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Top 11 Best Load Testing Tools 2024

Feb 14, 2024
15 min read

Load testing tools help you assessing your system’s behavior under various stress levels. They play a vital role in testing software performance within realistic settings, uncovering potential weaknesses, and guaranteeing software excellence. The absence of load testing process could lead to the unwelcome possibility of your software failing post-launch due to unanticipated load.

The key to successful testing lies in selecting the ideal load testing tool tailored to your needs. Premier load testing tools are designed to emulate virtual user activity and run test scenarios effectively. However, with the software market brimming with an array of choices, from open-source solutions to premium offerings, pinpointing the perfect load testing tool for your enterprise can be challenging. In this discussion, we aim to present a curated selection of leading software load testing tools, delving into their advantages and drawbacks to aid you in making an informed decision.

1. PFLB Platform

PFLB logo

PFLB Platform is the new generation load testing tool which allows running complex tests in the cloud to anyone interested in load testing. PFLB Platform is a cloud platform designed to evaluate the performance of websites, mobile applications, REST, and gRPC API services. You can be a marketer, product or project manager, developer or, naturally, a performance engineer: anyway, you will find PFLB Platform really useful.

We put it on the first place in the list, since it is super handy to compare the results of the tests, and trend reports help to localize the bottlenecks really quickly.

PFLB Platform provides an easy-to-use instrument for marketing specialists. It allows import of load profile data from Google Analytics, and other sources, retrieves statistical information and lets you run performance tests without any coding or other engineering. You don’t even need to know any programming languages.

Developers and performance engineers will find PFLB Platform handy for conducting performance tests in the cloud. They can use a full suite of testing tools, such as HAR/Insomnia import, request definition, parameterization and correlation running in the cloud as SaaS service. You can also manage and reuse tests, centralize the assets, compare the results between the tests, see trends across time and share results and reports. No need to worry about infrastructure deployment, though.

Product and project managers will find it easy to analyze the results of the recurring tests online using detailed web-accessible dashboards. 

Overall, PFLB Platform represents a new generation of performance testing products which allow users to easily create, plan, run and execute tests in the cloud using a simple and straightforward web interface.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use web portal for all your performance testing needs
  • Ability to define emulated user actions without coding
  • Easily build your profile based on statistics from Google Analytics, Yandex.Metrika, etc
  • Record your tests in any browser, such as Chrome or Firefox, via HAR import
  • Import your requests from functional testing tools, such as Insomnia or Postman
  • JMeter plugin to easily upload your work into cloud and support your existing workflows
  • Easily shareable test results through a web report
  • Detailed and visual test-to-test comparison
  • Easy to read SLAs immediately indicating the test status
  • Trending of the multiple test results, giving a high-level overview of the multiple SLAs over multiple test-runs
  • Ability to run the tests and receive results through a modern API, which could be easily called from your favorite CI/CD conveyor (GitHub. Gitlab, CircleCI etc) or any other system

Cons

  • At this point PFLB Platform only supports HTTP(-s)-based protocols
  • If your test environment is not accessible over WAN, you will need to buy an Enterprise license of PFLB Platform to deploy it in your own environment

Protocols

  • HTTP
  • REST
  • SOAP

Pricing

PFLB Platform is a cloud-based subscription solution, so you only pay for what you use. A free license allows up to 5 test runs, while pricing for more tests starts at $50 per month. You save money, as there is no need to hire staff, and product operations are included into the subscription cost.

  • Demo
    1 concurrent test
    10 users max
    15 minutes max test duration
    5 test runs total


    Free
  • Standard (monthly)
    1 concurrent test
    200 users max
    60 minutes max test duration
    10 tests per month


    $50
  • PRO (monthly)
    Multiple
    5000 users max per month
    48 hours max test duration
    1000 tests per month


    $400
  • Enterprise
    Ask vendor for quotation

Best For

Are you testing a website, API or an app? Use load testing PFLB platform to accelerate your testing cycles by a magnitude. If you don’t have any experience in performance testing, it’s all right: you don’t need it with PFLB Platform.

The rest of the tools are listed according to how frequently we use them in our testing experience. Since we provide load testing and performance testing services, you can trust us that the tools listed below do deserve your attention, too.

Want to Learn More about PFLB Platform?


