Next Big Thing: Browserstack

BrowserStack promises to make developers' life easier, by allowing them to test their websites inside their browser, without leaving it. On top of this, it also allows them to set up a tunnel (over SSH) to test your locally developed website in older browsers (such as IE6, if you really feel the need to make your web app compatible) right in your (modern) browser.

The service is simple and pleasing, and is very easy to use. You just type in the URL of your website to test, and the browser you want to try it in and you're away. I decided I wanted to see if our users were having a great experience in Internet Explorer 6. I clicked "get started" and the loading screen appeared (for 10 seconds!!), and was presented with our site in glorious IE6.

From here, you can use the all the debugging tools you'd need, and you can also quick update to another browser, just by selecting it from the left. You can also select the resolution you want the emulated browser to run in, so that you're covering that too. The service is nothing short of impressive. Browser options right now are:

Firefox 3, 4, 5 / Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, 9 / Safari 4, 5 / Opera 10, 11.5 / Chrome 12, 13

In addition to the already impressive feature set, it's also possible to test a website you're developing locally on the service. Hitting "setup tunnel" allows you to tunnel the service to your PC, gaining access to your website to test it. 

If you're a serious web developer, you need to check out this service now. It's simple, easy to use and... affordable. We wish it was free, but for what you get here, the prices are competitive starting at $19 USD / mth for unlimited use for one user. When you initially sign up, you also get 60 minutes of free time. The cost might seem like a lot, but the amount of time saved from having 1 browser installed instead of 10 is fantastic.

To sign up for the service, click here and type in your email address. Betalist also has some invitations to the private beta available.

Next Big Thing is a weekly series in which we take a look at startups that are full of potential. These are services we see as being the actual next big thing, and are giving you a sneak peak (and even a chance to try it) before anyone else! Contact us if you have a startup that you'd like featured!

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25 Comments

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I am continually amazed that people expect software and services to be free. I don't work for free, and my landlord and the grocery store expect something from me so....

$20 a month is a completely acceptable cost for professionals. Heck, not having to worry about having each browser (IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, etc) and each version on my machine and VMs is worth that cost.

James Rose said,
I am continually amazed that people expect software and services to be free. I don't work for free, and my landlord and the grocery store expect something from me so....

$20 a month is a completely acceptable cost for professionals. Heck, not having to worry about having each browser (IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, etc) and each version on my machine and VMs is worth that cost.

The point isn't that it costs money but rather how much it costs. $20-350 a month when there are cheaper/freer alternatives out their? it won't sell.

it hurts that the service is not for free but it hurts a lot more that it require that the site is in the Internet.

Good service, price is not feasible, look at the world there's no money anywhere.
Any real developer will know how to get these moving.

Be nice to me i'm new here!!

Why would I pay like $20 on such service for only 10 hours, I mean... There are free alternatives, I know atleast 2 which are free. Also you can just install the browsers and test it on your localhost, or ask a friend, but definetly not paying for such thing.

And the title kinda s**ks, 'next big thing?' what's so big about this? because I don't get it....

If you were a serious web developer you'd know the quicks of the browsers and wouldn't need to do much testing in browsers.

Mike said,
If you were a serious web developer you'd know the quicks of the browsers and wouldn't need to do much testing in browsers.

You really know all the quirks for ALL versions of the big 4? (IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome) If so I am really impressed. (not sarcasm!) I prefer to test my apps as best as possible and not try to memorize an ever changing environment. But if you can memorize all that, then I am really impressed. (again, not sarcasm, just impressed at your abilities)

Nice service and idea but these guys are kidding themselves if they think people are going to pay $19-349/month for it. You can already get this and more with other software, with premium and free options out their. Knowing this, I just don't see this going anywhere.

i wouldn't pay for this I have linux, mac and windows older and newer versions and many many browsers and screen sizes all which took me a few hours to set up and for the price of the electricity it uses, wouldnt anyone who would want to use this (let me rephrase) have the NEED to use this already have the equipment to do it them selves? just putting it out there

SPEhosting said,
i wouldn't pay for this I have linux, mac and windows older and newer versions and many many browsers and screen sizes all which took me a few hours to set up and for the price of the electricity it uses, wouldnt anyone who would want to use this (let me rephrase) have the NEED to use this already have the equipment to do it them selves? just putting it out there

No. A lot of web designers aren't computer nerds!

SharpGreen said,
How is this any different then any of the other services that do this some of which are even free for limited use?

Neowin doesnt get a cut of the sign-ups from the article? Just thinking out loud.

AmazingRando said,

Neowin doesnt get a cut of the sign-ups from the article? Just thinking out loud.


Nope. We have no referral links and we get no payout from this. It's a column highlighting cool new services

OR you can buy Expression Studio and use SuperPreview

Not trashing this service, just noting an alternative

Sraf said,
OR you can buy Expression Studio and use SuperPreview

Not trashing this service, just noting an alternative

Or you can skip the buy part and download it.

Sraf said,
OR you can buy Expression Studio and use SuperPreview

Not trashing this service, just noting an alternative

This is exactly what I thought.

Sraf said,
OR you can buy Expression Studio and use SuperPreview

Not trashing this service, just noting an alternative

And it's 100% free for students ^_^. Yay microsoft.

Sraf said,
OR you can buy Expression Studio and use SuperPreview

Not trashing this service, just noting an alternative

Microsoft also give a free virtual machine with ie6 and i7.

also, ietester is for free and works for ie6-ie9

Magallanes said,

also, ietester is for free and works for ie6-ie9

IEtester actually works for IE5.5-IE10! (as long as you've installed IE10 Platform Preview)