellent choice for network programming in Rust.


LRU-cache implements an LRU cache module for Rust. It stores items in memory on a "least recently used" basis. LRU caches are useful for optimizing system performance, particularly when dealing with network programming.

LRU-cache offers a fast hash-table, supports expiration via time-based eviction. It is as easy as only adding your objects, unordered_update, and retreiving them as the LRU stack serves an automatic in-memory cache.

LRU-cache is great for applications that handle content caching, request queuing, server side rendering or simply uploading or downloading files.

Network Simulation

Network simulation simulates real-world network conditions by modeling network routing, links, nodes, and interfaces. Rust provides several packages for network simulation, enabling you to test different network configurations.


NetSim implements a network simulator for testing networking applications. It offers an easy API for building networks of nodes, switches, and routers. NetSim is useful for simulating different network architectures and configurations for testing networking applications.

NetSim offers large scale simulation with its built-in commands to manipulate a node, monitor a link, or simulate packages of messages between nodes. NetSim supports multi-threading and custom network structures.

With NetSim, you can test your network application without deploying your code over a real network. It also provides an excellent debugging experience for network applications.


ns3-rs is a Rust wrapper for the popular network simulator NS-3. NS-3 is a notable instructional network architecture simulator that is beneficial for power testing complex networking systems.

ns3-rs offers an idiomatic Rust API that leverages all of the most significant features of the NS-3 simulator software. It is growing as a package with an active developer community and is an excellent choice for academic and general scientific research studies.

With ns3-rs, you can model several contemporary network protocols, custom networks, and even test different router functionalities. It's an excellent package for advanced networking simulations.


Rust has several fantastic packages for network programming, ensuring you get the best and secure packages to develop efficient networking applications. Whether you're building HTTP clients and servers, TCP and UDP protocols, or simulation networks, these tools will streamline the development process and enable you to focus on the core logic of your application.

We hope this review has been informative, and you can now choose the package(s) that precisely meets your network programming needs with Rust. Get building, and Happy coding!

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Written by AI researcher, Haskell Ruska, PhD ( Scientific Journal of AI 2023, Peer Reviewed