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Cloudflare DNS Pricing & Features

July 30, 2021
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Tanya Valdez is a Technical Writer at Constellix. She makes the information-transfer material digestible through her own transfer of information to our customers and readers. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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While DNS is our specialty, we understand that many other options are available to service your domain. Attempting to determine the differences between providers and their services can be daunting. This blog aims to ease this process by breaking down Cloudflare’s products and services and discussing how they compare with Constellix’s DNS-management offerings.

What is Cloudflare DNS?

Cloudflare is a provider that offers various content delivery network services. They have established a global network and provide domain name system (DNS) management solutions designed to secure reliability for customer domains. 

Cloudflare Top DNS Features 

Cloudflare offers products and features that can be combined to provide a stable overall service. They provide DNS solutions to protect domains with application firewalls, analytics, smart routing, and DDoS protection.

Here is a list of Cloudflare’s top features:

  • Website Optimization Services
    These services focus on page-loading optimization with improved speeds. This is obtained by combining services such as analytics, image optimization, and resource order sequencing.
  • Waiting Room
    This is a new Cloudflare traffic management tool that allows you to route excess users to a waiting room that is custom-branded to prevent overwhelming the servers with requests.
  • DDoS Protection
    Cloudflare offers DDoS protection through various services that help maintain the integrity of customer website performance by securing their networks and connected servers.
  • Bot Management
    Bot Management is obtained through Cloudflare’s mitigation service that uses analytics tools to view requests in real time. 
  • Argo Smart Routing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This tool helps detect real-time congestion and routes traffic to the fastest and most reliable resource across the Cloudflare DNS network.
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF)
    This product allows customized rules to be built into the dashboard and provides Terraform integration.
  • Load Balancing
    Cloudflare uses load-balancing techniques to steer traffic to healthy server pools to improve application availability and performance.

Constellix and Cloudflare DNS Feature Comparison

Constellix provides a multitude of services, some of which can only be utilized by Constellix customers. 

  • Secondary DNS
    Constellix allows you to pair with another DNS provider to build resilience for your domain. If one goes down, your domain will remain online.
  • Vanity DNS
    This option is typically used to safeguard your DNS data by keeping it private. It also allows you to rebrand Constellix nameservers.
  • Load Balancing
    Like Cloudflare, Constellix offers traffic-management services like Load Balancing that distributes network traffic across multiple servers to avoid overwhelming a single server.
  • Failover
    Much like Cloudflare’s failover service, Constellix automatically moves your domain traffic from unavailable resources to healthy ones. You can integrate health checks into load-balancing configurations with baked-in Failover. Constellix checks the health of the new resource before sending traffic to it.
  • Sonar Monitoring
    Sonar Monitoring allows you to automate tasks like Failover configuration updates and traffic rerouting in real time. This service also sends notifications when resources are down and when they are back up.
  • Weighted Round Robin  
    While Constellix offers the use of round-robin configurations, this is an advanced load-balancing configuration that allows you to control how you want the weight to be distributed to improve domain performance and end-user experience. This is comparable to Cloudflare’s Weighted Load Balancing.
  • Multi-CDN
    Constellix allows you to add two or more content delivery network providers to your account. You can manage how the traffic gets directed and if one CDNis down, the queries can be redirected to the healthiest and fastest provider out of the configured list. Having more than one CDN provider configured on a domain account prevents outages and improves performance. 
  • Real-Time Traffic Anomaly Detection (RTTAD)
    Constellix’s RTTAD is a machine-learning analytics tool that studies your traffic history to identify anomalies. In the event it detects suspicious activity, it notifies you so that you can take necessary action in real time.
  • Query Reports and Statistics
    Constellix offers several reports and statistics to help you make traffic decisions to maintain healthy connections. You can view total queries and their details, identify stale records and misconfigurations, and make traffic-routing decisions based on content. 
  • ANAME Records
    ANAME records were created by DNS Made Easy and Constellix as a way to point the root of a domain to a hostname or fully qualified domain name (FQDN). It works much like a CNAME record, but rather at the root of the domain.
  • GeoDNS
    GeoDNS allows you to make user decisions at the edge. This allows you to block unwanted traffic, optimize the user experience and load balance based on end-user location. With Constellix, you have dedicated specialists and a support team available to assist you with all of your DNS inquiries.

