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Glossary

See definitions for Cloudflare terms.

account

Accounts group one or more members together with specific roles or permissions. Accounts can be associated with any number of domains.

allowlist

A list of items (usually websites, IP addresses, email addresses, etc.) that are permitted to access a system.

Related terms: blocklist

API key

An API key is unique to each Cloudflare user and used to confirm identity when using the Cloudflare API.

Related terms: API token

API token

API tokens authorize access to specific Cloudflare dashboard pages, accounts, and zones. API tokens are associated to the user that created them.

Related terms: API key

backup codes

Allow restoration of Cloudflare account access outside the normal two-factor authentication process. A backup code becomes invalid after use.

Related terms: two-factor authentication

blocklist

A list of items (usually websites, IP addresses, email addresses, etc.) that are prevented from accessing a system.

cached bandwidth (cached egress bandwidth)

The amount of bandwidth served from Cloudflare without hitting the origin server. Cached bandwidth is the sum of all EdgeResponseBytes where CacheCacheStatus equals hit, stale, updating, ignored, or revalidated.

cached requests

The number of requests served from Cloudflare without having to hit the origin server. Cached requests are the sum of all requests where CacheCacheStatus equals hit, stale, updating, ignored. This doesn’t include revalidated since the request had to be sent to the origin server.

Relevant terms: requests, uncached requests

certificate

SSL certificates enable encryption over HTTPS for traffic between a client and a website. SSL certificates contain the website's public key and the website's identity along with related information. Devices attempting to communicate with the origin web server reference the SSL certificate to obtain the public key and verify the server's identity. Cloudflare provides a Universal SSL certificate for each active Cloudflare domain.

Related terms: SSL certificate, CAA record, Certificate Authority, EV certificate, intermediate certificate, primary certificate, root certificate
Relevant links: Cloudflare SSL documentation

Certificate Authority (CA)

A CA is a trusted third party that provides SSL certificates for encrypting network traffic.

Certification Authority Authorization (CAA) record

A CAA record declares which CAs are allowed to issue an SSL certificate for a domain.

Related terms: Certificate Authority
Relevant links: CAA FAQ

certificate packs

Certificate packs allow Cloudflare to fallback to a different SSL certificate for browsers that do not support the latest standards. Certificate packs allow Custom SSL certificates to contain different signature algorithms for the same hostnames listed within the SSL certificate without taking up additional Custom SSL certificate quota for your Cloudflare account.

Relevant links: Managing Custom SSL certificates

cipher suite

A set of encryption algorithms for establishing a secure communications connection. There are several cipher suites in wide use, and a client and server agree on the cipher suite to use when establishing the TLS connection. Support of multiple cipher suites allows compatibility across various clients.

Relevant links: cipher suites documentation

cloud

A network of remote servers used to store and maintain data.

content delivery network (CDN)

A geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content.

credit

An amount applied to a specific Cloudflare account as credit for recurring subscriptions or plan payments. The Cloudflare billing system automatically applies credits in the next billing cycle.

data center

A physical location where servers run and other IT operations are hosted.

denial-of-service (DoS) attack

A type of cyber attack in which an attacker aims to render a computer or other device unavailable to its intended users by interrupting the device's normal functioning.

Related terms: DDoS attack

distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack

A malicious attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service, or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic.

Related terms: DoS attack
Relevant links: What is a DDoS attack?

domain

The domain name of your application on Cloudflare.

Related terms: website, zone

Domain Name System (DNS)

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the phonebook of the Internet. DNS translates domain names to IP addresses.

Relevant links: Learn about DNS

DNS record

DNS records are instructions that live in authoritative DNS servers and provide information about a domain including what IP address is associated with that domain and how to handle requests for that domain.

Related terms: DNS
Relevant links: Learning Center guide on DNS records

DNS zone

A portion of the DNS namespace that is managed by a specific organization or administrator.

Related terms: DNS

dynamic content

Website content that has to be fetched from the origin server.

Related terms: static content

edge response status code

HTTP response code sent from Cloudflare to the client (end user). The Cloudflare dashboard Analytics app uses the edge response status code.

encryption algorithm

An encryption algorithm is a set of mathematical operations performed on data to ensure the data is only understood by the intended recipient.

Extended Validation (EV) certificate

EV certificates provide maximum trust to visitors, but require the most validation effort by the CA. EV certificates show the name of the company or organization in the address bar of the visitor’s browser. An EV certificate requires additional documentation by the company or organization in order for the CA to approve the certificate.

feature

A setting in the Cloudflare dashboard that corresponds to functionality within a Cloudflare product or API.

firewall

A firewall is a security system that monitors and controls network traffic based on a set of security rules.

hostname

The name given to a server or node on a network. In most cases, the hostname is the public DNS name of a server.

intermediate certification

For security purposes, CAs issue intermediate certificates for signing website certificates. Intermediate certificates provide a means for the CA to revoke a single intermediate certificate, thus affecting only a small subset of website certificates.

Internet

The Internet is a global system of computer networks that provides a wide range of information and communication facilities.

member or user

A member or user is an email account in Cloudflare that you can grant access to your organization account. Members belonging to multiple accounts can select which account to manage via the Cloudflare dashboard.

