Cloudflare is a comprehensive DNS provider that also provides Denial of Service (DoS) mitigation, web application firewalls, intelligent caching, TLS services, and more. Done properly, moving your DNS to Cloudflare can be easy, seamless, and free (for the basic service)! Cloudflare has a fantastic tutorial on their website, however we have outlined the basic steps below, along with some other caveats and recommendations.
The Basic Steps:
- Create a Cloudflare account
- Add your domain
- Import your DNS records from your old DNS provider in to Cloudflare
- Change your Name Server setting with your domain name registrar (e.g. GoDaddy) to the ones provided by Cloudflare.
- You’re done!
There are a few caveats that we’d like to point out to make your transition a bit smoother and more effective:
- Be sure to keep your old DNS records in-place. There’s no need to remove them and DNS can take a while to propagate worldwide. If you remove the old records before DNS has fully propagated, you can unintentionally deny service to your users until complete.
- Be sure to use Cloudflare’s proxy by enabling the cloud icon next to your records. When you do that, your IP address will be obscured behind the Cloudflare proxy and you’ll be able to benefit from the DoS services, and more.
- After performing step 2 above, make sure to configure your web server to only allow connections from the Cloudflare proxy. This prevents an attacker from going to your server directly by IP rather than through the Cloudflare proxy.
Cloudflare has a lot of fantastic features you will want to explore such as TLS proxying, Web Application Firewalls, Caching, and more. Be sure to check those out at Cloudflare.com and future Coalition Knowledge Base articles.
Important Note: Coalition recommends Cloudflare based on our in-depth knowledge of their services and their value to our insureds. This is not paid advertisement, but recommendations based on experience.