What is CloudFlare and How it Works?
By Aravindhan | January 8, 2021
What is Cloudflare and How Cloudflare works?
Cloudflare is a worldwide wide Content Delivery Network (CDN) that speeds up the delivery of your website for visitors. It is one of the biggest network operating systems on the Internet. Cloudflare service is the purpose of increasing the performance and security of their websites and services. Most of the websites and web apps are made secure and private mostly, but many small businesses and non-tech peoples are limited access to their security policies. Cloudflare helps to provide performance and security to these types of websites.
Free features of Cloudflare are :
- DNS hosting
DNS is the main responsible for translating the domain names into IP address, Cloudflare provides DNS hosting to manage DNS records, and it records come into effect very fast in most cases. Read More about Cloudflare DNS Configurations
The Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a service that caches your website and serves the website from geographically the nearest server which in turn increases the loading speed of the website.
Cloudflare provides the free SSL for the domain name and the wildcard subdomains for 3rd level in the hostname for free.
Limited to the 5 rules Cloudflare firewall provides a way to block traffic using a hostname, IP address, known bots, URI, and more.
- Page rules
Limited to the 3 rules Pages rules provide different functions like redirects, HTTPS rewrites, and more.
Created by the developers, Cloudflare apps will provide different functionalities with just a click of the button.
Cloudflare analytics provide simple analytics for your website
Cloudflare provides the domain registration for wholesale price with free Whois redaction
Working of Cloudflare:
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare makes use of a process called caching. A cache is a place where frequently viewed data is stored to make it faster to retrieve your website. It is also checked that on your website (also known as the origin) every so often to keep its cache up to date. The Cloudflare CDN will serve that cache to any visitors requesting your websites. The main benefit of using Cloudflare is that visitors around the world will be downloading your website from a location that is physically closer to them, giving them faster loading times. However, it means that some of the requests are handled completely by the CDN, your server will experience a lower load, and more visitors will be able to look at your websites at the same time.
Filtering Incoming Traffic
Another capability that the content delivery networks offer is filtering incoming traffic. This is acts as another layer of protection to outside threats, along with your firewall and other security measures you may have implemented.
Cloudflare is not only for the Content Delivery Network (CDN), they also operate the world’s highest-performance Domain Name System (DNS) network. The DNS system translates your domain name into an IP address that a computer can understand and use to talk to a server. Your domain registrar first specifies a nameserver, which stores all the relevant DNS records.
The DNS Network resolution process happens before a connection can be established, so it is another important factor in the loading speed of your website.
Advantages of Cloudflare:
The advantages of Cloudflare are, Cloudflare provides performance and security for free at a larger scale, few other advantages are,
- It has a free plan with most of its core features.
- It acts as a CDN which increases the loading speed of websites.
- Protects from malicious bots and DDoS attacks.
- It provides the free SSL certificate completely managed by Cloudflare, renewed annually.
- It Provides forwarding rules and serverless functions.
- It has different independent addons for different services.
- It provides Domain Registrar services.
Disadvantages of Cloudflare :
The main disadvantage of Cloudflare is a single-point failure, If Cloudflare goes down, your website sometimes goes down, the email also goes down, and a few other disadvantages are :
- In Cloudflare free plan comes with many limits, and Paid plans are not cheap.
- DNS zones are managed in Cloudflare which may not be useful for some users.
- Can’t use the Custom Name servers in the free plan.
- SSL certificate will only be accepted which Cloudflare is active on that site.
- Cloudflare SSL certificate is only one level deep and issued to sni.cloudflaressl.com with your domain in SAN’s field.
- Domain registration is not yet available for all users and comes with limited TLD’s to register.
- In Cloudflare Page rules and Worker, sites are very limited in the Free plan.