Best Network Performance Testing and Load Testing Tools

Network performance and load testing tools have grown ever more sophisticated over the last decade. Back in the day, network performance testing tools were little more than tools that generated dummy network traffic with ICMP to test an interface’s or node’s ability to handle heavy traffic, also known as internet stress testing.

These days, network performance and load testing tools can use virtual entities to mimic the behavior of a real user for more accurate data.

Here is our list of the best network performance and load testing tools:

  1. SolarWinds Performance Monitoring with NPM EDITOR’S CHOICE The Network Performance Monitor is an SNMP-based system that includes analytical functions that are based on historical data. Runs on Windows Server. Start a 30-day free trial.
  2. Site24x7 Network Monitoring (FREE TRIAL) Network and internet connection performance tracking as part of a cloud-based service that includes IT infrastructure, applications, and website monitoring.
  3. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor All-in-one network, server, and application monitor that includes NetFlow sensors for traffic load analysis. Runs on Windows Server.
  4. Dotcom-Monitor A cloud-based Web services testing platform that offers stress testing for websites, APIs, media streaming. and other Web applications.
  5. Tricentis Flood Cloud-based tool that can analyze onsite, remote, internet, and cloud server traffic flows.
  6. LoadNinja A tester for internet connection loads on web utilities that deploys thousands of real browsers to emulate load on a target site.
  7. StressStimulus Tester for load on mobile applications and web applications. Generates 10,000 virtual users for stress testing.
  8. WebLOAD Stress tester from Radview that focuses on web applications.
  9. Network and web application tester that offers a range of views right down to packet level.
  10. Apache JMeter Free open-source network tester that installs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
  11. NeoLoad Load testing that supplies from 50 to one million virtual users. Good for checking SLA goals.
  12. Automai Performance Tester An automated tester that has the capabilities to test Citrix and VMWare, but it also works with SAP, PeopleSoft, Infor, and Oracle systems.

But before we look at the best of the best, let’s first discuss why performance testing tools are needed and what types of metrics they measure.

Why are performance and load testing tools needed?

Software and components of IT infrastructure are designed with the best intentions, but hidden errors, unknowns, and unforeseeable events can be disastrous to a project. To mitigate the risk of failure – whether during the development process or after a mission-critical system has been deployed – technicians and engineers need to verify the limits of a system.

The more stress a system or application is put under, the more errors and bugs surface. These types of bugs aren’t usually obvious and need to be dealt with. A problem can’t be solved if it can’t be identified, and performance and load testing tools help refine critical systems by causing hidden issues to bubble to the surface.

What types of systems do these tools test?

Network performance and load testing tools measure a wide variety of metrics. Most of them have a core competency of testing application loads, though they test ancillary metrics too, such as network load.

In addition to website and application speed tests, some tools have network traffic generator modules.

The best network performance and load testing tools

Though many of these tools do require a subscription to unlock all of their features, many have free trials that you can use to get your feet wet with load testing before you take the plunge and sign up for a subscription.

Our methodology for selecting network performance testing systems

We reviewed the market for network testers, such as load testing tools, and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:

  • A range of connection testers, starting with Ping
  • The option to store metrics for historical analysis
  • Performance expectation thresholds
  • Alerts for resource shortages or equipment failure
  • Load trackers that can provide time-series graphs
  • A free trial or a demo for the opportunity to try before you buy
  • Value for money from a performance and load testing service that is offered at a fair price

With that said, let’s take a look at the best performance and load testing tools, starting with an industry favorite: SolarWinds.

1. SolarWinds Network Performance Testing with NPM (FREE TRIAL)

Solarwinds Network Performance Monitor

The SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) offers network testing tools that will help you spot problems with the delivery of services within your system.

Key Features:


  • Automated Device Tracking: Automatically detects and monitors the health of network devices.
  • Protocols and Path Analysis: Utilizes SNMP, Ping, and Traceroute for comprehensive network insights.
  • Custom Alerts: Configures performance benchmarks, alerting via email when thresholds are crossed.

Why do we recommend it?

The Network Performance Monitor implements ongoing network status reporting as well as providing network testing tools. The system will show if a network device is down but there are other systems for performance testing as well, including Ping and Traceroute options. Add on the NetFlow Traffic Analyzer to get the path analyzer called NetPath.

