The REST API Toolbox: Top 10 Tools to Build, Manage, and Secure Your APIs

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The REST API Toolbox: Top 10 Tools to Build, Manage, and Secure Your APIs

REST (REpresentational State Transfer) APIs have become the de facto standard for building APIs and web services. They provide a simple, lightweight and scalable architecture for accessing resources over HTTP. With REST APIs, you can build services that can be easily consumed by a wide variety of clients including web apps, mobile apps and IoT devices.

REST API tools are software applications that help developers build, test and manage REST APIs. They provide a simplified interface and a variety of capabilities that make developing and working with REST APIs much easier. Some key benefits of using REST API tools include:

  • Rapid API development and prototyping
  • Simplified API testing and debugging
  • API documentation and client SDK generation
  • API traffic monitoring, analytics and management
  • Automating API workflows and testing

In this article, we evaluate some of the top REST API tools available on their features, capabilities and ease of use. We looked at tools that provide comprehensive REST API development workflows covering design, building, testing, documentation and monitoring of APIs. Our criteria for evaluation included:

  • Interface and ease of use
  • Supported protocols and authentication mechanisms
  • Testing and debugging capabilities
  • Documentation and mock server features
  • Monitoring, analytics and management features
  • Additional utilities like code generation
  • Pricing and commercial options

Let’s look at the top 10 REST API tools that deliver the best combination of features, capabilities and value for money as per our evaluation.

1. Postman

Postman is one of the most popular and powerful API testing tools available today. Originally launched in 2012 as a Chrome extension for API testing, Postman has grown into a comprehensive platform for API development.

Overview and History

Postman was founded by Abhinav Asthana while he was working as a developer at Yahoo. Frustrated by the lack of good API testing tools, Asthana built the initial version of Postman as a side project and released it as a Chrome extension in 2012.

The tool quickly gained popularity among developers for its easy-to-use interface and ability to simplify API testing workflows. Postman removed the need to write code just to test APIs. In 2014, Postman was released as a standalone app compatible across platforms.

In the following years, Postman continued to expand its capabilities from a developer tool to a complete API platform. It added features like mock servers, documentation, monitoring, collaboration tools and more. In 2019, Postman raised $50 million in Series B funding to further its goal of standardizing APIs.

Today, Postman is used by over 500,000 developers and more than 200,000 companies including Microsoft, Netflix, and Cisco. Its combination of usability and powerful features has made it a leader in the API testing space.

Key Features

Some of the key capabilities and features of Postman include:

  • Intuitive GUI for easily sending different types of API requests (GET, POST, PUT, etc)
  • Support for saving requests in collections to reuse test suites
  • Automated tests with built-in test runner
  • Environment and global variables for parametrized testing
  • Powerful mock servers to simulate APIs and test integrations
  • Detailed documentation explorer with sample requests/responses
  • Team collaboration with workspaces and role-based permissions
  • Public and private API documentation portals
  • API monitoring tools for tracking performance and usage
  • Native apps for Mac, Windows, Linux as well as mobile apps

Benefits and Limitations

Postman offers many benefits for testing, building and managing APIs:

  • Improved efficiency - eliminates need to write code for testing
  • Reduced errors - easily send requests, inspect responses and automate test suites
  • Faster on-boarding - intuitive UI with little learning curve
  • Streamlined collaboration - share collections, environments, mocks and docs
  • Powerful mocking - simulate endpoints and test without backend dependencies
  • Comprehensive documentation - dynamically generate reference docs for APIs
  • Flexibility - integrate with CI/CD pipelines via Newman command line

Some limitations include:

  • Learning curve for advanced features like mocking, monitoring, automation
  • Integration requires command line usage or Postman API
  • Not built specifically for developers - lacks some coding-focused features
  • Paid plans can get expensive for large team use cases

Overall, Postman provides a huge range of capabilities in an accessible way for testing, documenting and managing APIs. For individual developers and small teams, it’s an extremely efficient and powerful tool for working with APIs.

