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Definition

Cloudflare

Cloudflare is a secure content distribution network (CDN) that uses proxy servers and an edge computing architecture to deliver content safely and quickly from the cloud. 

Cloudflare has a network of servers around the globe to help their customers improve performance metrics and deliver content as quickly as possible. Cloudflare services sit between the requesting client and the content publisher's website, essentially acting as a reverse proxy. Cloudflare cache servers deliver content as close to the requesting client as possible in order to speed up delivery times. 

Cloudflare was started by Matthew Prince and Lee Holloway in 2004 to fight spam. In June 2010, the company reported that the beta of Cloudflare's caching layer allowed sites to load about 30% faster.

Cloudflare services

Cloudflare has both free and paid Cloudflare Pro offerings. Free offerings include basic distributed denial of service  (DDoS) protection, but no image optimization. The full-featured version accelerates image delivery and offers firewall protection to help eliminate undesired traffic.

CloudFlare has a market share of over 35%. IDC Marketscape ranked Cloudflare as a leader in DDoS prevention in 2019. The CDN has numerous high-profile customers including IBM, Zendesk, Reuters, Udacity, the Library of Congress, Discord, Marketo and Digital Ocean. Cloudflare is backed by QUALCOMM, Microsoft, Baidu and Google.

This was last updated in December 2019

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