Our Top Picks

Alteon VA Logo
Alteon VA
4.7
  • Local and global load balancing
  • Generous testing demo with no time limit
  • Detailed support resources
Best Free Trial
Visit Alteon VA
If you're going to spend money on a load balancer, you should know that it's worth the money. Alteon VA offers the best free trial of commercial software we've seen — while you can't rely on it for load balancing, you can use the client for lab testing for an unlimited period of time. The demo package even includes a variety of automation modules to streamline load balancing for users who may not have as much familiarity with these mechanics. With a full set of features and no time limit, Alteon is the load balancer with the most practical free trial in 2021.

Additionally, Alteon VA comes with support for both local and global server virtual load balancing as well as other features like real-time monitoring, app acceleration, and a web application firewall. It also provides dedicated deployments for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and other popular cloud platforms.

After the free trial, your pricing for Alteon VA depends on what you want. We weren't able to find any information about refunds or a money-back guarantee, so you should spend some time with the demo version of the platform before deciding whether to move forward with a subscription. Alteon is part of the Radware suite, which also covers digital solutions for enterprises, service providers, and public cloud environments.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Local and global load balancing
  • Generous testing demo with no time limit
  • Detailed support resources

Cons

  • No free option

What Customers Are Saying

Radware users are satisfied with the platform's outstanding reliability and ease of setup. Several reviewers also emphasized its responsive customer support as well as the depth of its analytic tools.

Summary

Alteon VA Logo
Alteon VA
  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Support
    24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Content Routing
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.7
Barracuda Load Balancer Logo
Barracuda Load Balancer
4.3
  • Receives regular updates
  • 24/7 phone support and live chat during business hours
  • Free trials available
Best Customer Service
Visit Barracuda Load Balancer
When you're targeting perfect performance, it's impossible to predict what could go wrong or what you could end up wanting support with. Whether you need to fix technical issues or get some extra assistance with your load balancing software, you want to know that someone will be ready to help on the other end. Barracuda offers 24/7 phone support along with service tickets and live chat help during business hours and beyond — from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. Pacific time. With strong support availability and outstanding user reviews, Barracuda has the best customer service of any load balancer in 2021.

Along with load balancing, Barracuda provides a variety of other services with a focus on cybersecurity and performance. With HTTP caching, data compression, content routing, data loss prevention, DDoS protection, and more, you can rely on it to keep things running smoothly. Its website also offers information about new updates for the entire Barracuda suite — for example, it introduced automated security workflows and expanded public-facing APIs in a September 2021 release.

Like many other load balancing platforms, Barracuda offers custom solutions tailored to your needs rather than preset subscriptions. The best way to get started is to send the provider a message through its website and ask what it can do for your use case. Most of its services also come with a free trial as long as you enter basic information about you and your organization.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Receives regular updates
  • 24/7 phone support and live chat during business hours
  • Free trials available

Cons

  • Some users report experiencing complicating during the deployment

What Customers Are Saying

A small percentage of users noted that they had trouble deploying Barracuda, but nearly every customer reported positive experiences with the support team.

Summary

Barracuda Load Balancer Logo
Barracuda Load Balancer
  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Support
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Chat
  • Content Routing
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.3
Citrix ADC Logo
Citrix ADC
4.0
  • Receives regular updates
  • Impressive scalability
  • High-profile clients like SAP and Microsoft
Best Scalability
Visit Citrix ADC
Even if you're working at a smaller scale today, you might be managing much more resources in the near future. Citrix ADC is the most scalable load balancing software available in 2021 due to its impressive offerings for small businesses, enterprises, and everything in between. Despite working with some of the largest companies on the planet including Microsoft, SAP, and Deloitte, Citrix offers targeted services on a smaller scale through Citrix ADC. It also provides a wide range of enterprise-friendly features for things like remote work, employee support, virtual private networks (VPNs), firewalls, and more. Citrix ADC is the ideal choice for growing organizations that are looking for load balancing software that can grow with them.

Citrix ADC build 13.1 — 4.43 was released on September 14, 2021, and added a few new features including redirection from HTTP to HTTPS, batch API calls, and support for the Russian, Korean, and Chinese (traditional) languages. There have been several other updates released in 2021 alone, so we expect Citrix to continue making changes to the platform for the foreseeable future.

If you're interested in testing out Citrix ADC, call its team or submit a form on the Citrix website to arrange a free demo. Keep in mind that you may also be interested in other applications like Citrix Gateway, Citrix Web App Firewall, or Citrix Web App and API Protection depending on the needs of your organization.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Receives regular updates
  • Impressive scalability
  • High-profile clients like SAP and Microsoft

Cons

  • No free option

What Customers Are Saying

User reviews constantly reference the incredible flexibility of the Citrix ADC platform for a variety of different use cases. They also appreciate how well different Citrix applications work together to optimize enterprise workflows.