2. Insomnia

Insomnia is a popular open source API client that allows you to design, test, and debug APIs. It provides an intuitive GUI and smart features that make API development fast and easy.

Overview of Insomnia

Insomnia was created in 2015 and has quickly become a favorite tool for testing REST APIs. It is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android.

The tool allows you to import API definitions, generate code snippets, customize requests, view responses in different formats, and collaborate with teammates. Insomnia offers a beautiful dark interface that highlights important details.

Some key advantages of Insomnia are:

  • Open source and completely free
  • Easy to install and get started
  • Supports REST, GraphQL, WebSocket, and other API types
  • Features a cookie jar for storing session cookies
  • Environment management for variables across requests
  • Built-in documentation browser
  • Real-time response highlighting
  • Theming options and plugin ecosystem

Key Features and Capabilities

Insomnia allows you to fully configure HTTP requests, including headers, parameters, authentication, and body content. Some highlights include:

  • Graphical interface for constructing requests
  • Support for common authentication like OAuth and basic auth
  • Generate code snippets in multiple languages
  • Import from OpenAPI, Postman, cURL
  • Full syntax highlighting and linting
  • Multi-pane viewing options
  • Variable management across requests
  • Cookie jar, proxies, certificates
  • Scripting and plugins
  • Mock server for simulating endpoints
  • Team collaboration capabilities

The tool also shines in how it displays API responses. You can view responses in different formats like JSON, HTML, SVG, or binary. It has prettifiers, syntax highlighting, code folding, searching, and easy zooming.

Benefits and Limitations

The biggest benefits of using Insomnia are the excellent GUI, debugging capabilities, collaboration features, and multi-format support. It simplifies the entire testing workflow from constructing requests to viewing responses.

The tool is completely free and open source, but lacks some premium features like comprehensive environments and team management. The documentation and querying capabilities are also not as robust as some rival tools.

For developers needing a capable free toolkit for debugging and testing REST APIs during the development process, Insomnia is hard to beat. Its beautiful interface and thoughtful features make API development a breeze.

3. Paw

Paw is an elegant and robust API client that allows you to easily test and describe REST APIs. Here’s an introduction to Paw and its notable features:

Introduction to Paw

Paw was created by developer Ankur Patel and released in 2016 as an open source REST client for Mac. It provides a clean and intuitive GUI that makes it simple to test and document APIs.

Paw has grown into a powerful API testing toolkit used by developers and testers to improve API workflows. It is known for its beautiful and functional UI. Paw aims to help developers quickly test APIs without having to write code.

Notable Features and Capabilities

  • User-friendly GUI - Paw offers a well-designed interface that is visually appealing and easy to navigate. You can intuitively create requests, inspect responses, and generate documentation.

  • Built-in code generation - Paw can generate code snippets in over 10 programming languages including Swift, Objective-C, Java, and JavaScript. This saves you time when implementing API calls.

  • API documentation - Paw automatically generates API documentation from your requests. You can customize templates and export beautiful API blueprints.

  • Custom collections - Paw allows you to organize requests into collections. You can create environments, variables, auth methods, and more. This keeps your API testing organized.

  • Native apps - Paw is available as a native Mac app, Windows app, iPhone app, and Android app. You can test your APIs from multiple devices.

  • Automated testing - Paw provides automation through dynamic values, conditional workflows, and JavaScript scripts. Automated workflows save time.

  • Team collaboration - Teams can share collections and environments through Paw’s cloud service. This enables easy API workflow sharing.

Pros and Cons of Using Paw


  • Streamlined API testing and documentation
  • Powerful features and customization
  • Intuitive and aesthetically pleasing UI
  • Native apps for multiple platforms
  • Automation capabilities
  • Collaboration through cloud sharing


  • Only available as paid plans now
  • Limited community support compared to some tools
  • Less browser testing functionality than developer-focused tools

4. RESTClient

RESTClient is an open-source REST API testing tool that provides a simple interface for making HTTP requests and viewing responses. It supports making GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, DELETE and HEAD requests.

