These days during application development we find many times need to share our local application with remote users. Or sometimes there is need to have a public url to get access to some third party apis. e.g. if you are using a third party api and you want to have webhook from that third party to auto update your application in that case you need a public url.
During development it becomes difficult to work if we do not have apps like Pagekite and localtunnel etc. Pagekite and localtunnel both are really good tunneling solutions, however these have some drawbacks or I would say limitations as per my needs.
- For Pagekite you should have an account on Pagekite site and that login will last only upto 30 days or so. However most of the time you do not use Public sharing all 30 days in one strech of the app all the time
- For localtunnel the only drawback is change of url every time you start it. However in practical scenarios some times it is annoying as every time you start it you have to either pass the url to others or change it in configurations multiple times.
In one of my project I had to restart my app multiple times, also I could not afford waste of time by changing my configuration all the time. More over I was out of Pagekite trial period 🙂
So I started searching for a solution which helps in saving my time and also where I need not to buy for my testing specific needs.
I came across a nice solution – i.e. ngrok
- When you start it, it will give a unique url and that will be valid for one day!! So it saves my time as I do not have to change it on every restart
- Another advantage, you can use the service without any sign-up. Just download and install. There you go. Also it is available to everyone. If extra features needed you can buy
- One more advantage is, it provides url with both http protocols (http and https)
Steps to install ngrok
- Download ngrok
Unzip - unzip /path/to/ngrok.zip
- Change directory where you have extracted it then run
- More about ngrok Features