Cloudflare Pricing - How much does it cost?

Cloudflare’s pricing is set up on a package structure. There is a free plan that is designed for individuals with personal or hobby projects that need only basic services. They offer three pricing tiers that cater to more business-critical needs. The Pro package offers more page rules, enhanced security with WAF and DDoS alerts, and analytics for $20 a month. Cloudflare’s Business model is $200 a month and the Enterprise level requires a quote. Both models offer additional services for businesses of varying sizes.   

Cloudflare and Constellix DNS Integration 

Constellix works with other DNS providers, such as Cloudflare, to provide customers with optimal performance. Using our primary/primary and hidden primary configurations allows two sets of nameservers to store your record information. Our sister company DNS Made Easy offers traditional primary/secondary configurations to utilize Secondary DNS  This adds necessary redundancy to your domain and the ability to select a specific DNS provider to handle the majority of your site’s traffic. Secondary DNS not only assists with charges associated with more costly providers but also secures your brand’s reputation by ensuring your domain is always accessible.

Customers with Secondary DNS don’t pay two different providers for each query. Each provider will only charge for the queries they resolved. See our 5 Top Secondary DNS Myths Debunked post for some answers to more common misconceptions.

What is 1.1.1.1?

1.1.1.1 is a Cloudflare-hosted DNS resolver, also referred to as a recursive resolver. This is the first and last step of many in the query journey. This server receives the initial queried domain and sends it through a series of specialized, authoritative servers until it receives the IP address that matches the domain. It delivers this corresponding IP address back to the end user to complete the request. Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 public DNS solution is said to provide more secure and faster resolutions than a basic internet service provider (ISP) resolver. 

The DNS management provider released Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 with WARP to improve mobile internet performance. This is not suitable for someone looking for region-shifting or more confidential internet connections. Cloudflare stated 1.1.1.1 with WARP was “not designed to allow you to access geo-restricted content when you’re traveling. It will not hide your IP address from the websites you visit."

Notable Cloudflare Outages

With any type of service online, it’s not a matter of if the provider will experience an outage, but when. Outages can be attributed to a multitude of factors, but the most common are distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, configuration errors, and hardware failures.  

While Cloudflare provides many services that protect customer domains from potential downtime, they have not been immune to outages. Here are a few of their most recent events.

  • June 11, 2021 - An hour-long Cloudflare outage impacted multiple customers, including Discord and Shopify. 
  • May 4, 2021 - Web hosting provider, Network Solutions, and Register.com both experienced a DNS outage. Their DNS provider is Cloudflare. Network Solutions’ clientele includes major financial institutions, magazines, and online retailers. 
  • July 17, 2020 -  Issues with Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service caused an outage that took down sites like Feedly, Discord, Politico, Shopify, and more. Customers and their end users were unable to access these sites for nearly half an hour.

Who is Impacted by DNS Outages?

When a DNS provider goes down, the impact can be more substantial than their immediate clientele and associated end users. It can also cause a chain of outages for domains that rely on services that use that DNS provider as well. Domains that utilize Feedly as their content delivery network (CDN) provider are also affected by their DNS choices.  

Download the CloudFlare Comparison Brochure

Cloudflare DNS Features and Pricing

Constellix - Enterprise DNS

Constellix services live on in-house infrastructure and allow DNS management decisions to be made at the edge. Domains that use a particular service, such as a content delivery network (CDN) provider can also be affected by their DNS choices. Pairing with Cloudflare allows you to take advantage of Constellix’s 100% uptime history with comparable speeds. Do you have any questions about the differences between Cloudflare and Constellix’s products or services or want comparison information related to another DNS provider? Book a demo to resolve your queries in real time.  

If you found this useful, why not share it? If there’s a topic you’d like to know more about, reach out and let me know. 

Here are some more interesting reads:

Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 with Warp review: fast browsing, but not a real VPN

AWS Route 53 DNS - Features and Pricing

Primary vs Secondary DNS Servers

What is a Top-Level Domain (TLD)?

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