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Firebase vs Google Cloud Storage: What are the differences?

Introduction

Firebase and Google Cloud Storage are both cloud-based services provided by Google, but they have some key differences that set them apart.

  1. Pricing and Usage: Firebase provides a flexible pricing model, where you pay for the resources you use, such as storage, bandwidth, and server costs. On the other hand, Google Cloud Storage has a separate pricing structure that is more focused on storing and retrieving large amounts of static data.

  2. Functionality: Firebase is a complete backend solution that offers a wide range of features for building web and mobile applications, including real-time database, authentication, hosting, and more. Google Cloud Storage, on the other hand, is a standalone storage service that primarily focuses on storing and retrieving data.

  3. Scalability and Performance: Firebase provides automatic scaling and high availability, ensuring that your applications can handle traffic spikes and serve content quickly. Google Cloud Storage also offers scalable storage and high throughput, but it is primarily designed for storing and serving static files.

  4. Ease of Use: Firebase is designed to be beginner-friendly and provides an intuitive user interface, along with client SDKs for various platforms that make it easy to integrate Firebase services into your applications. Google Cloud Storage, on the other hand, is more focused on developers and provides APIs and tools for managing and accessing your storage resources.

  5. Integration with Other Google Cloud Services: Firebase is tightly integrated with other Google Cloud services, such as Cloud Functions, Cloud Firestore, and Cloud Machine Learning Engine, allowing you to easily extend the functionality of your applications. Google Cloud Storage can also be integrated with other Google Cloud services, but it is not as tightly coupled as Firebase.

  6. Data Queries and Transactions: Firebase provides a real-time database that allows you to query and manipulate data in real-time, making it suitable for applications that require real-time updates. Google Cloud Storage does not offer built-in support for querying or updating data in real-time and is better suited for storing and serving static files.

In summary, Firebase is a comprehensive backend solution that offers a wide range of features for building web and mobile applications, while Google Cloud Storage is a standalone storage service primarily focused on storing and retrieving static files.

Advice on Firebase and Google Cloud Storage
Needs advice
on
ApolloApolloFirebaseFirebase
and
Socket.IOSocket.IO

We are starting to work on a web-based platform aiming to connect artists (clients) and professional freelancers (service providers). In-app, timeline-based, real-time communication between users (& storing it), file transfers, and push notifications are essential core features. We are considering using Node.js, ExpressJS, React, MongoDB stack with Socket.IO & Apollo, or maybe using Real-Time Database and functionalities of Firebase.

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Replies (3)
Timothy Malstead
Junior Full Stack Developer at Freelance · | 7 upvotes · 472.1K views
Recommends
on
FirebaseFirebase

I would recommend looking hard into Firebase for this project, especially if you do not have dedicated full-stack or backend members on your team.

The real time database, as you mentioned, is a great option, but I would also look into Firestore. Similar to RTDB, it adds more functions and some cool methods as well. Also, another great thing about Firebase is you have easy access to storage and dead simple auth as well.

Node.js Express MongoDB Socket.IO and Apollo are great technologies as well, and may be the better option if you do not wish to cede as much control to third parties in your application.

Overall, I say if you wish to focus more time developing your React application instead of other parts of your stack, Firebase is a great way to do that.

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Recommends
on
AblyAbly

Hello Noam 👋,

I suggest taking a look at Ably, it has all the realtime features you need and the platform is designed to guarantee critical functionality at scale.

Here is an in depth comparison between Ably and Firebase

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Recommends
on
8base8base

Hey Noam,

I would recommend you to take a look into 8base. It has features you've requested, also relation database and GraphQL API which will help you to develop rapidly.

Thanks, Ilya

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Decisions about Firebase and Google Cloud Storage

We choose Backblaze B2 because it makes more sense for storing static assets.

We admire Backblaze's customer service & transparency, plus, we trust them to maintain fair business practices - including not raising prices in the future.

Lower storage costs means we can keep more data for longer, and lower bandwidth means cache misses don't cost a ton.

