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Heroku vs ngrok: What are the differences?

Key Differences between Heroku and ngrok

  1. Scalability: The main difference between Heroku and ngrok is their scalability. Heroku is a cloud platform that allows developers to host and scale their applications easily, while ngrok is a tunneling service that helps developers expose local servers to the internet temporarily. Heroku provides a robust infrastructure that can handle high traffic and scale horizontally, making it suitable for production applications. On the other hand, ngrok is a tool mainly used for testing and debugging purposes during the development phase.

  2. Deployment: Another key difference is the deployment process. Heroku provides a streamlined deployment process where developers can simply push their code to a remote repository, and Heroku will automatically build, deploy, and manage the application. Ngrok, on the other hand, does not handle deployment. It focuses on creating secure tunnels between the local environment and the internet, allowing developers to expose their local servers without the need for a public IP address or DNS configuration.

  3. Domain and Subdomain: Heroku provides a built-in domain and subdomain management system. Developers can easily assign custom domains or subdomains to their applications, which makes it easier to create user-friendly URLs. Ngrok, on the other hand, does not offer domain management. It provides a randomly generated subdomain for each tunnel, which means the URL will change every time ngrok restarts.

  4. Data Persistence: Heroku offers a variety of data storage options, including both SQL and NoSQL databases. It integrates well with popular data stores like PostgreSQL and MongoDB, allowing developers to easily manage and persist their application data. Ngrok, on the other hand, does not provide any data persistence. It is solely focused on creating secure tunnels for testing purposes, and does not offer any built-in data storage capabilities.

  5. Environment Variables: Heroku provides a built-in feature to manage environment variables, allowing developers to securely store sensitive information like API keys, database credentials, and other configuration settings. Ngrok, on the other hand, does not have a native environment variable management system. Developers need to handle environment variables manually, which can be less secure and less convenient.

  6. Pricing: Lastly, there is a difference in pricing models between Heroku and ngrok. Heroku offers a variety of pricing tiers based on the resources required by the application, including free options for small-scale projects. Ngrok also has a free plan available, but it comes with limitations on usage and functionality. To unlock additional features, such as custom domains, increased concurrency, and longer session durations, users need to subscribe to the paid plans.

In Summary, Heroku and ngrok differ in terms of scalability, deployment process, domain management, data persistence, environment variables, and pricing models.

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Pros of Heroku
Pros of ngrok
  • 703
    Easy deployment
  • 459
    Free for side projects
  • 374
    Huge time-saver
  • 348
    Simple scaling
  • 261
    Low devops skills required
  • 190
    Easy setup
  • 174
    Add-ons for almost everything
  • 153
    Beginner friendly
  • 150
    Better for startups
  • 133
    Low learning curve
  • 48
    Postgres hosting
  • 41
    Easy to add collaborators
  • 30
    Faster development
  • 24
    Awesome documentation
  • 19
    Simple rollback
  • 19
    Focus on product, not deployment
  • 15
    Natural companion for rails development
  • 15
    Easy integration
  • 12
    Great customer support
  • 8
    GitHub integration
  • 6
    Painless & well documented
  • 6
  • 4
    I love that they make it free to launch a side project
  • 4
  • 3
    Great UI
  • 3
    Just works
  • 2
    PostgreSQL forking and following
  • 2
    MySQL extension
  • 1
  • 1
    Able to host stuff good like Discord Bot
  • 0
  • 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 Heroku
Cons of ngrok
  • 27
    Super expensive
  • 9
    Not a whole lot of flexibility
  • 7
    No usable MySQL option
  • 7
  • 5
    Low performance on free tier
  • 2
    24/7 support is $1,000 per month
  • 5
    Doesn't Support UDP
  • 1
    El tunel SSH cambia de dominio constantemente

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What is Heroku?

Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.

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.

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Sep 29 2020 at 7:36PM


PythonSlackG Suite+17
Jun 19 2015 at 6:37AM

What are some alternatives to Heroku and ngrok?
We take the complexities out of cloud hosting by offering blazing fast, on-demand SSD cloud servers, straightforward pricing, a simple API, and an easy-to-use control panel.
Google App Engine
Google has a reputation for highly reliable, high performance infrastructure. With App Engine you can take advantage of the 10 years of knowledge Google has in running massively scalable, performance driven systems. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow.
Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
Microsoft Azure
Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.
See all alternatives