Introducing The Detection of CloudFlare Warp

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On April 1st 2019 CloudFlare announced that they would be offering a VPN service called Warp but instead of focusing on customer privacy by hiding users IP Addresses they would instead focus on speed by utilising CloudFlare's servers and security by encrypting all traffic exiting the users device on its way to CloudFlare's servers.

This differs from traditional VPN services in that they usually focus their marketing on explaining how they hide your IP Address to provide privacy. So last year when CloudFlare announced the Warp beta for iOS and Android users we did not at that time detect CloudFlare as a VPN provider because every website visited by users of Warp had their original and legitimate IP Address sent to the website they're viewing in a custom HTTP header by CloudFlare.

Essentially the service didn't provide anonymity so we felt detecting Warp wasn't justified. However over the past year things have changed somewhat. Warp has opened up to more users on more devices, Windows and Mac betas are being conducted and the service can now be used to access more than just websites.

Which means if a user uses Warp to access other kinds of services (FTP, SSH, RDP, VNC, IRC, Email, Game Servers etc) then those HTTP headers containing the Warp users real IP Addresses are not sent by CloudFlare making those users essentially anonymous.

And so it is for this reason that today we've flipped the switch and are now detecting CloudFlare Warp as a VPN service and our API will now detect and display these IP Addresses as VPN's.

But as CloudFlare is a CDN (Content Delivery Network) and many websites use CloudFlare you're probably wondering if you use and CloudFlare together will you be negatively impacted by this change in detection.

The answer to that is no. You shouldn't see any difference and Warp users will still be able to access your website like normal if you're using CloudFlare because if you've implemented CloudFlare properly it will present to your website the real users IP Addresses and you would only ever send those to, you would not send CloudFlare server addresses to us to be checked.

And secondly we've implemented a system whereby we only detect Warp and not CloudFlare's CDN reverse proxy addresses so even if you've misconfigured your implementation of CloudFlare or our service you will not be negatively impacted.

We know that you've all wanted this change to be made because you've told us via email for some time. We've been constantly keeping an eye on the situation with Warp since last year and we've decided now is the right time to enable this detection for all customers. And of course if you want you can still override this detection in your dashboard with the Whitelist feature or a custom rule but as we say there shouldn't be any negative consequences of this new detection being enabled.

Thanks for reading and we hope everyone is having a great week!