Firebase vs Socket.IO: What are the differences?
Developers describe Firebase as "The Realtime App Platform". 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. On the other hand, Socket.IO is detailed as "Realtime application framework (Node.JS server)". Socket.IO enables real-time bidirectional event-based communication. It works on every platform, browser or device, focusing equally on reliability and speed.
Firebase and Socket.IO belong to "Realtime Backend / API" category of the tech stack.
Some of the features offered by Firebase are:
- Add the Firebase library to your app and get access to a shared data structure. Any changes made to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
- Firebase apps can be written entirely with client-side code, update in real-time out-of-the-box, interoperate well with existing services, scale automatically, and provide strong data security.
- Data Accessibility- Data is stored as JSON in Firebase. Every piece of data has its own URL which can be used in Firebase's client libraries and as a REST endpoint. These URLs can also be entered into a browser to view the data and watch it update in real-time.
On the other hand, Socket.IO provides the following key features:
- Real-time analytics - Push data to clients that gets represented as real-time counters, charts or logs.
- Binary streaming - Starting in 1.0, it's possible to send any blob back and forth: image, audio, video.
- Instant messaging and chat - Socket.IO's "Hello world" is a chat app in just a few lines of code.
"Realtime backend made easy", "Fast and responsive" and "Easy setup" are the key factors why developers consider Firebase; whereas "Real-time", "Event-based communication" and "Node.js" are the primary reasons why Socket.IO is favored.
Socket.IO is an open source tool with 46.9K GitHub stars and 8.54K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Socket.IO's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, Firebase has a broader approval, being mentioned in 859 company stacks & 992 developers stacks; compared to Socket.IO, which is listed in 560 company stacks and 395 developer stacks.
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