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2. Apache JMeter

Jmeter logo

Apache JMeter tool stands out as a freely available tool for developers engaging in load testing. Recognized for its popularity and versatility, it rightfully earns a top spot in many toolkits. JMeter, being a 100% Java-based desktop application, is adept at evaluating the functional performance of web applications across a broad spectrum of web and network protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, LDAP, SOAP, and TCP. Its open-source nature makes it easily accessible to businesses of any scale, ensuring no organization is barred from leveraging its capabilities.

Apache JMeter’s compatibility extends to various technologies, facilitated by its Java-centric architecture. It supports JDBC for database testing and integrates seamlessly with Message-oriented Middleware (MOM) through JMS, enhancing its utility in testing diverse application types. Moreover, JMeter’s flexibility allows for the use of shell scripts and native commands, simplifying the testing process.

One of JMeter’s strengths is its ability to test both dynamic and static resources, offering testers the capability to work with servers, logs, queries, scripts, and files. This comprehensive approach enables the thorough evaluation of applications under substantial loads, allowing testers to assess their durability and performance across different stress scenarios. JMeter not only facilitates a deep dive into performance testing but also ensures applications can withstand the demands of real-world usage.

Pros

  • GUI Design and interface
  • Result analysis and caches
  • Highly extensible core
  • 100% Java-scripted
  • Easy-to-use plugin manager
  • Multithreading framework
  • Data analysis and visualization
  • Dynamic input

Cons

  • Doesn’t support JavaScript, so it doesn’t support AJAX requests by extension
  • After a certain limit, high memory consumption causes errors for a large number of users
  • Can be difficult to test complex applications using JavaScript or dynamic content such as CSRF tokens

Protocols

  • HTTP
  • HTTPS
  • XML
  • SOAP
  • Java-based protocols
  • FTP
  • JDBC
  • LDAP
  • POP3, IMAP, SMTP

Pricing

Free or Open Source

Best For

Apache JMeter is one of the best open-source load testing tools for businesses of all sizes. The tool gives its users various useful testing features for free and users can customize it according to their needs.

3. LoadView

LoadView logo

LoadView stands out as a fully managed, cloud-based load testing platform, highly regarded for its capacity to test a broad spectrum of web applications and websites, including APIs. Widely used by Fortune 100 companies, LoadView offers unparalleled robustness and capabilities, surpassing many competitors, including Postman load testing tools.

It supports testing of various elements like web pages, APIs, complex web applications, streaming media, Postman Collections, and JMeter scripts. Unique to LoadView is its point-and-click scripting tool and the option to perform tests using real browsers, a feature not commonly found in other tools. It also boasts load injector servers in over 40 locations worldwide. With its ease of use and quick setup, LoadView is designed for users seeking a comprehensive, technically advanced load testing solution without the complexity of server management.

Pros

  • Fully managed and cloud-based, requiring minimal setup
  • Supports a wide range of testing including APIs, web applications, and streaming media
  • Utilized by top Fortune 100 companies, ensuring reliability
  • Unique point-and-click scripting tool for ease of use
  • Real-browser testing capabilities for accurate performance insights
  • Global reach with load injector servers in over 40 locations

Cons

  • May be more expensive than open-source alternatives
  • Potentially less customizable than some open-source tools
  • Could be overwhelming for beginners due to its robust feature set

Pricing

  • Offers a free trial for new users
  • Tiered pricing structure based on testing requirements and scale
  • Customizable plans available for enterprise-level needs

Best For

LoadView is best suited for enterprises and large-scale organizations seeking a comprehensive and advanced load testing solution. It’s ideal for performance engineers who require a robust, reliable platform that simplifies complex testing scenarios without the need for extensive technical setup or server management.

4. LoadRunner

LoadRunner-logo

Micro Focus LoadRunner tool, previously known as HP LoadRunner, is esteemed among performance engineers for its advanced and comprehensive capabilities in load testing of software applications. From the vantage point of a performance engineer, LoadRunner is not merely a tool for assessing web applications or services; its proficiency encompasses a broader spectrum, including the testing of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, legacy system applications, and the dynamic realm of Web 2.0 technologies.

Load testers would especially value LoadRunner for its unique competency in evaluating older, proprietary protocols. This capability is pivotal, placing LoadRunner as an essential component in the toolkit for ensuring comprehensive coverage across various types of software systems. The tool’s ability to offer a detailed view of a system’s performance from start to finish is indispensable for identifying and resolving performance bottlenecks early in the development cycle. This early detection enables a granular evaluation of each application component before it is deployed, ensuring optimal performance upon release.

