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The solution is really simple, don't host images through a CDN. Though it might not be as fast, it will be way cheaper.

I'm really suprised they didn't look at all the stories of people before trying to start image or video hosts on Cloudflare and getting booted, as if all the other image hosts were too stupid to use Cloudflare for $200/month instead of paying CDNs tens of thousands a month.




Of course we were puzzled by CloudFlare's pricing structure. However, all of their advertising material kept reiterating that they were making money off low-tier customers by collecting lots of data required to properly serve their business and enterprise customers. So our sense of alarm and disbelief was somewhat suspended until CF contacted us about our bandwidth consumption, but even then we didn't realize how much trouble we were facing, as they first told us that a $1k subscription would do the trick.

Watching competing projects also added some degree of assurance. Without giving out any specific names, we are aware of a number of competing projects that even now keep heavily relying on CloudFlare (although I am obviously unaware of how much they pay), so we didn't consider it an abusive behavior. In contrast, we were also aware of at least one competitor that kept pushing a considerable portion of their uploads to imgur and basically parasitizing on them for a long time until imgur's abuse team finally took notice and brought down the hammer.


However, all of their advertising material kept reiterating that they were making money off low-tier customers by collecting lots of data required to properly serve their business and enterprise customers.

This makes it sound like we are doing some monetization of low-tier customer data. We are not doing that with any data (low-tier or anything else). That would be hella creepy.

We do track abuse (DDoS attacks, etc.) whoever they hit and use that information to protect other customers. So, in that sense low-tier customers help our overall business, but it's a common lie from our competitors that we are somehow monetizing traffic. Cloudflare's business is pretty simple: work out how to operate our services as cheaply as possible, charge web site/application owners more than that amount.


Apologies, that was a poor choice of wording on my part. While I do entertain the theoretical possibility that CF silently uses low-tier customer data in interesting ways (such as data mining and tracking user behavior), my actual expectations of the way CF actually uses this data exactly matches your description (DDoS mitigation & things like that).




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