How to make your laptop’s web server publicly accessible
If you don’t have time to setup a testing server, there is a simple solution: setup a tunnel from your laptop or development computer to the public internet using NGrok. When you need to reconnect, when changing your laptop’s connection for example, simply run NGrok again and learn your new public URL.
Here we show you how to make your local environment’s web server visible to the public internet. After doing this you can use a cloud based service like Usetrace to test your web app that is on your own laptop. This solution should work with connections behind firewalls or NAT.
1. Download NGrok
Download from https://ngrok.com/download
2. Run NGrok to setup the tunnel
Open up terminal and run NGrok with “./ngrok http 8000” to share your server located on localhost:8000
Start NGrok by using a command prompt to share your server located on localhost:8000 on Windows with
ngrok http 8000
You need to allow NGrok to run in OS X.
Open the terminal:
Set security settings
Mac OSX has security policy which by default forbids running software that is not installed from the Mac App Store or it doesn’t have Apple granted Developer ID signature. (you can read more about it on support.apple.com/en-us/HT202491).
To allow your tunnel software NGrok to run, first create a new policy with command
spctl --add --label "MyTunnel" /Users/lilligunnar/Downloads/ngrok
Then allow this group to run with command
spctl --enable --label "MyTunnel"
Allow the changing of security settings
A popup window should appear asking for your username and password. Enter them to allow NGrok to run.
To share your server located on localhost:80 type
./ngrok http 80
3. Learn your new public URL
Finally, when NGrok is running, copy the https address after “Forwarding” from the terminal. This is your web server that is now publicly available through NGrok. Usetrace can now be pointed to this address (base URL). See How to set the default base URL.
To stop sharing your server quit the NGrok process.