Cloudflare

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Cloudflare, Inc.
Type
Public company
Traded asNYSE:NET
IndustryInternet, Content Delivery Network
FoundedJuly 2009; 11 years ago (2009-07)
Headquarters
San Francisco, California
,
US
Key people
Matthew Prince CEO]
ServicesReverse proxy service
RevenueIncrease US$287.02 million (2019)
Operating income
Decrease US$−107.95 million (2019)
Net income
Decrease US$−105.83 million (2019)
Websitewww.cloudflare.com

Cloudflare is an American company specializing in distributed reverse proxy services for websites. A disturbingly large portion of the world wide web is served from their network. Cloudflare is also one of the two most widely used providers of anycast DNS services (1.0.0.1 and 1.1.1.1) and they are the most used DNS over HTTPS service.

Cloudflare is in a prefect position to monitor a very large portion of all web traffic.

Cloudflare's headquarters are in San Francisco.

Public DNS servers

Cloudflares anycast DNS servers can be used by anyone. They are

  • 1.0.0.1 and 1.1.1.1 on IPv4
  • 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001 on IPv6

Cloudflare offers free DNS hosting. Have have more than 12 million customers.

Mozilla Firefox uses Cloudflares DNS over HTTPS service by default. *BSD and many GNU/Linux distribution overrides that and disables DoH in the distribution-specific packages.

Reverse-Proxy Services

Cloudflare is best known for being a man-in-the-middle between end users and the websites they want to visit. They act as a reverse proxy for a really large part of the Internet. Cloudflare will present a captcha page which requires JavaScript when a site behind it's reverse proxy firewall is visited from the Tor network. Browsing around with Tor makes it apparent just how many sites are actually served by Cloudflares network. It's a lot.

Cloudflare is very popular among website owners because they do provide several very real benefits. First of all, they do a lot of caching which offloads servers that are actually hosting a site. More importantly, Cloudflares network (AS13335) is large and well connected[1]. Cloudflare is connected to over 230 Internet exchanges and they have direct peering with more than 580 different networks. Very few, if any, traditional server hosting companies have anything which comes close. A website using Cloudflares distributed reverse proxy network will feel (and actually be) faster for a very large part of the worlds Internet users.

AMP pages from web hosts behind Cloudflare are served directly from Cloudflares network.

Noteworthy Events

Cloudflare suffered an outage which lasted a mere 27 minutes in July 2019. It was later revealed that it was caused by a invalid regular expression somewhere in the code[2]. 12 million websites were unavailable during this half-hour long event.

Footnotes

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