CloudFlare free cdn service

CloudFlare is a new cloud service which provides free website security and caching. A quick test revealed that it uses anycast geodns technology with nginx reverse caching.

The setup process is very easy. You only need to change DNS server from domain registry. Setup wizard will automatically import old DNS setting. However multi tiered sub domain won’t be detected. Both CNAME and A host will be proxyed through by default.

Once DNS change finished, your website will be severed with transparent proxies. Unwanted visitor will be screened and static assets will be cached.


Here is the page loading timeline of my test page
Without CloudFlare
Without CloudFlare
With CloudFlare
With CloudFlare
The page is very simple, but still it clearly shows there’s no measurable latency with dynamic contents and notable improvement with static assets. However text assets like html, css and js have slightly bigger size. My original is compressed with gzip -9.

Pro:

  • Anycast GeoDNS hosting
  • Vistor security screen
  • Slick analytics
  • Transparent caching around world
  • Basic account is free
  • Very easy to setup

Con:

  • Http only, no video streaming
  • Slow in Asia
  • Suboptimal gzip compression ratio

Overall I am very impressed with the free features and performance.

  • http://cloudflare.com Damon Billian

    Thanks for the review!

    Quick note: Things should be pretty fast in Asia because of our Tokyo datacenter. Where are you located?

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