Best Firebase Alternatives in 2021

firebase alternatives

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For the startup or developers reading ????, your goal might be to build awesome, useful, and reliable apps. 

If you’re familiar with Firebase, it is a platform like no other and is currently the top choice for anyone building their new mobile or web app. Its smooth API integration, together with a great set of features, make it popular in the market.

However, it isn’t for everyone. To help your app shine from the rest, perhaps even get an edge from the competition, we’ve listed out the best alternatives to Firebase.

Speaking of shining from the rest, are you looking for the best Function as a Service (FaaS) providers? Check this out for the best FaaS platforms.

What is Firebase?

Firebase is a backend as a service (BaaS) platform that provides developers tools and services to create quality apps. It is a platform built using Google’s infrastructure, which continues to dominate the market. Recently though, concerns about its pricing and complexity have led many users to explore new and better alternatives.

The Top 18 Best Alternatives to Firebase

This article will list free and paid alternatives, so you’re bound to find something you can use! 

Parse – With Free Plan

First on this list, Parse is a mobile ???? and web application development platform owned by Facebook. It is open source and has grown exponentially with a large population of users ever since.

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Features

Data Modeling – This feature enables you to organize data, similar to a spreadsheet. It is one of the most heavily used features of the service. Anything that has JSON-like properties can be stored.

Graph QL API –  Parse offers easy integration with minimal coding to help you save time.

Real-time Notifications – Live-queries is another feature that enables users to be alerted on the various updates on the platform.

Social Login – Login through different social media platforms is allowed for easy accessibility.

File System – The file system is compatible with most cloud services. Store files with several providers, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Back4App.

Price

Canvassing? A free version is offered. Meanwhile, the paid plan starts at $ 4.99 a month per user. 

Check out their website

Back4app – With Free Plan

If you’re looking for a low-code and fully managed backend, you might want to try Back4App. The service helps speed up development by about 80% through streamlining processes and focusing on essential features.

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Features

Open Architecture – Developing and collaborating is easier with Back4app’s open-source software. 

REST and GraphQL APIs – You can convert coded or codeless logic into API by using SDKs and REST APIs. The platform also allows for the creation of GraphQL, one of the most important APIs in a development stack. 

Shared and Dedicated Hosting – Hosting options are flexible, with the option to choose between shared and dedicated hosting.

Price

The service offers a free plan. The Starter Plan costs $5 a month with shared hosting. For dedicated hosting, prices start at $250 a month.

Kuzzle – With Free Plan

Another open-source solution is Kuzzle. Its service banks on reducing time-to-market ⏱️ by 40% and increasing your return on investment (ROI). Many developers choose this due to its storage capacity, support, and real-time exhaustive filters.

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Features

Real-time Pub/Sub – You’ve got the tools to build event-driven apps ideal for data synchronization, messaging, notifications, geofencing, and more.

Open Source – Support is made easier with open-source code. A large and active community is able to contribute and depend on this ecosystem.

Geofencing – Similar to GPS, this feature lets you define boundaries, distance, and range. Notifications can be triggered based on location as well.

Price

Kuzzle offers a free plan for installation and support. For the paid plans, installation is $ 1,200 a month while support starts at $2,400 a month. Check this out for more pricing details.

Appwrite – Free

Appwrite may be the newest service among the competition, but it’s one of the most direct alternatives to Firebase. Ease of use and well-roundedness are its main advantages.

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Features

Supported Runtimes – Multiple runtimes are allowed within the service to help you execute custom functions. Also, each function runs in an isolated and safe environment.

Monitor and Debug – You can monitor data on your functions from the console. These include logs, stats, and executions.

Run Offline – The application allows you to run your cloud locally and quickly.

Price

Great news. Appwrite is currently free as it approaches v1. 

Supabase – Free (Open Source)

With a claim to generate a backend within two minutes, Supabase is another good alternative to Firebase. The service offers reliability and speed ???? by efficiently managing data.

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Features

Secure Data Storage – Integrity and security of precious data can be ensured with Supabase’s technology. You can also easily store large files like images and videos with ease.

Workflow Management – The service helps in managing and ensuring a smooth flow of tasks assigned to a team.

Access Control – Various controls and access can be assigned and displayed to a specific user within the application.

Price

No need to pay as the open-source service is free. Thus, you can allocate your expenses to other resources.

AWS Amplify – With Free Plan

Packed with excellent backend tools, AWS Amplify helps in conducting easier and faster app development. It’s one of the leading platforms when it comes to deploying secure and scalable applications.

