Firebase Realtime Database vs. Firestore

Developers around the world are leveraging real-time databases to expedite the development applications that meet modern users’ performance expectations. Tow of the leading real-time database in the world today are Firestore and the Firebase real-time database. 

The Firebase Real-Time Database is one of the first in real-time databases in existence before the new options such as Firestore emerged. This Firebase Real-Time Database vs. Firestore article compares and contrasts the two platforms to select the best choice for your development project.

Here is a summary of the article:

  • What is Firebase Realtime Database?
  • What’s the Pricing of the Realtime Database?
  • What is Google Firestore?
  • What is Firestore Pricing?
  • Realtime Database vs. Firestore | Comparison
  • Realtime Database vs. Firestore | Differences

What is Firebase Real-Time Database?

The Firebase Real-Time database is a NoSQL database that is hosted on the cloud. It uses JSON technology to store data and can sync it to all connected devices in real-time. One of the impressive features of Firebase is that it shares a single database instance with connected clients using cross-platform apps. In essence, apps build with Android, iOS, or JavaScript SDKs can sync new data and updates concurrently. The on-disk data persistence feature allows apps using the Firebase real-time database to remain responsive when there is no internet connectivity. Once the internet connection is restored, the on-disk data sync with the database seamlessly.

Developers leverage the Firebase Real-Time Database to create engaging apps. Some of the features of this database include secure database access through client-side code and real-time events. The local persistence data storage that allows apps to function without an internet connection is also a core feature of this platform that enhances user experience. 

The database has an integrated function called the Firebase Real-Time Database Security Rules that enhances the data security of apps. For instance, developers can control data access through authentication, and also determine the data structure and how client devices read the data. 

With the Firebase real-time database, users can scale data and optimize performance by splitting data across several real-time instances.  It allows the developer to create custom Database Rules for each instance. 

Real-Time Database Price Structure

Simultaneous ConnectionsMax 200k per database
Storage$5/GB per month

What is Cloud Firestore?

Cloud Firestore, which is often referred to as Google Firestore, is another cloud-hosted NoSQL database available on google Firebase development platform. Developers can use native SDKs to connect their web and mobile apps to Cloud Firestore. The programming languages and technologies supported by Firestore include Unity, Node.js, Java, C++, Go SDKs, REST, and RPC APIs. Some of the benefits of Firestore include enhanced performance, ease-of-use, reliability, and automatic scaling.

Firestore keeps data in the form of documents that are arranged in collections. The database supports a wide array of data types, including string, numbers, and nested objects. The function of Firestore includes the real-time listeners that facilitate the syncing of data across multiple client devices. It also features the Google-powered Cloud Identify and Access Management function. These dual functions form the bedrock of the security, performance, and reliability of Firestore. 

As you would expect, Firestore integrates seamlessly with Google Firebase and the Google Cloud Platform. This integration gives access to enhanced prototyping, advanced synchronization, and offline support for iOS, Android, and web apps. Applications using the Firestore database syncs with the database and displays data in real-time after every update. 

The Pricing Structure of Firestore 

The pricing structure of Firebase is a “Pay as You Go” based on the number of server features and resources that the client app uses.  Firestore offers a free tier that has limited features and functions. However, users of the free tier that exceeds data storage or transfer quota would be charged for additional data transfer, storage, and database operations. An analysis of the costs would help you select the best real-time database based on cost-efficiency. 

Here are the factors that determine the price of Firestore database.

  • Operations: Firestore charges users for database operations such as read, write, and delete operations. Bear in mind that the reads performed to track the Firebase Security Rules on your database would count as a read cost. 
  • Storage: The amount of data stored in Firestore within the billing period forms a part of the cost of using the platform. Note that metadata and indexes form a part of the database storage cost.  
  • Network Bandwidth: The network costs of Firestore is based on the size of the request, the server location, and the destination of the response. Incoming requests do not count as bandwidth costs
Data Storage$0.18/GiB per month
Network OutThe range varies from $0.08 to $0.23 per GB depending on the regions.
Document Writes$0.18/100K
Document Reads$0.06/100K
Document Deletes$0.02/100K

Real-Time Database vs. Firestore Comparison

Firebase Realtime DatabaseCloud Firestore
Realtime capabilitiesYesYes
Offline SynchronizationYesYes
Enhanced QueryingNoYes

Real-Time Database vs. Firestore: The Differences

Multi-Region Support

Firestore provides multi-region locations that enhance the reliability of the platform, offer high consistency, and reduces latency of global applications. The query of users would be fast3r and delivers data with a high level of accuracy.

Flexible Pricing

The pricing model of Firebase’s real-time database depends on bandwidth and storage features. On the other hand, Cloud Firestore uses database operations, outbound bandwidth usage, and data storage as the criteria for computing costs. So, users should make an appraisal of their requirements and select the most cost-efficient option.

Enhanced Querying and Data Structure

The structure of Firebase Real-Time Database takes the form of a JSON protocol-based tree. At the same time, Firestore is better structured with the use of documents and collections. The documents can also be grouped in subcollections, giving it a more logical structure. 


Both databases are serverless and scalable. Firestore is the more scalable option because the queries scale based on the result set size and not the size of the data set. This unique feature allows for faster queries, irrespective of data set size. 

Queries Details

While both of these databases have excellent functions for queries, the procedure for executing the is somewhat different: Real-time database provides in-depth queries, but the options for sorting and filtering are limited. On the other hand, the index query model of Firestore offers advanced sorting ad filtering.


The Real-Time Database and Firebase have similar features such as NoSQL storage, offline synchronization, and real-time updates and integrate seamlessly with the Firebase development platform. However, the two databases differ in the pricing structure, querying capabilities, and multi-region availability.

General FAQ

Are there two kinds of databases in Firebase?

There are presently two databases in Firebase. The Real-Time Database is the first one released while the iis the relatively new one released in 2019.

What are the parallel features in Firestore and Real-Time Database?

The two parallel features in the two databases are NoSQL storage, offline synchronization, and real-time capabilities.

What are the core differences between Firestore and Real-Time Database?

The pricing structure, multi-region availability, and querying capabilities are the fundamental differences between Firestore and the Real-Time Database.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.