Cloudflare takes on email security

Cloudflare… today announced its entry into email security with new offerings to help solve email challenges in an easy-to-use way that gives customers more control. Now, users will be able to create custom email addresses, manage incoming email routing, and prevent email spoofing and phishing on outgoing emails—all for free. Cloudflare also announced that customers can sign up for early access to its Advanced Email Security Suite, tightly integrated with all of Cloudflare’s Zero Trust solutions, for a more holistic way to keep businesses and their employees secure and productive… etc.…

They also mention that the FBI says that email phishing were the most common type of cyber attack.

However, while it sounds great, it seems to go in with their altruism, and doesn’t add anything to revenue. Another free add-on.



IMO, Sounds like Google giving away productivity tools to sell adds. Cloudflare is getting everyone to join Cloudflare to get Data for their AI/ML development while making money on CloudflareOne where the Advanced version of this eMail product is added. I see as much altruism with Cloudflare as I saw with Google.

Recently highlighted by Prince on the Cloudflare Blog:

…Cloudflare’s global threat intelligence acts as an immune system for the Internet — employing machine learning models to learn from and mitigate attacks against any customer to protect them all..

Me here: And, after reading Muji’s latest, IMO, Cloudflare is also now protecting endpoints without the need for even a lightweight agent positioning them now for IoT. Remember Crowdstrike requires that their lightweight agent be installed.

I recently sold some Crowdstrike to get my Cloudflare back up to 10%.




Saul: However, while it sounds great, it seems to go in with their altruism, and doesn’t add anything to revenue. Another free add-on.

Jason: Cloudflare is getting everyone to join Cloudflare to get Data for their AI/ML development while making money on CloudflareOne where the Advanced version of this eMail product is added.

Hi Jason, thanks, that’s a much more positive way of looking at it. Maybe they will make some money out of it after all. :grinning: But it still seems like they are giving away the cow before they’ve gotten any milk out of it, and that their focus is on improving the internet rather than being a profitable company. A noble aspiration, I admit, but not necessarily a great future investment. (I’m not giving up on it yet though!)


This announcement comes out of Cloudfare’s annual Founder’s letter,…. The letter is definitely worth a read:

This week we celebrate Cloudflare’s birthday. We launched the company 11 years ago tomorrow: September 27, 2010. It has been our tradition, since our first birthday, to use this week to launch innovative new products that we think of as our gift back to the Internet.

Since going public, it’s also been an opportunity for us to update our Annual Founders’ Letter and share what’s on our mind. Recently we’ve been thinking about three things: team, the Internet, and innovation.

I found the innovation section to be the most interesting (bolding by me for emphasis):

The Internet may seem static, but it is not. 11 years ago, watching a video online was an exercise in frustration. Today, it seems almost automatic that you can push play on your TV and access nearly any movie ever made instantly. That’s possible because the Internet isn’t static; it gets better through innovation.

At Cloudflare, we’re optimized to catalyze exactly that innovation. It starts with our mission: to help build a better Internet. The word “help” is important, because we know we can’t do it alone. So, wherever we can, we work with others across the Internet ecosystem to push it forward and make it better.

Sometimes people outside the company are surprised by the products we build. In fact, predicting our roadmap is pretty easy. We look at all the steps that are required to load a web page, send an email, stream a video, login to a workstation, or anything else you do online and ask: can we make that more secure, more reliable, or faster? [Gotta love the simple explanation of what they do.]

What’s exciting is that the pace at which the Internet is getting better is accelerating. And, in turn, the pace at which we are able to launch innovative new products is accelerating along with it. As the Internet grows and acquires more capabilities, we believe we will continue to grow with it. An investment in Cloudflare is, fundamentally, we feel an investment in the Internet itself.

And so, this week, we have an incredible series of announcements that are designed to help build a better Internet. We’re entering a new area to close one of the last network security risks that we haven’t historically protected our customers from, driving down costs of core cloud services, pushing the boundary of our network to our customers’ doorsteps, and investing in new technologies that may someday disrupt the web as we know it today.

Thank you to our team, our customers, and our investors. Happy 11th birthday to Cloudflare. And, even as we pick up steam, we continue to believe: we’re just getting started.

It’s amazing to think that in 2010, Cloudfare was just an idea in three people’s mind (the 3rd co-founder sadly passed away from a horrible disease, proving that all the money in the world doesn’t buy happiness).

–Jhon (tip of the hat to Sual)
Long, NET



IMO they are giving away services for free or close-to-it in order to get Customers locked into their APIs for the long-haul. That won’t necessarily “Build a Better Internet” but it’d sure be good for their bottom line, providing those Customers bring long-term profits.

Speaking of profits: the question I really have about $NET is their long-term recurring expenses for hardware assets that quickly depreciate in value. Their software has to run on hardware; for instance, programmable switches provided by the likes of Juniper and Arista. So in addition to recurring revenue, I imagine they also have pretty heavy recurring expenses, because constantly-increasing Customer demands are going to drive constantly-increasing hardware upgrade cycles. To make things worse, IMO their network architecture isn’t as efficient as it could be; to compensate, they are forced to buy more hardware than they otherwise would have to.

Hopefully that’s food-for-thought; if not then my sincere apologies.



Hi intjudo,

funny that you mention this, I’ve been pondering the following Cloudflare blog post ever since it came online:…

In this post, it is revealed that Cloudflare upgrades their server platform every 12 to 18 months; and then they ship the new servers to their 200+ data centers around the world (

I don’t know if these hardware quantities and replacement velocities are more important than for other SaaS companies, such as Crowdstrike or Datadog for example, but I strongly suspect so, as I don’t think they have to upgrade so many servers so often (but I may be wrong).

In any case, you are right that they have recurring costs for maintaining their hardware platform which quickly depreciates in value and also rapidly becomes obsolete.

Could you tell us why you think their network is not so efficient?

Sedi (long NET, ~10%)

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“Could you tell us why you think their network is not so efficient?”
Let me preface this by saying I made a huge mistake with $NET; I sold it, and used the proceeds to buy more $FSLY, based on my technical assessment of their architectures. Obviously I should have followed the numbers instead; that would have revealed to me the factors that are much more important than technical architecture (…making the HUGE assumption that I have anything valid to say about technical architectures).

I can’t remember the tech blog reference that I’m going off of here, but basically, the problem of distributing content could be handled with fewer data centers (…and thus lots less hardware) than $NET uses.

I only mentioned it because Saul seemed to be asking for ideas regarding a potential disconnect between $NET’s stock performance vs. its underlying business performance.