Post Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:32 am

CloudFlare - Performance, Security & Apps for Any Website

Hi EH'ers,

Recently I've been testing the free CloudFlare service, and I must say that I am quite impressed!  ;D

In short, their cloud service acts not only as a "CDN", but also as a reverse proxy, meaning that you can use their security services too, where some of them of course costs money. (Otherwise, the base package wouldn't be free naturally.)

What impresses me the most, is how much value you get from the free package. Not only will your site load faster, even if it's just the first page the visitors hit, it can save you from 50% of your bandwidth, make your site load at least ~30% faster, and of course block some of the malicious traffic as well!

In my case, I've known for a long time that a lot of my traffic is malicious, and most of it, is even automatic. (Bots, script kiddies running tools, etc.) So naturally I've only been blocking the highest risks manually, but with the CloudFlare network, the potentially malicious users, has been greeted with a captcha to give temporary access.

This idea, in my opinion is pretty smart as it does not block the wrong traffic completely. After all, you can just enter the captcha, and browse the site  :) But if you're an automated tool, or a part of a botnet, you won't be able to complete the captcha challenge and thereby the malicious traffic will never hit your site  ;)

It is probably one of the smartest concept's I've seen to date, well, including that it is free. I know that with a lot of work, and servers, and money, you can get the same. But a service that is free to use, and with almost no work, I must say that it is quite a lot you gain, for free.

How many of you have tried CloudFlare? Do you like it? If so, tell me why, if not, enlighten me  :)

I'm not affiliated with this service in any way, I've simply been testing it, and it works quite well, even without their WAF, which I've yet to test, to see if it can live up to the reputation of being a useful security asset, even against advanced hackers.  :)

I'm an InterN0T'er