Ultimate Guide to Load Testing Tools

Our enterprise-class load testing platform offers flexible cloud-based load testing for the most complex applications, websites, APIs, and more.

Load Testing Tools Covered in This Guide:

LoadView

Cloud-based load testing in real browsers

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JMeter

Open-source Java-based load testing application

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Gatling

Scala-based open-source load testing framework

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Tsung

Open-source multi-protocol load testing tool

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Choosing the Right Load Testing Tool

If you have been doing any research on load testing tools, you know that there are a lot of load testing options to choose from. From open-source software to free load testing tools, paid load testing tools, and even “freemium” load testing options, there is no shortage of options in the market today. With all these choices, it can be hard to determine the best load testing tool for your specific situation. To help you understand which load testing tools to use and why, we have put together what we like to call the ultimate guide to load testing tools! In this guide to load testing tools, we will break down the advantages and disadvantages of these various load testing tools and platforms. Additionally, we will explain different load testing scenarios associated with each tool and what each one brings to the table. By the end of this guide, you should be a load testing pro! Let’s get started!

 

Paid Load Testing Tools vs. Free Load Testing Tools: What’s the Right Choice?

In the load testing world, there is an age-old question, Should we be spending money on a paid, or commercial, load testing tool, or should we just use a free tool to save the company money? Even though we developed LoadView and think it is a fantastic and robust load testing platform, we also realize not every organization is created equally there really is no 100 percent correct answer to this question. While budget is the typically the main deciding factor, it is just one of the many factors to consider. There are situations where a free tool may get the job done just fine. And there are other situations where a free tool won’t even come close to cutting it, so let’s look at some of the differences between paid load testing tools and free load testing tools.

Free load testing tools and solutions are great for situations where you are looking to run small-scale tests. Additionally, free load testing tools require a bit of setup, so if you are tech savvy and comfortable If this is the case, then free tools may be able to get the job done just fine. However, if you are looking to configure and run large-scale tests where you need to flood a website or application with a large amount of concurrent or simultaneous users, and gather a large amount of data, you are most likely going to want to use a paid tool. Paid tools typically provide a wider feature-set than open-source or free load testing tools.

Performance Testing Tools: How Much Data Do You Need?

 

It is no secret that some load testing tools provide a lot more test data than others. The question is, how much data do you need? For simple HTTP load testing, you probably don’t need a lot of data. However, if you are testing a web application, you may need an immense amount of data to get the most out of your testing, and you may also need to utilize real browsers as well, to understand true performance as your users and visitors experience it.

The bottom line is that when it comes to performance testing tools, free tools typically never provide as much data as the paid tools, but in some cases, this may be acceptable, depending upon on the needs and requirements for your test. For example, if you are running a small hobby blog and are doing some light load testing, you most likely do not need a large amount of data to make capacity planning decisions.

However, if you are running a large ecommerce website and gearing up for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, for example, chances are that you need a large data set in order to ensure that your websites and applications can handle the appropriate level of load leading up to that big shopping day. Again, this is a decision that you need to make based on your level of expertise and what kind of experience your users will expect.

 

Real Browser Load Testing vs. Headless Browser Load Testing

 

There are two main types of testing that can be performed with most load testing tools: real browser testing and headless browser testing. At the time of writing, the only tool on the market that can perform real browser load testing is LoadView. Most of the other tools rely on headless phantom JavaScript browsers to accomplish their load testing.

What’s the difference? Well, if you’re just hammering your site with HTTP requests, the difference isn’t much. You are simply generating load on a server with a flood of GET requests. However, if you’re really trying to understand how a website performs under load and see this from a user’s perspective, then real browser load testing is invaluable. Essentially, real browser load testing allows you to most accurately simulate the actions of a real user, and it also allows you to see how the site behaves from a user’s perspective, something that cannot be accomplished with headless browsers.

Essentially, the question of headless versus real browsers comes down to how much data you are looking to capture, and the level of details that you need in order to analyze this.

Web-based Recorder

Quickly create complex scripts that simulate users interacting with your website or application. No additional downloads required.

Scripting Flexibility

Validate keywords/images and interact with Rich Internet Applications (RIA) and dynamic web application frameworks, such as Angular, Flash, HTML5, Ruby, PHP, React, Silverlight, Java, AJAX, .NET, and more!

