Why I stopped using CloudFlare, and you should too
I recently stopped using CloudFare, a popular Content Delivery Network (CDN) promoted by many web hosts as a free way to improve page loading speed. My site went offline for 4 days after CloudFlare’s service somehow managed to delete my site’s nameserver settings from my CloudFlare account. While researching regarding this problem, I found some very unsettling facts about the people behind CloudFlare and who their real (i.e. paying) customers are.
CloudFlare is a truly terrible company that proudly hosts criminals including reddit and 8chan and gives the contact information of users who report criminal activities to those criminals so they can target the whistleblowers.
CloudFlare has become ubiquitous at hosting services because it offers a free tier for a service that is typically quite expensive.This has enabled a cottage industry of DDoS-for-hire services to exist, as explained at the very reputable Krebs Security in Spreading the Disease and Selling the Cure.
Unfortunately this free tier has encouraged many web hosts to offer CloudFlare to their customers as a value-added “service”. It’s free, right?
No thanks. I have no interest in a “free” service that’s paid for by the worst online predators.