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Expose vs ngrok: What are the differences?


In this article, we will discuss the key differences between Expose and ngrok, two popular tools used for remote server access and tunneling.

  1. Pricing Model: Expose follows a self-hosted model, where you set up your own server to handle the tunneling. On the other hand, ngrok provides a hosted service that manages the tunnels for you. This means that Expose requires more technical expertise and resources to set up and maintain the server, while ngrok offers a more convenient and managed solution.

  2. Authentication: Expose uses a token-based authentication system, where you need to generate and provide a token for each client connecting to the tunnel. Ngrok, on the other hand, requires an account on their platform and uses an API key for authentication. This means that Expose has a more customizable and controlled method of authentication, while ngrok offers a simpler and streamlined authentication process.

  3. Custom Domains: Ngrok allows you to use custom domains for your tunnels, which means you can access your tunnels using a personalized domain name. Expose, on the other hand, does not provide native support for custom domains. This makes ngrok a better choice if you want to create branded tunnels with custom domain names.

  4. Integration with CI/CD: Ngrok offers seamless integration with popular continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) tools, allowing you to easily incorporate tunneling capabilities into your development workflows. Expose, on the other hand, lacks specific integrations with CI/CD tools. This makes ngrok a better choice if you heavily rely on CI/CD processes and want to automate tunnel creation and management.

  5. Open Source vs. Proprietary: Expose is an open-source tool, which means the source code is freely available to be modified and customized according to your needs. Ngrok, on the contrary, is a proprietary tool, and while it offers free access with certain limitations, the full functionality is available at a cost. This difference in licensing can be a deciding factor based on your requirements and preferences.

  6. Security Considerations: Both Expose and ngrok provide secure tunneling, encrypting the data transmitted between the client and the server. However, it is worth noting that when using the self-hosted Expose model, you have more control over the security measures implemented on your server. In contrast, ngrok's hosted service handles the security aspects for you, meaning you rely on their infrastructure for secure tunneling.

In summary, Expose and ngrok differ in their pricing models, authentication methods, support for custom domains, integration with CI/CD, licensing, and security considerations. The choice between the two depends on factors such as expertise, customization needs, branding requirements, integration with development workflows, and security preferences.

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Pros of Expose
Pros of ngrok
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 26
      Easy to use
    • 11
    • 7
    • 6
      Awesome traffic analysis page
    • 5
      Reliable custom domains
    • 1
      Mobile development
    • 1
      Shares service-wide metrics
    • 0
      Supports UTP And HTTPS

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    Cons of Expose
    Cons of ngrok
      Be the first to leave a con
      • 5
        Doesn't Support UDP
      • 1
        El tunel SSH cambia de dominio constantemente

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      What is Expose?

      It is a beautiful, open-source, tunnel application that allows you to share your local websites with others via the internet. Since you can host the server yourself, you have full control over the domains that your shared sites will be available at.

      What is ngrok?

      ngrok is a reverse proxy that creates a secure tunnel between from a public endpoint to a locally running web service. ngrok captures and analyzes all traffic over the tunnel for later inspection and replay.

      Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

      What companies use Expose?
      What companies use ngrok?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Expose or ngrok.
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      What tools integrate with Expose?
      What tools integrate with ngrok?

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