Free load testing tools online (a small selection)
Load testing is a software development and quality assurance (QA) process. It is used to assess how well a system or application performs under various levels of simulated user activity. The key objective is to make sure that the system or app can handle the expected workload without slowing down or experiencing other performance issues. Today we’re looking at some free load testing tools that you can use to aid in your own efforts. It is important to note that the tools described below are not those which provide a ‘one-off’ assessment. Rather, these are free, long term load testing services, which may have some limitations but can certainly be of great use.
Load testing in more detail
Load testing is crucial as it provides a proactive evaluation of real-world usage scenarios. Performance issues can be addressed before they become critical in production environments. This reduces the risk of downtime, data loss or more importantly, customer dissatisfaction. In load testing, a simulated workload mimics the behaviour of a specific number of users or transactions interacting with a system simultaneously. This workload may include tasks such as making API requests, accessing web pages or submitting forms. The load testing process typically involves the following steps:
Defining the goals of the load test, identifying key performance metrics to measure and determining test scenarios. This will include the number of virtual users, types of interactions and the test duration.
Simulating the specified user workload using specialized load testing tools or frameworks. These tools create virtual users that generate requests and interactions as defined in the test scenarios.
Monitoring and Analysis
During the test, system performance metrics are continuously monitored.
A subset of load testing, this sees a system pushed beyond its expected limits to determine its breaking point or failure behaviour. This helps testers identify potential weaknesses and bottlenecks.
Analysis and Reporting
Performance data collected is then analysed to identify any performance degradation, bottlenecks or other issues.
Based on the findings, developers and performance engineers can then look to optimise system performance, scalability and reliability.
Some free load testing tools: Blazemeter, Flood.io & Loadium
Blazemeter profess to offer “the complete continuous testing platform” and you can see for yourself at the Blazemeter website. Well, up to a point – the FOC version has limitations including a 10 test maximum and 20 minute max test duration. You will need to sign up to begin using the platform but it is well worth a look. Any user scenario can be simulated for web apps, websites, mobile apps or web services. You can also scale concurrent users using realistic visitor behaviour.
Flood.io is an online load testing tool that offers 500 Virtual User Hours for free every month. You can test web applications by simulating real users, and the browser-based approach makes it far easier to load test apps. It also provides you with complete control of the page and the user journey, making it easier to create realistic load scenarios. Visit the Flood.io website to learn more.
On the Loadium website, you are promised “the best load testing experience with open-source technologies, easy-to-use UI and dynamic support.” This free load testing service allows users to write fast and better-automated load tests. It is relatively easy to record, browse, upload, edit and run load testing scripts, although there are some limitations including: 50 concurrent users plus 50,000 API calls limit.
There are many other free load testing tools available for you to try, including:
ApacheBench / Apache JMeter / CloudTest / Fiddler / Gatling / Httperf / Loader.io / LoadStorm / LoadUI / LoadView / NeoLoad / OpenSTA / Selenium / Speedtest.net / Testing Anywhere / Tsung / WebLOAD / Web testing
Let us know if you are aware of any others or have experience with those featured in this article. The chances are that you will have a particular preference but all of these are worth investigating. That is, of course, unless you do not have any software testing skills!