Cloudflare Tunnels is the newest alternative to tools like Ngrok and localtunnel. These tools help expose locally hosted apps and websites to the internet.

On Cloudflare Tunnels, tunnels with permanent domains are free. This is a good because it makes working with or debugging webhooks with local apps very easy.

Install cloudflared

Install cloudflared with homebrew like below or checkout install instructions for other operating systems)

brew install cloudflare/cloudflare/cloudflared

Start a tiny web server to test

Create and start a tiny web server to tryout cloudflared.

mkdir tunnel-tryouts && cd tunnel-tryouts
echo "<html><h1>Hello Cloudflare Tunnel</h1></html>" > index.html
python3 -m http.server

The website we just brought up should be accessible at http://localhost:8000/

The output should look something like below.

python3 http server

Start a Cloudflare Tunnel

To make this available to the world, run the cloudflared command by passing the url of the website as an argument.

cloudflared tunnel --url http://localhost:8000/

The output should look like something below. The tunnel url is also provided in the output. Hit the tunnel url and the website should be accessible to the world.

Hello Cloudflare Tunnel

Running tunnels with permanent domains or subdomains

This requires a domain on your Cloudflare account that you can use for the tunnel.

Login to Cloudflare and authorise use of one of the domains

cloudflared tunnel login

You will be prompted to authorize one of your domains to use for your tunnels. Pick one and that completes the setup.

Authorize cloudflare to use a domain for the tunnels

Start a tunnel with the required domain or subdomain.

I am using one of my domains to play with.

cloudflared tunnel --hostname --url http://localhost:8000

The website should now be accessible at the desired subdomain 😃