This tool is a very sophisticated monitoring system that detects all devices attached to the network automatically. You don’t need to install any agent software on your devices because they are all shipped with SNMP capabilities. The Simple Network Management Protocol includes procedures for constant monitoring of network devices. All that your system lacks is a central controller to request and collate this data. This is the role taken by the SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor.

Network testing functions within the NPM include troubleshooting utilities that are based on historical data. At first glance, it is difficult to work out whether performance issues are being caused by the network, services, and applications, or software processing problems at servers and endpoints. The PerfStack utility within the Network Performance Monitor shows you all of the underlying contributors to service delivery. These graphs are color-coded so you can get down to the stack level that is displaying errors and fix the problem quickly.

Another useful performance monitoring tool in the package is the NetPath utility. This enables you to see in real-time the delivery times of data from one point on the network to another, showing the statuses and speeds of each node that packets have to pass through on that journey.

The Network Analysis Tool within SolarWinds NPM gives you graphical representations of performance metrics so you can see in an instant when performance begins to be impaired.

Who is it recommended for?

This is a large package and it is suitable for big organizations. The tool will discover all of your network devices., create a network inventory, and then generate a network topology map. So, it is great for assessing and reorganizing an unplanned network.


  • Network Discovery & Mapping: Identifies all network devices and creates visual topology maps automatically.
  • Integrated Monitoring Tools: Includes Ping, Traceroute, and NetFlow for in-depth network analysis.
  • User-Centric Alerts: Advanced alert system notifies promptly of network disruptions.
  • Dashboard Customization: Offers flexible dashboard configurations with drag-and-drop widgets.
  • Compliance & Reporting: Features robust reporting capabilities, including compliance templates.


  • Complexity for Non-Tech Users: May be daunting for users without technical expertise due to its extensive features.

You can get the Network Performance Monitor on a 30-day free trial.


The SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor is a full network management system that includes all of the performance and load testing tools that you need to spot potential problems and head of disasters. The software downloads directly from the SolarWinds site and self-installs on Windows Server.

Start 30-day Free Trial:

OS: Windows Server

Add on the Network Traffic Analyzer to get even more opportunities for monitoring, testing, and optimizing your network. This package uses the NetFlow, IPFIX, sFlow, J-Flow, and NetStream protocols to extract traffic data from switches and routers. The Network Performance Monitor and the NetFlow Traffic Analyzer are available together in the Network Bandwidth Analyzer Pack. The software for both runs in Windows Server and you can get the package on a 30-day free trial.

SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer Pack Start a 30-day FREE Trial

2. Site24x7 Network Monitoring (FREE TRIAL)

Site24x7 Network Monitoring

The Site24x7 All-in-One package covers all aspects of system management and has an extensive network performance module.  Network monitoring facilities include constant tests for performance. These are carried out through repeated live checks on network statuses that are judged against pre-set performance expectation thresholds. If a status crosses one of those standards, the Site24x7 raises an alert.

Key Features:

  • Traffic & Performance Monitoring: Analyzes network traffic and performance across LANs and the internet.
  • SNMP and Alerts: Leverages SNMP for device monitoring, with alerts for performance dips.

Why do we recommend it?

Site24x7 Network Monitoring is part of a platform of system monitoring modules. The network monitors include device status tracking and traffic analysis. The testing tools in the package focus on connectivity and there are also synthetic monitoring options to check on the availability of websites. This is a cloud-based system.

The All-in-One package includes a bundle of Network Interface monitoring credits. Each “Interface” can cover up to ten network performance statuses. The number of Network Interfaces included with the package depends on which plan the user chooses. The package also includes repetitive tests across the internet to ensure that a website is contactable and that all elements in a page load in an acceptable time frame. Again, these checks will raise an alert if performance falls below an acceptable level.

Who is it recommended for?

This system is offered in packages that combine all of the monitors offered on the platform. The size and price of the plans are leveled at a capacity that is suitable for small businesses. Larger organizations can pay for capacity expansions to get a monitor for higher traffic volumes and larger network sizes.


  • Unified Monitoring Platform: Offers a comprehensive solution for monitoring networks, servers, and applications.
  • Instant Device Discovery: Automatically detects new network devices, updating maps and inventories in real-time.
  • Intuitive User Interface: Simplifies network management with an easy-to-navigate dashboard.
  • Versatile Monitoring: Bridges technical performance with user behavior and business metrics through user monitoring.
  • Freeware Option: Provides a basic version of the platform for initial testing without cost.


