cognito vs firebase: Which to Choose?




Oct 9, 2023

Making an app takes a lot of work, time, and money. So, it's important to make it user-friendly. One way to do this is by making it easy for users to log in. They should be able to use their usual usernames and passwords or even their social media accounts like Google, Amazon, Facebook, or Apple. There are many tools out there to help with this. In this article, we'll look at two popular ones: Firebase and Cognito.



Looking for a reliable way to handle user sign-ins, permissions, and identity for your app? Cognito might be just what you need.

Offered by Amazon, Cognito delivers strong security measures for both mobile and web applications. Beyond just logins, it also supports social media sign-ins and integrates seamlessly with other Amazon services.

Cognito's Key Features

Cognito is known for its strong and efficient user authentication and authorization for mobile apps.

Two main features of Cognito that enhance user onboarding are User Pools and Identity Pools. Let's delve into what each brings to the table.

User Pools
Think of a user pool as Cognito's user directory. It's a central feature that facilitates various actions like user sign-ups, logins, and third-party integrations.
Additional perks include:

  • Managing user profiles

  • Customizable sign-in web page

  • Multi-step verification

  • Notifications for phone and email

  • Protection against account takeovers and breaches

Identity Pools
While user pools focus on individual user IDs, identity pools grant users temporary AWS credentials to tap into Amazon services.

Seamless UI for User Sign-ins
Cognito boasts a built-in, modifiable user interface. Developers can integrate this using SDKs for iOS, Android, and JavaScript, making user registration and login a breeze.

Top-notch Security
Cognito prioritizes your app users' security. Its advanced features ensure risk-aware authentication and shield against compromised account usage.

Control Over AWS Resources
With Cognito, you can define app access levels to different AWS tools. By defining and associating user roles, you ensure users only access permitted resources.

Standard Authentication Protocols
Cognito adheres to widely-accepted identity management standards like OpenID Connect, OAuth 2.0, and SAML 2.0.

Smart Authentication
Cognito's adaptive authentication spots unusual login patterns, such as unfamiliar locations or devices. Depending on the risk, you can ask users for added verification or deny access. For added security, users can use SMS or tools like Google Authenticator for identity confirmation.

Cognito's Costs

A "Monthly Active User" (MAU) is someone who does something related to their identity, like logging in, signing up, or changing a password, in a month.

Cognito gives you a free package for the first 50,000 MAUs who use Cognito's user pools directly. Plus, you get an extra 50 MAUs for free if they connect through SAML 2.0 identity systems.

After the free 50,000 MAUs, the costs are:

  • For 50,001 to 100,000 MAUs: $0.0055 for each MAU.

  • The next 900,000 MAUs: $0.0046 for each MAU.

  • And for the following 9,000,000 MAUs: $0.00325 for each MAU.

Cognito has more pricing options too. Check their website for all the details.


Firebase offers an all-in-one solution for building, testing, verifying users, and launching apps. This piece will dive into its user authentication and account management tools.

Key Features of Firebase

Here's a simple breakdown of Firebase's tools for user authentication and profile management:

1. User Authentication
Firebase helps developers boost their app's security with its authentication tool. This tool is vital for the behind-the-scenes work of an app. It allows users to prove who they are in various ways, enhancing their experience and building trust in the brand.

2. Cloud Messaging
Firebase provides a messaging service that works across different devices. This is great for users because it means they can send messages safely to different devices. Plus, since it's cloud-based, it's free! This includes features like notifications.

3. Easy App Development
Firebase's "low code development" means you don't need a lot of coding just to add a feature or two. Even if you're not a coding expert, Firebase makes it simpler to introduce new features to your app.

Firebase Cost Breakdown

Firebase offers two main plans: the free Spark plan and the pay-as-you-go Blaze plan.

Spark Plan (Free):

  • 1 GB of Cloud Firestorm storage.

  • 10 GB/month of Cloud Firestorm network egress.

  • 20,000 daily writes.

  • 10 GB of hosting storage.

  • 360 MB/day of data transfer.

  • Use Firebase's test lab for 10 daily virtual device tests and 5 daily physical device tests.

Blaze Plan (Pay-as-you-go):

  • Includes everything from the Spark plan.

  • Pay based on your extra usage. For instance, if you need more than 1 GB of cloud storage, it's $0.108 for each extra GB.

  • Google Cloud pricing applies for other network egress.

  • If you need more than 10GB in hosting storage, it's charged at a rate of $0.026/GB.

There are more pricing options with FireStore. For a detailed breakdown, it's best to check their official website.


If you're mainly looking for user authentication and profile management for your mobile app, Cognito is a solid choice.

But, if you need a broader range of services beyond just user management, Firebase offers a comprehensive app development solution.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Copyright © Arcana Technologies Ltd. All rights reserved.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Copyright © Arcana Technologies Ltd. All rights reserved.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and

no commitment is required.