Summary

Citrix ADC Logo
Citrix ADC
  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Support
    Phone Support
    Chat
  • Content Routing
    No
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.0
Cloudflare Logo
Cloudflare
4.7
  • Starts at $5 per month
  • Wide range of other services available
  • Mix-and-match solutions as needed
Best Web Performance Solution
Visit Cloudflare
Cloudflare is one of the biggest names in online performance, and it's a great option for those who want to fully optimize their performance. While Cloudflare is most commonly known for its content delivery network (CDN), it also offers a long list of other services including distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection, video delivery, web application firewalls, and obviously load balancing. Whatever services you need, Cloudflare can work with you to find the right solution. Its unmatched versatility makes it the best web performance solution with load balancing in 2021.

Other parts of the Cloudflare suite receive consistent updates, but the load balancing tool has only received a handful of new releases over the last several years. 2020 updates introduced a few minor features to make it easier for users to manage their servers, but there haven't been any major releases since the announcement of load balancing analytics in late 2019.

Cloudflare offers a free tier with basic web features along with a paid plan for $20 per month and a business subscription at $200 per month. However, load balancing is sold as a separate add-on for as little as $5 per month, and you can mix and match with other add-ons like access monitoring, secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates, and image resizing. Keep in mind that Cloudflare doesn't provide any information about a money-back guarantee or any other refund policies.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Starts at $5 per month
  • Wide range of other services available
  • Mix-and-match solutions as needed

Cons

  • No money-back guarantee

What Customers Are Saying

While Cloudflare is widely recognized for its CDN, we weren't able to find as many reviews covering its load balancing features. However, most users who mention load balancing report that Cloudflare makes it easy to keep servers running at peak performance.

Summary

Cloudflare Logo
Cloudflare
  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial/Demo
  • Support
    Email/Help Desk
    Knowledge Base
    Phone Support
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Chat
  • Content Routing
    No
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.7
Edgenexus Load Balancer Logo
Edgenexus Load Balancer
4.6
  • Easy to set up
  • Helpful support resources including video guides
  • Firewalls, application delivery, and other services available
Load balancing software can be complicated to figure out, particularly for users who don't have as much technical experience. Edgenexus makes it easy to start, and you can get the platform operational in a few minutes by following its helpful video guide. Enter the information for your virtual services and real servers and watch Edgenexus do the rest. It also comes with an intuitive interface that helps you find what you're looking for in a fraction of the time. Overall, it's the easiest load balancer to set up in 2021.

On top of load balancing, Edgenexus provides web application firewalls, an application delivery platform, and other digital services. The Edgenexus App Store also gives users access to a deep library of add-ons for everything from duo authentication to MySQL server health checks. Unfortunately, we weren't able to find any information about any recent releases or updates to the platform.

Even though the Edgenexus website boasts of a "fair and cost-effective pricing model," it doesn't offer any additional information about how prices are determined. With that in mind, you'll need to contact its sales team directly for more information about a solution for your needs. However, Edgenexus does back its products with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Helpful support resources including video guides
  • Firewalls, application delivery, and other services available

Cons

  • No information about recent updates

What Customers Are Saying

Usability is a common theme across most Edgenexus reviews, with most customers reporting that the platform was very easy to deploy and start using. With that being said, Edgenexus hasn't received much user feedback compared to better-known platforms like Cloudflare.

Summary

Edgenexus Load Balancer Logo
Edgenexus Load Balancer
  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Support
    24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Content Routing
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.6
Imperva Logo
Imperva
4.4
  • Receives regular updates
  • Intuitive interface
  • Local and global load balancing
Best User Interface
Visit Imperva
When you're looking at traffic information, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data. We were struck by Imperva's sleek, professional interface that uses a familiar dashboard to help users oversee their networks and access a variety of analytic tools. Despite offering load balancing as well as application security, DDoS protection, CDN access, cloud security, and more, Imperva's unmatched interface makes it surprisingly easy to understand what's happening with your servers.

Imperva is also extremely proactive when it comes to updates, putting out a new release of its cloud application security service on every Sunday. Some updates come with brand-new features, but most focus on bug fixes and cosmetic tweaks. There are also periodic updates to the attack analytics and cloud data security platforms, which both generally receive a new release at least once every few months. All other Imperva software gets occasional updates as needed.

