n8n vs. Zapier

Looking for Zapier alternatives? Perhaps considering a switch to n8n?

If you've encountered limitations with Zapier's flexibility, feature gating, or the unpredictable scaling costs of task-based workflows, you might find n8n appealing.

Here’s a detailed comparison of n8n vs Zapier, including features and pricing, to help you make an informed decision!


n8n vs Zapier: What are the differences?

Pricing model
Charge per workflow, no limit on tasks/steps
Charge for each task that your workflow includes
Unlimited users
Yes, on all plans
Only on the Team and Company plans
Code steps in workflows
JS, Python [Beta]
Both Python and JS, limited output
Error handling
Yes, with customizable error workflows
Pre-built connectors
Custom nodes
Yes, write and deploy your own n8n nodes to call external services or transform data
Yes, via the Zapier Developer Platform, RSS by Zapier, or 3rd party apps. Custom API in beta.
Yes, on all plans
Premium app, available only with the Pro plan and onwards
AI automation
Yes, AI-driven workflows via LangChain and Ask AI to generate JS code
Yes, AI-powered Zap builder, Formatter with AI, and Code with AI
Export/import workflows
Share workflows
Yes, on the Starter plan
Yes, on the Team plan
Scalability & extensibility
Highly scalable and extensible, requires additional configuration
Easy to expand, but limited customization
Enterprise package with unlimited workflows
No, still charges per task
Free trial
Yes, for free
Pricing model Charge per workflow, no limit on tasks/steps
Unlimited users Yes, on all plans
Code steps in workflows JS, Python [Beta]
Error handling Yes, with customizable error workflows
Pre-built connectors 300+
Custom nodes Yes, write and deploy your own n8n nodes to call external services or transform data
Webhooks Yes, on all plans
AI automation Yes, AI-driven workflows via LangChain and Ask AI to generate JS code
Export/import workflows Yes
Share workflows Yes, on the Starter plan
Scalability & extensibility Highly scalable and extensible, requires additional configuration
Enterprise package with unlimited workflows Yes
Free trial Yes
Self-hosting Yes, for free
Pricing model Charge for each task that your workflow includes
Unlimited users Only on the Team and Company plans
Code steps in workflows Both Python and JS, limited output
Error handling No
Pre-built connectors 5,000+
Custom nodes Yes, via the Zapier Developer Platform, RSS by Zapier, or 3rd party apps. Custom API in beta.
Webhooks Premium app, available only with the Pro plan and onwards
AI automation Yes, AI-powered Zap builder, Formatter with AI, and Code with AI
Export/import workflows No
Share workflows Yes, on the Team plan
Scalability & extensibility Easy to expand, but limited customization
Enterprise package with unlimited workflows No, still charges per task
Free trial Yes
Self-hosting No
See why n8n is the most cost-effective option in the market
You only pay for full workflow executions, nor per operation, step or task.
Learn more

About n8n

n8n is a low-code, source-available, self-hostable alternative to Zapier. It’s really good for technical teams who want to build complex workflows faster.

With n8n, you can build workflows using Javascript when you need flexibility. Or quickly connect apps with a drag n’ drop GUI when you don’t. You can easily handle advanced functionality like implementing multiple triggers, as well as branching and merging your flows.

With 300+ integrations and customizable HTTP requests, you can add any API to your workflow.

About Zapier

Zapier is a no-code automation tool that lets you connect your apps into automated workflows. It’s really good for handling simple tasks that don’t require complex conditional logic and is easy to get started, especially for non-technical users. You can easily configure a great range of integrations, but if you need more custom logic, you’d need to upgrade to higher-tier plans.

Pricing comparison

Starter plan n8n vs Others.png


n8n is a workflow automation tool under the sustainable use license. You can host n8n on your server and the community version is completely free. The source code is available here on GitHub.

n8n Cloud is n8n's hosted solution. In addition to all the features of n8n, it provides added benefits such as:

  • No technical setup or maintenance for your n8n instance
  • 24/7 uptime monitoring
  • Connect apps in just 1 click via OAuth
  • One-click upgrades to the newest n8n versions

n8n Cloud packages start at €20 per month for 2.5k workflow executions with unlimited steps.

