vs Firebase | Which is the best?

This article will explore the differences and similarities between and Firebase. It will provide an overview of each provider, core features, and hosting options.

The open-source library, enables real-time bidirectional event-based communication, and works on every browser, device, and platform.

On the other hand, Firebase is a cloud service that has been creatively designed to power collaborative and real-time applications.

Both use Websockets, with their own js layer implementation. Socket.IO and Firebase belong to the ‘Realtime Backend/API’ category of tech stack.

However, there underlie several differences between the two, distinguishing one from the other. Keep reading to unfold more about Socket.IO and Firebase whilst understanding their features, pricing, and more.  

What is

Created in 2010, was developed to use open connections, facilitating real-time communication. It authorises bi-directional communication between a client and server.

It is a library enabling low-latency, event-based and bidirectional communication between a client and a server. 

Bi-directional communications are permitted when a client has Socket.IO in the browser. makes use of to form a connection and to exchange data between client and server. Features

  • Multiple namespaces

Users do not want one WebSocket connection; instead, they want to multiplex them down a single connection, but having both client and server treat them as separate connections. 

  • Reliable

Socket.IO ensures reliability by letting users fall back to HTTP long-polling whenever there are any discrepancies with establishing a connection. 

  • Event-based communication

Sockets work based on events. Several reserved events can be accessed with the help of a socket object on the server side. These include:

  • Connect 
  • Disconnect 
  • Message 
  • Reconnect 
  • Join 
  • Ping 
  • Leave 

On the other hand, the client-side socket provides users with a few reserved events such as: 

  • Connect 
  • Connect_error 
  • Connect_timeout 
  • Reconnect, etc 
  • Promotes broadcasting to several sockets

It assists in broadcasting to several sockets whilst handling the connection without any ambiguities. Moreover, it makes it easy to send events to connected clients.

  • Handles inconsistencies

Whilst disconnections are common and totally expected, handles multiple support levels in addition to the inconsistencies caused by the browser. 

What is Firebase?

Developed by Google, Firebase is a platform responsible for creating web and mobile applications. The application development software enables developers to create Android, iOS, and Web apps.

In addition, it provides tools for reporting, creating marketing, tracking analytics, experimenting with products, and fixing app crashes. 

This serverless framework lets users automatically run backend code in response to all events triggered by the HTTPS and requests.

Firebase Core Features

  • Built-in Analytics

Popular as one of the most endearing features of Firebase, its built-in analytics is free and can effortlessly report 500 event types.

Furthermore, it offers a user-friendly dashboard that observes user behaviour and measures the prominent characteristics.

This increases its usability, helping users understand the app’s usage to optimise it in the future. Unlike Google Analytics, this is a completely event-based analytics solution.

The primary strength comes from the fact that analytics data can be easily utilised with varied other functionalities, including Firebase Cloud Messaging, Remote Config, etc. 

  • Audience segmentation

Identifying custom audiences is easier with the available device data, custom events, and properties. The audiences can then be used as specified with the Firebase attributes whilst targeting new notifications or features.

Analytics audiences enable easy segmentation of the users that are crucial to the business. Audiences can be used to achieve the following: 

  • Filter the reports for analysing how distinct user segments tend to correlate and engage with the app
  • To target notifications toward individual audiences 
  • Target individual audiences with the right notifications 
  • Target Remove Config to offer custom experiences as per varying audiences 

With Firebase obtaining new data about users, the memberships are re-evaluated, ensuring that the criteria are met. When the latest data does not meet the criteria, they are soon removed from the source. 

  • Easy development of applications

Firebase enables easy creation and development of the application, thanks to the real-time database that helps to synchronise and store data.

This furthermore makes it easier for developers to readily access data with the help of devices and assists in the development of a collaborative feature.

Furthermore, the app indexing re-engages users from Google Search. It does so by surfacing links to the app. This not only improves the app ranking but also enables users to discover the app easily. 

  • Cloud storage

Firebase promises powerful cloud storage that is high-scalable and secured well. The implementation enables users to upload and download images, videos, music, etc.

The progress is easily saved, even when the connection is lost. This enables users to restart from the same place. 

  • Crash reporting

Whilst a lot of apps tend to suffer due to bug concerns, Firebase is a saviour offering crash reporting to fix bugs. So, the app developers are equipped to identify the problem across any stage quickly. In addition, the Firebase SDK offers log crashes that helps save time. 

  • Fast and secured

It allows users to set up a single page, mobile landing page, or web page quickly and securely. In addition, the developers can easily deploy web apps and static content at CDN (Content Delivery Network). The hosting further configures free SSN certificates to obtain custom domains. 

Firebase Pricing

Firebase offers two distinct plans;.

Spark Plan

The no-cost plan offers generous limits to get started 


  • A/B Testing 
  • App Distribution 
  • App Indexing 
  • Analytics 
  • Cloud Messaging 
  • Dynamic Links
  • Performance monitoring
  • Crashlytics 
  • In-app messaging 

Blaze Plan

This plan works on a pay-as-you-go model. 

It includes the following in addition to the offerings of the previous model.


  • Authentication
  • Cloud Functions
  • Cloud Firestore 
  • Firebase ML
  • Hosting 
  • Realtime Database 
  • Cloud storage 

Firebase vs | Comparison

Open SourceYesNo
Developer DashboardNoYes
Self HostingYesNo
Managed HostingNoYes
Pub/Sub messagingLimitedYes
Native push notificationsNoYes
Serverless functionsNoYes
Open ProtocolsHTTPHTTP

Conclusion is an open-source JavaScript library to manage sockets. It’s a great tool to communicate between end-points, provides excellent flexibility, and is self-hosted.

Firebase is Google’s app development platform. It’s a fully managed solution that offers real-time messaging and cloud scalability.

What is is an open-source JavaScript library to manage sockets. It’s a great tool to communicate between end-points, provides excellent flexibility, and is self-hosted.

What is Firebase?

Firebase is Google’s app development platform. It’s a fully managed solution that offers real-time messaging and cloud scalability.

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