Moving away from Cloudflare

I was a very happy user of Cloudflare for a year or so, primarily after hearing about Universal SSL, following a failed attempt to get an SSL setup which SSL Labs approved of. I felt uneasy about it – it seemed like I was intentionally MITM’ing all my sites by passing them through Cloudflare’s network.

Whilst I trust Cloudflare1, I didn’t like the idea that they could (if they wanted) take a look at every authentication attempt on my site.

A few weeks ago, Let’s Encrypt arrived, and the main motivation behind my use of Cloudflare disappeared, since it’s now fairly trivial to get a trusted SSL certificate for free, and renewed automatically (I’ll post a bit about how I’ve got this set up over the next week or two), and thanks to Mozilla’s handy SSL configuration generator, I no longer need to think too much about what cipher suites and SSL protocols to support – people who know more about this than me have made recommendations I can use.

The main driver behind Cloudflare (at least as far as I can see) is performance and threat protection, but given I run a handful of sites for churches, charities and friends, I’m not too concerned – I can get good enough performance for the most part with a bit of caching, and the sites I run don’t seem like particularly reasonable targets for someone who fancies knocking a site offline.

So, as of a week or two ago, I’m back with my (single) Digital Ocean droplet exposed to the big bad world. Let’s see how I get on.

  1. Not for any particularly good reason, other than assuming good faith, and the fact that they seem friendly.

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