Want to manage traffic, increase performance, and employ security to your website and application? What you need is the best load balance software! Load balance software work between servers and the internet to prevent latency, crashes, and attacks on your business.
But how can you choose the best load balance software, and what are the benefits of this software? You must have a ton of questions in your mind about load balancing software. So, review our guide and detailed reviews of the 10 best load balance software to clear your confusion!
What we cover
What is Load Balancing?
Imagine you and all the other users in the world have to work on the same server. The inadequate load will result in latency and lousy performance. That’s where load balancing comes in handy!
Load balancing is a process through which all the user requests are distributed in various servers to prevent latency. This prevents overloading a specific node of any application.
Load balancing is important to keep a server working well without frequent breakdowns. If a server is overloaded with more requests than it can handle, the server will crash, and user requests will also be delayed.
When a server stays within its limited requests, it will have sufficient CPU and RAM to process the requests within an acceptable response time. It is a pivotal factor adding to user satisfaction.
Load balancing is also crucial for failovers. When a server breaks down, a load balancer immediately transfers its user requests to another server to prevent any considerable delay on the user’s end.
How Does Load Balancing Work?
A software-based load balancer acts as a traffic warden between servers and the internet. When a user sends a request (for example, clicks on a URL), the load balancer quickly determines which server is available. It then redirects the user to the respective server.
In case of a traffic spike on a website, the load balancer adds more and more servers to prevent it from crashing. When the traffic is reduced, the software reduces the number of servers.
A load balancer only sends the users to a reliable online and efficient server. This ensures maximum performance and productivity.
Benefits of Using Load Balancing Software
Now you know how load-balancing software works, but what are the benefits of using one? Let’s find out!
Optimal Performance and Scalability
As load-balancing software controls a user’s route to a server, it provides optimal performance and scalability to a website. The software can scale the servers up and down according to the traffic demand. No matter how of a traffic spike your website is facing every day, load balancing software handles it efficiently.
As load balancing software maintains the response time within an adequate rate, it provides maximum user satisfaction on the client end. When a server turns offline or crashes, the load-balancing software quickly transfers a user to another online server. Hence, there are no delays on the user’s end, resulting in increased productivity and satisfaction.
No Site Crashes
Without load-balancing software, sudden traffic spikes mean immediate website crashing. A website without load-balancing software can’t handle increased traffic.
A load balancing software adds available servers in case of traffic spikes so the website doesn’t crash.
Load balancing software adds a layer of protection to the website free of cost. Websites and applications are protected from attacks as all users must pass through the load-balancing software. Such software redirects any harmful attack to a public cloud provider.
Types of Load Balancing Software
Based on algorithms, there are two types of load-balancing software. These are:
Static-Load Balancing Software
Static-load balancing software is perfect for applications with minimal fluctuation in load. This type of algorithm distributes traffic among the available servers. All the servers receive a fixed amount of traffic based on prior information about the servers and a predefined load schedule.
Types of static-load balancing include:
- Round Robin
- Weighted Round Robin
Dynamic-Load Balancing Software
Dynamic-load balancing software can undergo maximum traffic fluctuation without the servers breaking down because they target the least loaded servers first. Instead of dividing the traffic equally, it uses a dynamic division method.
No predefined schedules are associated with dynamic-load balancing as it communicates with the servers in real time.
Types of dynamic-load balancing include:
- Resource Based
- Weighted Response Time
- Weighted Least Connection
- Least Connection
Cost of Load Balance Software
You can find paid and free versions of load-balancing software in the market for various models like Linux, Mac, and Windows.
However, the average cost of load balancing software ranges between $25-$500/month. Subscriptions also come in yearly or one-time plans.
Most high-end load balance software has advanced features for faster performance and security, making them expensive. Load balance software comes in different plans for individuals, businesses, etc. The price range also depends upon the anticipated traffic levels.
How to Choose the Best Load-Balancing Software?
With so many options in the market, it is hard to choose the best load balance software. But we have some factors that you can consider while making a choice. Let’s check them out!
Types of Load Balancing Algorithms
As load-balancing software uses different types of algorithms, you must understand your application’s requirements and fluctuation needs. According to the algorithm, there are two types of load-balancing software (as stated above).
If your system receives low fluctuation in traffic, a static-load balancing software is enough for you. But if you want a versatile load-balancing scheme for a system with increased traffic fluctuations, a dynamic-load balancing software suits you.
