AWS WAF vs Cloudflare: Is it the same? How to use the two together

December 30, 2022

Tags: Technologies, IT Staff Augmentation



Websites today are vulnerable to countless cyber-attacks, so they must be kept protected using the latest technologies, this is where tools like AWS WAF and Cloudflare come into play.





What is AWS WAF


AWS WAF is defined as a web application firewall which is mostly used in cloud computing services. Its main use is to protect web sites or applications from cyber attacks.


Among its main features are:


Low on costs


There is no upfront cost for AWS WAF, which sets it apart from similar products that can cost thousands of dollars upfront. It only costs $20 per month to run, making it ideal for small and medium-sized business websites that are on a tight budget.


Ease of implementation and use


Anyone with a basic understanding of security can set up AWS WAF in just a few steps. In case you don't have any knowledge, there are some managed rules that can be purchased from AWS WAF vendors where they guide you through the installation step by step. These are very low cost.




What is Cloudflare?


Cloudflare is known as a content delivery network, or CDN, service, which is provided by the company of the same name. When we talk about CDN, we mean a service that caches images and text displayed by web applications around the world.


Cloudflare is a CDN (Content Delivery Network) service provided by Cloudflare, Inc. A CDN is a service that caches (that is, temporarily stores) images and text displayed by web applications around the world.


Advantages of using Cloudflare


Low cost


Cloudflare offers its users four types of plans: Free, Pro, Business, and Enterprise. The free plan is the most limited, followed by the Pro plan for $20 per month and the Business plan, which costs $200 per month, are among the cheapest plans.




Depending on the plan the user chooses, Cloudflare also offers WAF and load balancing services. The WAF that can be used in this case is not as customizable as the AWS WAF, but it can withstand a number of security attacks.




AWS WAF vs. Cloudflare


By comparing both tools, we managed to make them very similar to each other. Let's take a look at the most important aspects:


  • Service Type: AWS WAF is a firewall that should be used in conjunction with AWS CloudFront. Cloudflare is a CDN tool with firewall features but it depends on the plan the user chooses.
  • Price: Both are very low cost, which makes them some of the most popular tools on the market today.
  • Installation: AWS WAF installs quickly, and you can get up and running with the entire system in just a few minutes. Cloudflare just asks you to set up a domain name and voila, you'll be up and running with the tool in a few minutes.
  • Customization: AWS WAF can be customized in a number of ways, plus it can be combined with AWS CloudFront and AWS Shield. As for Cloudflare, additional options and features can be added with higher plans. However, it does not allow for as detailed customization as AWS WAF.
  • Security: AWS WAF can only prevent attacks at the application level, while with Cloudflare you can protect against DDoS attacks.


While both tools are ideal for offering protection to websites, AWS WAF is ideal if you are building a website using other AWS services since you can combine them. You can only use Cloudflare on its own.


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