For a performance engineer, LoadRunner’s significance extends beyond its diagnostic precision. It represents a strategic asset in application development, offering a blend of early bottleneck detection, comprehensive testing capabilities across a range of technologies, and predictive planning for application scalability. This comprehensive approach ensures that applications are not only ready for launch but are also prepared to meet future demands, underlining the critical role of LoadRunner in the success of technology projects from a performance engineering perspective.

Pros

  • Accurate detection of system, end-user, and code-level bottlenecks
  • Discovers root cause of application performance issues
  • Reduces cost of application downtime stemmed from performance issues
  • Allows performance testing of existing legacy applications with new technologies
  • Enables testers to test mobile applications
  • Reduces software and hardware costs by forecasting software capacity and scalability
  • Enables software teams to configure intelligent service-level agreements before their product goes live
  • Gives users shorter test cycles to expedite application delivery
  • Offers effective tool utilization tracking
  • Browser-based access to global test resources
  • Optimal usage of load generator farm

Cons

  • Extremely expensive (see our comparison article Jmeter vs Loadrunner)
  • Uses a lot of memory and crashes if the system cannot meet its computing requirements
  • May have compatibility issues
  • Usage license is based on the number of virtual users

Protocols

LoadRunner supports all kinds of protocols related to its services.

Pricing

  • Community Edition
    Get 50 virtual user licenses for life


    Free
  • Virtual user days
    Gives you the option to add more virtual users

    Starts at $1.40 per virtual user day
  • Volume Pricing
    Contact vendor for quotation

Best For

Micro Focus LoadRunner is a highly sophisticated and versatile load testing tool optimized for testing various platforms. However, due to its price the tool is more suitable for medium- to large-sized organizations.

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5. Gatling

Gatling-logo.svg

For those proficient in Scala, Gatling tool emerges as an optimal code-based, open-source load testing tool. It enables the simulation of thousands of user requests while requiring only a minimal number of load generators. Integration with continuous integration processes, such as Jenkins, is streamlined, making it highly suitable for long-term projects. 

Testers can leverage Gatling with build tools like Gradle, Maven, or SBT for enhanced project management. Upon completing tests, Gatling automatically generates a dynamic and visually appealing report, simplifying the analysis phase for performance engineers. This concise functionality makes Gatling a powerful ally in load testing, offering efficiency and depth in performance analysis.

Pros

  • At high loads, Gatling can be more productive than other free load testing tools, especially when testing websockets
  • Handy if you are developing on Scala
  • Official and unofficial plugins for testing Kafka, RabbitMQ, JDBC, etc.

Cons

  • Easier to create a script manually than to use an existing recorder
  • No distributed startup out of the box
  • If you have no experience with Scala, the entry threshold for full use of Gatling will be higher than for other load testing tools.

Protocols

  • HTTP(s)/1
  • JMS
  • SOAP
  • MQTT
  • HTTP/2
  • JDBC
  • WebSockets

Pricing

  • Demo for 5 days
    No hosting



    Free
  • Scout (monthly)
    1 user account
    Duration: 1 hour


    €69
  • Scale (monthly)
    10 user accounts
    Duration: 24 hours


    €276
  • Corporate (monthly)
    10+ user accounts
    Duration: 24 hours+


    €1380

Best For

Gatling was created to write tests in Scala, so for that purpose it would be just perfect.

6. K6

K6 logo

K6 tool is a contemporary, open-source load testing tool tailored for developers, emphasizing website performance evaluation. Crafted with a Go language backend and JavaScript for scripting, it offers an accessible solution for teams with limited load testing budgets. Engineers can independently execute load tests using K6, underscoring the principle that some load testing is better than none. 

Operating primarily in console mode, K6 outputs test results directly to the console, with options to extend functionality through plugins for Kafka, Datadog, InfluxDB, JSON, and StatsD, enhancing result visualization. Besides the open-source variant, K6 provides a feature-rich cloud version that offers advanced functionalities and scalability options, catering to more demanding load testing needs.

Pros

  • Integration with CI tools
  • Ability to create custom metrics
  • Developers will enjoy EaC

Cons

  • No possibility of distributed startup
  • Supports only testing of websites
  • Websocket connections sometimes get stuck
  • No support for the Go language
  • Aimed at developers

Protocols

  • HTTP/1.1
  • HTTP/2
  • WebSockets
  • gRPC

Pricing

  • Demo
    Up to 50 load tests



    Free
  • Developer (monthly)
    1200 tests per year
    200 virtual users


    $59
  • Team (monthly)
    2400 tests per year
    1000 virtual users


    $339
  • Pro (monthly)
    2400 tests per year
    5000 virtual users


    $1199

Best For

Developers who are interested in testing and want to write high-performance code, as well as businesses that are unable, for the moment, to organize independent testing.