Complex Interactions

Test form submissions, perform searches, and take action based upon the location of an icon, button, or image – or manually edit the script using your own C# code.

Dynamic Variables

Provide variable data (Context Parameters) to simulate different users logging in, visitors searching for different products, or dynamic URL testing.

Load Testing Tools Reviewed

 

In this section, we will look at the load testing tools mentioned at the beginning of this page, starting with the most robust and moving to the simplest load testing tool.

1) LoadView

 

LoadView is a fully managed, cloud-based load testing tool that allows to users to test a wide range of websites, web applications, as well as being one of the best API testing tools. Obviously, we are a bit partial to this tool, but the LoadView platform is used by multiple Fortune 100 companies and is about as robust as it gets. It is truly one of the best performance testing tools in the market, and you won’t find something that’s more capable or more robust across any of the Postman load testing tools that are available today.

LoadView gives users the option of testing web applications, in addition to a point and click custom scripting tool, which isn’t offered by many other tools in the marketplace. LoadView is also the only tool on the market that allows users to observe actual performance using real browsers for load testing, something that isn’t done by any other load testing tool.

Ease of use and quick setup time are two more areas where LoadView shines. While JMeter and other open-source tools are free, they do require a larger learning curve to be able to setup and a higher level of technical expertise. Because LoadView is fully-managed, you don’t have to worry about instantiating servers or managing cloud servers because it’s all done for you. If you’re looking for the most advanced load and performance testing platform with the most robust features, there’s no other choice than LoadView.

 

2) JMeter

 

JMeter is the Apache Foundation’s opensource load testing tool that has garnered an excellent reputation over the years for being a solid tool that provides good information and high-quality results.

In addition to being free and open source, there are a lot of good load testing guides online for JMeter. Apache has very active user forums as well, so it is not hard to find information on how to setup and configure JMeter performance tests. One problem here is that even if you have access to the information, you still need to be able to understand and process it, and this isn’t always the easiest thing to do if you’re not familiar with errors that can pop up during testing.

3) Gatling

 

Gatling is another open-source load testing tool that’s been around for a while and has established a good reputation when it comes to free performance testing tools. Gatling is a French company with a crew of quality developers who know their way around load testing.

As with most other free load testing tools, there is a learning curve with Gatling that does not exist with LoadView, so if you are looking for the quickest and easiest form of load testing, that’s something to consider.

4) Tsung

 

Rounding out our list of load testing tools is Tsung, another free open-source tool that’s readily available to anyone who wants to load test HTTP websites. Tsung has a variety of performance-related capabilities, including being able to monitor a client’s CPU usage, memory usage, and the traffic on their network.

Among the tools on the list, Tsung is probably the most limited in the data that it provides. It also has a steeper learning curve, like the other free performance testing tools.

Putting It All Together: What’s the Best Load Testing Tool?

 

Obviously, we believe it’s LoadView based on the ease of use, the feature set, and the support we have from Fortune 100 clients around the world. While it’s true that you can use a free load testing tool, and it may be good enough to get the job done and get you some data, if you believe that your site is worth load testing, then it’s worth using the best performance testing tool available! Learn more about how LoadView compares to other load testing tools and solutions, like LoadRunner, BlazeMeter, NeoLoad, and more.

 

Review performance test results to assist with your organization’s capacity planning.

Summary Report

Provides an overview of the execution plan, transactions per minute, average response times, and errors encountered.

Session Report

List of all user sessions along with a brief description of errors/failed sessions, waterfall charts, and more.

Device Information

Detail of the device and task(s) configurations.

Stress Test History

Review your test configuration and response details at any time.

Fully Managed Cloud

No need to set up your own third-party cloud account, manage cloud licenses, or testing infrastructure.

Virtual Load Injectors

Utilize Amazon Web Services and Azure Cloud Services servers located in more than 20 zones throughout the United States, Canada, APAC, South America, and Europe. 

Dedicated Servers

When you run a performance test, the infrastructure is dedicated to you. There are no shared servers.

Distribute User Load

Set up, configure, and select the regions or countries where most of your website visitors come in from to understand performance from their perspective.

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