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The Best QA Automation Tools For Software Testing In 2021

Tools For Automated Testing That'll Save You Hours of Work

This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best QA automation tools for quality assurance testing.

QA automation testing is just what it sounds like…quality assurance for apps and software through mobile testing and web testing, but automated. QA automation tools can take over repetitive tasks in order to free up your team’s time to do more complex or more creative problem-solving.

Make no mistake, there is no way to achieve 100% automated testing (we wish!) but automation tools can help take the mundane stuff off your plate during day-to-day operations.

In this post, I’ve selected a handful of QA tools that specialize in automation. I’ll explain what test automation can do for you and how it can help your efforts with quality assurance for software development. I’ll share with you a few of the best automation testing tools on the market and what they do.

The Best QA Automation Tools List

Here’s a shortlist of the best test automation tools:

  1. Mabl
  2. Selenium
  3. Squish
  4. Appsurify
  5. TestingWhiz
  6. Watir
  7. Testim
  8. AppliTools
  9. Katalon Studio
  10. LambdaTest

Find in-depth summaries of each tool below.

Comparison Criteria

What am I looking for when I select a QA test tool for review? Here’s my evaluation criteria:

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
  2. Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Is there good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? What level of programming skills does the software require?
  3. Features & Functionality: 
    • Documentation: Every QA tool should have a clean, robust documentation process with easily searchable and exportable test results.
    • Script languages: Does the software work with a variety of popular scripting languages? Or, does it specialize in one script language and go above and beyond in that focus? 
    • Version control: Can testing be done on different files at the same time? Is there a way to show the data history and revert local changes if needed?
    • Test Commands: Does the software support a large number of test commands? Can test commands be easily added or changed as needed?
    • Test Scenarios: Does the software support a variety of test scenarios, including performance testing?
  4. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools or plugins? Any pre-built integrations? Does it integrate with any bug tracking tools, such as JIRA? Does it support various operating systems and browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and others?
  5. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?

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Overviews Of The Best QA Automation Testing Tools

Here’s a brief description of each of the testing automation tools that are featured on the top list.

1. Mabl – best for integrating testing with existing workflows

Screenshot of Mabl QA Automation Tools
Users can create, set up, and execute tests within mabl Trainer.

Named a Strong Performer in the Q2 2020 Forrester Wave™ for Continuous Functional Test Automation Suites, mabl is an intelligent test automation tool built for fast-paced delivery cycles. mabl integrates automated end-to-end testing into the entire development lifecycle.

mabl allows teams to standardize on a cloud-native testing platform, and every team member can contribute to automated test creation and quality. The tool also allows teams to integrate testing into existing workflows with issue tracking, CI/CD, communication tools, and more.

The mabl Trainer was built to enable anyone to create tests based on key user flows in the application. As tests execute, mabl collects comprehensive diagnostic data and generates AI-driven insights increasing confidence in deployment and enabling swift test failure analysis. And as your application evolves, AI-powered auto-healing means your tests learn and evolve with it.

Tool costs vary depending on functionality and test runs needed. They also offer a free trial.

2. Selenium – best for web-based applications

Screenshot of Selenium QA Automation Tools
Create test scripts that interact with the Selenium Server.

Selenium automates browsers primarily for automating web applications for testing purposes. This tool offers browser-based automation suites and tests for regression testing, quick bug reproduction scripts, and the ability to manage multiple environments from a central point. Selenium WebDriver also allows for cross-browser testing. Selenium supports a variety of programming languages including Java, C#, Python, Groovy, and Ruby.

Being free to use, Selenium scores well in our Value for Cost evaluation criteria section. Not only is it free but it is feature-rich and open source, so you won’t feel like you’re using a lesser tool.

The default reports are not as smart as they could be, often requiring a lot of manual input to make them worthwhile. Additionally, a con of the tool is that it is only for web-based applications.

Selenium is free to use but offers Sponsorship options for those who want to support the platform.

3. Squish – best for testing graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and human machine interfaces (HMIs)

Screenshot of Squish GUI QA Automation Tools
A market-leading automated testing tool for GUI applications.

The Squish GUI testing tool, a 100% cross-platform tool, comes with a range of features, such as reliable object identification and verification independent of screen layouts, resolution and rendering, a powerful IDE, support for several script languages, and remote testing. It also supports behavior-driven development (BDD) and testing. 

One of the best parts of Squish is how flexible it is, which scored it well in the scripting languages segment of the evaluation criteria. Squish can automate Java, QT, Windows, Web, Android, and iOS and supports Perl, Python, JavaScript, Tcl, and Ruby.

One con: Some improvements could be made in end-user training and technical support for this tool. For example, open up technical support communication to video calls, etc., rather than email only. 

Squish starts at $1443/user and has a free trial.