Like other load balancers, Imperva offers its services on a case-by-case basis to match the needs of your configuration. Whether you're looking for local or global server load balancing, check out the Imperva website to contact its sales team and learn more about what it can do for you. Imperva starts with a personal demo to give you an idea of how its platform works in practice.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Receives regular updates
  • Intuitive interface
  • Local and global load balancing

Cons

  • Mixed user reviews

What Customers Are Saying

Users are generally satisfied with the entire Imperva suite, which includes a deep collection of performance and cybersecurity tools. However, Imperva recently rebranded from Incapsula, so the majority of user reviews are focused on the outdated Incapsula platform.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Support
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Chat
  • Content Routing
    No
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.4
K6 Logo
k6
4.6
  • Clear pricing plans
  • Up to 50 free cloud tests
  • Dedicated IP addresses available
Best Pricing
Visit k6
Most load balancers offer custom solutions tailored to the needs of each client, but k6 provides a clear pricing structure that makes it easy to get what you're looking for. With three monthly plans, substantial savings for annual commitments, custom enterprise quotes, and up to 50 free cloud tests, k6 does more than any of the other providers we've looked at to make its platform more approachable for new customers. Users without ongoing needs can also pay for individual tests as needed — for example, you can run one eight-hour test with up to 10,000 virtual users for a one-time fee of $999.

On top of cloud testing, k6 also provides other services including dedicated IP addresses for $30 each per month. Higher subscription tiers come with additional features like APM integration, dedicated onboarding services, and SAML single sign-on (SSO) through Okta or AzureAD. Enterprise users can even stay in close contact with the k6 team through a dedicated Slack channel.

K6's Developer plan costs $74 per month and supports 50 monthly 15-minute tests with one month of data retention and up to 200 virtual users. The Team ($424 per month) and Pro ($1499 per month) plans increase those limits to be practical for larger organizations. You can save a significant amount of money by committing to an annual plan, which brings those prices down to $59, $339, and $1199 per month.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Clear pricing plans
  • Up to 50 free cloud tests
  • Dedicated IP addresses available

Cons

  • Some features limited to higher subscription tiers

What Customers Are Saying

Users have great things to say about k6, with a particular focus on the platform's collection of integrations. K6 can be connected easily to a variety of third-party applications including test authoring tools, IDE extensions, and visualization platforms.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Developer: $59/month
    • Team: $339/month
    • Pro: $1199/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial/Demo
  • Support
    Email/Help Desk
    FAQs/Forum
    Knowledge Base
  • Content Routing
    No
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.6
Kemp LoadMaster Logo
Kemp LoadMaster
4.6
  • Receives regular updates
  • Powerful threat detection
  • Generous free trial
Best for Cybersecurity
Visit Kemp LoadMaster
If you're in the market for load balancing software, you might also be interested in a platform that can help you keep your network safe. Kemp LoadMaster comes with a surprisingly thorough cybersecurity suite that includes unknown threat detection, encrypted traffic analysis, and ransomware detection, keeping you secure behind the scenes. It even provides insider threat detection to help users identify the signs of misused access rights.

Kemp LoadMaster has also received a series of updates including 15 unique releases since just 2019. On September 15, 2021, LoadMaster 7.2.55.0 introduced new features for AWS users as well as a network telemetry tool for virtual local area network (VLAN) connections. We were happy to see that the team is heavily invested in keeping the platform updated with bug fixes and additional features.

New users can try out the Kemp LoadMaster software for a full 30 days before deciding whether to continue with a paid deployment. You'll even receive access to 24/7 support for the entire trial period, giving you a chance to engage with its customer service. From there, you'll need to call its sales team or submit a ticket on the website to work out a custom solution that works for your use case.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Receives regular updates
  • Powerful threat detection
  • Generous free trial

Cons

  • Confusing user interface (UI)

What Customers Are Saying

The vast majority of Kemp LoadMaster have good things to say about the platform. The only major criticism we found in user reviews was that a small percentage of customers found the interface less intuitive than some other applications.

Summary

Kemp LoadMaster Logo
Kemp LoadMaster
  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial/Demo
  • Support
    Email/Help Desk
    FAQs/Forum
    Knowledge Base
    Phone Support
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Chat
  • Content Routing
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.6
NGINX Logo
NGINX
4.0
  • Open-source load balancer
  • 30-day free trial for NGINX Plus
  • Receives regular updates
Best Open-source Option
Visit NGINX
Most load balancers are sold commercially, but you don't necessarily have to spend any money to find a reliable application. NGINX is an open-source performance suite that offers surprisingly powerful load balancing features. While NGINX Plus comes with extra features like active health checks, single sign-on, and advanced analytics, the free client is ideal for users who have some technical experience and want full control over their load balancing. It's the best open-source load balancing application in 2021.

