Creating an App that can communicate over public internet

Hello everyone, I am looking into starting a project that will require communication over public internet. I have experience with local networks but quick tests using websockets or the net library via public IP addresses are not working.

In theory, I would want a “Host” server application running on a computer that would be able to see all clients. That host would be able to send simple messages to the clients.

The clients should be able to connect, with a passphrase potentially. I would like the clients to also have a computer app, or even a phone app. If possible, even just a website that they could connect to?

I am unfamiliar with NPM and Node, but I would love both the host server and client downloads to be as simple as possible - because I would be redistributing these to the general public.

So, looking for project guidance on good ways to go about this! Let me know if there is anything I can clarify further.

Thanks in advance!

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