Cloud Functions

Particle.keepAlive()

Particle.keepAlive, keepAlive

On all Gen 3 devices (Argon, Boron, B Series SoM, Tracker) and Gen 2 cellular devices:

Sets the duration between keep-alive messages used to maintain the connection to the cloud.

// SYNTAX
Particle.keepAlive(23 * 60);    // send a ping every 23 minutes

A keep-alive is used to implement "UDP hole punching" which helps maintain the connection from the cloud to the device. A temporary port-forwarded back-channel is set up by the network to allow packets to be sent from the cloud to the device. As this is a finite resource, unused back-channels are periodically deleted by the network.

Should a device becomes unreachable from the cloud (such as a timed out function call or variable get), one possible cause of this is that the keep alives have not been sent often enough.

The keep-alive for cellular devices duration varies by mobile network operator. The default keep-alive is set to 23 minutes, which is sufficient to maintain the connection on Particle SIM cards. 3rd party SIM cards will need to determine the appropriate keep alive value, typically ranging from 30 seconds to several minutes.

Note: Each keep alive ping consumes 122 bytes of data (61 bytes sent, 61 bytes received).

For Ethernet, you will probably want to set a keepAlive of 2 to 5 minutes.

For the Argon, the keep-alive is not generally needed. However, in unusual networking situations if the network router/firewall removes the port forwarded back-channels unusually aggressively, you may need to use a keep-alive.

Keep-alives do not use Data Operations from your monthly or yearly quota. However, for cellular devices they do use cellular data, so setting it to a very small value can cause increased data usage, which could result in hitting the monthly data limit for your account.

Device Default Keep-Alive
All Cellular 23 minutes
Argon (< 3.0.0) 30 seconds
Argon (≥ 3.0.0) 25 seconds

Since 1.5.0:

You can also specify a value using chrono literals, for example: Particle.keepAlive(2min) for 2 minutes.