7. LoadNinja

LoadNinja logo

LoadNinja tool is a user-friendly load testing tool that revolutionizes the creation of complex load tests by eliminating the need for scripts, allowing for a 50% reduction in testing time. It uniquely employs real browsers instead of load emulators, providing actionable browser-based metrics for comprehensive application performance evaluation. 

With features that support real-time debugging and rapid identification of performance issues, LoadNinja streamlines the testing process. It empowers teams to expand test coverage while maintaining high software quality, removing the burden of script-related tasks such as translation, scrubbing, and dynamic correlation. This enables software testers to devote more time to developing scalable applications, enhancing productivity and efficiency in the testing phase.

Pros

  • Hosted in the cloud
  • Real browser load test execution at scale
  • VU Debugger debugs tests in real time
  • VU Inspector manages virtual user activity in real time
  • Browser-based metrics with analytics and reporting features
  • Scriptless load test creation & playback

Cons

  • Completely relies on AJAX, which relies on JavaScript; so it doesn’t work if JavaScript is disabled or not supported
  • Dynamically displayed and loaded data is not a part of the application page
  • Asynchronous nature of AJAX causes latency issues
  • Expensive

Protocols

  • HTTP
  • HTTPS
  • SAP GUI Web
  • WebSocket
  • Java-based protocol
  • Google Web Toolkit
  • Oracle forms

Pricing

  • Starter (Monthly)
    100 users
    8 load hours


    $249
  • Pro (Monthly)
    1000 users
    8 load hours


    $779
  • Premium (Monthly)
    2500 users
    8 load hours


    $1,009
  • Enterprise
    Contact vendor for a quotation

Best For

LoadNinja is an excellent software testing tool for web developers and software testers who want to implement scriptless testing procedures. However, the pricing plan makes it more suitable for medium- to large-sized businesses.

8. WebLOAD

WebLoad logo

WebLOAD tool ffers an enterprise-grade load testing solution designed to create realistic load scenarios for even the most complex systems. It stands out for its reliability and advanced features, including in-depth performance insights and smart analytics. The platform is highly flexible, supporting a wide array of technologies and facilitating integration with various tools, from performance monitoring to CI/CD pipelines. This makes WebLOAD a versatile choice for users seeking to enhance their testing capabilities with comprehensive and insightful performance analysis.

Pros

  • Powerful correlation engine
  • Generates load on premises or in the cloud
  • Supports every major web technology
  • Automatic bottleneck detection
  • Flexible test scenario creation

Cons

  • Complex
  • Expensive
  • From time to time the record functionality has a race condition that causes lines to be recorded out of order

Protocols

  • Native JavaScript scripting
  • HTTP
  • HTTPS
  • XML
  • Enterprise applications
  • Network Technology
  • Server Technologies

Pricing

  • Free trial
  • Quote-based plan

Best For

WebLOAD is a comprehensive load testing tool that enables businesses of all sizes to test websites, applications, and enterprise-level applications.

9. BlazeMeter

BlazeMeter logo

BlazeMeter is a leading performance and load testing service that offers an innovative Continuous Testing Platform designed for enterprise-scale testing needs. It facilitates a “shift-left” approach with its web-based interface, allowing for easy creation of both static and dynamic load tests, the latter leveraging Apache JMeter scripts. 

BlazeMeter enhances Apache JMeter, a renowned open-source load testing tool, by adding enterprise-level features such as Application Performance Monitoring (APM), real-time reporting, distributed testing, and seamless integration with continuous integration (CI) developer tools. This platform empowers users with advanced testing capabilities, making it a comprehensive solution for modern testing requirements.

Pros

  • 100% Compatible with Apache JMeter
  • Create tests on any scale – up to 1 million concurrent users
  • Set up tests within minutes
  • Run scriptless tests or upload URL lists
  • Run tests from the cloud or on-premise
  • Run tests from multiple geo-locations
  • Simulate mobile testing from real devices
  • Facilitate team collaboration with script and report sharing
  • Multi-tool support
  • Integrations with leading CI and APM tools
  • Support and professional services
  • Real-time detailed reports on load test results
  • Set KPIs for tested app behavior
  • Desktop and mobile user experience monitoring

Cons

  • Very basic and shallow reporting
  • Expensive for user load volumes exceeding 1000 users

Protocols

Same as for JMeter & Gatling (see above)

Pricing

  • Starter (Monthly)
    50 concurrent users
    10 tests


    Free
  • Basic (Monthly)
    1,000 concurrent users
    15 tests/month


    $149
  • Pro (Monthly)
    5,000 concurrent users
    6,500 virtual user hours/month


    $649
  • Unleashed
    Contact vendor for a quotation

Best For

BlazeMeter is an excellent load testing tool for organizations already using Apache JMeter. Regardless of the size of your business, you may find the tool useful.

