Tyk versus Kong Open Source

The battle of the open source API gateways

We’re not in the business of throwing shade. Mainly because it’s just not nice but also because, when you have a product this great, there’s no need

Let’s jump right in by looking at what’s included in each.

What we do want to share is a clear, side-by-side comparison of Tyk’s open source API gateway versus Kong’s open source offering.


Feature Benefit Tyk Kong
mTLS The security you need, straight out of the box
OpenID Connect Ultimate security for those who need it
High-availability, high-performance rate limiting Clustered rate limiting with high performance through a distributed rate limiting algo – no being stuck with a single Redis instance
Can run without a database Less operational complexity, faster time to market – but with some compromises
Enforced endpoint timeouts Full granularity for enforcing endpoint timeouts
Circuit breakers per endpoint Monitor and protect your upstream resources
JSON schema request validation Protect your upstream services
Mock endpoints Test to your heart’s content
Advanced URL rewriting Set up complex URL rewriting based off request payloads, headers, query params, and even special user meta data
Community GUI for open source Abstracts the engine
Collection of specialised components, rather than a single, monolithic application Greater flexibility and agility than a monolithic structure

Not looking for open source?

Check out our comparison of the enterprise versions of Tyk and Kong instead.

01. Everything you need, straight out of the box

Extensive offering – “batteries included”
Multiple plugins available

Tyk can make your life easier. Much easier. That’s why we’ve bundled so much into our open source gateway. It’s our “batteries included approach” – it means you can do everything you need, straight out of the box.

Whether you need to use mTLS or OpenID Connect for your authentication, or to implement high-availability, high-performance rate limiting, you can do so with Tyk. You won’t need plugins to extend what the open source gateway can do – it’s all there at your fingertips from the outset.

02. Authentication that suits your setup

Support for wide range of authentication methods
Limited authentication options

How do you need to deal with authentication?

Whether it’s with access tokens, HMAC request signing, JSON Web tokens, Mutual TLS, OpenID Connect, basic auth, LDAP, Social OAuth (login with GPlus, Twitter, Github, etc.) or legacy Basic Authentication providers, Tyk’s open source API gateway provides what you need.

03. Freedom forever. And for free.

Lifetime commitment to fully featured, free gateway
Limited features on free version of gateway

Tyk has one API gateway. It’s fully open source and free to use, for now and forever.

Whether you’re a community user or an enterprise user, you have access to the same gateway. We don’t tie your hands and restrict what you can do. Our open source API gateway is fully featured, providing the freedom and flexibility you need to manage your APIs effectively and securely.

04. Stellar support

Extensive support
Some support

It’s always good to know that someone’s got your corner. With Tyk’s open source gateway, you can certainly be assured of that.

We are really proud of how well we support our open source users. We’ve been community-based since the outset and we’ll never forget that. That’s why we put so much time and effort into supporting every single one of Tyk’s users. We wouldn’t be here without you.

05. No breaking changes

No breaking changes
“New minor versions often come with breaking changes” (Gartner)

Tyk is about making your API management easier, not harder. Breaking changes don’t make life easier. So we don’t include them in our updates.



Thank you for reading this article. We welcome any comments or feedback. If you’d like to reach out to us, please contact [email protected]