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Gabriel Pa

We offer our customer HIPAA compliant storage. After analyzing the market, we decided to go with Google Storage. The Nodejs API is ok, still not ES6 and can be very confusing to use. For each new customer, we created a different bucket so they can have individual data and not have to worry about data loss. After 1000+ customers we started seeing many problems with the creation of new buckets, with saving or retrieving a new file. Many false positive: the Promise returned ok, but in reality, it failed.

That's why we switched to S3 that just works.

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Pros of Firebase
Pros of Google Cloud Storage
  • 371
    Realtime backend made easy
  • 270
    Fast and responsive
  • 242
    Easy setup
  • 215
    Real-time
  • 191
    JSON
  • 134
    Free
  • 128
    Backed by google
  • 83
    Angular adaptor
  • 68
    Reliable
  • 36
    Great customer support
  • 32
    Great documentation
  • 25
    Real-time synchronization
  • 21
    Mobile friendly
  • 19
    Rapid prototyping
  • 14
    Great security
  • 12
    Automatic scaling
  • 11
    Freakingly awesome
  • 8
    Super fast development
  • 8
    Angularfire is an amazing addition!
  • 8
    Chat
  • 6
    Firebase hosting
  • 6
    Built in user auth/oauth
  • 6
    Awesome next-gen backend
  • 6
    Ios adaptor
  • 4
    Speed of light
  • 4
    Very easy to use
  • 3
    Great
  • 3
    It's made development super fast
  • 3
    Brilliant for startups
  • 2
    Free hosting
  • 2
    Cloud functions
  • 2
    JS Offline and Sync suport
  • 2
    Low battery consumption
  • 2
    .net
  • 2
    The concurrent updates create a great experience
  • 2
    Push notification
  • 2
    I can quickly create static web apps with no backend
  • 2
    Great all-round functionality
  • 2
    Free authentication solution
  • 1
    Easy Reactjs integration
  • 1
    Google's support
  • 1
    Free SSL
  • 1
    CDN & cache out of the box
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
    Large
  • 1
    Faster workflow
  • 1
    Serverless
  • 1
    Good Free Limits
  • 1
    Simple and easy
  • 28
    Scalable
  • 19
    Cheap
  • 14
    Reliable
  • 9
    Easy
  • 3
    Chealp
  • 2
    More praticlal and easy

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

Cons of Firebase
Cons of Google Cloud Storage
  • 31
    Can become expensive
  • 16
    No open source, you depend on external company
  • 15
    Scalability is not infinite
  • 9
    Not Flexible Enough
  • 7
    Cant filter queries
  • 3
    Very unstable server
  • 3
    No Relational Data
  • 2
    Too many errors
  • 2
    No offline sync
    Be the first to leave a con

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is Firebase?

    Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.

    What is Google Cloud Storage?

    Google Cloud Storage allows world-wide storing and retrieval of any amount of data and at any time. It provides a simple programming interface which enables developers to take advantage of Google's own reliable and fast networking infrastructure to perform data operations in a secure and cost effective manner. If expansion needs arise, developers can benefit from the scalability provided by Google's infrastructure.

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    What companies use Firebase?
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    What tools integrate with Firebase?
    What tools integrate with Google Cloud Storage?

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    Blog Posts

    What are some alternatives to Firebase and Google Cloud Storage?
    Parse
    With Parse, you can add a scalable and powerful backend in minutes and launch a full-featured app in record time without ever worrying about server management. We offer push notifications, social integration, data storage, and the ability to add rich custom logic to your app’s backend with Cloud Code.
    MongoDB
    MongoDB stores data in JSON-like documents that can vary in structure, offering a dynamic, flexible schema. MongoDB was also designed for high availability and scalability, with built-in replication and auto-sharding.
    Heroku
    Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.
    Auth0
    A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications.
    Realm
    The Realm Mobile Platform is a next-generation data layer for applications. Realm is reactive, concurrent, and lightweight, allowing you to work with live, native objects.
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