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The things wrong with CloudFlare and 1.1.1.1

Coronavirus quarantine Blog Post #6


(what is the coronavirus quarantine blog post series?  click here to find out)



CloudFlare is one of the biggest DNS and Proxy providers, which also owns a popular internet service which is said to make your internet speeds faster, called 1.1.1.1.  CloudFlare is used by thousands of huge organizations, such as DiscordApp.  When you enable CloudFlare's free proxy and/or internet service (1.1.1.1), it actually tracks every single little DNS Query you make, and they store these DNS Query's in their database.  Because of a ton of websites using CloudFlare, they will be able to figure out who you are across websites.  For example, you might be chatting with your friends on DiscordApp, and then you go to Fiverr.com to manage your profile.  Fiverr.com will know who you are, and that you came from DiscordApp.  CloudFlare also takes this information about what websites you visit and how you found some websites, and sell it to other company's.  When you visit a site hosted at CloudFlare or use 1.1.1.1, your connection is not exactly encrypted/secure.  It only shows secure through your browser and is encrypted through your browser, but on the backend, everything is decrypted and unsecure.  Once you break past the encryption through your browser, you can begin to steal data easily.  We also found out that you have an increased risk of experiencing website downtime.  Think of this, if you don't use CloudFlare or 1.1.1.1, all uptime depends on your actual Internet Provider, so if you don't use CloudFlare or 1.1.1.1, and one of them experience a downtime, you will be fine since you don't use them.  But, if you use CloudFlare or 1.1.1.1 and they experience a downtime while your actual Internet Provider is online and fine, that is wasted bandwidth and data, and an outage that can be prevented by not using CloudFlare or 1.1.1.1.  Cloudflare does go offline sometimes.  Discord is one of the most popular chatting apps, and Discord was offline not too long ago due to a CloudFlare outage. You don't really save any money on bandwidth by using CloudFlare or 1.1.1.1 either.  They tell you they save you money if you use their proxy service or 1.1.1.1. but you really don't.   They attempt to "save" you money by using cache.  This could save you a bit of money (barely any) but it usually doesn't because when cache is being used, it views old outdated content.  Lets say you have a website, and on Monday it said "Hi there", and on Tuesday you update it to "Hey there".  It will still be showing "Hi there: on Tuesday even after you update it due to CloudFlares intentional cache to "save you money".  The only way to avoid this is to purge all your website cache, but that completely removes the chance of you saving money.  Same goes for 1.1.1.1, if you integrate 1.1.1.1 on your PC, then you visit google.com and it shows a picture of the google logo, and then the next day it is updated to a picture of a tree, it will still show a picture of the google logo for you.  The only way to prevent this is to hard refresh (ctrl + f5) the page, which clears all cache and also removes the chance of you saving money.  If you are going to CloudFlare, just know that it will not benefit you, and only increases risks of stuff like downtime, security holes, etc.  The only small true benefits from using CloudFlare Proxy could be to block someone from accessing a specific directory like example.com/example2, but that is only useful if you are not able to prevent someone from accessing that directory on your actual host.

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