Choosing a load-balancing software that provides more scalability than you need for your application isn’t great. Consider a load-balancing software that can meet your traffic growth just about right. Underbuying is also a disadvantage in this matter, as load-balancing software that can’t control heavy traffic (as in your application) will lead to the server crashing.
Consider different traffic growth factors, such as new services or seasonal growth.
Load balancing software monitor performance while directing traffic to a server. It also monitors a system’s CPU, disk, and memory performance with different performance metrics. For an application with heavy traffic fluctuations, performance monitoring matters a lot. So, choosing a load-balancing software with custom performance metrics is often handy in this case.
Load balancing software comes with various licensing options priced at different rates. You have to consider your budget as well as your required features while making a choice for a license.
Choose between a perpetual, pooled, or metered license.
Increased traffic and more servers mean more attackers to your application. You must integrate security features into your business by using load-balancing software with proper facilities.
10 Best Load Balancing Software
Not every load-balancing software is worth a try for your business. That’s why we have made a list of reliable and well-working load-balancing software so you can provide peak satisfaction to your users and protect your website from breakdowns. These choices are made after intensive research considering the various factors (types, scalability, integrations, pricing, etc.) that make a load-balancing software right for you.
Best Load Balancing Software (At a Glance – Top 4)
|Features||NGINX||Avi Vantage||Kemp Loadmaster||HAProxy|
|Protocol||HTTP, TCP||HTTP, TCP||HTTP, TCP||HTTP, TCP|
|Security Features||SSL termination, reverse proxy, DDoS protection, WAF||SSL termination, reverse proxy, iWAF, DDoS protection||WAF, reverse proxy, SSL offloading||SSL offloading, reverse proxy, DDos protection, WAF|
|Algorithm Type||Least connections, weighted least connections, round robin, weighted round robin||Least connection, round robin||Least connection, round robin||Least connection, round robin|
|Best For||Static content for large-medium enterprises||Multi-cloud apps for medium enterprises||Small-medium enterprises||Small-medium enterprises|
|Advanced Features||Available||Available||Not Available||Available|
Best Load Balancing Software – Let’s Dive Deeper!
Best high-end load balance software for static content!
- Key Features: IDE Support, Open-Source Web Server, Server Performance, Gzipping, API Getaways
- Price: $0.29-$0.5/hour
- Rating: 4.5/5
- Pros: Easy and flexible configuration, health checking for servers, super fast
- Cons: Expensive, fewer server monitoring features, challenging error tracing
NGINX is the perfect solution for all your network resource management needs. It is an open-source load-balancing software managing traffic like no other.
NGINX adds a layer of protection to your application and website without disrupting its performance. It is also one of the fastest web servers to optimize your website’s performance.
NGINX uses round-robin as a default algorithm but supports weighted-robin, least connection, and weighted-least connection.
NGINX promises performance, scalability, reliability, and security for your website. It has various customizing features such as main, HTTP, or event context.
Why You Should Consider: If you need high-end, all-in-one load-balancing software for your medium to large enterprise for static content (e-commerce websites, applications, and cloud-storage devices), NGINX is a perfect choice.
2. Avi Vantage
Perfect multi-cloud load balancing software within a limited budget.
- Key Features: iWAF, SSL Offload, RESTful API, Reverse Proxy, Real-Time Security Analytics
- Price: On-request price only.
- Rating: 4.4/5
- Pros: Records traffic and app anomalies, flexible framework, simplified GUI
- Cons: Troubleshooting OpenStack integration is complex.
Avi Vantage distributes traffic across various environments, best for on-premise environments. Its simplified load balancing functions provide a user-friendly interface and fast performance of multi-cloud applications. It has a great WAF (Web App Firewall), providing maximum app protection.
Avi Vantage not only directs traffic to various servers but also improves the agility of your business processes; hence, a great product for user satisfaction.
It records traffic events and stores permanent records to anticipate future occurrences. This feature is great for application troubleshooting. It uses a round-robin static-LB algorithm and a dynamic load balancing algorithm and switches seamlessly between them.
Why You Should Consider: Avi Vantage is suitable for multi-cloud apps requiring maximum protection for medium enterprises at a comparatively low cost.
Amazing free-load balance software for layer four networks.
