CloudFlare is a US-based company offering a distributed domain name server system and content delivery network, sitting between the visitor and the hosting provider of CloudFlare user acting as a reverse proxy for websites. Its network speeds up, improves and protects availability for a website or mobile application with a change in DNS. The headquarters of CloudFlare are in San Francisco, California. It also has an additional office in London.
A modified version of Nginx as a key technology is used by CloudFlare. It reportedly operated from within 30 partner data centers as of December 2014. CloudFlare was created in 2009 by Lee Holloway, Matthew Prince and Michelle Zatlyn, who had also worked on Project Honey Pot. It was launched at the September 2010 TechCrunch Disrupt conference. After providing security to LulzSec's website, it received media attention in June 2011. CloudFlare announced receiving $20 million in venture funding in July 2011 from Venrock, New Enterprise Associates and Pelion Venture Partners.
CloudFlare claims to speed up, improve and protect availability for a mobile application or website by using a DNS change. The network optimizes mobile and web pages for improving performance and page load times. It also attempts to limit abusive bots and crawlers and block threats. Currently, CloudFlare runs on any cast network. CloudFlare also protects customers from DDoS attacks as well as offers other services such as a web application firewall (WAF). CloudFlare releases "Keyless SSL" technology which allows sites use SSL service of CloudFlare while holding on-premises custody of their private keys.
CloudFlare was ranked in the top 10 of the world's worst networks and hosts based on malicious traffic hosted by it as of March 2014. It hosts a number of websites selling stolen credit cards. Two of top three online chat forums of ISIS are presently guarded by CloudFlare.