Cloudflare and the New & Improved Internet

Technology

The internet is an amazing thing. We all love it for our own reasons – to find information, to connect with our loved ones, to stream our favorite TV shows or to get pretty much any product delivered to your doorstep in a matter of days (or even hours). Yes, the internet is a beautiful thing, but sometimes even the most beautiful things have big drawbacks. For the internet, that can be summarized in two words: performance and security.

Poor internet connection or slow loading pages can be the most frustrating part of your day. At best, you’ll sit in front of your laptop screen, annoyed that you can’t see what happens next in this episode of Stranger Things. At worst, you’ll be in the middle of an important project, and your internet will drop, closing all of your tabs and losing all of the progress you’ve made so far. There’s nothing worse.

Except that there is. The darkest side to the internet is its capability of data breaches and poor security. It may be easy to protect your security in the real world, but in the virtual world, all bets are off.Inputting your full name, address and credit card information can allow you to make amazingly fast, convenient purchases, but one slip up can put that information in the wrong hands, ending in horrible consequences such as identity theft and credit card fraud. It’s a terrible risk, and one you take every time you add more personal information to the ominous “cloud.”

But luckily, there’s a solution, and it’s actually really simple. A tech startup called Cloudflare offers a service that improves webpage performance and security. Any site from blogs to personal websites to large company websites can use and benefit from Cloudflare. Here’s how it works:

Using over 120 global data centers, Cloudflare sits as a wall of protection between you and anyonewho might be trying to steal your data. When someone logs on to any site that is registered with Cloudflare, Cloudflare screens that site visitor via their IP address to make sure they are not web attackers, malicious bots or anything else that is generally bad to run into while online. If the IP address is determined a threat by Cloudflare’s risk rankings, it is either blocked from entering a site or challenged before continuing, depending on the settings the site owner selects.

Meanwhile, Cloudflare decreases the amount of bandwidth used (hello, data bill) and makes web pages load faster by storing static content in the cache.Static content is content that doesn’t change very often (think images, Javascript, CSS framing, etc.). By having that content cached on Cloudflare’s network, your site won’t have to reload that content every time a visitor arrives on a page.As a result, your website will work faster than ever before. On average, Cloudflare saves site owners and users 65 percent more bandwidth.

It sounds too good to be true, but the proof is in the pudding. Cloudflare serves 10 percent of the entire internet. That’s more web traffic than Twitter, Amazon, Instagram, Bing & Wikipedia combined – and it’s only been in existence since 2009. With more than 10,000 websites signing up for Cloudflare every day, this tech startup is set to take over the world – or at least the World Wide Web – in no time at all.

 

Author: Dennis Rukosuev

Dennis Rukosuev is an entrepreneur and business consultant from Austin, TX who is helping startups and established companies scale up their businesses and meet the demands of strategic growth and change.

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