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Features

Analytics – Powered by Amazon Pinpoint and Amazon Kinesis, AWS Amplify can understand the behaviors of your different users from the web, Android, to iOS. Data can be accessed, analyzed, and streamed to drive marketing strategies further.

DataStore – Through DataStore, data can be synchronized across platforms.  

Price

The service has a free and paid plan, which is Pay as you Go. Prices start at $0.01 to build and deploy, $0.023 for every GB stored monthly, and $0.15 for every GB stored.

Kinvey – With Free Trial

Kinvey is a serverless-platform that offers developers tools to build complex and robust applications. It is a fully integrated and secure platform allowing for flexibility and scalability. ⚖️

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Features

Serverless Backend – Startups can focus on the functionality and user experience of their apps while Kinvey takes care of auto-scaling and microservices through templated web development.

Code Sharing – You can apply your code across different mobile platforms from Android to iOS as there is a single code base. 

Complete Integration – You have complete control of your source code as Kinvey never holds it. There is access to different tools such as IDEs, CI Tools, and source control. What’s better is you’ve got access to cloud functions, legacy, and enterprise data.

Data Pipeline – Using low or no code microservices, rapidly managing and visualizing different systems can be done. This can save you a lot of time. Remember that companies love efficiency and productivity numbers. 😉

Price

A free trial is available, but if you want to avail more features, the Starter Plan costs $2,500 a year. The Business Edition Plan is $15,000 a year and the Enterprise Plan’s pricing can be requested for a quotation.

Heroku – With Free Plan

Heroku might be one of the strongest contenders as a Firebase alternative due to its powerful development ecosystem. It uses an app-centric approach that allows developers to build, test, deploy, manage, streamline, and scale. If you’re already familiar with this, here are similar services to Heroku.

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Features

Data Services – Fully managed database services for Apache Kafka, Redis, and Postgres are offered for smooth scaling, performance, and data backup.

Enterprise – This connects the service’s features with development functionalities and provides management capabilities for businesses.

Collaboration – Heroku Teams allows for collaboration among Heroku users and developers. This can also be used to set permissions, control, configure resources, and more. 

Price

It has a free plan for beginners who want to experiment with the basics. Meanwhile, the paid plans start from $7 to $250 monthly.

Gamesparks – With Free Plan

GameSparks is a service specifically dedicated for gaming ???? applications. It is highly scalable and helps developers build app components without the need to set up a server.

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Features

Social Multiplayer – Engagement and retention rates are increased through the platform’s great social and messaging features.

Meta Games and Economies – Developers can manage their own economies, including trading, currencies, and virtual goods. Fraud detection and management solutions are also included to safeguard the ecosystem.

Flexibility – All functions are highly customizable, and you are allowed to create APIs with DBs, server logic, and more.

Price

A free plan for development is available with GameSparks, while the Standard Plan costs $299 a month. You can request a quotation for the Enterprise Plan.   

Hasura – With Free Plan

Hasura is another open-source platform that integrates your databases with your services and provides real-time GraphQL API. Developers use Hasura from some of the world’s most exciting startups due to its high performance and scalability.

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Features

Dynamic Access Control – Control is important, so Hasura’s service allows for integration with an existing auth system. You can create role-based schemas and also create, allow, and deny rules with dynamic variables.

Query Performance Analysis – Identifying and fixing errors and bottlenecks are made easier with Query Performance Analysis. With this, you can reduce latency on millions of rows.

REST APIs Business Logic – This feature allows you to define queries and mutations of your code and connect REST API output without the need to write code. Intuitive is what this is called.

GraphQL Support – Support for GraphQL enables servers written in any language using any framework. Deployment can also be done anywhere.

Price

Hasura offers a free plan. Their paid plans are reasonable as the price starts at $99 a month. Contact their sales to request a price for the Enterprise Plan.  

PubNub – With Free Plan

Built as a real-time communication platform, PubNub is known for its streaming capabilities. Startups can create scalable apps without the hassle of infrastructure development. ????

Features

Messaging – PubNub has an amazing messaging ability to send and receive messages in-app globally and quickly. It also has push notifications to allow offline communication. 

Channels and Streams – The ability to reach a massive audience in real-time is possible through having group and universal channels. There are unlimited data channels, powerful stream multiplexing, and filtering to provide the tools to build your app.

Tracking – Monitor the online or offline status of users and devices in real-time and create rules to improve insights and actions across the application. 