  • Learning Requirement: The platform’s depth necessitates a period of learning to master its capabilities.

The Site24x7 All-in-One package is available for free with a limit of five websites or five servers to be monitored. The paid system is available in five editions, all include full network monitoring. The plan levels offer 5, 10, 50, and 100 Network Interface allowances. Each of these editions can be accessed for assessment on a 30-day free trial.

Site24x7 Network Monitoring Start 30-day FREE Trial

3. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor

Paessler PRTG Performance Monitoring

Paessler PRTG is a very large collection of network, application, and server monitors. This package includes load and network performance testing tools. Paessler ships the entire bundle containing all of its monitoring utilities to every customer. You tailor the package to your needs by choosing which monitors to activate. The monitors are termed “sensors” by Paessler and if you only activate less than 500 sensors, the system is free.

Key Features:

  • Broad Traffic Analysis: Captures and analyzes traffic using NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow, IPFIX, and SNMP.
  • Sensor-Based Monitoring: Customizes network monitoring with selectable sensors, free for up to 100 sensors.

Why do we recommend it?

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor implements network discovery and then creates an inventory and a network map. The discovery service repeats, automatically updating the inventory and the map. The system also implements continuous device status checking and has a number of connection probing and analysis functions for network performance testing.

PRTG uses SNMP procedures to keep a constant check on the performance of all of your network devices. The tool will detect all of those devices automatically, compiling a hardware inventory and displaying live statuses on the management console.

NetFlow sensors in the package add further insights into your network performance. This sensor exploits a packet sampling language created by Cisco to let you see the flow rate of data between two points on your network. You can also use this tool to capture packets through port mirroring and check on the health of VoIP connections.

Who is it recommended for?

This system contains a very large number of monitoring tools. The buyer pays for an allowance of sensors and then decides which to turn on. There are a number of network testing tools in the package, including Ping and Traceroute. If you only activate 100 sensors, the package is free to use.


  • Comprehensive Insights: Combines packet sniffing with VoIP and QoS monitoring for detailed analysis.
  • Alert Versatility: Offers numerous alerting options, including email and SMS for immediate notifications.
  • Dashboard Flexibility: Enables personalized dashboard setups for focused monitoring efforts.
  • Freeware Availability: Supports small network monitoring needs without cost for up to 100 sensors.


  • Initial Complexity: The wealth of features and customization options may overwhelm new users at first.

Paessler offers PRTG on a 30-day free trial. This software installs on Windows Server.

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor Download 30-day FREE Trial

Related post: Port Mirroring Guide

4. Dotcom-Monitor Load Testing

Dotcom-Monitor Load Testing

Dotcom-Monitor offers a range of Web testing services from its cloud platform. One of its plans is a Load/Stress Testing service. This plan is able to launch volumes of traffic from real browsers towards a website or application.

Key Features:

  • Focused Web Testing: Specializes in load testing for web services and applications to evaluate performance pressures.
  • Dynamic Test Modeling: Provides various load simulation strategies to assess website resilience.

Why do we recommend it?

Dotcom-monitor Load Testing is part of a cloud-based platform of monitoring and analysis tools for managing websites and Web applications. The platform offers a service called LoadView, which is a stress testing system. This is separate from the Web monitoring packages that are offered by the company.

The stress testing service of Dotcom-Monitor is actually run by a division of the company, called LoadView. Volumes of traffic highlight where APIs or other elements of a Web page are unable to cope with large amounts of traffic. This is a useful test because you might ensure that your Web server is able to cope with demand but overlook the functions that create its key functions, such as the shopping cart.

The testing service lets you assemble scripts so that you can be sure that those vital services are actually being triggered by your tests. The environment lets you shape traffic surges so you can implement tests following:

Load Step Curve

Goal-based Curve

Dynamic Adjustable Curve

These different strategies allow you to stress your sites and services from different angles and ensure that they will hold up in different circumstances.

Who is it recommended for?

The LoadView system isn’t part of the regular Web monitoring packages and you pay for it on demand. That means that you don’t need to be a long-term subscriber to the monitoring service in order to use the stress testing system. Tests can reach into Web page elements through scripts.


  • Scriptable Tests: Allows for detailed scripting to target specific web functions and APIs during tests.
  • Flexible Testing Service: Offers stress testing on a pay-as-you-go basis, requiring no long-term commitment.


  • Configuration Challenges: Setting up and interpreting tests can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Cost Concerns: Potentially expensive for comprehensive testing scenarios compared to alternatives.

