CloudFlare Rocks!

Jacob Allred

CloudFlare Logo

I recently got invited to try out CloudFlare, a new free service in closed beta. I checked out the homepage and was greeted with a “Wouldn’t it be cool if your website were protected by ninjas?” header. Why, yes, that would be cool.

So, not really understanding exactly what it was, I signed up and configured it for the Fake Name Generator.

After some poking around and letting it do its thing for a few days, this is what I’ve discovered it does for me:

One problem I ran into, however, is occasionally a screen scraper gets through their blocks and starts hitting my site. In the past I would use iptables to block them, but the way CloudFlare works makes that impossible (at least with my limited knowledge of iptables). CloudFlare provides a way to block a specific IP, but it can take several minutes to go into effect.

The solution I came up with is to use Apache to give visitor’s from the offending IP a 403 error:

<VirtualHost \*>

 SetEnvIf CF-Connecting-IP GoAway=1

 <Directory "/path/to/your/website">
 Order allow,deny
 Allow from all
 Deny from env=GoAway


This snippet, properly placed in the Apache config file, will cause Apache to look at a header set by CloudFlare, and if it matches the offending IP (in this case, it denies access to the site. You can add a nearly unlimited number of SetEnvIf statements to block any number of IPs.

Anyways, if you get an invite to CloudFlare, check it out! It is definitely worth it!