Cloudflare launched its 188.8.131.52 service in April as a bid to improve privacy and performance for desktop users, and now it's making that technology available to mobile users. The company has released 184.108.40.206 apps for Android and iOS that switch the DNS service on and off with a single button press. So long as it's on, it should be harder for your internet provider to track your web history, block sites or redirect traffic. You might also see performance improvements, particularly in areas where connections aren't particularly fast to begin with. The service remains free, and there are pragmatic reasons for that.
If you're having trouble accessing an internet site or service, it may not be your connection. Services that rely on Cloudflare for DNS and caching to help them stay online are currently inaccessible for many people. Affected services include Discord, Authy, Feedly and DownDetector (which is still faithfully notifying people about the issue on Twitter). Users are currently having trouble disconnecting to Discord due to an upstream internet issue. We've got all engineers on deck investigating the issue pic.twitter.com/GvtxKanokl
To begin with, the Tor group wants evidence. It's asking CloudFlare how it got to that 94 percent figure, and doesn't explain how its internet address reputation system (which gauges the trustworthiness of a given connection) works. Many Tor users get stuck in CAPTCHA loops or failures, and it's very difficult to get off of the naughty list once you're on it. If CloudFlare decides that a Tor connection's internet address is shady, it frequently doesn't lift this effective ban -- many honest people are locked out, and it creates lots of false positives that give the Tor service a bad name. At last check, the Tor project was waiting on answers before things went any further.
Cloudflare launched today a new service named the "Cloudflare Onion Service" that can distinguish between bots and legitimate Tor traffic. The main advantage of this new service is that Tor users will see far less, or even no CAPTCHAs when accessing a Cloudflare-protected website via the Tor Browser. The new Cloudflare Onion Service needed the Tor team to make "a small tweak in the Tor binary," hence it will only work with recent versions of the Tro Browser --the Tor Browser 8.0 and the new Tor Browser for Android, both launched earlier this month. Tor users who are dead tired of seeing an endless stream of Google reCAPTCHAs when accessing a Cloudflare-protected site are advised to update to one of these two versions. The new Cloudflare Onion Service is also free for all Cloudflare customers and can be enabled by switching on the "Opportunistic Encryption" option under the Crypto tab of the Cloudflare dashboard.
As far and fast as cloud computing is embedding itself into the enterprise, there remain many cloud-resistant applications and services. I wrote about the Bandwidth Alliance back in April. I'm pleased to report they've expanded their team with the addition of Cloudflare - and with zero transfer fees between the Backblaze B2 storage service and Cloudflare's content delivery network (CDN). You have to use the economical Backblaze B2 storage service AND Cloudflare with any plan - including the free one! The secret sauce is a direct connection between B2 and Cloudflare, enabling near-instant data transfers between the two.