Browshot blog

This blog provides updates on the API and features offered by Browshot. Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on the service.

Dealing with abuses

May 16, 2018

We designed Browshot and Thumbalizr to be very easy to try out. You can create a free account and try some screenshots without verifying your e-mail address. You can even make a screenshot without registering at all. We had some abuses in the past but they did not impact the service. Since free users and paying customers use different browsers, they affected only other free users who had to wait longer for their screenshot to finish. But recently, we had to deal with a different type of abuse.

Cryptocurrencies are all the rage these days. Many of them offer users to gain free coins by doing heavy computation for them, typically to validate transactions. It is now possible to do the computation in the browser through many Javascript libraries. These Javascript mining libraries have been used in several websites, pushed by the publisher to make money off their visitors, or through malicious advertising. In the past few weeks, hundreds of fake account were created on Browshot and Thumbalizr and an excessive number of demos were requested. All of them pointed to different pages running cryptocurrency mining. Because of the very high CPU resources used by these sites, this impacted all browsers running on the same server.

We have disabled the fake accounts and strengthen our registration process and demos to avoid further abuses. We did this without making it harder for legitimate users to test out Browshot or Thumbalizr.

API change: 10x faster

May 10, 2018

Tags: API

We have updated the API to version 1.20. We've changed what information is displayed for each level of details and introduced details=0. With details=0, you get most of the information from details=1 but 10 times faster! This make a big difference for API calls that return information about multiple screenshots, such as screenshot/list and screenshot/search. This is now default value for screenshot/create, screenshot/info, screenshot/list and screenshot/search.

Go take a look at the API documentation page, we have highlighted the changes there.

Introducing web hooks

May 7, 2018

Tags: API

Use web hooks to be notified when a screenshot is done. We have added a new parameter to the screenshot/create API call. You can specify a URL, the web hook, to send notifications to.

When a screenshot is done (status: finished or error), Browshot will send a POST request to your URL. The body of the request contains the JSON data describing the screenshot as returned by the API call screenshot/info. If the URL does not return the status code 20X or times out, the notification will be retried up to 2 times.

Test your URL

You can test your URL by sending a POST request like this:


curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
  -d '{\
         "id": "12589",\
         "status": "finished",\
         "screenshot_url": "https://browshot.com/screenshot/image/15/12589?scale=1&key=wyiaUrmuTeRENjQJByQDRRsQqxyq",\
         "priority": "12",\
         "url": "http://www.google.com/",\
         "size": "screen",\
         "width": "1024",\
         "height": "768",\
         "request_time": "1312106111",\
         "started": "1312258803994",\
         "load": "1312258829461",\
         "content": "1312258829661",\
         "finished": "1312258829681",\
         "instance_id": "12",\
         "response_code": "200",\
         "final_url": "http://www.google.com/",\
         "content_type":"text/html",\
         "scale": "1",\
         "cost": "0",\
         "referer": "",\
         "post_data": "foo=bar",\
         "cookie": "",\
         "delay": "5",\
         "flash_delay": "10",\
         "script": "",\
         "shared_url": "",\
         "details": 2\
     }' \
  https://mysite.com/myhook


Chrome 65 available

Mar 18, 2018

We have upgraded Chrome to version 65, the lastest version from Google at this time.

Maintenance on 02/09/2018 and 02/10/2018

Feb 1, 2018

Tags: maintenance

service update

We have scheduled an upgrade of the Browshot database on Friday February 9th, 2018 at 8:30pm PST until 09:30pm PST and Saturday February 10th, 2018 at 8:30pm PST. We expect 5 to 10 minutes of down time during these two windows. All schedule maintenance windows with down time are listed in advance on our status page.

We will be migrating our database to a new server. Most of our service update are now seamless. The last scheduled own time was actually 3 years ago, for another database upgrade.

We will post updates on this post during the maintenance window.

Updates

  • 8:30pm PST: migration has started
  • 8:35pm PST: all servers are being migrated to the new database server
  • 8:50pm PST: all servers are using the new database server
  • 8:51pm PST: the database server has been restarted
  • 8:58pm PST: the database server is online
  • 9:30pm PST: website and API have been fully tested, the migration has been succesfull

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    About Us

    Browshot is a web service to create real time web screenshots in a multitude of virtual devices, including mobile devices like the iPhone 3 & 4, iPad, Android Nexus, etc.

    You can use the web dashboard, or our full-featured API.

    • Real time screenshots

    • 15+ mobile devices: iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.

    • 30+ desktop resolutions

    • Fast and reliable

    • Thumbnails of any size, any ratio

    • Full API, open-source libraries