June 14, 2024

Why I Switched from Ngrok to Cloudflared Tunnel (and You Should Too)

If you’re like me, constantly tinkering with webhooks, testing APIs, or showcasing projects to clients, you know the pain of exposing your localhost to the internet. Ngrok has been my go-to for years, but recently, its bandwidth limitations and incessant upgrade prompts have been driving me up the wall. Enter Cloudflared Tunnel—my new best friend. Let me tell you why I made the switch and why you might want to consider it too.

Ngrok: A Love-Hate Relationship

Don’t get me wrong, Ngrok is a fantastic tool. It’s been a staple in my development toolkit for ages. But there’s a catch. After just a few days of heavy usage, I’d hit bandwidth limits and get those annoying upgrade prompts. As a developer working on data-intensive projects, this became a major bottleneck. It’s like being told to upgrade your pizza slice to a whole pie just because you’re hungry—every single time.

Why Cloudflared Tunnel Rocks

  • Unlimited Bandwidth: Seriously, this is a game-changer. Cloudflared Tunnel doesn’t throttle your traffic. You get to develop, test, and demo your projects without ever worrying about hitting a limit. It’s like having an all-you-can-eat buffet with no hidden charges.

  • Integration with Cloudflare: If you’re already using Cloudflare for DNS, SSL, or security, adding Cloudflared Tunnel into the mix is seamless. You get top-notch DDoS protection, SSL encryption, and global content delivery out of the box. No extra configurations, no additional costs. Just pure, unadulterated efficiency.

  • Cost-Effective: Ngrok’s free tier is nice until it isn’t. The cost of upgrading can add up quickly. Cloudflared Tunnel offers a much more budget-friendly approach. With Cloudflare’s scalable solutions, you won’t get any nasty surprises on your bill.

  • No Login for Simple Local Testing: Here’s the kicker—Cloudflared doesn’t require you to log in if you’re just tunneling a simple localhost. This is perfect for quick tests, like setting up OAuth with Slack, which doesn’t play nicely with localhost callbacks. It’s as simple as running a single command, and you’re live.

How to Get Started with Cloudflared Tunnel

Let’s get practical. Here’s how you can get up and running with Cloudflared Tunnel in no time:

Install Cloudflared: First, grab the Cloudflared tool from Cloudflare’s official site.

brew install cloudflared

Run a Tunnel Without Login: For basic testing, you don’t even need to log in. Just run:

cloudflared tunnel --url localhost:3000

Replace localhost:3000 with whatever port your local server is using.

Access Your Server: Boom! Your local server is now exposed to the internet. Use the provided URL to access it remotely.

Ngrok served me well, but its limitations became a hassle. Cloudflared Tunnel offers a breath of fresh air with unlimited bandwidth, seamless integration with Cloudflare’s services, and a more developer-friendly approach. Plus, the ability to run simple tests without logging in is a huge bonus.

If you’re tired of hitting bandwidth caps and upgrade prompts, give Cloudflared Tunnel a try. It might just become your new favorite development tool.

Feel free to share your thoughts, experiences, or any questions in the comments below. Happy coding!