API Gateway comparison: Kong vs Tyk

Hello Gurus,

I am new to the field of API gateways, but am asked to draw a comparison between Kong and Tyk, in terms of features, ease of use, community, roadmap and pricing.
I have been able to find some info on Kong’s website (and Tyk`s :slight_smile: ), but would like to have the views of more experienced people on that topic, especially the technical bit.
I hope that this question is a good fit in this forum.


PS: Out of honesty, I have to say I’ve posted the same question on Tyk’s forum, hoping to get both sides of the story :-).

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Hi Vanessa,

Happy to help you. In terms of features you can see a list of CE/EE features here. Besides that, Kong has 60+ plugins both available out of the box or in the community (you can find them on GitHub) that you can easily add via the Admin API (which of course can be integrated with CI/CD workflows), or you can use the GUI. Essentially Kong is a full-cycle API management solution, fast and extensible.

Kong can work as an Ingress for external/internal traffic (north-south traffic) or in a Mesh (preview feature) for Microservices in east-west traffic, in centralized and decentralized modes with configurable data planes.

Lua was chosen for its great performance. As a matter of fact NGINX + Lua process 10% of the global internet traffic (CloudFlare for example is built on the same stack). We decided to use the same technology and its speed/performance/stability to build Kong, besides the fact Lua is very easy to learn.

Because of this, as you probably noticed, Kong is also the most popular OSS API Gateway in the market, with a global community and enterprise customer base. Kong CE is being executed in over 300,000 running instances per month while Kong EE is adopted in the Top Global 5000 with SLAs that can, for our top customers, go down to 5/10 minutes. Among our customers we work with Top Fortune 50 organizations in a diverse set of industries (technology, telecommunications, governments, retail, travel, automation, etc) in a large variety of use-cases and in every world region (APAC, EMEA, Americas).

Kong is the fastest gateway in every benchmark, with large mission critical use-case up to 1M requests per second, platform agnostic, lightweight and if you are using containers with good support for the most popular containerization platforms (Kubernetes, DC/OS, etc). It’s one of the most downloaded official images on Docker with 15M+ downloads. Users sometimes write about Kong vs other gateways, BBVA (a large bank) also wrote one against Tyk: https://www.bbva.com/en/api-gateways-kong-vs-tyk/

There is much more to say, if you have more questions or want to learn more about EE + Support + Pricing please contact us at https://konghq.com/request-demo/ - I don’t know where your company is located but we have a professional global Support, Customer Success and Solution Architect teams that can help you as part of the standard process. Our HQ is in San Francisco.

Hope this helps!

– Marco


@vanessa @thefosk check comparison here

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I looked into both fairly extensively. I believe Kong has the advantage now, but Tyk is working hard too. Martin the CEO from their end is very helpful and a driven software engineer. Kong outperforms it currently though(nginx/openresty too stronk :slight_smile: ). Also Kong’s CRUD admin api just felt simpler than Tyk’s backend API. Tyk also has more moving pieces, I prefer less moving pieces or dependencies that can break.

Until the start of this year, I was in the same boat, well, maybe worst as I had never looked into API Gateways as a hole, only the name came in one of two reads through blogs…

Until I started having to deal with 5 different Microsoervices URL that the same application uses and when trying to swap url’s as I had created a new application to replace an old and buggy one took more than it should :slight_smile:

I think the best way is to have it working on a stage environment… I took the free Heroku route and our stage API’s are now all running through it without any flaws …

I’ve also contributed to Kong Dashboard as they were lacking key-auth authentication and I use it to manage my stage instance …

after a month of testing and be happy with the availability and performance, I’m now installing it on AWS EC2 as from this answer I realized we do not need more than a t2.medium (US$36 / month) to run it on production.

From a starting point the only confusion was the consumers, plugins and uploadstream but with some documentation, help realized that consumer is just an access to an user or an application, there’s a lot of plugins to attach to each to each api, the ones I always attach is acl and key-auth so I can then also add the same acl to a consumer and using it’s key-auth access this or that api …

hope it helps going forward