In today’s business world, automation is key to improving efficiency, streamlining workflows, and scaling operations. As a result, integration platforms like N8n and Zapier have emerged as invaluable tools for connecting apps, automating repetitive tasks, and boosting productivity.

N8n and Zapier are leading options when it comes to no-code automation, each with their own strengths. N8n offers robust customization and workflows thanks to its open-source model. Zapier provides an extensive library of pre-built integrations and a highly polished user experience.

But which platform is right for your needs? In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll break down the key differences between N8n and Zapier across crucial factors like ease of use, features, pricing, and more. Whether you’re looking to automate workflows for the first time or evaluating alternatives to your current tool, this guide will provide the insights you need to determine if N8n or Zapier is the supreme automation champion.

User Interface and Ease of Use

When it comes to automation, a user-friendly interface is crucial for ensuring that users can efficiently set up and manage their workflows. N8n boasts a sleek, intuitive drag-and-drop workflow editor that makes building complex automations a breeze, even for those with little to no coding experience. According to, N8n’s flexibility and customization options give it an edge for users who prefer a more hands-on approach to automation.

Zapier, on the other hand, offers a more straightforward setup process with a vast library of pre-built “Zaps,” which are automated workflows that connect apps and services with ease. While both tools are beginner-friendly, Zapier’s simplicity makes it ideal for users looking for a quick and easy way to automate tasks across different apps, according to this comparison. However, advanced users may find Zapier limiting due to its lack of customization options.

Overall, N8n’s flexible and customizable workflow editor gives it an edge for hands-on users, while Zapier’s simplicity and pre-built Zaps cater to those seeking a straightforward automation solution.

Integrations and Connectors

Automation is all about connecting your favorite apps and services seamlessly. Zapier is the clear winner in this category, with over 3,000 app integrations that cater to a wide range of use cases. From popular tools like Google Sheets and Slack to niche software, Zapier has you covered, ensuring that you can automate tasks across the apps you use daily ( N8n, while offering a respectable number of integrations, can’t quite match Zapier’s extensive ecosystem. However, N8n’s open-source nature allows for custom integrations, giving it a unique advantage for those who have the technical know-how to develop their own connectors (

As one Hacker News user pointed out, Zapier has over 10x the number of integrations as n8n ( So for connecting a wide variety of apps and services out of the box, Zapier is superior. But n8n offers the flexibility to build custom integrations for niche use cases, giving it an edge for technically inclined users.

Pricing and Value

When it comes to pricing, N8n and Zapier take different approaches that cater to different types of users. N8n offers a generous free plan with unlimited workflows and executions, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious users and small businesses looking to automate without significant investment. Paid plans start at a reasonable $19/month, providing additional features and capabilities (

Zapier, in contrast, provides a limited free plan and paid plans starting at $19.99/month. While Zapier’s plans offer more features and support, N8n’s affordable pricing and open-source model provide excellent value for money, especially for those who are comfortable with a more DIY approach. Some users feel Zapier’s pricing is misleading compared to competitors like n8n (

Ultimately, the choice comes down to your budget and needs. N8n’s free plan provides tremendous value for small teams, while Zapier offers more hand-holding and support on paid plans. But dollar for dollar, N8n’s transparent and affordable pricing gives it an edge over Zapier for those looking to maximize their automation investment.

Community and Support

Both N8n and Zapier have active communities and comprehensive documentation that can help users navigate the platforms and troubleshoot any issues. N8n’s open-source nature fosters a collaborative environment where users can contribute to the platform, share workflows, and help each other out. Zapier’s community is larger and more established, with a wealth of user-generated content, tutorials, and forums where users can exchange tips and best practices. In terms of support, Zapier offers premium support on higher-tier plans, which can be a deciding factor for businesses that require immediate assistance. N8n, while it relies on its vibrant community and detailed documentation, also offers support, but it may not be as immediate as the premium options provided by Zapier. According to a Reddit user, “N8n is so good, but with selft-host community support only I think Zapier still wins for most people” [1].

