Learn how Ngrok deployment service can be used as a free and effective way to collaborate and develop amazing web apps on any platform and have them made publicly available to your collaborators.
A client of a non-technical background is both a boon and a bane for a web developer. On one side they are our main source of income while causing just as much trouble understanding the concept and work flow of our development. Since they cannot be expected to go through the tedium of downloading the programming language you are using along with all the dependencies of a requirements.txt file and then using the command to run it on their local server.
Just to check our work. We deploy our progress on a web server. But services like Heroku and Digital Ocean though powerful are tedious, they require a long list of configurations to be made with a lot of precision. It is better to simply redirect them to our own local server. The service of Ngrok does just that. It breaches the Firewall of our system and make the specified port of our local host publicly available for a short period of time.
How Ngrok Deployment works?
Ngrok deployment is a free service which once downloaded onto our system. Is able to breach the security of our firewalls and makes a port of our localhost publicly available on the internet. This port can be accessed by a the ngrok web server and is accessible to the general public by a dynamically generated URL with a lifetime of 8 hours, you of course can cut this life short by closing the ngrok terminal/console.
How To Use ngrok?
Ngrok can be very easily used in deployment without any major configuration. All one needs to do is download application, make the deployment and then add the allowed host in the settings.py file.
Prerequisite:- A system loaded with any popular Operating System, a working Web App(can be under development), internet connectivity.
Disclaimer:- The server established by ngrok is not secured, thus it is at the mercy of the person who is handling that link. It is thus advised that you don’t open an unknown ngrok link.
Step 1. Download Ngrok
Go to you favorite browser and search ngrok download or use the link https://ngrok.com/download. Download the zip file of an appropriate OS. And then extract it to an appropriate file directory.
Step 2. Setup Your Web App
Go to your web app and then run it on your local server, while making appropriate changes in the configuration or settings to allow it to be hosted on a an appropriate server. For example if you are using Django you will go to the settings.py file and change the allowed host section. And run the following command.
python manage.py runserver
Now go to the file directory where you extracted the ngrok download’s zip folder. And open command prompt in that window.
Step 3. Fire Up Your ngrok server
Now use the following command
ngrok http |PORT_NO|
PORT_NO being the port of local server that you are using to host your web app. You will then view a window similar the following.
You can then use either of the following “Forwarding” links to access your Web App from anywhere with an internet connectivity.