Unlike Zapier, n8n doesn’t charge you extra for running more advanced workflows that have a lot of operations, steps, or tasks. n8n doesn’t have Premium apps – all integrations are at your free disposal. At the top end, it’s several hundred euros cheaper per month, or thousands of euros cheaper per year.


Zapier’s Starter plan includes 750 tasks (not workflows!) and costs €19.06/month, billed annually. Prices increase as you add more tasks to your workflow. Each task above your plan’s limit will cost 1.25x the cost of a task on your base subscription.

In Zapier, every time a task in a workflow performs an action, it counts as a new task. For example, when your workflow reads a record from HubSpot, writes a row into a Google sheet, or posts a tweet, each counts as a task.

Or, for instance, processing a table with 10 records in a basic 2-step Zap would necessitate 10 steps (the trigger step is free, while the second step operates 10 times). A single workflow can be thousands of tasks that can burn through 1/4 of the budget with a single careless execution.

It’s better to use external tools for more specialized needs like scraping or looping/transforming data as even such trivial tasks will eat up most of the tasks.



You can self-host n8n for cheap or free (no fees to n8n) on your choice of Virtual Private Server (VPS), Heroku, your own server, or even your personal computer. Self-hosting n8n offers full control over data and workflows, crucial for compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR or CCPA. It also enhances security by removing risks associated with third-party vendors.

n8n cloud uses Microsoft Azure for hosting. The physical hardware powering n8n, and the data stored by the platform, is hosted in the Azure Germany West Central data center in Frankfurt.


Zapier does not offer self-hosting options. It operates as a cloud-based automation platform, meaning users rely on Zapier's servers to execute their workflows.

Zapier hosts data in AWS servers located in the United States, including customers' personal data and the data that is processed on behalf of customers.

Enterprise offer


In case, you outgrow individual or team plans, you can opt for n8n’s enterprise package which is more tailored for organizations with stricter security or compliance requirements. In addition to collaboration, developer, and debugging tools, it offers:

  • Log streaming
  • Dedicated support with SLA
  • Invoice billing
  • Environments (dev, staging, prod, etc.)
  • Version control using Git
  • Self-hosted or hosted by n8n


For organizations who want automation with robust security features and oversight capabilities, Zapier offers a company plan starting from $799/month per 100K tasks.

The Company plan enables your entire distributed organization to use Zapier, with advanced security features, governance, and monitoring features such as advanced admin permissions, single sign-on, and custom data retention.

The benefit of n8n’s enterprise package compared to Zapier’s is the unlimited offering: unlimited workflow executions with unlimited steps and unlimited active workflows (with unlimited test ones).

n8n Enterprise

Looking for reliability and scalability to execute complex, high-volume workflows?

Over 3000 companies signed up just last week. Join them.

Developer tools


In n8n, you can write custom JavaScript and Python code snippets to add, remove, and update the data you receive from a node.

The Code node gives you access to the incoming data and you can manipulate it.

Apart from the n8n Code node, overall n8n’s UI is closer to a developer’s environment:

  • n8n provides built-in methods and variables for working with data and accessing n8n data;
  • Multiple trigger nodes and waiting for data;
  • Error handling workflow that is triggered whenever a workflow fails;
  • Array/string manipulation in n8n is as simple as using vanilla Javascript;
  • Input and output views to save your mental energy when going back and forth between data sets;
  • Data pinning to save the output data of a node, and use the saved data instead of fetching fresh data in future workflow executions;
  • Environments: run isolated instances for dev, staging, prod, etc. — with easy workflow deployment between them using Git as the source of truth;
  • Version control using Git: keep an automatic backup and version log of all your workflow data;
  • Sticky Notes to annotate and comment on your workflows.

dev tools n8n.png


Code node by Zapier is a step that can be added to your workflow just like any other trigger or action but with writing either Python or Javascript code.

