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What is Cloudflare and What Does it Do?

Cloudflare website showing on mobile phone.

Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) and DNS services provider that helps optimize websites performance, security, and reliability. It uses a variety of measures to achieve this. Users of Cloudflare services have their IP address masked so that it’s no longer visible to crawlers like Google. This also helps protect sites from bots and crawlers that might be malicious or spammy and prevents them from gathering information about users.

Beyond this, Cloudflare can help mitigate DDoS attacks by detecting when they are being initiated and stopping traffic before it reaches the site as well as caching static content so that it doesn’t need to be loaded again if users come back to visit it again soon after the first time. With these services in place, your website should see an increase in speed, security, and reliability.

How Does Cloudflare Work?

Cloudflare works by sitting between your website and the outside world. It rewrites your IP address so that it appears as though you are sitting behind its own servers rather than your website sitting behind your own servers. All of the requests to your website are then routed through Cloudflare’s servers. This gives Cloudflare the opportunity to provide a number of services.

When Cloudflare sits between your website and the outside world, it can also help to protect your site from malicious bots and other crawlers that might be trying to gather information about your site. It can also help protect against DDoS attacks.

A DDoS attack is when a website is flooded with so many requests that it cannot handle the traffic and goes offline as a result. It does this by leveraging a variety of technologies including caching static content, rate limiting, one-rule routing, and more.

Cloudflare DNS

When you sign up for Cloudflare, you will also be given the option to use their DNS servers. While you don’t have to use them, doing so can give you some added security and performance benefits. If you choose to go with Cloudflare DNS, you will no longer have access to the DNS settings within your hosting panel.

Instead, you will have to log into the Cloudflare interface to make changes. One of the main benefits of using Cloudflare DNS is that your IP address will be masked behind Cloudflare’s IP addresses. This will make it more difficult for bots and crawlers to target your website since they won’t be able to find your IP address.

It also means that you will be able to improve your click-through rate by having your IP address appear as if you are sitting behind a content delivery network.

Cloudflare CDN

A content delivery network is a system of servers that are distributed across the world. When a user accesses your website, the request is routed through these servers so that it is served as quickly and efficiently as possible. This can help to improve your performance as well as the speed at which your website loads for your users.

When you sign up for Cloudflare, you will be given the option to use their content delivery network. When you do, your static content will be served through the Cloudflare network. This means that it doesn’t have to be loaded from your website every time a user requests it. Instead, it is cached on the Cloudflare servers and served from there. This can help to improve your performance.

Cloudflare Security

When you sign up for Cloudflare, you will also be given a security score. This score is based on the health of your website, the threats you may be facing, and the Cloudflare features you have enabled. The security score will let you know whether there are possible issues that you can correct before they become major issues.

Cloudflare also provides a variety of security features that you can use to help protect your site. These include firewall rules, rate limiting, and IP source guard to help combat DDoS attacks, SSL/TLS termination to provide HTTPS, and search engine crawler rules to help keep bots out of your site.

Cloudflare Performance

When you sign up for Cloudflare, you are able to set up performance mode. This will see the requests to your website routed through their network and then back to your website. This route means that static content is cached on the Cloudflare network and served from there rather than being pulled from your website each and every time a user requests it.

This can help to improve your performance since the static content will be served more quickly and efficiently. With performance mode on, you are able to see the impact that Cloudflare is having on your page load times.

This will let you know whether there are areas that can be improved. You can then turn off Cloudflare in the areas where it is slowing things down. This will improve your page load times.

Conclusion

Cloudflare is a content delivery network and DNS service provider that can help optimize your website performance, security, and reliability. It sits between your website and the outside world and rewrites your IP address so that it appears as though you are sitting behind its own servers.

All of the requests are then routed through Cloudflare’s servers where the company can provide a number of services.

Using Cloudflare means that you will have an easier time keeping your site safe and your website pages will load faster thanks to their caching and other performance enhancements.

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