Cloudflare, DNS zone management

In the last years, I registered a few domains on differend providers. And DNS zone editing was getting harder. At first, look up where this domain is registered, find login credentrails and find yourself in a new UI.

DNS Zone management should be easy. From my point of view, it's just a Key-Value store where I point my domain name to an IP or other domain. I don't like repetitive boring tasks, so I looked for a new DNS Zone manager. Preferably one for free. My private server and domains already cost enough.

Just after a few minutes reading about free DNS services, I found myself creating an account on Cloudflare.

Catchy headline, it got me curious.

In the past, when I heard the name Cloudflare, I connected it with security, big enterprise things and CDN. At work we never had to deal with DDOS attacks or CDN needs, so we never discovered Cloudflare features.

But is it really that simple and straightforward?

Setting up a domain

When you add your domain, Cloudflare discovers known DNS entries, that saves a lot of time transitioning your domains. Double check every entry and add new if desired. You can manually choose a TTL, by default it's set to automatic, which is in my case 300 seconds.
The minimum allowed TTL is 120 seconds.

As you can see there is orange cloud button behind A and CNAME records. If you turn it on, Cloudflare proxies the request and your server IP is hidden.

After that, you can choose a plan. The FREE plan should be enough for most private use cases. Follow the setup and get the new nameserver URL's that need to be changed in your domain providers settings.

Just a few minutes later, my site is up and running

$ dig

; <<>> DiG 9.10.3-P4-Ubuntu <<>>
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 57923
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 2, ADDITIONAL: 1

; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4096
;                 IN      A

;; ANSWER SECTION:          300     IN      A          300     IN      A

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:          3600    IN      NS          3600    IN      NS

;; Query time: 830 msec
;; WHEN: Tue Jan 31 18:43:07 CET 2017
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 127

That was easy. Exactly what I imagined.

In only 10 minutes I transferred all my domains to Cloudflare. Now I can manage my DNS entries in one single UI.

Cloudflare offers much more goodies than just DNS services. I'll cover proxy settings in another post. Stay tuned.