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CloudFlare: A Free CDN With Zero Installation

CloudFlare is a reverse proxy service that makes websites load faster and protects sites from online spammers and hackers.

Any website with its own domain (like can use CloudFlare with just DNS changes (no code changes!). On average, it takes less than 5 minutes to setup, then 24 hours for DNS changes to propagate.

Why use CloudFlare

  • Faster website
  • Save you bandwidth
  • Decrease CPU load
  • Site stays up even if your servers go down
  • Hide email addresses from bots, but keep them visible to humans
  • Block hacker attacks and (soon) DoS (denial of service) attacks
  • Teach infected human visitors how to clean their computer
  • Realtime analytics
  • Referrer checks to prevent other sites from hotlinking your images
  • Block traffic by country

If you server is off, visitors to your site will see this


CloudFlare does three things to help improve a site’s stability and security.

  1. Filters Threats: CloudFlare blocks malicious attempts to visit your site, preventing them from actually accessing your site.

  2. Serves Cached Content: Any static content cached by CloudFlare, such as images, JavaScripts and CSS files, is served from its content delivery network (the service has five datacenters on three continents). They can also serve cached copies of pages should your site go down.

  3. Passes on Requests to Your Server: CloudFlare passes any requests it can’t fill on to your server (eg. dynamic content or any form submissions). This greatly reduces the number of requests made of your server.

Reduces bandwidth and CPU considerably

Captcha's to suspect spammers and pre-loading next pages

Real world performance test

Before-and-after page load time tests using the free CloudFlare service 

It is still hard to believe CloudFlare is a free CDN service that does not charge for bandwidth (it caches static files).

I highly recommend you test CloudFlare with your websites.

- George Vanous