Browser Testing

Forward is a great tool to have if you’re doing a lot of front-end work and need help browser testing. Having a public link to your local development server means you can make changes and immediately see them rendered when you refresh the browser. You might have a browser running on a tablet, a phone, multiple phones, a virtual machine, or another computer. They’ll all see the changes you’ve made once you hit “refresh”.

Tablets, Phones, and Other Mobile Devices

Browser testing with mobile devices can be a pain. Even if you’re accessing the mobile device on the same local network you still have to put in the IP address of your local dev server, and you’ll still have to make sure the port isn’t blocked by a firewall. This can be a little tedious when you start testing multiple devices, and it only works if your device is on the same local network. It’s also not a great simulation of real world load times as the mobile device is never actually going over the internet, just the local network.

When you use Forward you get a short easy-to-type, easy-to-remember URL, you can share it with anyone, anywhere in the world. So your co-workers can help test without ever deploying any code to a staging or testing server. The other great thing is that your Forward URL is being routed through our servers so you’ll experience real-world load times to uncover any performance issues that might be hidden while testing over a local network.

VMs for Testing Other Desktop Browsers

Testing in IE or any other browser that runs on a different/older version OS than the computer you're working on can be a huge pain. Thankfully, Microsoft has done a great job of releasing virtual machine disk images for testing different versions of IE on different Windows versions.

A virtual machine can be a little intimidating to get going. It gets even worse when you factor in all the network settings that need to be configured properly to make ports and web servers running on your host OS available to the guest OS. Forward lets you skip all that. Start a Forward tunnel on your host OS, pull up the URL on the guest OS, and you’re good to go.

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