Slower ingress/egress transfer with Cloudflare Tunnel vs Direct connection

We began noticing last week that ingress and egress transfers via tunnels had slowed significantly. To they point they are 1/2 to 1/3 as fast as a direct connection to the same resource.

Downloading a 1gb via a tunnel takes 43 seconds in our testing.
Via a direct connection to the same location/device at the same time, it is 11 seconds to download the same file.

Uploading, using a 200mb file, our experience was similar. 31 seconds via Tunnel, 12 seconds direct.

Of course we tested different locations, and while the time varies by internet connection, the differential of 1/2 to 1/3 as fast is consistent.

We attempted to rule out other factors

  • We turned Cache off. It made a small impact in performance, but not much.
  • We tried with/without Argo smart routing. It made no difference.
  • We tried both Quic and HTTP/2, as we noted the recent reports of Quic being slower. It increased times by approx 1 second - so not significant in our case.
  • We tried lowering the security level from medium to low. It made no difference.
  • We tried different versions of the tunnel software. 2023.3.1, back to 2022.1.2 None of them seemed to make a difference.

These two links are to the same file, in case anyone wants to validate our experience. One a direct connection, the other via a tunnel.

At current
Cache is off
Argo is off

Is anyone aware of any issues that might be contributing to this? Cloudflare Status didn’t seem to mention anything I thought might be a cause. Historically a Cloudflare tunnel has been as fast as a direct connection, and sometimes faster. Significantly slower is new/recent for us.

1 Like

Just some follow up to report this remains an issue for us. I wonder if anyone else is experiencing it, or maybe the performance differential is not a concern.

In testing, a direct connection to a web server using https over port 443 achieves - 10-11 mb/s transfer rate.

Same server, same client location, using a Cloudflare tunnel is - 3.8-4.4 mb/s