Even though Zapier allows you to incorporate code snippets into the workflow, it’s still not that scalable and advanced when it comes to branching, loops, custom scripts, and HTTP calls.

Moreover, Zapier was simply not made for complex workflows and here's why:

  • Code Steps are limited to returning 250 items in the output object;
  • When using Code steps, Zap executions will be paused should they surpass the specified code rate limits. As an illustration, in the highest-tier plans (Professional, Team, and Company), scripts are allowed to execute for up to 30 seconds with a memory cap of 256 MB, and code steps are limited to 225 calls every 10 seconds.
  • The total size of the code and the data processed by the code cannot exceed 6MB;
  • You cannot require external libraries or install or import libraries commonly referred to as "npm modules";
  • Zapier throttling occurs on the Free plan or during trials, where Zaps may error if too many actions occur in a short time span, with a limit of approximately 200 actions every ten minutes per Zap; however, this restriction is lifted for paid accounts;
  • Webhooks are a premium feature and not all apps can send back data in a way that Zapier can interpret in subsequent steps.

Screenshot 2023-02-08 at 14.52.15.png

Custom integrations


Firstly, n8n is building its own native integrations and is accepting community-built connectors to its library (available for self-hosted now, coming soon for cloud). However, if you don’t find the integrations you need, that’s fine: you can send HTTP requests or even write your own JavaScript or Python code inside a workflow to do pretty much anything.

You can also code your own custom integrations, or even radically change the system or its UI to better suit your use case. The code for n8n is available on GitHub and n8n team is always keen to accept new contributions from the community.

Custom integrations.png


Zapier's got you covered with pre-built apps that you can integrate with each other. Also, if the app you want to use with Zapier is not currently supported, there are three ways to request to add the app to Zapier:

  • Zapier Support
  • Zapier Trusted App Developers
  • Zapier Developer Platform.

Another way to build more custom integrations is to send webhooks in Zaps or trigger Zaps from webhooks if you're on a paid plan. Webhooks by Zapier offers GET, POST, PUT methods, which include automatic data parsing, and you can also select Custom Request for other use cases. All webhooks in Zapier are subject to a collective limit of 10,000 requests in a 5-minute window. This includes subscription webhooks or REST Hooks.

API Request action, an advanced feature that allows you to make raw HTTP requests within the Zap editor, is currently in beta. It’s available for use, but still in active development and may change.

Branching and conditional logic


n8n is made specifically for use cases with complex logic and that’s why in your workflows you can represent:

  • Merging: if you want to merge items returned by different nodes;
  • Looping: if you want to process multiple similar items;
  • IF conditions: if you want to split a workflow conditionally based on comparison operations;
  • The Switch node: is similar to the IF node, but supports up to four conditional routes;
  • The Execute Command node: if you want to run shell commands on the host machine that runs n8n;
  • Comparing databases: if you want to compare data from two input streams.

n8n uses a concept of data flowing from start to finish. You can add variables and "items" and access previous items and data from previous nodes. Check out the docs.

Branching n8n.png


Zapier does a good job at handling triggers (e.g. Zapier Gmail node allows you to filter messages for matching a specific filter) and regularly checks your trigger for new data. When the Zap triggers, Zapier automatically performs your action for you.

Zapier offers multi-step Zaps, however no powerful conditional Zaps.

There's a Conditional Logic feature available to all Zapier’s Interfaces Premium subscribers. This feature enables the display of specific fields based on the inputs in preceding fields, streamlining form completion.

There’s also a workaround for other plans such as three separate Zaps where each has a unique filter, but without a possibility to route to different steps based on variable input. Also, there’s a limit on the number of levels of logical branching which is sometimes better to be replaced with Google Scripts which offers a richer feature set despite the increase in coding.

Some of the multi-step Zaps are not intuitive to create and the more complicated your workflow, the more difficult it is to visualize:

Screenshot 2023-03-02 at 12.11.16.png

AI automation


n8n offers two AI modules: AI for n8n and n8n for AI:

  • AI for n8n: AI-assisted workflow building. n8n recommends using the ‘Ask AI’ feature as a starting point to create your initial code, and then edit it as needed.
  • n8n for AI: use n8n's advanced AI capabilities to create custom AI applications for your business operations.

