Argo Depiction

Remaining on Cloudflare, forced to use Argo

After successfully migrating away from Cloudflare, I retained the capacity to go back should I desire.

It later did become necessary, of course after they fixed the error or attack that caused their network to timeout when accessing our site.

The other alternative, who I really liked in the past, at least prior to the GoDaddy acquisition, is Sucuri. So, if not Cloudflare, I’d go to Sucuri for these services, which now seem almost mandatory.

The problem is that these services are building a network on a network. They have their own Internet2 on the Internet.

With Cloudflare’s new Argo feature, traffic is prioritized at a cost, co-opting any ‘net neutrality’ – and indeed since this is a private network, they have no legal obligation to remain neutral to traffic. In fact, I am not sure they could remain neutral, as they have to block attacks and such.

Argo is very tempting. Check the graph above for a depiction. Does that not look appealing?

But are you telling me Cloudflare otherwise doesn’t prioritize it’s internal traffic efficiently? Or did they make the default network less efficient with the introduction of Argo?

In any event, after enabling Argo, suddenly bandwidth went up 10 times in total, most of it from a certain country. Now, that is a problem when you are paying for bandwidth, as Argo charges for bandwidth, unlike any other Cloudflare features.

But are you telling me Cloudflare otherwise doesn’t prioritize it’s internal traffic efficiently? Or did they make the default network less efficient with the introduction of Argo?

So, I blocked that problematic country, but the attacker switched to another, larger country in Europe, leaving me with no such option. I tried turning off Argo (each toggle costs $5), but with it disabled site performance plummeted as the bandwidth continued, but Argo was not there to mitigate it, and Cloudflare’s ‘default’ network just didn’t handle it well at all.

This sustained increase in bandwidth has persisted greater than 30 days now. That is an awful long time for an ‘attack’.

So I’m left wondering – who is running up my bandwidth, and why? Does Cloudflare itself have any interest in seeing higher traffic now that I use a service that has paid bandwidth? Did I upset an employee at Cloudflare with my previous criticisms?

Worst case scenario is I’ll go to Sucuri to reduce this cost. Users will not be impacted. Just as they have not been during this entire event. Or maybe I’ll go back to direct server access, as we’ve seen I have plenty of resources to handle that (a full dedicated physical server), assuming I don’t make any new enemies I suppose ;).

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