Cloudflare, an American web security company, is majorly known for providing internet security for businesses, non-profit organizations, bloggers, etc. They offer a popular content distribution network that houses millions of internet properties and keeps them safe. But how safe is Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is safe to use. It eliminates the risk of security threats that aren’t considered by internet service providers. It protects and secures internet properties registered under their services from Distributed denial-of-Service(DDoS) attacks, spambots, and customer data breaches.
Cloudflare’s reverse proxy and global CDN services make Cloudflare one of the largest web infrastructure providers. In this article, I’ll discuss how secure Cloudflare’s VPN and DNS services are. This should help you understand how Cloudflare’s internet infrastructure works.
Is Cloudflare Safe To Use?
Cloudflare operates by acting as a reverse proxy, for web traffic. It supports deprecated open-specification communication protocols like SPDY. It also supports HTTP/2, QUIC, and HTTP/2 Server Push.
DDoS mitigation services are also provided by Cloudflare to protect customers from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). The service claims to have blocked an average of 72 billion threats per day, not leaving out the largest DDoS attacks in history.
Cloudflare’s Content Distribution Network was launched in 2010. 10 years later, Cloudflare claims to have supported over 25 million websites. Cloudflare’s public DNS servers are recursive. The service uses a distributed cache instead of a centralized cache for better latency.
Cloudflare promises to never use your browsing data for targeting ads. The company has always been very vocal about its privacy advantages to the extent that it claims to never write your IP addresses to disk. Although it does log some data to debug issues, they’re all deleted within 24 hours.
The service claims to have access to more than 7 million domain names on the same server Cloudflare runs on. In addition, it answers queries for Cloud flare’s customers faster since the resolver and the recursor are on the same network. They are also able to implement immediate updates without having to wait for TTLs to expire.
Is Cloudflare Dns Safe To Use?
To understand the safety of Cloudflare’s DNS service, you need to understand what DNS is, and what problem Cloudflare DNS service solves.
What is DNS?
According to Cloudflare, the Domain Name System (DNS) is the phonebook of the internet. For users to be able to access a website easily without knowledge of the site’s IP address, DNS translates the domain names to IP addresses. As humans can access information online through domain names, computers also do so by using IP addresses- a combination of alphanumeric characters assigned to every internet property.
In layman’s terms, DNS is a system that allows you to connect to websites by matching the unique ID of the server where a website is stored to its human-readable domain names. When a user inputs a domain name on their device or browser, the system looks up the IP address and connects it to the physical location where that website is stored.
What is a DNS Server?
DNS servers are machines dedicated to responding to DNS queries. In a typical DNS query, there are four servers connected to deliver IP addresses to the client- recursive resolvers, TLD nameservers, root nameservers, and authoritative nameservers.
The DNS resolver is a server that receives the query from the DNS client, then interacts with other DNS servers to scrape the correct IP. Immediately the resolver receives the query from the client, the resolver now acts as a client then queries the other three DNS servers in search of the right IP.
How Does DNS Work?
Imagine you had to remember a string of alphanumeric characters just to visit your favorite website. It’ll definitely be hard to remember and these numbers tell you nothing about the website you’ll see if you input them into a browser hence, the invention of domain names.
Assuming you want to visit www.google.com, here’s how DNS works:
- You type www.google.com into your browser’s address bar, and tap enter on the keyboard. Instantly, a quick check is run to see if you’ve visited this website before.
If the DNS record is found in your device’s DNS cache, the rest of the DNS lookup is skipped and you will be directed immediately to www.google.com. If not found, the next few steps will be run.
- If no DNS record is found, a query is sent to your local server also known as your internet service provider’s server. This server is also called the “resolving nameserver”.
- After scanning and the DNS record isn’t found on the resolving nameserver, the query is forwarded to a “root nameserver” to find the DNS record. A root nameserver is a designated server around the world that stores DNS data. If the record is found on this server, it’s cached by your browser.
- Now that the DNS record is found, a connection to the server where the website is stored will be initiated and www.google.com will be displayed on your screen.
Is Cloudflare DNS Server Safe?
Internet service providers(ISPs) do not use strong encryption on their DNS making their queries vulnerable to data breaches, exposing users to threats. Moreso, ISPs sometimes use users’ DNS records to track their activity and behavior on the internet. On a performance scale, Internet service providers’ DNS resolvers can be slow or be overloaded by tons of queries.
The Cloudflare DNS public server(126.96.36.199) was created to solve these issues. 188.8.131.52 does not store user data as these logs are kept for 24 hours for debugging purposes then deleted. 184.108.40.206 also offers security features like query name minimization which improves privacy by including in each query, the minimum number of information required for that step in the resolution process.
Hence, the above pieces of information prove the safety of Cloudflare DNS.
Is Cloudflare VPN safe to use?
Cloudflare’s VPN service, WARP, was launched in 2019. Now in the 220.127.116.11 application that ghosts the DNS service, the application also comes with WARP VPN providing top-notch internet security with secured and optimized DNS queries, plus optimized internet traffic security.
With WARP, any unencrypted connections are encrypted automatically by default when the VPN is in use. This doesn’t just apply to your web browser but also to all running applications on your device. WARP doesn’t require you to install a root certificate or give Cloudflare any way to access any encrypted internet traffic as it respects end-to-end encryption.
Although a huge part of the internet is unencrypted, WARP automatically adds encryption from your device to the edge of Cloudflare’s network which beats all other VPN security systems. If you browse an unencrypted internet through WARP, Cloudflare claims it’s safe to do so as their network can cache and compress content to improve performance and potentially decrease your data usage and mobile carrier bill.
WARP aims to keep their consumer’s internet traffic safe and with the above information, they continue to deliver top-notch security improvements for their user’s security and safety on the internet.
Is Cloudflare Really Private?
Cloudflare provides more privacy than the usual Internet Service Providers(ISPs). The company boasts of providing safety and security for millions of internet properties all around the globe and is tested and trusted by these companies.
With the 18.104.22.168 DNS application being launched with WARP VPN built in it, there’s a guaranty of privacy whenever you visit a website. The service helps you keep your information private without sharing your information with the website.
To understand the degree of privacy and security Cloudflare offers, here’s an illustration. Cloudflare today, protects official election websites from hacking and fraud. This means, in terms of your privacy, be rest assured with Cloudflare as they’ve got you covered.
Can Cloudflare Completely Protect my Privacy?
Cloudflare describes the act of keeping user data private and then selling it behind consumers’ backs for advert targeting as crap because this isn’t their business model. As such, Cloudflare assures its users that it does not sell user data to advertisers. It also does not write user-identifiable log data to disk.
They also back this claim with a yearly audit by KPMG. This audit is always published yearly for users to see and understand the safety of their data is never compromised.
When users visit insecure websites that attempt to collect their user data, Cloudflare blocks web access, thereby keeping the user information protected privately. Hence, you need not worry about your data being leaked to the web as Cloudflare completely protects your privacy.