Customization Options

When it comes to customization and flexibility, N8n has a clear advantage over Zapier. As an open-source tool, N8n allows for much deeper customization and flexibility compared to Zapier.

With N8n, users can build workflows with complex logic, custom code, and advanced functionality beyond what Zapier allows. N8n supports JavaScript code execution, which opens up limitless possibilities for customization (Source). Developers can write custom nodes and integrations for N8n as well. The open-source community contributes many custom nodes and functions.

In contrast, Zapier relies on pre-built templates and a simple drag-and-drop interface. While convenient, this limits advanced customization. Zapier Workspaces allow some additional flexibility for teams, but does not match N8n’s capabilities. Users are constrained to the integrations and functionality that Zapier provides out-of-the-box.

For those needing complex, highly customized automations that go beyond basic pre-built templates, N8n is the superior choice. Its code execution and open-source extensibility provide limitless options for custom workflows. For users satisfied with simpler no-code automations, Zapier offers a more turnkey solution.


When it comes to protecting data and securing automation workflows, both N8n and Zapier take security seriously. N8n is open source, which allows the community to audit the codebase and identify any vulnerabilities. According to N8n’s documentation, user credentials are encrypted and N8n workflows run in isolated Docker containers to limit access. Zapier states that it uses industry-standard encryption to protect data and has completed independent security audits. User accounts are protected by two-factor authentication as well.

Overall, both platforms implement security best practices, with no major vulnerabilities reported. Zapier may have a slight edge when it comes to compliance certifications due to their closed source model. However, N8n’s open source transparency allows users to self-audit if they desire. For most use cases, both automation tools can securely manage integrations and data.


When it comes to scalability, both N8n and Zapier have options to handle growing automation needs, but they take different approaches. N8n is highly scalable thanks to its open source nature – you can expand your infrastructure as needed by adding more servers and self-hosting instances. This makes N8n very attractive for larger organizations that need to scale their automation significantly. According to, N8n is “highly scalable and extensible” with the ability to add “unlimited workflows.”

Zapier, on the other hand, relies on tiered pricing plans to handle scalability. Their higher tier “Enterprise” package provides the ability to run unlimited workflows, but you are limited to the infrastructure provided by Zapier. For smaller teams with simpler needs, Zapier’s scalability may be sufficient. However, for larger organizations that need more customization as they scale, N8n’s open source model provides more flexibility. As noted in a blog post, N8n’s superior scalability was a key factor in choosing it over Zapier for automation needs.

Speed and Performance

When it comes to the speed and performance of automation execution, N8n and Zapier take slightly different approaches. According to benchmarks by, N8n has a clear speed advantage when running complex workflows with multiple steps, executing up to 3x faster than Zapier in testing. This is likely due to N8n’s open-source architecture that allows it to efficiently scale and optimize performance.

However, for simpler workflows, Zapier is no slouch. While absolute speeds vary, Zapier offers relatively fast and consistent execution for common automations thanks to its proprietary infrastructure. So for users with basic needs, Zapier’s speed will likely be sufficient.

Overall, N8n’s flexibility gives it better performance scalability for complex tasks, while Zapier provides reliable speed for simpler automations. When deciding, it’s worth considering your use case complexity and speed requirements. But for cutting-edge automation power, N8n has the edge.

Ease of Troubleshooting

When it comes to troubleshooting issues with workflows and automations, N8n and Zapier take slightly different approaches. Zapier provides a troubleshooting guide and FAQ section with articles that walk users through common problems and how to diagnose them. They also have a robust community forum where users and Zapier experts can help troubleshoot more complex issues. Zapier’s premium support plans allow users to get expedited 1:1 help from Zapier’s technical support team.

N8n also offers troubleshooting guides and documentation to help users debug workflows. However, since it is open source, much of the troubleshooting relies on the N8n community forums and contributors helping each other. This collaborative approach can be useful for common issues, but response times may be slower compared to Zapier’s premium support. N8n’s open source nature also means users with the technical skills can dig deeper to troubleshoot complex problems themselves. Overall, Zapier may provide a quicker path to troubleshooting for non-technical users, while N8n encourages a community approach, which has tradeoffs.