4. Appsurify – best for reducing automation test completion times

Screenshot of Appsurify QA Automation Tools
Appsurify provides a RiskMap for testing projects, as well as bug tracking and test prioritization capabilities.

Appsurify allows QA engineers and developers to test more frequently, find defects earlier, and speed up cycle times. 

Appsurify TestBrain is a plug and play machine learning testing tool that saves over 90% in automation test completion times, returns test results to developers immediately after each commit, and quarantines unstable or flaky tests so teams can release faster without sacrificing quality. 

The tool has the ability to plug into existing testing environments, whether in the Cloud or On-Premise, meaning it can be up and running in 15 minutes. 

Appsurify TestBrain is designed to alleviate the pains commonly associated with testing and shipping quality code, such as delayed test results, missed defects, flaky failures, delayed releases, and developer rework. 

The technology Appsurify leverages may take a few days to learn before providing results, because it must first analyze test failures and the history of commits. 

Appsurify has a free trial for 60 days. Pricing is based on a monthly subscription offered upon request.


  • Shortens test execution time
  • Prevents flaky tests from breaking the build
  • Works with your existing test practices


  • Requires time to learn from historical data
  • Requires existing test practices to be in place

5. TestingWhiz – best for codeless automation testing

Screenshot of TestingWhiz QA Automation Tools
Test automation with intuitive Record/Playback feature and Drag & Drop.

TestingWhiz offers 300+ commands, integration with bug tracking tools and test management tools, an inbuilt job scheduler with trends, continuous server integration, risk-based testing, image comparison, and data cleansing and comparison.

TestingWhiz is very easy to use, which is why it scores well in our Usability category within the evaluation criteria. Compared to others on this list, the learning curve is quite short.

A few cons to note would be that it is only for Windows and does not offer desktop automation. Additionally, a dedicated mobile recorder would be welcome to better document and play-back test case scenarios. 

TestingWhiz starts at $149/user/month and has a free 30-day trial and a free demo.

6. Watir – best for easily maintaining test cases

Screenshot of Watir QA Automation Tools
Run test scenarios for web application testing against an embedded browser on a real device.

Watir stands for “Web Application Testing in Ruby” and is a testing framework that is constantly updating features and functions; some of the most recent additions include extensive scrolling functionality, new element methods, and an Element Location overhaul. 

Watir is great for its ease of maintaining test cases and providing a robust API. This scored it well in Features & Functions as well as Integrations in the evaluation criteria section. 

The major con for this tool is that it doesn’t have as large of a community around it as, say, Selenium, which works similarly. Thus, finding an expert in Watir or help in community forums is more difficult. 

Watir offers pricing upon request and has a free demo.

7. Testim – best for automated testing with artificial intelligence

Screenshot of Testim QA Automation Tools
Record or code beta stable end-to-end tests that fit your workflow.

Testim empowers users to author stable customized tests—either codeless or coded, use artificial intelligence to make tests resilient, run parallel tests across browser types on their test cloud, and create and publish informative bug reports. 

Testim caters to both beginner and advanced users, allowing even non-technical team members to create code-free tests. Excellent customer service further enhances the Usability score per our evaluation criteria above. 

The major con is that image verification (pixel level validation) is not a local feature, meaning you have to employ a 3rd party solution in order to gain access to this function. 

Testim starts at $450/month and has a freemium version with 1000 runs per month.

8. AppliTools – best for test scenarios involving visual testing

Screenshot of AppliTools QA Automation Tools
Dozens of SDKs targeting all major programming languages, such as JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and PHP, and test frameworks.

AppliTools is designed to automatically run functional and visual tests at scale across every app, browser, OS, and screen size. Users can capture visual differences via full-page screenshots, compare visual differences across every platform, and run functional and visual tests.

For a testing tool, AppliTools has a clean and aesthetically pleasing user interface. Boxes and panels keep projects and tests looking highly organized, scoring them well in the UX segment of the above evaluation criteria. 

Applitools was built to visually test pages, resulting in false positives due to the fact that it is testing at the page-level in a componentized app. A con is that some time may be required to sift through these results.

AppliTools offers pricing upon request and has a free version for 1 user.

9. Katalon Studio –  best for cross-platform testing

Screenshot of Katalon Studio QA Automation Tools
Empower your test case and simplify your automation process with Katalon Studio.

Named a 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice, Katalon Studio is a complete test automation solution for web automation, mobile, API, and desktop app testing. Katalon Studio revolutionizes the use of open-source frameworks by eliminating the technical complexities, allowing testers to set up, create, run, report, and manage automated tests effectively.

The tool provides both codeless test creation for novices as well as endless script extension and customization for experts. Users can easily generate and execute tests on different OSs (Mac OS, Windows, and Linux), most common browsers, and devices. 

Katalon Studio offers a host of integrations for multiple purposes: SDLC and CI/CD management, team collaboration, and many more. It also supports Cucumber, a BDD focused software that allows for test scenarios to be written in plain language. Katalon is also expanding their partnerships — to provide a comprehensive testing experience to its users.

