It’s not often that I get excited about a startup, but CloudFlare is one of them. CloudFlare can speed up websites by 50% and also protects it against Denial of Service, Web spam, Code injection etc.. The only thing you need to do is change the name servers of your website to the ones provided by Cloudflare. Signing up and changing the name servers is taking less than 5 minutes. The free account is probably good enough for most of sites. If you want more advanced features you can get that for $20 a month with additional sites costing you $5 per month.
ClouFlare distributes the content of your website over their servers that are distributed over the globe. So they basically provide a CDN service like Akamai and this is one of the reasons that your website gets faster. Due to the caching of CloudFlare your site even can stay up when your server is down.
As many websites are hooked up via CloudFlare they also gain a lot of insight on attacks on websites and they developed software to automatically recognize attacks. The CloudFlare servers put up a challenge page with a CAPTCHA when a possible attack is detected.
Below two videos. The first one explains on highlevel how CloudFlare works. The second is a nice interview of Robert Scoble with the two founders of CloudFlare where the founders explain in more detail how their service works.
Finally I’d like to thank the CloudFlare team for this really awesome service that has sped up my websites significantly. The way I see it CloudFlare basically brings CDN to the masses.