Connections – There is an extensive library of client SDKs to manage your app connections and ensure reliable connectivity across all devices. 

Price

PubNub currently offers a free plan, and the paid Starter Plan costs $49 a month plus a tiering fee based on the number of monthly active users (MAU). The Pro Plan pricing can be requested on a quotation basis.

Deployd – Free to Download

Deployd has an array of tools for developers and startups to help quickly build their apps. It is open source and has an adaptive API design for smooth development both on web and mobile.

Features

User-Friendly – The interface is easy to understand and use, which helps in speeding up development. It also looks simple while still having the most powerful backend files.

File Support – Support to host your files is also made easier with a lot of images, HTML, and static files that can be added to your directory and accessed at your domain or localhost.

REST/HTTP – Cloud platforms can also host Deployd’s HTTP and REST APIs which is a major advantage of using this service. 

Simple Core Library – A unified library is used to ease work and save time when adding a new resource.

Price

Everything is free for use, and there’s no need to sign up. You can just go to Deployd’s website and download it for free.

Kumulos – Paid

Kumulos is a great platform to build mobile apps and link to a backend cloud. IIt’s powerful ????, secure, and easy to use as thousands of developers use it globally.

Features

Analytics – Evaluate and hone your marketing campaigns through analytics and reporting. Crash reporting and diagnostics will also ensure your app is running optimally.

Mobile Marketing Hub –  In-app messaging and push notifications for mobile and web are provided to improve user experience and connect with the community. This results in creating long-term users and better user engagement.  

Price

Kumulos provides a Pay as you Go pricing model, which means you only pay for what you use. What’s better is there’s no minimum term.

Atmosphere – Free to Download

Atmosphere is a great tool for developing and designing asynchronous web applications. If you’re designing both client and server-side frameworks, then this might be the platform compatible with your requirements. Support for all major servers and browsers is also available.

Features

Server-Sent Events Support – Server push technology that enables clients to receive automatic updates via HTTP is supported for app integration and smoothness.

Long-Polling – Easy to implement and a better way to poll a server, this feature delivers messages without delay and holds the client connection until the information is available.

Asynchronous Web Applications – This feature continuously delivers updated data to users. Multiple communications between the client and server can occur simultaneously or in parallel. 

Price

The service is currently free and can be downloaded from the website. Try it for yourself!

Hood.ie – With Free Plan

With a self-hosted platform to manage multiple solutions, Hood.ie is easy and manageable. Although it has a small developer community, it supports offline development when your internet is down. ????

Features

User Experience – The service gives you control over the full-stack, front-end app development for user experience improvement. There’s no hassle from the technical counterparts of the backend.

Dreamcode – You conceptualize the code you like, and if it gets enough support from the community, it will happen. This is the community-driven approach that Hood.ie uses to build amazing functionality. Make your code dreams come true!

Offline First – As we mentioned earlier, you can edit, post comments, send emails, and do everything without worrying about your internet. Hood.ie automatically syncs whenever connection becomes available.

Price

Are you worried about the cost? Hood.ie currently offers a free version you can download and use.

Amazon Kinesis Firehose – Paid

Amazon Kinesis Firehose is Amazon’s data-ingestion product used to reliably load streaming data into other services such as S3 and Redshift. It can minimize the amount of storage and increase security through compressing and encrypting data before loading.

Features

Easy Setup – With just a few simple steps in the AWS Management Console, you can load data to the delivery stream and many other services. The service continuously performs this to the specified destinations.

Automatic Encryption – Firehose has the option to have data automatically encrypted. As part of the settings, you can specify the encryption key through AWS Key Management System (KMS)

Multiple Data Destinations – Supported are many different data destinations such as S3, Redshift, Elasticsearch Service, HTTP Endpoints, Datadog, New Relic, MongoDB, and Splunk. You can also choose the destination bucket, table, domain, or generic HTTP endpoints to load data.

Price

The payment model is priced by the amount of data ingested in the service. There are no upfront or set up fees. Fees also vary depending on the region. You can learn more about pricing details on their website.

Cloudboost.io – Paid

☁️ Features such as push notifications, user authentication, slack integration, and more make Cloudboost.io a top alternative to Firebase. This open-source platform provides rich UX and UI features for web and mobile.

Features

Horizontal Scaling Architecture – Eliminate costs and risks associated with scaling thanks to Cloudboost’s architecture. This ensures that data is always secure, available, and reliable in any situation.