The LoadView service is offered in three subscription plans plus a pay-as-you-go service. You can experience the system on a 30-day free trial.

5. Tricentis Flood

Tricentis Flood Dashboard - network load testing view

Tricentis offers a variety of products including qTest, Tosca, RPA, and its distributed load-testing product Tricentis Flood. In addition to public and private cloud deployment options, Tricentis Flood also supports open-source generation tools such as JMeter, Selenium, and Gatling.

Key Features:

  • Versatile Traffic Simulation: Offers tools to mimic various user behaviors and traffic patterns.
  • Comprehensive Testing Suite: Supports testing across LANs and websites with powerful open-source tools.
  • Cloud and On-Premises Testing: Flexible deployment options to suit different testing environments.

Why do we recommend it?

Tricentis Flood is a cloud-based load testing service. This service can be used to test Web applications and websites and you can also download an agent to run on your own endpoints that will test the resilience of your network. Virtual users can be programmed to behave in different ways.

Its subscription model is rather simple, providing both monthly and annual options. Though Tricentis Flood is geared towards enterprises, it also has a version for small to medium-sized businesses with a relatively inexpensive monthly fee.

Who is it recommended for?

This service can be used by anyone. The package is mainly aimed at testing Web applications but it can easily be converted to a network load testing tool with agents for Windows, Linux, and macOS. You pay for virtual user hours, so it isn’t necessary to sign up for a long-term subscription.


  • Flexible Pricing Model: Monthly and annual subscription options cater to businesses of all sizes.
  • Cloud Integration: Seamlessly works with Azure and AWS for extended testing capabilities.
  • Broad Tool Compatibility: Incorporates JMeter, Selenium, and Gatling for diverse testing scenarios.


  • Interface and Visualization: Some areas of the user interface and data visualizations could be enhanced for better clarity.
  • Trial Limitations: A more feature-rich trial period could better demonstrate the platform’s capabilities.

We also like how Tricentis designed its solution to integrate with private hosting providers such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. In addition to a rather limited free trial, you can also request a demo.

6. LoadNinja

LoadNinja Dashboard

LoadNinja is another fierce competitor in the load testing and performance testing arena. It too offers a free trial that requires minimal information and doesn’t request payment details upon sign-up. It offers record and playback test scripts that are automated which don’t require coding on behalf of the user.

Key Features:

  • Real Browser Testing: Utilizes thousands of real browsers for accurate load testing results.
  • Codeless Scripting: Enables automated test script creation without the need for coding.
  • Detailed Response Analysis: Tests and measures application response from multiple locations.

Why do we recommend it?

LoadNinja is a cloud-based system that tests Web applications and websites with an option to test systems on your network. However, this tool is for application stress testing rather than network stress testing. You can direct traffic from outside or download a local agent and originate traffic within your network.

Its data is platform-independent thanks to its browser-based data console. SmartBear, the creator of LoadNinja, offers a 14-day free trial as well. And instead of using a browser emulator to stimulate and simulate load, it uses thousands of real browsers for the most accurate testing.

In addition, it has a virtual user inspector and debugger that works in real-time. Furthermore, it’s equipped with tools to test applications over the LAN via dedicated IP addresses. The Pro version supports up to 250 virtual users, while the Premium version supports up to 2,500 virtual users. Larger enterprises with greater testing demands can contact SmartBear regarding pricing details for over 2,500 virtual users.

Who is it recommended for?

Although this package is advertised as an application stress tester, you can ignore the analytic screens in the service and just watch your network monitor to look at network device performance when a traffic surge occurs. Pricing is on a subscription or for an on-demand service.


  • User-Friendly Interface: Designed for ease of use, allowing quick adoption by non-technical users.
  • Accurate Testing Approach: Employs real browsers for testing, providing realistic capacity insights.
  • Real-Time Debugging: Features a virtual user inspector and debugger for immediate issue resolution.


  • Trial and Integration: Extended trial and more integrations with APM tools would enhance its utility.
  • Browser Performance Comparison: The ability to compare performance across different browsers is missing.

7. StressStimulus

StressStimulus - network load testing view

StressSimulus is interesting because its designers not only created it to test web applications, but also mobile applications. Also, it can run tests both locally and in the cloud to help isolate performance bottlenecks so you can address the weakest components of your application. We also found it interesting that it simulates security by allowing a tester to supply each virtual user with login credentials to better gauge the impact of high-volume authentication.

