We currently use a free Cloudflare account for our community site. We’re considering moving to a paid account, but have a query. We have users in many countries but the Cloudflare datacentre that a user gets directed to isn’t necessarily the closest. For instance, Australia has 5 datacentres but checking the routing users are currently accessing Cloudflare via Japan, which isn’t great for performance.
Does a paid account ensure users are directed to the nearest Cloudflare datacentre?
There are no guarantees. First, remember that geographic proximity does not necessarily mean the best location in terms of internet routing. I have a Cloudflare datacentre in my city, but due to my provider’s connectivity choices my traffic to Cloudflare goes into another country. I have access to other resources in the same physical site in my city, traceroute shows the traffic leaves the country and comes back — In other words, if I could force traffic to the local Cloudflare datacentre I would get objectively worse service.
Beyond that, Cloudflare will shift traffic based on available resources. In the past some datacentres required a paid tier, today this is just China, I believe.
Hi Dave, thanks for the prompt response, it’s greatly appreciated. I used that example because the network latency from the user to Sydney Cloudflare is less than 1ms, whereas to Japan it averages 113ms. I understand that there are a lot of variables affecting real world performance, but in this case, there’s very little difference in both latency and actual page load performance between using Cloudflare and going direct to the originating server in the US (Google Cloud, Ohio). That makes me wonder whether we’d be better off without Cloudflare. (I’m not a network specialist, just a developer, but have a reasonable grasp of networking).
Anyway, thanks again, I suspect I need to do some more homework on the best option for this site
Fair. What do you see connecting to cloudflare.com itself?
Cloudflare.com averages 36ms at the moment.
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