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CloudFlare vs Fastly: What are the differences?

Introduction

CloudFlare and Fastly are both content delivery networks (CDNs) that offer a range of services to improve website performance and security. While they share some similarities, they have key differences that set them apart from each other. In this article, we will highlight six key differences between CloudFlare and Fastly.

  1. Network Architecture: One of the major differences between CloudFlare and Fastly lies in their network architectures. CloudFlare operates a global network of data centers that act as reverse proxies, caching and delivering content to end-users. Fastly, on the other hand, uses an edge cloud platform that allows developers to deploy their customized logic at the network edge, enabling faster response times and more control over how content is delivered.

  2. Edge Computing Capabilities: Fastly differentiates itself by offering powerful edge computing capabilities. With Fastly's Compute@Edge, developers can write and deploy serverless functions at the edge, enabling them to execute computations closer to the end-users. This allows for real-time data processing and personalization, which can greatly enhance the overall user experience. CloudFlare also offers a serverless computing platform called CloudFlare Workers, but it doesn't have the same level of control and flexibility as Fastly's Compute@Edge.

  3. Traffic Routing and Load Balancing: Both CloudFlare and Fastly offer intelligent traffic routing and load balancing mechanisms. However, Fastly provides more granular control over these features through its real-time Edge Cloud Control API. This API allows users to programmatically control how traffic is routed and distributed, enabling more tailored load-balancing strategies. In contrast, CloudFlare's load balancing features are more focused on optimizing performance and availability rather than providing extensive customization options.

  4. Security Offerings: While both CloudFlare and Fastly offer a range of security features, CloudFlare has a stronger emphasis on security and offers more comprehensive protection. CloudFlare provides features such as DDoS protection, Web Application Firewall (WAF), and SSL/TLS encryption as part of its standard plans. Fastly also offers security features like DDoS protection and SSL/TLS encryption, but they are not as feature-rich or comprehensive as CloudFlare's offerings.

  5. Ease of Use and User Interface: CloudFlare has gained popularity for its user-friendly interface and ease of use. The platform is designed to make it easy for users to set up and configure their CDN and security settings. Fastly, on the other hand, has a more developer-centric approach and requires a greater level of technical expertise to fully utilize its capabilities. Fastly's interface is more complex and geared towards developers who prefer to have granular control.

  6. Pricing Structure: CloudFlare and Fastly have different pricing structures. CloudFlare offers a freemium model, allowing users to access a basic set of services for free, with the option to upgrade to paid plans for additional features and support. Fastly, on the other hand, follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model, where users are billed based on the amount of traffic they consume and the services they use. Fastly's pricing tends to be higher compared to CloudFlare, but it also offers more flexibility and options for customization.

In summary, the key differences between CloudFlare and Fastly lie in their network architectures, edge computing capabilities, traffic routing and load balancing mechanisms, security offerings, ease of use and user interface, and pricing structures. Each platform has its own strengths and target audience, so it's important to consider your specific needs and requirements when choosing between the two.

Decisions about CloudFlare and Fastly
Francesco Boffa

I don't think I have registered a domain in the last 10 years that hasn't been linked to CloudFlare within the first 2 hours from registration.

The benefits you get from even the free version of CloudFlare are amazing. From day 0: - 30/80% of bandwidth savings thanks to their CDN - Origin IP address protection - Managed SSL

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Pros of CloudFlare
Pros of Fastly
  • 424
    Easy setup, great cdn
  • 277
    Free ssl
  • 199
    Easy setup
  • 190
    Security
  • 180
    Ssl
  • 98
    Great cdn
  • 77
    Optimizer
  • 71
    Simple
  • 44
    Great UI
  • 28
    Great js cdn
  • 12
    Apps
  • 12
    HTTP/2 Support
  • 12
    DNS Analytics
  • 12
    AutoMinify
  • 9
    Rocket Loader
  • 9
    Ipv6
  • 9
    Easy
  • 8
    IPv6 "One Click"
  • 8
    Fantastic CDN service
  • 7
    DNSSEC
  • 7
    Nice DNS
  • 7
    SSHFP
  • 7
    Free GeoIP
  • 7
    Amazing performance
  • 7
    API
  • 7
    Cheapest SSL
  • 6
    SPDY
  • 6
    Free and reliable, Faster then anyone else
  • 5
    Ubuntu
  • 5
    Asynchronous resource loading
  • 4
    Global Load Balancing
  • 4
    Performance
  • 4
    Easy Use
  • 3
    CDN
  • 2
    Registrar
  • 2
    Support for SSHFP records
  • 1
    Web3
  • 1
    Прохси
  • 1
    HTTPS3/Quic
  • 28
    Real-time updates
  • 26
    Fastest CDN
  • 22
    Powerful API
  • 20
    Great support
  • 14
    Great customer support
  • 7
    Instant Purging
  • 7
    Custom VCL
  • 6
    Good pricing
  • 6
    Tag-based Purging
  • 5
    HTTP/2 Support
  • 4
    Speed & functionality
  • 4
    Image processing on demande (Fastly IO)
  • 4
    Best CDN

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Cons of CloudFlare
Cons of Fastly
  • 2
    No support for SSHFP records
  • 2
    Expensive when you exceed their fair usage limits
  • 1
    Minimum $50/mo spend

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What is CloudFlare?

Cloudflare speeds up and protects millions of websites, APIs, SaaS services, and other properties connected to the Internet.

What is Fastly?

Fastly's real-time content delivery network gives you total control over your content, unprecedented access to performance analytics, and the ability to instantly update content in 150 milliseconds.

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What companies use CloudFlare?
What companies use Fastly?
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