10. NeoLoad

NeoLoad Logo

NeoLoad is a renowned Java-based testing tool tailored for evaluating web or mobile applications under substantial load conditions. It comes equipped with all essential functionalities required for conducting thorough load tests and analyzing the results. By simulating a significant number of virtual users (vusers), NeoLoad offers insights not only into the system’s response times to incoming requests but also evaluates the performance of the entire server infrastructure, including databases and web servers.

The tool allows for a wide range of scalability in its tests, with the capacity to simulate anywhere from 50 vusers in its free version to up to 100,000 to half a million vusers for more extensive testing requirements. Moreover, NeoLoad’s cross-platform capabilities ensure it can generate load across different operating systems such as Unix, Windows, and Linux, making it a versatile option for diverse testing environments.

Pros

  • Cloud integration, real-time monitoring, integration with real devices are supported not only on Android or iOS, but also on Windows Phone and Blackberry
  • Ergonomic interface reduces test execution time
  • Supports conversion of Selenium scripts
  • Performance monitors (CPU, memory, disk usage, etc.) are configured for your servers
  • Provides the ability to record any mobile application directly from any mobile device using proxy mode or DNS tunnel
  • HTTP traffic is recorded between the browser and the server

Cons

  • There is no DOM access page;
  • There are no means to create initial and final actions to record response time.

Protocols

  • HTTP/S
  • HTTP/2
  • Google Web Toolkit (GWT)
  • SOAP
  • WebSocket
  • RTMP
  • Microsoft Silverlight
  • Java Serialization
  • ‎Oracle Forms
  • Oracle Siebel

Pricing

Flexible: pay-as-you-grow policy.

Best For

If you need to load test an API or web app, NeoLoad can handle much of what you need.

11. Locust

Locust logo

Locust is a versatile, open-source load testing framework, renowned for its scalability due to its event-driven architecture. Crafted in Python, it offers a robust solution for developers looking to simulate millions of simultaneous users to test the performance of web applications.

The framework’s code is publicly available on GitHub, contributing to a rapidly expanding community of users and contributors. Although Locust tool demands a foundational understanding of programming, it compensates with comprehensive documentation. This documentation thoroughly covers the framework’s features, alongside practical examples of code, tests, setup for distributed loading, Docker deployment, and more, providing valuable resources for both novice and experienced developers alike.

Pros

  • Detailed documentation that includes templates for quick application
  • Python support for your own implementations
  • Open source
  • Ability to run tests from any OS
  • Your own web server
  • Distributed load support
  • Built-in monitoring system
  • Not highly resource-consuming
  • No graphical interface, which can be useful if you are going to feed the load from a machine that does not provide access to GUI

Cons

  • Python programming skills required
  • Support only for the HTTP/HTTPS protocol out of the box
  • No built-in script recording capability

Protocols

HTTP/HTTPS protocol, but as the developers  assure, you can write your  own implementations relative to other protocols. They provide examples of tests for the XML-RPC and gRPC protocols.

Pricing

Free, open-source solution.

Best For

Primarily for those familiar with Python and in a hurry to conduct load testing for their service without having to deal with the specifics of testing on such complex tools as LoadRunner or JMeter. If there are protocols other than HTTP/HTTPS in your project or you are not familiar with Python, it is better to look towards other solutions for load testing.

Have a Project in Mind?​
We have been working on performance testing projects since 2008.
Drop us a line to find out what our team can do for you.
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Conclusion

When it comes to the best software load testing tool, there is no universal solution. If you want to find the best performance testing tool for your web, mobile, or gRPC based applications stress testing, including backend testing, review each option closely and select the one that fits your needs the best.

PFLB is a software performance and load testing company dedicated to providing quality load testing to our clients. We have served over 500 companies across a wide variety of domains that range from finance and healthcare to retail and technology.

Using all our experience, we will make sure that your mobile application delivers the highest quality of service while outperforming its competitors.

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We can provide multiple performance testing services and a lot more than that if the situation needs a far more complex approach.
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