Data Privacy

When it comes to data privacy, N8n and Zapier take slightly different approaches. N8n is open source, which gives users more transparency into how their data is handled. Since N8n is self-hosted, users have more control over where their data resides. According to the N8n website, all data stays on your own infrastructure with N8n. Zapier, on the other hand, is a proprietary SaaS platform. While Zapier states that they do not own or sell user data, some users may be uncomfortable with their data flowing through Zapier’s servers. Zapier does allow users to encrypt sensitive data fields. Ultimately, N8n offers more data privacy control since it is self-hosted, but Zapier also claims to keep user data private.

Use Cases

When it comes to ideal use cases, Zapier and N8n each excel in different scenarios based on their respective strengths and limitations.

Zapier’s vast library of pre-built integrations make it best suited for common business use cases like CRM automation, marketing and sales workflows, and productivity enhancements. The easy drag-and-drop interface allows non-technical users to connect their everyday business apps and services seamlessly. Zapier shines when you need to quickly automate workflows across popular tools like Gmail, Slack, Google Sheets without coding.

N8n’s flexible, open-ended nature makes it a better fit for more advanced custom workflows and niche use cases. The self-hosted option and ability to create custom integrations empower developers and technical users to build tailored solutions not easily achieved on Zapier. N8n is great for orchestrating workflows involving on-premise apps, IoT devices, internal tools, and other specialized scenarios.

So in summary, Zapier excels at no-code automation for everyday apps, while N8n enables advanced custom workflows for tech-savvy users. The ideal tool depends on your level of technical expertise and the types of workflows you aim to automate.

Conclusion: N8n is the Superior Automation Tool for Most Users

After reviewing all of the key factors, N8n emerges as the winner for most use cases. While Zapier offers a polished interface and vast integration library, N8n’s open-source flexibility, affordable pricing, and powerful workflow editor provide greater overall value.

For developers, companies with complex needs, and budget-conscious users, N8n is the clear choice. Its open-source nature fosters customization and community collaboration. The free plan is extremely generous, and paid plans are reasonably priced. The workflow editor enables intricate automations without code.

Zapier may appeal more to non-technical users who want pre-built automations and premium support. But for most, N8n’s features are sufficient, if not superior. With its active community and detailed documentation, N8n makes automation accessible to all.

In summary, N8n delivers robust capabilities without restrictive pricing. For the flexibility to build custom workflows and integrate niche apps affordably, N8n is the supreme automation champion.

To learn more about optimizing your workflows through automation, contact me for a free consultation.


Here are some common questions about N8n vs Zapier:

What is the main difference between N8n and Zapier?

The main difference is that N8n is open source and self-hosted, while Zapier is a proprietary SaaS platform. This means N8n gives you more control, customization, and privacy, while Zapier is easier to use out-of-the-box.

Which has more integrations?

Zapier has over 3,000 integrations, while N8n has around 250. However, N8n’s open source nature means you can build custom integrations.

Which is more affordable?

N8n has a very generous free plan with unlimited workflows, while Zapier limits you to 100 tasks per month on their free plan. N8n’s paid plans also start lower at $19/month.

Which has better support?

Zapier offers premium support on higher paid plans. N8n relies more on community support, so response times may not be as fast.

Which is better for beginners?

Zapier is likely better for beginners, as it has a simpler interface and pre-built templates. N8n has a steeper learning curve.

Can Zapier be self-hosted?

No, Zapier is only available as a SaaS platform. Only N8n can be self-hosted.

What types of automations can they do?

Both tools can automate a wide variety of workflows like data migration, email marketing, CRM management, social media posting, and more. The integrations will determine what workflows you can build.


If you need help determining which automation tool is best for your business needs, I can provide an unbiased assessment and recommendation. As an automation and integration expert, I have extensive experience with tools like N8n and Zapier. Please feel free to contact me on Upwork to discuss your specific use case.

I’m always happy to chat about automation best practices and how to optimize your workflows. Whether you need help getting started or taking your automations to the next level, reach out to me on Upwork for a free consultation.

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