CloudSearch – Your data is indexed, so implementing a search engine is made easier. CloudSearch lets you get accurate and relevant data through this.

Data Update – You are notified when data changes and the app is updated across all devices, whether web or mobile.   

File Support – Store and stream music, videos, and other files with CloudFiles. You can also easily add support for files in your apps.

Price

Cloudboost is free for the first two months. The paid plan starts at $79 a month, which is billed annually. The priciest, Enterprise Plan, costs $2500 monthly.

Gun – Free

Built for small applications, Gun is a good service that helps in managing backend services. It is user-friendly and fault-tolerant due to being written entirely in JavaScript and developed using peer-to-peer algorithms.

Features

Flexible and Powerful – Gun is compatible with numerous different browsers, mobile devices, and servers, giving you the power to choose the tools you want to work with.

Decentralized Authorization – Security is made with strong encryption and can work completely decentralized, making sure there’s no single point of failure.

Graph Data – Easily interconnect data with Gun’s Graph Data which also allows you to use intuitive data structures and queries.

Price

Gun is free and can be set up easily in five minutes.

Why You Might Want a Firebase Alternative

1. You Do Not Own Your Data

With Firebase, your data is owned by their servers, so it won’t be possible to export your emails ✉️, accounts, passwords, and other data. The only way to retrieve your data is to directly contact Firebase’s team. That would take several days of communication back and forth before it gets done.

2. Issues With Data Migration

If you’re already using Firebase, then you might already have an idea of how much inconvenience data migration causes. Since Firebase uses JSON, data migration is complicated, unlike in a simple SQL database. If you’re managing large amounts of data, then it’s worse. You will need third-party software to perform this.

3. Querying is Limited

Firebase’s data streaming has limited query capabilities. This means that certain functions can’t be combined. You’ll have to arrange and filter data one by one then perform other actions on the client side.

4. Oriented Towards Real-time Sync

Real-time Sync is actually beneficial but can get annoying at times. It’s hard when you’re just typing a text and then the database automatically updates. If you prefer writing queries and using an event handler to update the DB, you might want to try other platforms.

5. Limited Security Rules

Firebase’s security rules are designed to be fast. The downside to this is that the rules are limited, the reason why it’s hard to build and scale a complex enterprise platform. Plus, it’s hard not to mess up the JSON files carrying the security rules, which can ruin the application.

You Might Ask

When should you not use firebase?

As we’ve mentioned above, you do not have the rights to your data in Firebase. Also, data migration, especially for big amounts, is complicated, and querying is limited. Furthermore, the DB only updates real-time, and security ???? is limited.


Which is better, Heroku or firebase?

Both are excellent platforms, although the difference is that Firebase is a BaaS and Heroku is a PaaS. If you already have a minimum viable product (MVP) with a reliable backend, you might want to go with Firebase. Heroku will be preferable if you are building a complex application as it offers flexibility. Just remember that you’ll take more time setting up with Heroku as the platform will need more technical knowledge, and you might need a dedicated resource to perform this. To conclude, Firebase offers convenience while Heroku provides variability.  


Can firebase be hacked?

There have been reports that several apps using Firebase have publicly exposed databases. This can be a security issue, especially when attackers can access, delete, modify, or exploit sensitive information, including passwords, telephone numbers, and chat messages.


What are the downsides of Firebase?

Not Open Source – You have to adapt to the language and tools Firebase is using. This means there’s also less support.

Vendor Lock-In – You’re stuck with Firebase even if you’re not happy with its performance and services.

Lack of GraphQL APIs (REST only) – You only have REST as an API. This means no flexibility for your app integration.


Is firebase better than SQL?

Firebase handles large data well, while MySQL is built to manage and simplify the more complex ones. Firebase is also marginally faster and handles data in real-time. But in terms of cost, MySQL is cheaper as it is completely free. It also offers more language support since it’s open-source.


Is MongoDB similar to Firebase?

Both services allow developers and startups to easily and quickly set up in the service and are both built with JSON-like data models. The difference is that MongoDB trumps Firebase due to MongoDB’s configurability and range of Atlas performance tiers. Both are great tools for development as well, but MongoDB is the more powerful and flexible platform.


Conclusion

Make no doubt about it, Firebase offers rich development features that can help ???? support and scale your application. It’s also a great platform to build on for side projects and even complete products, but with so many services with great functionality available, it’s time you check out other alternatives. You might also want to try these other services especially if you have sensitive data to process within the app. Who knows? The grass might be greener on the other side.

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