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What is Cloudflare for?


DTMark
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DTMark
Posted (edited)

I'd heard of this so I've been taking a look at it.

What does it add that you don't already get with your own dedicated boxes behind a firewall?

It does cheap domain name renewals, but then we don't normally handle those - it's not 2005 any more, clients come to us with their domains already registered and I'm not looking to take that over, the volumes required to make it worthwhile are too great even though the kit we use for account management is capable of handling these.

Assisting with mitigating DDOS attacks seems to be one thing. Bandwidth for streaming is another but then I think we have something like a 50TB allowance anyway.

 

Edited by DTMark
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3 hours ago, DTMark said:

 

Assisting with mitigating DDOS attacks seems to be one thing. Bandwidth for streaming is another but then I think we have something like a 50TB allowance anyway.

 

And load balancing.

But I think that's it.

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spunko
Posted (edited)

Cloudflare is brilliant, it does loads of things now for $20 a month.

- Works as a CDN

- DDOS protection

- Firewall

- You can setup page rules similar to .htaccess but it's quicker as doesn't need to hit the server first.

- Free SSL

- Automatic Webp image conversion without having to piss about with modules on the server

- Lots of one-click optimizations such as http3, gpc etc.

- Bandwidth for streaming

- Load balancing and A/B testing

- Adds a privacy layer, to an extent, as it hides the hosting company. Only way to find that out via Cloudflare is to get a lawyer onto them.

If you only want the DDOS, there's a free version that does that.

 

Only complaint is this all used to be $5 a month :CryBaby:

Edited by spunko
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spunko

The benefit of Cloudflare as your domain registrar isn't cost, although you'll struggle to find it cheaper because they do it at-cost.

The benefit is privacy, or at least the illusion of it.

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DTMark

Speaking of domain names, we never register those. If a client wants one we tell them to do it themselves, or log into their existing registrar control panel and do it for them - there's just no money in it.

However we had been paying about £51 a month to Heart Internet for a reseller package for about 12 years for nothing more than DNS (dedicated hosting on our own kit, email elsewhere - Heart's was crap). I finally managed to get rid of that this very month (downgraded to standard account) and was looking for DNS hosting so maybe Cloudfare is the thing for that provided you don't have to use the other features.

What puzzles me most is the claim to speed sites up. That is impossible since it's acting as a proxy, so by definition even if the point of presence is local e.g. somewhere in London (the DC we use is in Slough) it will slow sites down. Unless the content can be cached, but very few sites these days have entirely static web page content.

Thawte 123 SSL certificates are only about £45 a year IIRC from the company we use.

I can see the privacy feature is really novel and I can imagine a couple of our clients might like to go with that.

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spunko
8 hours ago, DTMark said:

Speaking of domain names, we never register those. If a client wants one we tell them to do it themselves, or log into their existing registrar control panel and do it for them - there's just no money in it.

However we had been paying about £51 a month to Heart Internet for a reseller package for about 12 years for nothing more than DNS (dedicated hosting on our own kit, email elsewhere - Heart's was crap). I finally managed to get rid of that this very month (downgraded to standard account) and was looking for DNS hosting so maybe Cloudfare is the thing for that provided you don't have to use the other features.

What puzzles me most is the claim to speed sites up. That is impossible since it's acting as a proxy, so by definition even if the point of presence is local e.g. somewhere in London (the DC we use is in Slough) it will slow sites down. Unless the content can be cached, but very few sites these days have entirely static web page content.

Thawte 123 SSL certificates are only about £45 a year IIRC from the company we use.

I can see the privacy feature is really novel and I can imagine a couple of our clients might like to go with that.

 

If you look up cloudflare benchmarking you'll see they're very quick because they cache pretty much everything , if you want them to.

Most of my wordpress sites use Slickstack on the server and Cloudflare for DNS, they score 98 out of 100 typically on Google PageSpeed. That's on a $5 a month server. Honestly the best thing is to just try the Pro package (it's billed per day so will only cost a few pence if you cancel immediately) and see for yourself, I think it's brilliant for both security and speed and wouldn't be without it. 

Btw, you can get free SSL certificates nowadays easily enough.

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DTMark

I might give it a try on a personal site. I'm wondering about the caching rules - I can't think of any sites where pages could be cached as every site except perhaps for just two is dynamic to some degree. Images could be cached.

$5 per month server?!

The reason I come to this is that I've a week or so of free time before a big project starts and I've set myself the objective of getting our hosting costs below £500 a month without compromising anything. I seem to have negotiated some kind of deal with the server provider who is waiting for me to tell them what I want. We can migrate to new boxes at a discount.

But then I discovered that they've forgotten to bill us for the £43/mo MSSQL licence for the last five years.

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