You are trying to access a website and instead of being greeted with the home page, you see a “One more step” screen of Cloudflare with a captcha instead. Here’s why it happens.
What is Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is a content delivery network or CDN, a system of many fast servers running from different parts of the world. Since being geographically closer to a server often leads to faster loading speeds, CDNs ensure that anyone loading a website from anywhere is done at a reasonable speed.
Cloudflare is just one of many CDNs used by businesses and websites around the world; however, its widespread presence on many websites has made it one of the most popular among regular Internet users. Cloudflare also provides services for DNS (domain name server), which allow websites to be list to themselves.
However, the way many users find out about Cloudflare is a bit different. Many users report that Cloudflare constantly asks you to verify yourself with a captcha even before entering a website. You might be confused as to why they need to enter a security check and why the Cloudflare system keeps flagging it. This has to do with Cloudflare’s internet security features.
One of the most notable features of Cloudflare is its protection against robots that perform denial of service distributed (DDoS). A DDoS is a type of cyber attack that seeks to disrupt the availability of a website by flooding the network with many different requests, all in a short period of time. These malicious requests are spread across different locations and networks, making it difficult for the site administrator to block incoming traffic from one source.
DDoS attacks are typically used to disrupt businesses and organizations, attack the press, or as precursors to other criminal activities such as theft and manipulation. There have been many instances of Cloudflare and other DDoS advocates that blocked large-scale attacks in the past .
Cloudflare protects against DDoS attacks by automatically blocking suspicious-looking traffic, especially traffic that may come from a non-human source. This is where enters human verification or CAPTCHA . These methods can generally differentiate between a machine or a real person trying to access a website. When Cloudflare sees a new unknown or strange IP address making a request on a site, it will flag it and request a CAPTCHA before allowing the request.
Do you have suspicious traffic? Probably not
So we’ve addressed why Cloudflare might ask you to fill out a CAPTCHA to prove that you are a human browsing the internet. If you see it constantly, does it seem suspicious? Yes, but that does not necessarily mean that you are doing something wrong.
The main reason people frequently see the verification screen is that they are in a IP adress suspicious . For example, maybe it’s using a VPN , which provides you with an IP address from its database. Since other users may have used this IP before, potentially for suspicious activity, these addresses are more likely to be flagged by services like Cloudflare.
It can also be on a shared network with other people who may have had suspicious activity in the past. If you take advantage public networks Like those in a school or library, you may have the same IP address as other suspicious people.
Your ISP may also use a dynamic IP address , which means that your address changes every time you surf the Internet. If that’s the case, reset your IP address by unplugging the router and turning it back on. There is a chance that your new address is less likely to be flagged.
The importance of CAPTCHAs
It’s not just Cloudflare asking you to prove you’re human. All over the internet, you will see websites that say your traffic is suspicious and you need to verify your humanity with a CAPTCHA. Is it necessary and does it work? Yes, it does, up to a point.
As bots have become more sophisticated at recognizing text and objects in an image, CAPTCHAs have become increasingly difficult in recent years. This is better for security, but can be frustrating for users. Cloudflare has already announced plans to » get rid of captchas »By entering physical authentication keys as an alternative. Only time will tell if this takes a toll on CAPTCHA dominance. Stay safe out there!