- Key Features: Direct Server Return and NAT, Go Language, LVS-Based, Support Layer Four Networks
- Price: Free
- Rating: 4.5/5
- Pros: Support for anycast and unicast servers, Robust and scalable, Collects garbage from memory.
- Cons: Not for layer 7 network
Used by one of the world’s largest enterprises, Google, Seesaw is a layer 4 load-balancing software. It balances traffic based on LVS (Linux Virtual Server) through the same network using the Go language.
This easy set-up software has advanced load balancing features such as direct server return (DSR), centralized configs, anycast, and multiple VLAN support. It also performs constant health checks for the high performance of your website.
With Seesaw, you can expect an increase in service availability and reliability. As Seesaw is robust enough to handle Google’s internal infrastructure traffic, it is suitable to handle medium-large enterprises.
Why You Should Consider: Large-medium-sized enterprises with layer four networks looking for robust open-source load-balancing software with advanced features should try Seesaw.
4. Citrix ADC
Best high-end load balancing software for multi-cloud networks.
- Key Features: DNS load balancing, Secures L3-L7, Reverse Proxy, DDoS Protection, SSL, Encryption
- Price: On-Request Pricing Only
- Rating: 4.3/5
- Pros: High security, smooth switching to various infrastructures
- Cons: Expensive, connectivity problems
Citrix ADC (also known as NetScaler) manages traffic and improves the performance of applications. It is the number one LB software for many large organizations such as eBay and Ikea for their app security and reliability.
It provides DNS level load balancing, which makes the response time of the applications super fast – hence high productivity and user satisfaction.
The easy-to-use user interface makes it suitable for any level of enterprise. It provides a feature-filled load-balancing platform for high security, performance, and reliability. Its efficient WAF secures the app against online attacks by adding a protective layer.
Why You Should Consider: CitrixADC is expensive and won’t suit organizations within a limited budget. It is a great option for advanced-level features for large enterprises.
5. Kemp Loadmaster
Best affordable load balance software with great GUI.
- Key Features: Global Server Load Balancing, Reverse Proxy, IPSec Tunneling, WAF, Predefined Protocols
- Price: $1720-$7600/year
- Rating: 4.7/5
- Pros: Good value for money, easy to use, reliable protection
- Cons: Lacks advanced features
Designed for both website and application traffic management and security, Kemp Loadmaster provides basic load-balancing features at a reasonable rate.
Kemp Loadmaster supports both layer 4 and layer 7 load balancing. The algorithms it uses include least connection and round-robin.
You can use Kemp Loadmaster for multi-sites due to GSLB (Global Server Load Balancing) making your business faster and reducing latency on the user’s end.
The software consists of basic load-balancing features, so it has an easy-to-use and smooth interface.
One of the elite universities of New Jersey, Rutgers University uses Kemp Loadmaster due to the high security and performance it provides.
Why You Should Consider: Consider Kemp Loadmaster if you want simple, affordable, and reliable load-balancing software for a small-medium-sized organization.
6. Azure Load Balancer
High-quality load balancer at a reasonable price for large organizations’ apps and virtual machines.
- Key Features: HTTP-Based, Layer 4 Network, Reverse Proxy
- Price: $0.025/hr
- Rating: 4/5
- Pros: Support for multiple programming languages, robust protection, high availability and reliability for apps
- Cons: Unavailability of some features in specific regions.
Azure Load Balancer is a product by Microsoft making scalability possible for applications. It supports layer 4 networks using TCP and UDP protocols and provides HTTP-based load-balancing service. As it employs a simplified algorithm, the traffic management features of Azure are worth appreciating.
Azure Load Balancer is perfect for increasing the availability of servers on your application hence enhancing its performance. It is also a low-maintenance software.
It adds multi-layered security to your apps to protect against any breaches.
Azure smoothly integrates and migrates data to and from the cloud for any organization already using other Microsoft products.
Its support for multiple programming languages makes it easy for users to manage applications.
Why You Should Consider: Azure Load Balancer is great for virtual machines and applications for added security, traffic management, and for creating fast applications for medium-large enterprises.
Best free and open-source load-balancing software for Linux-based services.
- Key Features: HTTP and TCP-Based, Linux Virtual Server, Secure Socket Layer, Reverse Proxy.
