One of these days I need to setup Grid, but I don't have much time lately. My need is pretty simple: run concurrent find operations to load test our search service. I know there are things like BrowserMob (now known as Neustar, apparently), but it's difficult for me to ask for funds right now.

Does anyone have free or very cheap, simple load testing alternatives they like that they can talk about?


  • have you looked at JMeter ? Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 18:59
  • 2
    You definitely want to use a tool like JMeter and not Selenium for load testing. JMeter can send thousands of hits in a fraction of a second. Even with 1000 clients (using grid or browsermob or some other similar technology) would not produce anywhere near that amount of traffic since each selenium test is slow - multiple clicks and keystrokes required for a single request to be triggered - compared to a direct http request.
    – Sam Woods
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 13:52
  • Selenium is a terrible tool for load testing. See for example sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/12900/… and sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/3551/….
    – user246
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 23:26

5 Answers 5


instead of setting up a Grid you can run performance tests using webdriver + phantom js. Here is a NPM module and then a blog post on launching at scale with redline13.

The gist is to build a controller that spins up AWS instances, starts the tests, captures performance results, and effectively shuts down the EC2 instances to not incur extra cost. I have seen a 5,0000 PhantomJS test for about $10.


Apache JMeter is really cheap, and by really cheap, I mean free. It should be able to handle the find operations you are looking for.

The download link is: http://jmeter.apache.org/download_jmeter.cgi

  • I have heard about Jmeter but not tried it yet. Can it do operations that are behind a login? Our product is an HTTPS site that users have to login to.
    – Aaron
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 19:57
  • Second question: I see I can record navigation through an HTTP proxy. Would that let me record textarea input for my search? Or does JMeter only do simple static content loading?
    – Aaron
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 20:10

If it's the search service you want to load test and not the actual UI, there is the SOAP UI + LOAD UI combo. http://www.loadui.org/

  • Looks awesome, but I can't afford the $9900 license. :-)
    – Aaron
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 20:16
  • Iwas using the free verison :) didnt realize it was that expensive. Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 20:41

If you have very simple tests to run, take a look at our free version - Load Tester LITE. It is currently limited to pretty simple tests, but is free if you supply the load-generating hardware and allows unlimited VUs.


Try Gatling ! It's in scala and much better than Jmeter in many area. It is relatively new, and it was designed to overcome the shortcomings of Jmeter, browsermob etc! http://gatling-tool.org/

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