Key Features:

  • Web and Mobile Application Testing: Designed to test the performance of web and mobile apps under stress.
  • Authentication Simulation: Allows testing with virtual user login credentials for realistic scenarios.
  • Bottleneck Identification: Pinpoints traffic bottlenecks to improve application performance.

Why do we recommend it?

StressStimulus is another cloud service that is designed to test Web applications, websites, and mobile apps, rather than networks. However, you can set it up to target an application on your network, letting the traffic flow through your network devices for testing. You can also download traffic generators.

This feature supports login credentials and virtual user identities by interfacing with web forms, Basic, NTLM, and Kerberos. In addition, it can simulate user behavior to load-test dynamic pages and other factors like session IDs and cookies. Supported protocols include HTTP, HTTPS, AJAX, SOAP, WCF, binary WCF, and XML over HTTP.

Who is it recommended for?

StressStimulus has a free plan, which provides 250 virtual users that will run for one hour. The other three plans are monthly subscription services. you could set a target to an internal application and then watch your network monitor instead of using the analytics service built into the StressStimulus console.


  • Versatile Application Testing: Capable of testing a wide range of applications, including mobile apps.
  • Customizable Virtual User Behavior: Offers detailed settings to simulate specific user environments.
  • Scripting and Automation: Provides automation options with the flexibility of scripting for advanced users.


  • User Interface: The interface could be more modern and less cluttered for better user experience.
  • Short Trial Period: A longer trial would offer more time to evaluate the tool’s full range of features.

Note that this is an automated solution and does not require the user to write scripts, though scripting features are included. We were disappointed to see that StressStimulus has a free trial that only lasts for seven days. Conversely, we were surprised to see that the free trial includes as many as 10,000 virtual users and full customer support. We find that it’s rare for a free trial to include customer support because companies typically want to reserve that resource for paying customers, so kudos to StressStimulus.

8. WebLOAD

WebLOAD Dashboard - network load testing view

WebLOAD, like other performance testing tools, isn’t strictly a network performance tool. As its aptly named moniker implies, its designers created it specifically to test the performance and scalability of web and mobile applications.

Key Features:

  • Web & Mobile Testing: Specializes in assessing the performance of web and mobile applications under stress.
  • Server Stress Analysis: Evaluates how web servers handle heavy traffic loads.
  • Interactive Testing: Analyzes the performance of dynamic elements in applications.

Why do we recommend it?

WebLOAD is another Web application tester but there are ways that you can use this tool for network load testing. For example, you can download load generators, use the SaaS package and point it to an application hosted on your site, or get an on-demand service on your cloud account, and point that to a target on your site.

Created by Radview, WebLOAD offers an analytics dashboard that provides insight into Javascript performance and server-side performance. And like most other performance testing tools, WebLOAD has a free trial that supports up to 50 virtual users.

Who is it recommended for?

The Web testing service can be manipulated so that it runs traffic over your network. The system is available in three plans with the Starter plan only being available for download. The two higher plans have SaaS and downloadable options. You can get these tests at an on-demand rate.


  • Intuitive Interface: Features a widget-based dashboard for easy access to performance insights.
  • Cross-Platform Support: Compatible with both Windows and Linux, accommodating a wider range of users.
  • Generous Trial: Offers a fully-featured trial for up to 50 virtual users, showcasing its capabilities.


  • Limited Documentation: Could benefit from more comprehensive self-help resources.
  • Scripting Examples: More pre-built scripts or scripting guidance would enhance usability.

The free trial is full-featured too; full-featured trials may not be the norm, but are becoming more and more popular. Supported technologies include HTTP/HTTPS, HTML5, AJAX, SOAP, and more. The free edition runs on both Windows and Linux platforms and integrates with Dynatrace, AppDynamics, and New Relic.

9. - network agents dashboard offers distributed load testing by creating masses of virtual users with software generators to simulate high demand. In addition to real-time analysis, it translates data into graphs to make it easier to spot trends and the results of tests.

Key Features:

  • Distributed Testing: Mimics a botnet to generate high traffic volumes from various locations.
  • Traffic Analysis: Converts test data into graphs for trend analysis and result interpretation.
  • Mobile Browser Simulation: Offers features to test mobile web browsing scenarios effectively.

Why do we recommend it? is a downloadable traffic generator for network load testing. You can install the generator on multiple devices to get different traffic patterns and the service includes an action recorder so you can easily create test scenarios to try out different pieces of equipment and user behavior patterns.

