Neon vs. Supabase: Which One Should I Choose

Tianzhou3 min read
Neon vs. Supabase: Which One Should I Choose

Besides the typical Postgres service providers like AWS RDS, Google Cloud SQL, DigitalOcean Managed Databases, Neon and Supabase are the two modern Postgres service providers.

On the surface, Neon and Supabase are different products. Neon is a database service. While Supabase is a BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service) and Postgres is one of its included service.

They are comparable because they both offer a developer-friendly, scalable Postgres service.


And their websites certainly don't help the choice easier.



At Bytebase, we are Postgres fans. Our founders build Google Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL and Bytebase also chooses Postgres to store its own metadata. Below we compare Neon and Supabase from the following dimensions:


Neon is a shared-storage architecture. It separates the compute and storage. The compute part is just normal Postgres server, the storage part is a custom-built multi-tenant storage system shared by all Postgres compute nodes.


Supabase is a battery-included Postgres platform. It uses vanilla Postgres as the core and augments the database with various middlewares.



Neon is mostly compatible with vanilla Postgres whereas Supabase is a dedicated vanilla Postgres instance. They both bear the limitations of a hosted database service (e.g. no superuser).


Both Neon and Supabase are targeting developers, and they both offer a branching feature.

Neon purpose-built paging layer has copy-on-write (CoW), which enables database cloning instantaneous and cost-effective.


Supabase branching integrates with Git repository. It provisions a new empty database, runs the migration script and initializes the seed data.

Overall, Neon's instant branch cloning is closer to the Git semantics.


Neon integrates with application platforms such as Vercel to provide a high-fidelity preview environment.

Supabase is an application platform by itself. Thus it boasts a wide variety of integrations.


Also there are quite a few SaaS boilerplates based on Supabase.


Both Neon and Supabase achieves SOC2 Type 2. Supabase is additionally HIPAA compliant, a requirement for storing health data such as medical records:

Open Source

Neon open sources its entire database codebase under Apache-2.0 license.

Supabase also open sources its entire platform under Apache-2.0 license.

Supabase is one of the most popular repositories on GitHub, while Neon's star growth is also impressive.



Both Neon and Supabase offer a free tier. Neon also offers auto-scaling. Its auto-scaling unit is CU (1vCPU, 4 GB RAM), and can scale from 0.25 to 8 CU.

Neon or Supabase

If you want a Postgres database without whistles and bells, Neon is almost the perfect database a developer would desire. It has serverless, branching, auto-scaling.

If you're looking for a dedicated Postgres instance or are looking to build a full-stack application, Supabase has everything you need. It has database, auth, APIs, and more.

Bytebase can augment Neon and Supabase database with change review process, a data access control and dynamic data masking.

Further Readings

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