I need to run a UI load test against a web application with 1200 concurrent virtual users. I've looked at several products, and they seem to cost upwards of $1500 for a one month licence. I'm wondering if anyone knows a more cost-effective method of load testing web applications?

I've looked at Bees with Machine Guns, and spinning up several AWS EC2 instances to host them, however I'm interested in any other solutions - standard and unconventional!

  • 2
    Make sure that the project owner / managers know about true costs. You may use a free or very low cost project but the trade-off is usually that you need a technical person to set it up. With salaries of $100,000pa in the US, 'free' is often not. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 10:30
  • Craig's List job offering with the URL of the server in it?
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 17:14
  • Accept that about a dollar a user is cost-effective. US salary for a month can be > $10,000 If a company has a $1m in sales, this requires spending 0.15% of gross revenue. Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 11:17
  • What is the financial risk of failure or the cost per minute in downtime for this application? Also, why must this be a UI test? This was state of the art for 1995. It is not 1995 Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 14:50
  • I want to test the load of an actual user scenario, it's the most accurate way to complete that. Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 10:00

5 Answers 5


Here you check.

There are 58 (and counting) free and open source load testing tools which you can utilize.

If you are looking for the narrowed-down list check out Open Source Load Testing Tools: Which One Should You Use? article which describes and compares the following tools:

There you will be able to find feature comparison matrix, sample load tests, and reports.

If you don't have previous load testing/coding experience Apache JMeter would be the most obvious choice as it is very popular, GUI-based, has good documentation and large community, however other tools may be a better fit for your project.

  • Thank you Dmitri. I promise I googled this question before I asked on SQA, however I didn't find as useful a link than this! Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 7:29

Have you considered Jmeter? it is completely free for the tool itself and can allow you to craft good solid scripts, I won't advise on what type of hardware you will need because I do not know what you already have, but I think 2-3 Load injecting machines would do the trick for 1200 users no problem (Really depends on the spec of machines available). You can proxy your browser and record your requests in order to make a script, I would highly recommend adding some plugins and making your scripts as realistic as possible (by adding a delay/timer to replicate real world use etc).

Here are some great resources to check out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=335LKIXRauA (Great talk from Goranka Bjedov) http://jmeter.apache.org/usermanual/ (Jmeter user manual/getting started) http://jmeter.apache.org/download_jmeter.cgi (Jmeter downloads)


Siege is load testing tool and its a open source tool, learning is very simple, it support multiple platform and its latest version 4.0.2 and if you are using linux os only need this command to install brew install siege

Currently I'm working in siege tool. I am checking the load of my server using siege tool and monitoring linux top command. First i run the load test with a relatively small number of concurrent users. then i check the siege output . In the outptut i can see that transcation, no .of hits in the server, elapsed time duration of entire test, data transfered, it is the sum of data transfered to every siege simulated user, response time, concurrency, no. of succesful transaation, failed transaction.

I'm saying that Siege (like any other tool) can only simulate some limited number of users. Siege is very easy to learn only go through the siege documentation.

siege does not have enough features compare with other other tool, but easy to learn


I had quite a pleasant experience with the free and open-source locust.io load testing framework. It is amazingly easy to set up and control the logic of the load test. It is Python-based.

You can specify and change the number of concurrent users on the fly. And, it can also work in a distributed fashion.


If you want/need to load test a webapplication on the gui-level there is no free/open source tool (that i know of) that supports that. You will need (expensive) tools like:

  • Browser Driven protocol from Silk Performer (Microfocus)
  • Truclient protocol form Loadrunner (HPE)

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