We especially like that it has a feature that simulates mobile browsers. Additionally, we like its logging feature to record and display individual HTTP requests and responses so you can comb through HTTP data with the granularity of a packet capture. We were pleased to see that it is significantly more inexpensive than most competitors and that even the Personal version – which is the most basic version – allows 500 virtual users and an unlimited number of tests.

Who is it recommended for?

This tool can be used for network testing or website testing. Unfortunately, this is a much more expensive system than the other testers on this list and it doesn’t have an on-demand option – you have to take out a monthly or yearly subscription. Those pricing factors might put off small businesses.


  • Mobile Testing: Excellently simulates mobile browser environments for comprehensive mobile testing.
  • Detailed Logging: Provides extensive logging capabilities for in-depth offline analysis.
  • Cost-Effective: Offers competitive pricing, making it accessible for smaller setups.


  • Interface Design: The user interface could be optimized for better monitoring and usage visibility.
  • Update Frequency: More regular updates could improve performance and feature set.
  • Integration Needs: Could benefit from more connections with Application Performance Monitoring tools.

We were, however, disappointed to discover that does not issue refunds. According to their refund policy, they will not offer refunds because it is not a tangible good. We suppose the lack of an adequate refund policy is justified by its low cost. Nevertheless, it has a free trial that allows you to test the waters before taking the plunge.

10. Apache JMeter

Apache JMeter - dashboard snapshot

Apache JMeter is undoubtedly a popular performance and load testing solution because it is free and open source. Naturally, it’s available on GitHub as a native Java application, and it’s incredibly versatile. In addition to testing dynamic web applications and static resources, it also includes network and Java-objects testing functionality.

Key Features:

  • On-Premise Solution: Provides a self-hosted testing environment for full control.
  • Development Focus: Ideal for development phase testing with protocol-level traffic generation.
  • Versatile Testing: Supports a wide range of protocols and platforms for comprehensive testing.

Why do we recommend it?

Apache JMeter is exactly the type of package that small businesses are looking for because it is free to use and it can be used to test networks, servers, or websites. The tool is self-hosted and it will run on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It includes a test scenario recorder.

To further highlight its versatility, be aware that it runs on a variety of platforms including Windows, Mac OSX, Linux distributions, and any other Java-compatible platform in its CLI mode. Supported nodes and protocol types include web (HTTP, HTTPS, Java, PHP, ASP.NET), FTP, LDAP, JDBC, mail protocols (SMTP, POP3, IMAP), TCP, and Java objects.

I did want to highlight a disclaimer Apache provides on its website, however. Apache makes it very clear that this solution is not a web browser. Even though it may look like one, it actually works on the protocol level. As such, it lacks the capability to simulate virtual user behaviors from a browser or execute a web page’s Javascript. Nevertheless, this is a great free tool for those wishing to perform load testing and preserve their budget. Check them out on GitHub.

Who is it recommended for?

The fact that it is free and will install on all of the major operating systems means that you can really have fun with this tool by installing it on many devices and checking out the performance of different routers. Record a macro to replay for your tests and model different behaviors.


  • No Cost: Completely free and open-source, offering a budget-friendly testing solution.
  • Dark Mode Design: Features a user-friendly design with dark mode for comfortable extended use.
  • Java Object Testing: Allows for the individual testing of Java objects, adding to its versatility.


  • User Simulation Limitations: Lacks the ability to simulate virtual user interactions fully.
  • Bug Resolution: Issues may persist longer due to its open-source nature and community-driven support.
  • Support Options: Absence of paid support may limit assistance for troubleshooting.

11. NeoLoad

NeoLoad Dashboard - design view

Neotys created NeoLoad as an enterprise load-testing solution that integrates with dev-ops teams. We were impressed by the sheer power of this product, which allows load testing with anywhere between 50 and 1 million virtual users. Needless to say, this product has high scalability.

Key Features:

  • High Scalability: Supports testing with 50 to 1 million virtual users, showcasing remarkable scalability.
  • Traffic Customization: Enables specification of diverse traffic types for detailed testing scenarios.
  • Bottleneck Identification: Advanced analytics pinpoint performance bottlenecks efficiently.

Why do we recommend it?

NeoLoad has recently been taken over by Tricentis, which also owns the system that we reviewed earlier in this list. This tool is an application tester and it can be integrated into a CI/CD pipeline. However, it has an on-premises version and you could also point the cloud version to a target inside your network.

