Toptal vs Upwork: Real Comparison to Choose the Best Platform


Finding out a reliable freelancing platform has become an important issue for the newbie freelancers. Topal and Upwork both are the most popular freelancing platforms in the world. If you are looking for the comparison of Toptal vs Upwork then you have to compare a lot of internal and external things. We are going to show you the clear comparison between upwork and topal. These are two different platforms to perform the same kind of work. Both of them have some sides of strength along with some weak sides also. If you want to know which one will be the best one for you, you must take into the account of the comparison of these two. It is really good to compare the available platforms before choosing one finally. Let’s see the comparison of Toptal and Upwork.


Foundation of Toptal and Upwork

The name Toptal is an outcome of “Top Talent”. Toptal is a private company of America founded by Tsa Du Val (CEO) and Breanden Beneschott in 2010. It is actually founded in Silicon Valley, Californiaa, U.S. Even though it was started as a platform of freelancing for software Engineer, at present it works as an Industry of Freelance Marketplace, Online Outsourcing and Employment Website. The company of Toptal is funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Adam D’Angelo, and Ryan Rockefeller.

On the other hand, Upwork was established in the year of 2015. Its full name is Upwork Global Inc. But it is actually merged with the former Elance- Odesk from 18 December, 2013. You must know that Elance was founded in 1999 with the consequence that Upwork can be taken as the oldest industry among the freelance marketplace. It is founded in Mountain View, California and dedicated to serve worldwide.

Okay, if you now want to know about the overall score and user satisfaction then we should say it’s “Rating: 9.7” of Upwork score, while the overall score of Toptal is “Rating: 9.3“. But both of their user satisfaction is 100%.


Real Comparison Between Toptal and Upwork

To say about Toptal we must admit that the company hires only the best talent, elite software Engineers and designers. They do not allow everyone who just applies for freelancing with them. Rather they accept only the 3% of them. So, as a hiring manger if you want to avoid a large marketplace and choose among a few then Toptal will be appropriate for you. And as a new freelancer if you want join Toptal you will have to pass four important stages to get approval in Toptal. These stages are-

  1. Vocal interview for testing language
  2. Skill reviews to check skills and knowledge learnt
  3. Live tests to prove ones skills and
  4. Finally practice project to analyze the work at overall.

So, if you are not a skillful expertise, you won’t be able to get approval in the Toptal. It will just a waste of your time.

On the contrary, being a merged company of former Odesk and Elance, Upwork covers a large platform. It includes a large number of freelancers of all qualities and of all rates. As a result you get a chance to choose from a large group. It is not for limited developers rather it is open to all sorts of skills and thus making a large platform of freelancing. It makes an arrangement of connecting millions of freelancers to millions of clients with their single profile each.


Cost of Joining: Toptal vs Upwork

It is an important comparison between any freelancing platforms. However, Upwork is totally free to join. You can join anytime here without any joining payment. But Toptal does not provide full opportunity as a free sign up. You must have to pay the joining fees to enter into Toptal.


About the Vendors: Toptal vs Upwork

As we have already said that Toptal limits its clients and freelancers with various conditions. However, there are over 2000 clients working with Toptal and thousands of Designers and Developers are working here in over 93 countries. Toptal has arranged serious and compulsory tests for the applicants to include only the skilled and perfect freelancers. These tests include Communication Skills and tests for technical sides applicants claim to be expertise such as – . test projects, live coding exercises and algorithm test etc.

On the other hand, Upwork arranges a huge marketplace in order to establish the world’s largest freelance talent marketplace. It works fast and growing fast expanding fast in the whole world. It is open to all with any kind of skill and free to join. Freelancers earn approximately $1 billion USD annually via upwork.


Compare Prominent Clients: Upwork vs Toptal

The prominent clients of Toptal are Bridgestone, University of Colorado, Boulder, CSR Limited. While Upwork includes the prominent clients – Instapage, AieBnB, Dropbox.


Compare Pricing: Upwork vs Toptal

To compare the pricing of the two companies, Toptal is for $60 with the score 9.3 and Upwork is for $500 price with the score of 9.7.


Compare available Devices: Upwork vs Toptal

For being a kind of internet based application the freelancing sites are not applicable for all devices. Toptal is available only for Windows, Mac, Web-based. On the other hand, Upwork is supported by Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac, Web-based etc.


Compare Cost Details: Upwork vs Toptal

To be hired by the company Toptal one must deposit $500 to the company. But it does not mean that the applicant lose the money rather you must know that company returns the full amount in case company does not want to work with you anymore. The clients are supposed to pay the freelancers also. The freelancers are generally paid here in the range from $60 per hour to more than even $6400 per week. It surely depends on the freelancers’ performance.

In contrast, Upwork is free to join and it costs 20% – 5% fee on the transaction amount. It is built in collaboration feature to ensure easy payment. Upwork matches the right freelancers instantly and it adopts a Payment Protection Plan which verifies freelancers’ work history.

We are also providing you with the comparison between Toptal and Upwork in a tabulated form. It will help you to understand quickly and easily.


        Comparison Based On
1.       Founded Year 2015 2010
2.       Founded in Mountain View, California Silicon Valley, Californiaa, U.S
3.       Founded by merged form of Odesk and Elance Taso Du Val, Breanden Beneschot
4.       Client Satisfaction 100% 100%
5.       Rating Score 9.7 9.3
6.       Pricing $500 $60
7.       Scheme of Price Quote Based and free Quote Based and one time payment
8.       Approve to all freelancers of any skill only the talented freelancer
9.       Well-known Clients AirBnb, Instapage, Dropbox Boulder, CSR Limited University of Colorado, Bridgestone
10.   Applicable Devices Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac, Web-based Windows, Mac, Web-based
11.   Language English English
12.   Test of freelancer optional compulsory


Choose Your Best One

So, now you see that both the Upwork and Toptal services have some good and problematic sides. You must bear in mind that these are not suitable to everybody. It depends on your project; interest and skill that you want to provide or get using these software. So, research about the comparison of Toptal and Upwork and try to understand which one will suit you more and give you more advantages. And then decide one to choose finally.

Hopefully, our research will help you a lot to take your decision. Best of luck!




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