Part 4: Cloudflare Me...

January 3, 2020 - Reading time: 9 minutes

It’s finally time to get hands-on with Cloudflare.  However, we first need to go through some pre-requisites:

  • Register a domain name.  There are numerous providers, and you can even get one for free.  Just make sure that the registrar allows you to change your name server records.

  • Create a Cloudflare account and add your site/domain.  Here is a great guide on how to do this.

  • Get familiar with DNS.  Think of it as a public phone directory where people can look up your name (or domain name) to find your phone number (or IP address of your web server).  However, sometimes you want to keep your number (IP address of web server) private, but still want people to reach you by name (domain).  You can do this by using Cloudflare to proxy (or represent) your DNS.  You can learn all about how DNS works here: https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/dns/what-is-dns/.

First, here is a traditional configuration without Cloudflare:

 

Cloudflare improves the picture considerably.  

Your origin IP is hidden because Cloudflare proxies DNS requests to your origin.  Furthermore, all traffic between your visitors and Cloudflare is secured/encrypted via a universal SSL certificate.  Note that traffic between Cloudflare and your origin can also be easily secured.  

 

All traffic to your origin will flow through Cloudflare’s network.  This means your origin is protected against DDoS attacks because Cloudflare’s ability to absorb network traffic far exceeds that of any single origin. Your origin is also protected by Cloudflare’s advanced Web Application Firewall.  

 

Finally, your static content is cached by Cloudflare’s data centers closest to your visitors.  This ensures the content is delivered by the fastest route possible.  

 

Argo Tunnel further simplifies our configuration, while also improving security.

Recap:

We registered a domain, created a Cloudflare account, and added your domain to Cloudflare.  We also learnt about how Cloudflare improves things for our Raspberry Pi.

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A playground of creativity that combines Cloudflare technology with hobbyists.