The options for configuring user-behavior testing are rich and complex, too. This solution is able to replicate geographic and mobile network conditions and define pass or fail SLA’s to identify pain points and bottlenecks. Standard protocols include HTTP, HTTPS, HTTP/2, SOAP, and other optional protocols at your discretion, and it interfaces with SAP Web and Oracle E-Business.

Who is it recommended for?

Although Neotys offered a free edition, that facility is no longer available under Tricentis ownership. The system has a range of deployment options and you can use it to test any level of the IT system stack. However, it is more tuned for Web application testing and DevOps teams are its target market.


  • Massive User Simulation: Capable of simulating up to one million virtual users for extensive load testing.
  • Extensive Customization: Offers detailed settings for user behavior and browser simulations, tailored for complex environments.
  • Enterprise-Focused: Designed specifically for the needs of enterprise development teams, integrating seamlessly into dev-ops workflows.


  • Complex Interface: Navigating the dashboard and accessing details can be challenging due to its complexity.
  • Opaque Pricing: Pricing details are not directly available, requiring potential users to inquire with the sales team for specifics.

We were a little disappointed that the pricing page didn’t reveal any of the individual plans’ prices; for that information, you need to contact Tricentis. Nevertheless, we did like the application-testing interface and thought it looked both sleek and clean.

The starting price for the plans is around $20,000 per year, so this is not a tool for small businesses. Access a free trial to examine the NeoLoad service.

12. Automai Performance Tester

Automai Performance Tester

Last but not least is the Automai Performance Tester. One thing we like about this product is that Automai intentionally designed it to be as user-friendly and automated as humanly possible. To facilitate this design goal, Automai made the scripting process completely code-free. All a tester need do is click and use the application as a normal user would, and Automai will automatically generate scripts that are easy to tweak and edit.

Key Features:

  • Code-Free Scripting: Enables easy script generation without coding, simplifying the testing process.
  • Error Capture: Automatically snapshots error messages for efficient troubleshooting.
  • Informative Graphs: Provides clear and actionable insights through well-designed graphical representations.

Why do we recommend it?

Automai Performance Tester is a service on the Automai Robotic Automation platform. Automai specializes in linking different applications together and passing data between them. It is a business process automation system and its load tester is geared towards examining the efficiency and speed of those flows.

This smart software also has an interesting way of recording flaws and errors. It can detect problems and bottlenecks, and then take screen captures to highlight the pain points. We were also to see how modular it is. Not only does it work with Citrix and VMWare, but it also works with SAP, PeopleSoft, Infor, and Oracle. Underlying programming platforms in which it interfaces with, include .NET, Java, C++, Flash, Adobe, SQL, and HTML5 as well.

Who is it recommended for?

You would probably be more likely to use this testing tool if you are a customer of the Automai business process automation system. However, the tool can be used to test a process flow before you actually implement it and the scenarios can be set up by recording walk-throughs.


  • User-Friendly Design: Offers a straightforward and accessible interface, ideal for users without technical expertise.
  • Bottleneck Detection: Automatically identifies and documents performance bottlenecks, aiding in optimization efforts.
  • Versatile Compatibility: Compatible with a wide range of applications and platforms, from Citrix and VMWare to SAP and Oracle.


  • Short Trial Period: The 14-day trial may not provide sufficient time for thorough evaluation of the software.
  • Limited for Tech-Savvy Users: More advanced users may seek additional customization and testing options.

Be aware that there is a free trial that lasts for 14 days. Again, we were surprised to see that even the free trial includes full technical support, though we don’t believe this free trial is fully-featured. Still, the free trial is a great way to test your network before committing to a purchase.

Choosing a network performance and load testing tool

Apart from the tools mentioned featured above, there are more purpose specific free tools, that are a lot narrower in scope and functionality that can be of use. Paessler offers a number of free performance and load tools, which include the NetFlow Tester, which gathers NetFlow messages, and the Webserver Stress Tool, which tests the performance of your websites.

It’s simply impossible to know how a new application or resource will react under heavy stress without testing tools. The right tools will help uncover issues that would otherwise be discovered by the end-user.

Instead of taking the approach of Microsoft and rolling out a new system with thousands of bugs, we advise you to use one of the aforementioned performance and load testing tools to make sure you’ve got all of your ducks in a row.