- Price: Free
- Rating: 4.6/5
- Pros: Supports both layer 4 and layer 7 networks, detects threats instantly, increases reliability and security for websites, great GUI.
- Cons: Complex documentation, can’t utilize built-in caches in TCP protocols.
Looking for free and reliable load-balancing software? HAProxy is your best bet! HAProxy is an LVS-based load balancer supporting TCP protocols.
It integrates smoothly and easily with any existing infrastructure of websites.
HAProxy conducts reliable health checks on backend servers to ensure reduced latency and high performance of your website. That’s why large organizations like Airbnb, GoDaddy, Reddit, and GitHub use HAProxy for traffic management and security of their websites.
For added protection and prevention of online attacks, HAProxy adds protective layers using reverse proxy.
Features like Gzipping, buffer aggregation, health checks, etc., make it a reliable load-balancing software for any organization.
The best thing:
HAProxy anticipates threats within thousands of connections in seconds. So, no more website breakdowns or attacks!
Why You Should Consider: HAProxy is a great load-balancing software for TCP and HTTP-based LB, free of cost.
Free-of-cost load balancing software compatible with various models.
- Key Features: UDP and TCP protocols, Linux-based, Security Socket Layer, Reverse Proxy, GeoIP Filters, IPv4 and IPv6 Compatibility
- Rating: 4/5
- Pros: Easy to use, high protection, high scalability
- Cons: Not too many advanced features
Pen is a lightweight and simple load-balancing software for UDP and TCP protocols. It works on various models such as FreeBSD, Solaris, Linux, HP-UX, and Unisex.
It provides quick and free failovers for any failed servers. This way, there is no latency on the user’s end which means high productivity.
Pen provides high-level security using SSL termination, GeoIP filtering, and reverse proxy. It is a great choice for high scalability for most Linux-based distributions.
Why You Should Consider: Small-medium enterprises looking for basic load balancing and protection features for layer 4 and layer 7 networks free of cost should try Pen.
High-end load balancer with superior protection features.
- Key Features: Layer 3,4,7 network support, Compatibility with Mac, Windows, and Linux, DDos, Reverse Proxy, GSLB
- Price: $500-$2000 base subscription
- Rating: 4.4/5
- Pros: Advanced security features, Reduced latency, Date storage in Cloud
- Cons: Hard to learn, expensive
Incapsula protects and manages traffic on various platforms like Mac, Windows, and Linux. While Incapsula is more of a protection software, it has a load-balancing feature that works like any competitor.
Incapsula monitors site health constantly to improve performance. This way, there is a considerable reduction in latency hence enhanced scalability.
This load balancing software prevents website breakdowns by automatic site failover through which a user request is immediately transferred to another online server in case of a failed one.
The real-time traffic monitoring feature of Incapsula anticipates spikes and prepares the website for traffic. No chances of bugs and errors on your website!
DDoS, WAF, and reverse proxy protection features prevent online attacks from damaging websites.
It is a GSLB software supporting layer 3, 4, and 7 networks.
Due to the amazing features of Incapsula, big companies like Trello, Mastercard, and Swiggy use Incapsula as their number 1 load-balancing and protection software.
Why You Should Consider: Advanced protection features with well-managed traffic for cloud-based servers of small-medium enterprises should try Incapsula.
Best free-of-cost load balance software for HTTP and TCP-based networks.
- Key Features: HTTP-Based, Reverse Proxy, Security Socket Layer, Open-Source, Let’s Encrypt Integration, API Gateway
- Price: Free
- Rating: 4.5/5
- Pros: Simple configuration, high-level security, and protection, advanced features in the free version
- Cons: Some features are in the pro version
Traefik is a leading free load-balancing software made for automatic configuration. No hassle of making sure the software is working and protecting your data!
Traefik integrates seamlessly with pre-existing infrastructure and is easy to use for any user. The simple interface is HTTP and TCP-based, perfect for making your websites faster than ever.
The monitoring tool of Traefik figures out errors and threats beforehand and keeps the website’s health in check. This means no more breakdowns and attacks on your business.
Traefik has built-in integration with SSL, reverse proxy, and Let’s Encrypt to protect your data further.
With easy configuration, everyone can deploy Traefik and enhance container-based microservices.
The good news is even with these advanced features, Traefik is free of cost!
Why You Should Consider: Best for small-medium enterprises looking for a free and simple load balancer.