Cloudflare is most well known for being a Content Delivery Network (CDN), but it has since progressed past this into offering a range of services including networking and security.
It owns and operates several different servers and uses these servers to help protect sites from DDoS attacks or to keep websites running smoothly and to speed them up if necessary.
This is where Cloudflare and many other companies like it come in. In this Cloudflare overview, we’ll take a look at how it works, what the advantages of using it are, and some other common queries surrounding it.
In short, if you’ve ever had a bad experience with a website, for example, if it’s been slow or unresponsive, it can be a huge headache and badly affect your browsing experience.
A website that uses Cloudflare or similar companies is always ultimately safer and ensures a happier browsing experience.
The servers they operate in keep websites safe and ensure that they run smoothly and efficiently.
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How Cloudflare Works
Cloudflare works in a vast network of servers. The network is operated in 93 countries covering over 200 locations, it helps to think of them as a massive firewall, but they also act as a data cache.
So how does it work? Well, essentially, all you need is a hosted website and to sign up with Cloudflare, from there, add your website to their control panel, and that’s all you have to do, from there on all the heavy lifting will be done on their end.
Parts of data from your site will start to be cached in multiple locations from around the world through their servers.
The clever bit about these servers from around the world is that once a visitor requests from your site.
Cloudflare will send cached data from the nearest server to them whilst simultaneously communicating with your site, this results in the information being received much faster than if the request was directly made to your site.
If that wasn’t enough, whilst Cloudflare is doing all this, the data that’s being passed through is being monitored, meaning that they can block out potential hackers, bots, and anything else to ensure your site remains safe.
There’s no reason not to sign up for Cloudflare, but if you’re still on the fence, let’s look at some advantages of using Cloudflare.
Advantages Of Using Cloudflare
Cloudflare’s main focus is to build a better internet, emphasizing three key areas:
1. Speed Is Improved Through Distributed Remote Caching
Most site owners will want a faster website, they mean higher search rankings, increased conversion rates, and overall just a better experience for the user who will be visiting your site.
Since Cloudflare stores, data caches in multiple locations worldwide, every time a user visits your site, no matter where they are in the world, Cloudflare will respond by delivering your site from the nearest data cache to the user.
The amount of power in Cloudflare’s servers, paired with a shorter time for data travel, means that your site will load on the user’s browser in no time.
This also gives your site time to load anything else that isn’t cached within Cloudflare’s servers, so it’s essentially a win-win.
2. It Protects Your Websites
As soon as you add your site to Cloudflare, all the data concerning your site moves through their servers, and it’s at this time that they analyze the data to block any potential threats or bots and just monitor your site’s safety.
Basically what Cloudflare does is examines visitors’ IP addresses, what they’re requesting and the frequency of the requests, and much more.
In general, Cloudflare helps to protect your site from malicious attacks from bots or hackers and DDoS attacks, this ultimately keeps your site safe, so it’s worth having.
3. It Offers Reliability And Expands Your Resources
Cloudflare adds an additional element to your site’s structure, you’re gaining depth in redundancy since their servers are helping to deliver some portions of your site.
It comes with an added benefit that if a Cloudflare node fails, your site will still be delivered from the nearest location.
Additionally, Cloudflare helps to deliver portions of your site, it reduces strain on your own server.
This can increase the number of concurrent users supported whilst not compromising performance and speed.
What Can’t Cloudflare Do?
From what we’ve mentioned, it seems like Cloudflare can do mostly everything, but sadly that isn’t true.
Cloudflare is just a simple tool to help improve your website’s security and performance, but let’s take a deeper look into what it can’t do.
It Can’t Host Your Website
You’ll still need to look at a web hosting provider to hold and serve the files that make up your site.
But that’s not a huge issue, due to the sheer amount of different hosting companies that also offer cheap hosting plans.
It Can’t Improve Web Hosting Speeds
This one may be a bit confusing, but it’s due to Cloudflare not being a web hosting provider itself, whilst it can improve your site’s performance by helping your cache, it can’t speed up the web hosting server itself.
Be sure to get a good hosting provider, look at reviews from other people that could match your use case, and you should be able to find the best one for you.
Cloudflare Overview – Final Thoughts
Cloudflare is a handy tool for you to use for your website. It can help you with several things, such as speed, performance, and reliability, there’s no reason against getting Cloudflare, as it’s always worth ensuring that your site is safe from malicious threats.
Whilst it can’t help improve your web hosting speed and performance, it can help the overall speed of your website, just ensure that you get a good quality website hosting provider.