Secure Tunnel

Last modified on January 19, 2022

Why tunnels?

Tunnels are helpful when you need to test a mobile application that is a client for some web service. When a team are developing such an application, they often host the interim work-in-progress server versions in the local environments. Typically, these environments are restricted from the global network to prevent unwanted external access. For this reason, the tested app running on a mobile device in the BitBar farms need a secure connection to local resources — a tunnel.

How does it work?

To set up a tunnel, use the lightweight SecureTunnel utility that you can download from the BitBar website.

Run the utility on a computer with access to both the global Web and the tested web service. The test device working in the BitBar farm connects to your local resources through this tunnel:

How SmartBear Tunnel works

The entire procedure of setting up and using a tunnel includes the following steps:

  • The tunnel client opens a secure outbound WebSocket connection to the BitBar.

  • Devices used in testing will navigate HTTP and HTTPS traffic over the connection.

  • The requests coming through the tunnel are resolved on the machine, where tunnel is running. The tunnel resolves URLs using the DNS server that computer uses, and forwards requests to the tested server. It also receives responses of the tested server and forwards them to the device used in the test session in the BitBar cloud.

The way you install the tunnel app, start it, run tests and close the connection depends on whether you use the tunnel as a desktop application or a command-line utility.

Set up SecureTunnel

To set up and control the tunnel, you can use —

The desktop app is a wrapper on the command-line functionality. It provides a visual interface to the tunnel settings. The command-line utility is helpful when you need to automate the tunnel start and stop.

The SecureTunnel utility is available in form of a desktop application and a command-line utility for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS operating systems.

You can download both forms from the BitBar website.

Utility form Can be used on
Desktop app Windows, Mac OS
Command-line package Windows, Linux, Mac OS

Tunnel settings

For information on connection types and other tunnel parameters, see Tunnel Settings.

Notes on tunnel functioning

  • The utility works with HTTP and HTTPS traffic.

  • It connects to the geo.tunnel.smartbear.com server through the port 443.

    Proxies and firewalls running in your network should allow connection to these URL and port.

  • The utility is resource friendly. It doesn’t have any specific requirements and can run on almost any machine, even on a “weak” one.

See Also

SecureTunnel Command Line
Using Tunnels in Automated Tests

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