Will Google charge me for using Firebase if I sign in for the "Pay as you go" package but didn't exceed the free limit?

You will not be charged if you stay in your free tier.

Google uses scalable strategy for billing (known as tiers), to make the service available for all variety of users/businesses (small, medium and large).

You need to be sure that you stay with in the limit. In case you exceed the limit in a month even for a single minute, you will be charged as per the billing standard.

Hi,

I would like to answer this by sharing a real life experience. We created an IoT platform in my company named 700 Dollar Startups. It allows users to control home appliances using their smartphone. The platform also collects temperature and air parameters at your home.

We settled to use the following stack:

  • Firebase - for backend
  • Angular JS - FrontEnd
  • NodeJS - to run IoT code in raspberry
  • Ionic - for the mobile app

Below is our platform architecture.

Here are the advantages based on our experience:

  1. Three way binding - Firebase API solves the problem of raise condition in database. A client browser, back-office, and mobile consumer can update a data simultaneously without the problem of synchronization. As soon as data is updated, added, inserted, or deleted all update are automatically pushed to the client via API.
  2. Speed of Development - Google Firebase Database is NoSQL database with out of the box API connectors and wrappers for query purposes. As a result, rather than building REST API just like the traditional way of connecting thin client to database, with Firebase, a company can simply use their SDK to do the same purpose. As a result, business would be able to cut their development time by removing the API development component. Less scope, means less development cost as well.
  3. Realtime update - The old ways of doing things is that a client connected to database need batch update to get new sets of data. It is an inefficient architecture, imagine a program has to read 1 million records every fifteen (15) minutes with or without update. With Google Firebase Database, a client can be automatically triggered for refresh via Callback as soon as an update is made in the database. With thus technology, developers are assured to only get a new sets of data as needed basis. Here is the actual demo of realtime database update (See video below). As soon as data is changed in database, the LED’s state connected to Raspberry devices instantaneously changes status.
  4. Free- Developers and business owners can create two projects in Firebase for free. This means organization need not to buy premium license during R&D stage. It gives developers and decision makers enough time to learn and evaluate the technology.
  5. Authentication - It comes with a builtin authentication module. Supports gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and basic username and password login support. Integrating this module in your app is easy through their SDK.
  6. Rich API Document - The Firebase SDK is well documented and has lots of example over the web. On our case, we were able to try the SDK for NodeJS. Other Platform supported are IOS, Android, Java, and JS.

As for the Disadvantage

  1. No Data Explorer - This issue is more for developers. The Firebase Database does not provide an online tool to allow developers search for a data inside a node. It has a manual tree like data explorer but becomes complicated or difficult to traverse as dataset goes bigger.
  2. No built-in Authorization - One of Firebase strong point is it’s authentication module. However; it could had been better if it is shipped with a pre-created framework for authorization. To date, developers has to secure data and forms by manually coding the roles for a specific users.

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No exchange expenses: Merchants don't pay additional charges when clients use Google Pay to make buys.

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Quick and simple buys any place they purchase: In stores, clients speed through checkout when they use Google Pay on their cell phone to tap and pay.

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Firebase has three plans, one of them is free called Spark Plan. Using this free plan you can have only 100 active users at once, only 10GB data to be transferred within one month and store only 1 GB of your data. i.g. you have an online web store: only 100 users can be there at once, only 1 GB of data (title, price, image of item) can be stored in DB and only 10 GB of transfer - means that your web site will be available to deliver to users only 5gb of data (i.e. your page is 1 MB size and users will be able to attend that page only 10 000 times).

And providing 10 Virtual Device Tests per day and also 5 Physical Device Tests per day.

Other two paid planes are -

  1. Flame Plan - $25/month
  2. Blaze Plan - Pay as you go

You can check those planes from here[1].

Footnotes

You can use Firebase any way you like, at no charge, that’s within the bounds of the Spark plan. If you want to create multiple projects on the Spark plan, that’s also OK. I believe the limit is 10 projects per account. If you use Firebase in any way that violates the terms of service, that could cause you a problem.

If you’re trying to scale up an app by adding together all the resources offered by multiple projects on the Spark plan, I imagine you’ll primarily be limited by the number of concurrent connections allocated to each project’s database. If you ship an app to millions of users, I don’t know how you would get them all to “share” the concurrent connections distributed across all your projects. Sure, you might have plenty of storage (if you work out how to shard your data among all of them), but users will be gated by the concurrent demand for resources within one of the projects. Your app will simply not work for the users who are not able to connect because of the connection limit.

As of today there are two plans: Spark (free) and Blaze (pay-as-you-go). The Spark plan is pretty generous, but once you go beyond the free quota limit you need to manage your Firebase costs.

When you consider your app size, think about:

  • Size of data and egress (are you storing large video files you’ll be streaming)
  • Website hits + database reads/writes
  • Long processing tasks - Cloud Functions

vs your growth in revenue. If you are paying $1,000 a month for Firebase, but brining in $50,000 a month, that might be ok. If you are paying $100 a month and have no revenue…maybe an issue. In other words, if you have a large app with growing revenue, it might be ok.

Now for managing and controlling your Firebase costs, I would point out this article on Understanding Firebase Costs and my company, fireRun.io, that actually helps you see and manage your Firebase costs.

Firebase Pricing

Firebase has both 1 free and 2 subscription options:

Firebase provides the best back-end server, great database and analytics solution, and useful integrations with other Google products. Most of all, users like that it’s free to use and has affordable subscription options. A wisely designed CMS solution guarantees project scalability and data security. In the development process, up to 40% of efforts are made on building a flexible CMS structure and Admin panel. So, if the features of Firebase Free plan are enough to achieve your final goal, then you may save up to 40% of your budget and also time.

Firebase is a service acquired and backed by Google Cloud (someone once told me the acquisition price was $80MM, but I cannot find evidence of that online). Yet their uptime is a fraction of ours and the many other services we depend on.

It was originally an independent company founded in 2011. In 2014, Google acquired the platform

In total, Firebase, which was founded by Andrew Lee and James Tamplin, raised about $7 million in a seed round in 2012 and a $5.6 million Series A round in 2013.

I don’t think if there is any limit on sending push notifications using Firebase but if you are in a doubt then you can use Onesignal. They provide unlimited free notitification service to any number of devices. It also supports cross platform notifications.

No, your data is not shared with anyone. Google has to support Android community and while Firebase Cloud Message supports both iOS and Android, I am sure Google has Android developers in mind when creating Firebase Cloud Message.

No, not really!

There are different type of pricing for firebase.

But you can get the most of the features in the free plan and you don’t even need to connect your credit card for the free plan.