NGINX currently supports load balancing through round robin, least-connected, or Internet protocol (IP) hash mechanisms. Round-robin tries to distribute new connections equally while the least-connected protocol focuses on the server with the lowest current activity. IP hash uses a hash function to route traffic based on the visitor's IP address. Like some of the other platforms we've looked at, NGINX also provides additional services, such as app security, application programming interface (API) management, and an instance manager for enterprise users.

The NGINX open-source client is available to download for free while NGINX Plus is available for a custom quote depending on your specific use case. Fortunately, you can try out the platform for a full 30 days, giving you plenty of time to see whether it works for you before making a commitment.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Open-source load balancer
  • 30-day free trial for NGINX Plus
  • Receives regular updates

Cons

  • Limited customer reviews

What Customers Are Saying

While the feedback we were able to find is generally positive, NGINX is a relatively unknown platform without many customer reviews. One common complaint is that NGINX is lacking when it comes to integrations with third-party software, forcing users to set up manual configurations on their own.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Custom Quote
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial/Demo
  • Support
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Chat
  • Content Routing
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.0
Total Uptime Cloud Load Balancer Logo
Total Uptime Cloud Load Balancer
4.8
  • Receives regular updates
  • Outstanding user reviews
  • Free trial available
While we can compare the features and capabilities of the top load balancing programs, user reviews are often the best way to gain meaningful insights into how a platform works in practice. All of the services we've covered have received generally positive reviews, but Total Uptime Cloud Load Balancer stood out from the competition due to its high average rating across multiple feedback sites. It's clearly the load balancer with the best overall user review scores in 2021.

Total Uptime released version 21.6.0 of its cloud platform on June 25, 2021, making several tweaks and eliminating a long list of bugs. It noted a few changes that were directly influenced by customer feedback, demonstrating its commitment to the user experience. Looking back at its release history, Total Uptime has generally put out a new update at least once every few months over the last several years.

Access to Total Uptime's application delivery controller (ADC)-as-a-Service platform starts at $59 per month for the Basic tier, but load balancing is only available from the Plus subscription at $85 per month and higher. The Advanced and Performance plans come in at $125 and $250 per month and introduce extra features like DDoS protection and CDN access. While the website advertises a free trial, we weren't able to find any information about what's included in the trial version.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Receives regular updates
  • Outstanding user reviews
  • Free trial available

Cons

  • Load balancer starts at $85 per month

What Customers Are Saying

Total Uptime has positive reviews across the board from several verified customers. Several users emphasized the quality and reliability of Total Uptime's customer support, quickly helping them resolve any questions or technical issues.

Summary

Total Uptime Cloud Load Balancer Logo
Total Uptime Cloud Load Balancer
  • Starting Price
    • Basic: $49/month
    • Plus: $69/month
    • Advanced: $99/month
    • Performance: $199/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Support
    Email/Help Desk
    Phone Support
    24/7 (Live Rep)
    Chat
  • Content Routing
    Yes
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.8

How We Chose the Best Load Balancing Software

If you're looking to provide the best possible performance, you'll need load balancing software to optimally distribute traffic across servers. Load balancing software makes it easy to oversee your performance and avoid any unnecessary downtime or slowdowns.

Like any other web hosting solution, the right load balancing software for you is going to depend on your budget and performance needs. We zeroed in on these criteria to help you find the perfect platform for your use case.

Pricing

Load balancing is offered by many providers, so there's no reason to overspend on a load balancing solution. While these services are generally sold as custom solutions, we've included subscription tiers and other pricing information where available.

Furthermore, most of the providers we've seen let new users start with a free trial or at least a brief demo. Even a short trial gives you the opportunity to see the software in action and determine whether it meets your needs.

Application Delivery

The right load balancer should make your services much more reliable and prevent a variety of common performance issues. We looked for platforms with key features like web application firewalls, monitoring and analytics, and robust automation tools.

Whatever you're looking for in a load balancer, you'll be able to find an ideal provider on this list. We've noted the main application delivery features included with each platform and how their tools stack up to the competition.

Other Features

Some load balancing providers also offer other digital services like image compression, DDoS protection, and content delivery network access. These can help you make even more performance optimizations without adding much extra time or expenses to your workflow.

Cloudflare, for example, sells load balancing as well as SSL certificates, content caching, and other helpful features. That makes it more valuable than most other platforms for users who need a full-service performance solution rather than a standalone load balancing platform.

Ease of Use

Managing servers can be extraordinarily complicated, so you want a load balancing platform that's intuitive and simple to learn. While design ultimately comes down to taste, we looked at each provider's client and read through user reviews to get an idea of how easy their solution is to use.

Of course, ease of use means something different for individuals and small business owners compared to enterprise teams. Features like onboarding and activity monitoring may not be helpful for personal sites, but they can be incredibly helpful for larger organizations.