With n8n's LangChain nodes, you can easily incorporate AI-powered features into your workflows. These nodes are customizable, allowing you to select your preferred agent, Large Language Model (LLM), memory settings, and more. Plus, you can seamlessly connect LangChain logic with other data sources and services using any n8n node.

That’s how n8n helps you build LLM apps:

  • Advanced chatbots: Create chatbots accessing diverse data for personalized interactions, surpassing basic queries. Use the Chat Trigger node when building AI workflows for chatbots and other chat interfaces.
  • Personalized assistants: Craft intelligent assistants integrating seamlessly with platforms like Google Drive, AWS, and others, enhancing personalization and context retention.
  • Information extraction: Implement extraction flows converting unstructured text into structured data using OutputParsers, facilitating downstream processing.
  • Document summarization: Develop tools summarizing extensive text into concise summaries while maintaining content essence and scope.


With Zapier’s AI-powered features, you can automate your workflows and leverage these AI capabilities:

  • AI-powered Zap building: Simply describe your workflow in plain language, and let the AI suggest triggers and actions for seamless automation. Formatter with AI can suggest formatting options, or Code with AI will generate JavaScript or Python for you.
  • Create personalized AI assistants: Develop your own AI assistant tailored to your needs. Utilize AI Fields in Zapier Tables for generating content and easily referencing data, or craft custom-branded chatbots directly within Zapier Interfaces.
  • Enhance AI app efficiency: Use Zapier AI actions directly inside of ChatGPT or use AI pre-built apps.

Customer support


With 40K+ members, the n8n community is very open, so you’ll get fairly quick responses (often the same day) on the n8n’s community forum. There are still multiple other ways to contact n8n or use a large active community of n8n experts. Also, n8n’s documentation gets updated every day with the last release updates so you can navigate there to find the solutions you might need.


Zapier offers community support as well as premier support and Live chats that become available only with the Team or Company plans and before that, you will have Zapier’s help center to find your answers.

Zapier vs n8n: Which one to choose?

Screenshot 2023-03-01 at 16.45.06.png

Simply speaking, n8n and Zapier are addressing the same needs – data integration and workflow automation but are made for use cases with different levels of complexity and customization.

Zapier is a handy tool when it comes to linear automation and basic integrations. It is a paid platform that offers a selection of 5,000+ integrations and is easier to get started than n8n.

n8n is a flexible workflow automation platform for technical teams who want to build complex workflows faster — without facing scalability or customization limitations.

With n8n, technical teams can benefit from:

  • Charging per workflow with no limit on tasks/steps
  • Self-hosting option for better security and data privacy
  • Branching, looping, merging data
  • Advanced Code node
  • Error handling workflow
  • The HTTP node to build your own integrations
  • Enterprise plan for unlimited workflow executions and advanced security
  • AI tools like chatbots and assistants using any LLM

You’re now armed with knowledge! Hopefully, this guide was useful to give you a general overview of Zapier compared to n8n.

Switching to n8n gives you the flexibility of a fully customizable workflow, and we have a support team on hand if you need help migrating your data. If you still have questions, you can reach us any time at [email protected] or contact sales for more information.

Or if you’re ready to work on your first n8n workflow right away, try n8n for free now!

The technical people in our team are big fans of n8n, it makes their work easier and offers a lot of flexibility.


Leen Penders

CMO at Dropsolid

Tech savvy folks ❤️ n8n

See what our global community has to say about their favorite workflow automation platform.

GitHub logo

I'm in love with Canva, Bubble and n8n/make.

It's like having (at least) two developers.

The speed of building and cost savings are amazing.

Now add ChatGPT and you can virtually create any type of startup from scratch.


I created my first backend app with @Railway (a year ago) but I used my personal GitHub account, today I migrated to my prod account, I made a
@n8n_io workflow to sync to the new instance, and also some Postgres nodes. I'm pretty happy with the result.

Marketing Tech ⭐ Sarah Tamsin