In the beginning of November, I was rummaging through the depths of the internet when I found something called CloudFlare. CloudFlare protects this site from hackers, botnets, most DDoS attacks, and spammers. But it is not just a security solution. It also improves performance by using CDN-like* features; it keeps a version of my site online if my hosts server goes down; it gives me advanced analytics; it cuts my bandwidth in half it; lessens the CPU load on my hosts server; and the list goes on and on. And best of all… the basic service is free!
Some of you might be thinking that this is too good to be true. I thought so at first, too. But I read more about them and decided to try it out. It is free, so it’s not like I have anything to loose. What blew me away was the fact that it actually worked. Although they boast that it speeds up website loading times by 30% on average, one of my image/css/script heavy sites was sped up by 75% (according to their analytics and my testing). The spam on that blog also went down from 100 spam posts a week to less than 2. The real thing that astonished me is when my host went down for 3 days. CloudFlare really helped there. They kept a cached version of it online while they(my host) were screwing around .
I could go on about how great CloudFlare is, but I want to talk about them as a company. The CloudFlare network was turned on at TechCrunch Disrupt 2010. It was their 6 month anniversary a week or so ago, and they have grown exponentially since their Disrupt launch in September. They now power tens of thousands of website and 5% of internet visitors land on a page powered by CloudFlare. They have stopped 750 million threats from reaching websites they power, and they have saved 1000 years by speeding up websites. This is pretty impressive for their first 6 months in existence.
I encourage everyone to use CloudFlare, because the more websites use it, the smarter their system gets. The basic service is free, and it really does work. Also, it is very simple to set up and your websites can be CloudFlare powered in a few minutes (excluding DNS prop. time).
P.S. this blog is powered by CloudFlare