Some of the key features of RESTClient include:

  • Intuitive GUI for constructing requests and viewing responses
  • Support for custom HTTP headers
  • URL parameters and request body handling
  • History of requests for later reference
  • Exporting requests to code snippets and environments
  • Supports OAuth authorization workflows
  • Plugins for additional functionality like collections

The main benefits of using RESTClient are:

  • Simple and easy to use GUI compared to command line tools like cURL
  • Allows interactive testing of APIs without writing code
  • Good for initial exploration and prototyping
  • Lightweight and fast compared to larger IDEs
  • Available on multiple platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux

Some drawbacks are:

  • Lacks more advanced scripting and testing capabilities
  • No built-in support for testing workflows across multiple requests
  • Cannot directly integrate with CI/CD pipelines or test automation
  • Not designed for load or security testing

Overall, RESTClient is a handy tool for developers and testers who want to quickly test REST APIs without complex setup or coding. While it lacks capabilities for automated testing, its simplicity and intuitive interface make it ideal for initial API exploration and prototyping.

5. Hoppscotch

Hoppscotch is a free, open-source API development ecosystem that helps developers design, prototype, document, test, and share REST APIs.


Hoppscotch provides an intuitive graphical interface for building requests and visualizing responses. Developers can quickly define endpoints, parameters, headers, and bodies using the interactive components. It generates code snippets in various languages like JavaScript, Python, cURL, etc to assist API consumption.

The tool features a Postman-like request builder with support for collections. It also includes a documentation page creator to turn API requests into beautiful, shareable API docs. Hoppscotch offers a mocking service to simulate endpoints before they are built.

Noteworthy Features and Capabilities

  • Interactive API request builder with code snippets
  • Generates shareable documentation from requests
  • Collection support to save and organize requests
  • Environment and globals support for variables
  • Mocking service to simulate API responses
  • Team collaboration features
  • Authentication helpers for API keys, OAuth, etc
  • Custom scripts for pre-request and tests
  • Response syntax highlighting
  • Support for GraphQL APIs
  • Completely free and open source


  • Very easy to use and intuitive interface
  • Great for quickly testing and prototyping APIs
  • Documentation generator is handy for sharing API designs
  • Lots of time-saving features like snippets, collections, mocks
  • Free with no restrictions on usage


  • Not as fully-featured as Postman for large or complex APIs
  • Limited testing capabilities compared to other tools
  • Hosted mock server may have usage limits
  • Open source project with smaller community than alternatives

6. Postwoman

Postwoman is an open source API request builder that provides a simplified GUI for testing APIs. It allows you to easily send requests, inspect responses, and generate code snippets for languages like JavaScript, Python, and more.

Key Features

  • Intuitive GUI for building requests and viewing responses
  • Support for common HTTP verbs like GET, POST, PUT, DELETE
  • Code snippet generation for different languages
  • Support for environment variables
  • Collection runner for automating sequences of requests
  • Authentication methods including OAuth 2.0, basic auth, API key
  • Customizable themes
  • Portable app versions available


  • User friendly interface ideal for beginners
  • Fast and easy API testing without coding
  • Generate code snippets to speed up development
  • Share collections to collaborate with team members
  • Available on multiple platforms like desktop, mobile, and web


  • Less advanced features compared to developer-focused tools like Postman
  • Limited debugging capabilities
  • No mocking capabilities
  • No team collaboration features like Postman has
  • UI can feel cluttered at times

Postwoman provides a simple way for anyone to get started with API testing. While it lacks some advanced capabilities of other tools, its intuitive UI and focus on beginners makes it a great entry level tool for learning about APIs. For simple API testing needs, Postwoman delivers good functionality without unnecessary complexity.


