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CloudFlare was founded in 2009 and operates in the application performance optimisation and security spaces.
As part of its service offering it provides customers content delivery services (CDN), advanced DDoS protection and mitigation, internet security along with DNS services.
The CloudFlare solution monitors the internet for any new updates such as attacks and newly discovered vulnerabilities. Anything that is considered a threat to their client base automatically has Web Application Firewalls (WAF) rules enabled. These rules protect all internet properties operating in the ‘network’.
As you can imagine, CloudFlare deals with a significant number of requests every hour with the solution flagging and blocking potential threats.
Due to its scale, the CloudFlare platform utilises collective intelligence when it comes to eradicating threats. This means that when one customer creates a new WAF rule, CloudFlare logs and makes the call as to whether or not the newly created rule should apply to all other clients operating within its environment. An elegant solution.
As of writing this (1st December 2019) CloudFlare currently has four product offerings:
As the name suggests, this offering is entirely free and aimed at hobby sites wanting protection from DDoS attacks; only needs a shared SSL; and requires a CDN for the delivery of static files. Great, however the 1gb of transfer offered will likely not stretch too far.
This level costs $20 per month and is aimed at small businesses that want to create WAF rules; protection for applications; require far more control and performance; and faster performance. It currently has no uptime guarantees and little support, which could be a problem
This level costs $200 per month and is a serious offering for platforms. It offers the speed, 100% uptime guarantee and customisation most scaled platforms would require
This top-tier has bespoke costings and features a dedicated engineer and the fastest possible performance, along with access to data.
To summarise CloudFlare, I would suggest it’s a viable option for those unsure of how to implement adequate caching and security.