CloudFlare Shines With Cloud Based CDN (Content Delivery Network)

CloudFlare

CloudFlare is a free, cloud-based service which boosts the performance of any website online. It does so by making the site efficient in using its limited, available resources and by taking preventive measures to counter a diverse range of potential, online threats that are detrimental to the smooth, optimum performance of the site. Besides being 100% free, the CloudFlare’s core service is very quick and efficient at supercharging the websites with a setup time of a mere five minutes.  Let’s have a detailed look at what CloudFlare has to offer.

Improves Website Performance

CloudFlare has a globally distributed network and a secure domain name system. CloudFlare manages to give any site, a powerful thrust in terms of performance with its efficient static content caching, pre-loading and the cutting edge routing technologies. CloudFlare has generally been observed to:

  • Reduce the bandwidth usage by 60%
  • Decrease the load time by 30%
  • Reduce the unwanted burden of requests by 65%

The faster page loads and freed-up server resources are a welcome treat for friendly visitors as well as search engine crawlers and bots.

Protection against Multiple Online Threats

CloudFlare acts as an intelligent gauntlet which efficiently filters out the spammers, hackers and abusive bots from the website’s traffic, allowing only real and friendly visitors to surf the hosted content.  Search engine crawlers and friendly bots are automatically identified as healthy traffic, and are given appropriate access to the website’s resources. The user can get detailed reports about the website’s traffic which clearly indicate the threats, bots and friendly visitors to the site. The best thing about CloudFlare’s security system is that it gives the user full control and authority to block or allow any visitor to access the site. You can do it all manually by blocking any IP address or the visitors from any specific geographical location.  The salient features of CloudFlare Security are:

  • To prevent Email Harvesting, the addresses are made visible to real visitors only.
  • Potential threats are recognized by their reputation with the CloudFlare’s web community
  • Effective protection against hot linking through Referrer Integrity checks
  • Infected human visitors are automatically alerted by CloudFlare.
  • As an advanced security feature, the CloudFlare offers easy SSL setup for any website.

Interactive Interface, Powerful Management Tools

CloudFlare offers the user a lot of in-depth information, analytics and real-time updates. These analytics and stats are presented in the form of interactive reports featuring graphs and visual depictions. CloudFlare then gives the user an array of powerful management tools to work with. Listed below are some of the interactive features and management tools within CloudFlare’s service:

  • An interactive, unique Threat Control Dashboard lists all the human and robot visitors deemed as a potential threat by the CloudFlare community.
  • With the accurate IP Geo-location info displayed on the threat control dashboard, you can easily block or allow the individual visitors or those hailing from any specific geographical location.
  • The analytics are way more interactive and informative than the traditional services. By using CloudFlare, you can exclusively evaluate the traffic of search engine crawlers and threats in addition to the human visitors.
  • The CloudFlare analytics generate up-to-date information about the outbound links originating from your site.
  • A simple and user-friendly interface lets the user manage their DNS setup with ease.

Always Online

CloudFlare makes sure your visitors see the website pages even if the server is not responding at that moment. In such cases, the cached copy of your website pages are displayed to the visitors, and if that is also not available, then your visitors see an offline page instead of the dreaded “404 not found” error.

CloudFlare Apps

Within a short time since its inception, CloudFlare has quickly added new tools and features in its service besides improving the existing ones. An array of very useful web apps are now available to CloudFlare users. Some apps are free, while others are premium offers.

Overall it looks to be a very good start for this upcoming CDN…

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2 Responses to CloudFlare Shines With Cloud Based CDN (Content Delivery Network)

  1. FYI, there is a competing service, perhaps with less buzz surrounding it: Incapsula. It works similar to CloudFlare, and is perhaps more security-oriented and aimed at small business sites, as CloudFlare’s paid security options come for free with Incapsula. That said, CloudFlare does have more perfomance options and features. I guess it comes down to what matters most: security or performance. My choice is security: http://www.husdal.com/2011/07/01/incapsula-versus-cloudflare/

    • Thanks for the comments Jan. Very nice breakdown of the 2 services. We have been testing CloudFlare but will certainly take a look at Incapsula.

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