RESTED is a simple open-source REST API testing application built using Electron and Vue.js. It provides an intuitive GUI for sending HTTP requests and inspecting server responses.

Some of the main features and capabilities of RESTED include:

  • Intuitive GUI for composing requests and viewing responses
  • Support for common HTTP methods like GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc.
  • Custom headers and body editing
  • Cookies management
  • Environment and global variables
  • Importing Postman collections
  • Exporting collections and environments
  • Syntax highlighting for responses
  • Basic authentication

The key upsides of using RESTED are:

  • Easy to use graphical interface requiring no coding
  • Fast and lightweight compared to some other tools
  • Great for basic API testing and exploration
  • Open-source and free

The downsides are:

  • Limited feature set compared to advanced tools like Postman
  • No automated testing capabilities
  • No team collaboration features
  • No mocking servers or recording traffic
  • No documentation generation

So in summary, RESTED is a simple and approachable API testing tool for individual developers who want to get started with API testing quickly. It lacks some advanced capabilities but makes up for it with its intuitive UX and lightweight footprint. For open-source projects or basic API testing needs, RESTED can be a good choice.

8. Talend API Tester

Talend API Tester is an API testing tool that allows you to create, run, and manage API tests. Some key features and capabilities of Talend API Tester include:

  • Intuitive GUI for creating API tests quickly
  • Support for REST, SOAP, and GraphQL APIs
  • Automated API testing with built-in assertions
  • CLI available for CI/CD integration
  • Import APIs from Postman, Swagger, WADL, and more
  • Response mocking for simulating APIs
  • Customizable dashboards and reports

Talend API Tester makes it easy to test APIs during development cycles to ensure they meet requirements. The GUI streamlines creating test cases with assertions to validate responses. Automated testing reduces the need for manual tests.

Some advantages of Talend API Tester are its broad API support, automation features, and sharing capabilities. Teams can collaborate on API projects in the cloud-based system. The CLI is also beneficial for DevOps workflows.

However, Talend API Tester lacks some specialized features like load testing and security testing. The free version has limited functionality compared to the paid plans. Some users may prefer open-source tools that can be self-hosted. The interface may not be as intuitive as some competing products.

Overall, Talend API Tester is a solid API testing solution due to its balance of usability and automation. For teams that need to validate APIs across projects, it provides an efficient way to create and manage API tests.


This post has covered the top 10 REST API tools focusing on their key features and benefits. As we have seen, there are a variety of excellent tools available to help with different aspects of working with REST APIs.

When evaluating which REST API tool is right for your needs, some key criteria to consider include:

  • Features and capabilities - What specific functionality do you need (e.g. API testing, API documentation, API design)? Make sure the tool supports your required use cases.

  • Ease of use - How easy is the tool to learn and use? Can non-technical users work with it? Does it have a simple and intuitive interface?

  • Platform and integration support - Does the tool support your target platforms like mobile, web, backends? Can you integrate it into your workflow and with other tools?

  • Pricing model - Is there a free version? How much does the paid version cost? Are there limitations on the free tier?

  • Community and support - Does the tool have an active user community for help? Is technical support available?

  • Your technical level - Do you need a code-focused developer tool or a visually simple one?

Overall, tools like Postman, Insomnia and Hoppscotch provide a good balance of usability and functionality for most API testing needs. Paw and RESTClient excel at advanced API development workflows. For open source options, check out RESTED and Postwoman. And for fully-featured enterprise API management, Talend API Tester is a top choice.

Choose the tool that best matches your specific requirements and budget constraints. And try out a few to see which one feels the most intuitive for improving your API development productivity.

Stay tuned with APIRobots for more insights and updates on this exciting field. Don’t miss out on the opportunities that APIs can bring to your business. Contact us today at API Robots an APIs Development Agency and let’s unlock the full potential of APIs together.