I'm not a developer, what's this for?
You can use browserless to do automatically what you would normally do manually. For instance you can use it to take pictures of your web-site (for social media), or generate nice documents for your client's dashboards.
Getting Chrome, or any browser, to run on most web servers is pretty challenging as well. There's more than 20 additional packages you'll need to install, a way to manage the browser so it doesn't crash your servers, and a way to isolate your sessions so it's a fresh browser every time. We take care of all of that plus add notifications and a dashboard for you.
Is there a way to check how my workers are doing?
Yup! We have a GraphQL API that allows you to check your workers health prior to sending a request or connecting. You can use the online GraphiQL editor to see all the fields here. We also have an admin dashboard that shows important statistics like rejected or queued request counts.
Google Cloud supports Chrome, why use browserless?
Cost is the first reason, as running a single browser can cost up to $42.77 a month at full utilization with Functions, and $44.38 using App Engine with their recommended settings. If you were to run 10 concurrently on Functions (which is what our $30 a month plan supports), your cost would be $427 a month. It's not uncommon to have cases where the browser won't close properly, meaning your functions over-run and end up costing more.
We also have numerous features over most cloud-providers, including: human-only support, numerous REST API's to do common actions, push-button upgrades, and (coming soon) support for other browsers plus Selenium web-drivers.
I'm not using Node, can I still use this service?
Even if you're not using NodeJS or puppeteer, you can still make use of our function API that allows you to send in a body of code to run for you. This allows you to keep your stack the same without making changes. You can read more about the function endpoint here.
What libraries do you support?
Currently we support only puppeteer, but are looking to expand and integrate other libraries soon. If you can't use puppeteer due to the nature of your project you can use the function endpoint here.
How secure is my account?
We don't store any sensitive information in browserless whatsoever. We use Stripe's payment API, so we never store credit card or other personal information, and we securely store your password with a one-way hashing algorithm. Your email is only used to contact you about updates to the service, and we don't sell or expose it to third-parties.
How fast is the service?
It generally takes about 5 minutes to generate the workers when you sign-up. When connecting via puppeteer.connect, this generally happens in less than 50 milliseconds. On average a screenshot capture happens in about a second for static pages, and PDFs take roughly 2 seconds.
How reliable is the service?
See for yourself on the status page. Since each account gets its own dedicated instances there's no over-crowding or congestion.
Does this support proxies?
Yes, we support using third-party proxies. See our documentation on how to use proxies.