CloudFlare CDN service is an advanced technology for the improvement of your page loading speed, website stability and overall security. At present, it has been offered by almost all the top-notch web hosts in the market, acting as an add-on feature for achieving a better hosting experience. Also, it has been used by many famous websites or platforms coming with a large number of daily visitors, such as Reddit, BrainCapital, Pet360 and many more.
Now, you may be wondering whether you should pay extra money to enjoy this service and whether you should view it as an important requirement when choosing a proper web hosting solution. In this case, we have made a detailed CloudFlare CDN review, explaining why you need it, what you can get from it and how to activate it.
General Information of CloudFlare CDN
As compared with many other CDN services, CloudFlare CDN can be regarded as the next-generation option by leveraging the power of advanced hardware, network routing and server technologies. Based on our personal experiences and the feedbacks of many other webmasters, CloudFlare CDN performs better than the common providers with more affordability and easier setup.
Check the following reasons as why this option is extraordinary.
- Hardware – They build their hardware from the scratch and choose the machine components on the chip level. Besides, the software is proprietary, being able to process millions of requests per second with the best efficiency.
- Data Center – CloudFlare has 63 data centers at present that are located all around the world. This means no matter which country or continent your target readers are located at, they can be routed by the exclusive Anycast technology to the nearest data centers for receiving your website data.
- Network – They run their own networks with the proper locations for the edge nodes, all of which are the most strategic points over the Internet that can get your site run faster. Check their current network map in the following.
Pros of CloudFlare CDN
The pro aspects of CloudFlare can be categorized into 4 points in general, including faster page loading speed, more stable website running, better website security and more content optimization.
Faster Page Loading Speed
In fact, the CDN service speeds up your webpage loading by caching your website contents via multiple server machines that are located at different data centers around the global. Your contents are copied and stored on these server locations in a manner of static files. Therefore, once readers are sending the requests for accessing your site, they can be responded quickly from the nearest server machines.
CloudFlare CDN boosts up your page loading speed in the same way. However, as compared with other CDN providers, this option has more data centers and web servers, all of which are of top-notch quality and advanced technologies.
After monitoring our sample site, CloudFlare CDN gives us a 56% decrease in the average times for loading a dynamic webpage.
More Stable Online Presence
With CloudFlare CDN, your website can rarely encounter any downtime. After all, if your web server offered by your web host goes offline, people still can check your contents via the cached copies saved by CloudFlare.
In addition, by leveraging their redundant network, you can have your readers routed to another data centers if the nearest one is under some issues. In this case, the static files of your website can always be cached at their edge notes, resulting in the uninterrupted browsing experiences for your readers.
Better Website Security
CloudFlare CDN is powerful enough to fight against a wide range of online threats such as spam comments, DDoS attacks, SQL injections and malicious robots crawling. Check the detailed information in the following.
Automatic Attack Learning
CloudFlare CDN will detect the online attacks and add them into their database automatically. Once they find a new threat, they will block it for your site and the entire community.
Easy Management for Security
Instead of offering the confusing interface for the security settings, CloudFlare CDN makes it an easy life to configure the security options. You only need to enter your dashboard, click the Security Setting tab, and choose the security profiles among “Essential Off”, “Low”, “Medium”, “High” and “I’m Under Attack”. Then, the system will learn about your site automatically and tune the protection based on your exact security level.
Reports for Stopped Threats
Another security highlight of CloudFlare is that they will show you a detailed report about how many threats are stopped from reaching your site. You can check them on the basis of severity, origin and type, so as to get a clear learning of the security conditions of your site.
Simple Activation of SSL
SSL is an advanced security technology that establishes an encrypted link between your web server and the browsers of your readers. With it, all the information transferred throughout the network can remain private, without the possibilities of being stolen by hackers.
For newbies, setting up the SSL can be a complicated task for they need to verify their identities via Certificate Authority, install the certificate to the web server and keep it updated. With CloudFlare CDN, however, you can enjoy an easy activation of SSL as they will take care of all the tasks required.
Greater Overall Optimization
In fact, only having the static files of your site closer to your readers is not enough to improve the overall running, you also need to make sure that all your webpages are optimized properly that can be rendered as effective as possible. In this way, no matter which viewing devices your readers use, they can always get the best browsing experience. To achieve this, CloudFlare CDN is undoubtedly useful with the following features.
- Rocket Loader – This exclusive technology optimizes your webpages automatically, with which your network connections can be minimized greatly and your page rendering speed will not be negatively affected by some third-party resources.
- Local Caching – This simply enables the local storage caching on browsers and mobile phones, rendering your website objects in the best manner.
Cons of CloudFlare CDN
As for the drawbacks of CloudFlare CDN, we have concluded 3 aspects in the following.
- High Level Security – If your website is under this security level, CloudFlare may prevent some common readers from entering your site unintentionally.
- Setup of CDN – The setup of CloudFlare CDN requires the DNS changes, which may lead to some difficulties for newbies.
- Static Files – CloudFlare will cache your static files into multiple web servers to avoid downtime and to improve speed. But sometimes, the system may fail to update the files to the latest versions after you adding something new to your site, so that your readers cannot check your new content properly.
Without doubt, CloudFlare CDN service is worth trying for the improved website performance. Besides, they offer 4 plans for you to choose, among which the most basic one is free of charging. If you do not have some advanced requirements, the free plan is powerful enough to protect and optimize your site.
As for the activation of CloudFlare CDN, you can do this manually by checking this how-to tutorial. Or, if you host your site with the CloudFlare CDN web hosting solution, you can enable this function via your control panel with much ease.
In the following, we have listed the top three web hosts that integrate with CloudFlare for free. All of them are reliable and affordable, offering the top-notch web hosting solutions.