Related terms: account

nameserver

A nameserver is a dedicated server that translates human readable host names into IP addresses. Nameservers like root servers, TLD servers, and authoritative nameservers are fundamental components of the Domain Name System (DNS).

Related terms: DNS

Organization Validated (OV) certificate

OV certificates are used by corporations or governments to portray an extra layer of confidence for their visitors. Rather than just validating domain ownership, the CA also validates the company’s registration using qualified independent information sources. The organization’s name is listed in the certificate.

origin bandwidth (origin egress bandwidth)

The amount of data transferred from the origin server to Cloudflare within a certain period of time. Origin bandwidth is the sum of all EdgeResponseBytes where OriginResponseStatus doesn’t equal 0.

origin request

A request served from the origin server.

Relevant terms: request

origin response status code

HTTP response code sent from the origin server to Cloudflare.

plan

Distinguish the breadth of Cloudflare features accessible to a specific domain. Plan options include Free, Pro, Business, or Enterprise.

primary certificate / secondary certificate

Primary and secondary indicates the order in which Custom SSL certificates were uploaded to Cloudflare. The primary certificate is the first certificate added to a pack. The primary certificate defines the hostnames covered by the certificate.

protocol

A protocol is a set of rules governing the exchange or transmission of data between devices.

public key / private key

SSL public and private keys are essentially long strings of characters used for encrypting and decrypting data. Data encrypted with the public key can only be decrypted with the private key, and vice versa. Private keys are kept secret and unshared.

Related terms: certificate

request

A request that has been processed through the Cloudflare network.

roles

Authorize which Cloudflare products and features a member is allowed to access in a Cloudflare account. Learn more about roles.

root certificate

A root certificate is generated by a CA and is used to sign certificates. Every browser includes a root store of trusted root certificates. Any certificate signed with the private key of a root certificate is automatically trusted by a browser.

saved bandwidth (saved egress bandwidth)

The percentage of bandwidth saved by caching on the Cloudflare network.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

SSL was a widely used cryptographic protocol for providing data security for Internet communications. SSL was superseded by TLS; however, most people still refer to Internet cryptographic protocols as SSL.

Server Name Indication (SNI)

SNI allows a server to host multiple TLS Certificates for multiple websites using a single IP address. SNI adds the website hostname in the TLS handshake to inform the server which website to present when using shared IPs. Cloudflare uses SNI for Dedicated SSL certificates and all Universal SSL certificates.

Service Level Agreement (for Business and Enterprise plans)

A contractual obligation for Cloudflare to maintain a specific level of service. Read the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the Cloudflare Business plan. Enterprise customers refer to the Enterprise SLA provided by their Subscription Agreement.

static content

Website content that can be delivered to an end user directly from cache, without hitting the origin server.

Related terms: dynamic content

Subject Alternative Name (SAN)

The SAN field of an SSL certificate specifies additional host names (sites, IP addresses, common names, subdomains, root domains, etc.) protected by a single SSL Certificate.

subscription, add-on, or plan extension

Subscriptions are a monthly fee in addition to standard plan costs that are visible within the Cloudflare Overview app. Subscriptions refer to:

  • Plan Extensions (Enterprise), or
  • Active Subscriptions (Free, Pro, and Business)

Some examples include products and services such as Cloudflare Dedicated SSL Certificates, Argo, Access, Load Balancing, Stream, and more.

threat

Any event that can potentially cause serious damage and lead to site attacks. In addition to threat analytics, you can monitor search engine crawlers visiting your websites. Cloudflare uses the IP reputation of a visitor to decide whether to present a challenge. A Cloudflare internal algorithm calculates an IP's reputation and assigns a threat score that ranges from 0 to 100.

The security levels and the challenge display criteria are:

  • High - for scores greater than 0
  • Medium - for scores greater than 14
  • Low - for scores greater than 24
  • Essentially off - for scores greater than 49

Relevant links: Cloudflare Logs documentation

total bandwidth (total egress bandwidth, edge bandwidth)

The amount of data transferred from Cloudflare to end users within a certain period of time. Total bandwidth equals the sum of all EdgeResponseBytes for a certain period of time.

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

TLS is a security protocol that replaces SSL for data privacy and Internet communication security. TLS encrypts communications between web applications and servers such as between a visitor’s browser loading a website.

two-factor authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of login security to Cloudflare accounts. It requires users to provide both something known, such as a Cloudflare password, and something physically present, such as an authentication code from a mobile device.

uncached bandwidth (uncached egress bandwidth)

The amount of bandwidth that is not cached, and therefore is served from the origin. Uncached bandwidth is the sum of all EdgeResponseBytes where CacheCacheStatus doesn’t equal hit, stale, updating, ignored, or revalidated.

uncached requests

The number of requests that are not cached, and therefore are served from the origin server. Uncached requests are the sum of all requests where CacheCacheStatus doesn’t equal to hit, stale, updating, or ignored.

Related terms: requests, cached requests

usage-based billing

Within subscriptions, certain products are charged based on usage. The bill can vary month by month based on usage. This is in contrast to monthly flat fees such as for plans, additional Page Rules, and Dedicated SSL Certificates.

web application firewall (WAF)

A security system that helps protect web applications by filtering and monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet.

Relevant links: Cloudflare WAF