Katalon Studio lost a few points in its user guide and tutorials. Although there is resourceful documentation, it is not well-organized. Users can leverage the community and forum activity to seek help relating to the software. 

Katalon Studio starts at $759 for an enterprise license and offers a free version for individual testers.

10. LambdaTest – best for Selenium users

Screenshot of LambdaTest QA Automation Tools
See automation test logs as well as exception logs, command logs, network logs, raw Selenium logs, and metadata in LambdaTest.

LambdaTest takes away all the pain points of managing and maintaining an in-house Selenium infrastructure with an online Selenium Grid which is always ready to fire up your test scripts. The tool’s Selenium Grid is equipped with the latest and legacy browsers and operating systems, so you don’t waste time keeping track of what’s new. You can also test locally hosted web applications.

LambdaTest offers more robust reporting options than Selenium, as well as detailed automation test logs to help you quickly debug your Selenium scripts. These logs include exception logs, command logs, network logs, raw Selenium logs, and metadata. You also get a video recording of your entire script execution, along with command by command screenshots. You can also extract Selenium reports using their RESTful Selenium API.

LambdaTest also offers integrations with multiple third-party tools for CI CD, project management, codeless automation, and more to help you fast track your go-to market launch.

Cons to note would be that they don’t offer native app testing yet. Also, for mobile web automation they offer official emulators instead of real devices.

LambdaTest’s automation plan starts from $99/ user/month and offers 100 automation testing minutes free along with lifetime access to the product. You also get 60 mins/month for manual testing which is renewed every month. Offers complimentary access to LT browser.

Other QA Tester Tools Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for a handy QA testing tool, check these out. 

  1. Appium — An open-source test automation framework for use with native, hybrid, and mobile web apps.
  2. Parasoft — Automated software testing with integrating static and runtime analysis; unit, functional, and API testing; and service virtualization.
  3. Microsoft Visual Studio Test Professional — Coordinate all test management activities including test planning, authoring, execution, and tracking from a central location.
  4. Micro Focus Silk Test — For regression, cross-platform, and localization testing of all mobile application types, including mobile web, mobile native, and hybrid applications.
  5. Postman — Automate many types of tests including unit tests, functional tests, integration tests, end-to-end tests, regression tests, and mock tests.
  6. Ranorex — Build data-driven tests by adding links to data tables, spreadsheets, or databases and point-and-click to add parameters or conditions to test cases.
  7. Smartbear TestComplete — An automated UI testing tool with a hybrid object and visual recognition engine to test every desktop, web, and mobile application.
  8. Tricentis Tosca — A continuous testing platform, accelerates testing with a script-less, no-code approach for end-to-end test automation.
  9. Accential Test — A complete feature set, covering the entire testing cycle: manage test plans, automated tests, manual tests, test data, test executions, results, and reporting.
  10. TestCraft — Codeless test automation with Selenium-based CI/CD integrations for synthetic monitoring and AI for smooth change adaption. 
  11. Appvance IQ — Offers 3rd-generation code-free cross-browser data-driven testing, self-healing tests, functional, performance, and app-pen, UX, and API testing.
  12. Perfecto — A cloud-based continuous testing platform with smart self-healing abilities and thousands of real devices and browsers to test.
  13. Percy — An all-in-one visual review platform with visual testing for officially-supported SDKs in an intersection of design, development, and deployment. 
  14. WonderProxy — Flexible tools designed to test currencies, payment and shipping, languages, targeted content, promotions, and advertising.
  15. Telerik Studio – best for custom testing frameworks
  16. Unified Functional Testing (UFT One) – best for end-to-end testing
  17. Sahi Pro – best for automatic reporting and bug logging

Automation Tool FAQ

Have some questions about QA automation? Browse through this section first.

What Is QA Automation?

Quality assurance (QA) is often done manually; however, there is software designed to take the load off of human participants and reduce manual testing. QA automation is done through software designed to explore, test, and report on its subject. Test automation will often apply artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to better service tasks for test optimization, intelligent test generation, execution, and reporting.

What Are The Benefits Of Automated Testing?

Automated testing can help speed up the process of delivering quality software faster, known as “Quality at Speed” (QaS) or sometimes “Quality at Scale“. Automated testing is an important component of DevOps toolchains and agile methodologies, which helps deliver on QaS. Mobile automation testing tools can:

  • increase feedback speeds
  • accelerate results
  • lower business expenses (hourly wages)
  • increase test efficiency and scope
  • detect defects earlier on in the development process
  • generate more thorough test results

Automated testing is also often an important part of software development that uses a continuous integration methodology.

What Are Your Top QA Automation Tools?

Have you tried out any of the automation testing tools listed above? Do you have any software you would add to the automation testing tools list? Share your ideas with a comment below.

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