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To Cloudflare Or Not To Cloudflare

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by MQK8, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. MQK8

    MQK8 Active Member

    Hello Folks:

    I'm currently using a shared hosting plan and would like to ask the 64 thousand dollar question. Has anyone used or had any experience using Cloudflare with their Xenforo software? If so, do you recommend it or no? I was using it up until today and all the sudden my site was unavailable for about 10 hours. I called my hosting company and they advised me to uninstall Cloudflare to see if that resolve the situation and sure enough after uninstalling it my site from Cloudflare it came right back up. However, I have also heard that Cloudflare can be a great tool to use for speeding up your site and to help thwart off any potential hackers. Any feedback, comments on this would be greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. nodle

    nodle Well-Known Member

    Some people like it, and some don't. I personally like it. I am also using their Rail gun also service and love that too. I think my site loads pretty fast. I think their Rocket Loader messes with Xenforo though. So as long as you don't enable that portion I think you are good.
     
    WSWD likes this.
  3. MQK8

    MQK8 Active Member

    Thanks for your feedback, I forgot to mention when using Cloudflare I was using their free service. Is the Rocket Loader you described a part of their free service? If not, then that would not be an issue. Thanks again..
     
  4. nodle

    nodle Well-Known Member

    Yes it is part of their free service.
     
  5. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    What nodle said...some like it, some hate it. We have had clients who get great results using CF, and others who get horrible results. It just depends. In the cases where we have seen issues, it's usually because going through CF is a slower route than going directly to the server itself. For example, I'm in Los Angeles. My direct network path to a server in Los Angeles, or Phoenix, or Las Vegas, or what have you might be quicker than the path to CF's server. So for me, it would potentially result in a slowdown. For someone in the UK, it is very likely going to be quicker going through a UK CloudFlare server than it is for taking the direct path to Los Angeles.

    As far as hacking attempts and DDoS attacks...yes, it will help with that slightly. The IP address of your server is still public, and there are still going to be attacks on your server regardless. It happens all the time. They'll simply take an entire IP range for a datacenter and go to town, so whether or not you're behind CF doesn't really matter a great deal. What they can't necessarily do is take your domain name, figure out the IP and start attacking your server that way. So it helps thwart the script kiddies who don't like a post on your forum and decide to attack your site.

    You have to remember as well that CF (and CDNs in general) are largely useless when it comes to dynamic content...like a forum. So it will potentially serve the images through the CDN, but very little if anything else. Of course since the images are the largest portion (normally) of any site, you may see an improvement.
     
    kontrabass likes this.
  6. MQK8

    MQK8 Active Member

    Thanks guys for the great feedback.. I've decided to reinstall CF.. Seems since it's a free service and since using it I've only had this one glitch, seems its worth using.
     
  7. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    I don't like their CDN, But I'm using CF only for my dns ;)
     
  8. MQK8

    MQK8 Active Member

    Thanks RoldanLT
     
  9. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    No good for us--we run a big board and they had way too many outages for my comfort. Our visitors were complaining constantly about the "site unavailable" messages we'd get. Even a low-traffic forum I used it on had the message way too often. I recall an offer to help us tweak things for the big board, but we cannot afford having our traffic interrupted with tinkering. It is not a forum I can "try something" on just on a whim. We have a lot at stake.
     
    AzzidReign likes this.
  10. tajhay

    tajhay Well-Known Member

    Using cloudflare impacted on our adsense revenue. Others were also experiencing that at the time. Havent touched it since. You might want to see if that is still an issue.
     
  11. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    incapsula.com is better. Didn't have all the dramatic speed downgrade or random challenge pages that Cloudflare did
     
  12. caliman

    caliman Active Member

    Can you elaborate on this? I don't get it.

    I use cloudflare. I like it more than I dislike it. I have issues periodically but they get resolved. I am currently enjoying the page rules. That is a nice feature.
     
  13. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    For DDOS with Incapsula you will bank on $299 a month according to their pricing structure. Neither support SSL with their "free" tier offering. To use custom SSL certs with either will cost you between $200 (per site per month) for CloudFlare or $299 (per site per month) with Incapsula. Either way, for most sites outside the realm of effective costs.
     
    euantor and SneakyDave like this.
  14. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    Incapsula has a free version, just as Cloudflare does.

    But yes, just like Cloudflare if you want SSL and more pro features, it's going to cost you.

    The difference is Incapsula will be faster.
     
  15. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Yes, but Incapsula free version does not include any DDOS protection.
    Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 12.16.14 AM.png

    CloudFlare does (for as much good as it does you).
    Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 12.17.41 AM.png
     
    SneakyDave likes this.
  16. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    Cloudflare free version technically does not either... Face up on a noticable ddos and they'll tell you to switch to paid.

    There is currently no true fast and affordable options for a ddos attack.
     
    AzzidReign likes this.
  17. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    The only true protection is hardware, but most operators don't want to cut loose what it would take per month for that protection. Point is that they are not the same level of services offered (no matter whether they are good for high DDOS attacks or not). If someone is wanting it to mitigate a small DDOS attack it suffices for what they are willing to pay. Incapsula does not offer even the low level of DDOS prevention.
    Incapsula (for CDN use) is a better choice... but if DDOS comes into play and the end user cannot afford to pay for additional services then CloudFlare is the only option open to them.
     
    SneakyDave likes this.
  18. tajhay

    tajhay Well-Known Member

    We found that for whatever reason we had far less adsense clicks when we were on cloudflare than not. This was about a year ago. Think we were also getting lots of visits from countries where we shouldnt (our site is based on a regional sports club in oceania, yet getting lots of hits from countries like china/ russia etc). As soon as i disabled cloudflare the problem went away. Perhaps try turning cloudflare off for a few days to see if the problem still exists or search around for it. Unfortunately its been quite a while since all this happened and i cannot fully recall everything to give you an answer.
     
  19. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    @Fingertips, personally I'd just turn it off. I noticed when I was doing that work on your site earlier it was REALLY slow to respond, so if it's on it's not doing that much good.
     
  20. caliman

    caliman Active Member

    That is odd. I'll start looking into this. Thanks
     

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