Cloudflare announces Warp VPN service

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 1, 2019
Updated • Apr 1, 2019

Cloudflare revealed the company's first VPN product today called Warp which it plans to launch as part of the company's application soon.

April 1st is probably the worst day to make announcements for products that do exist. Cloudflare apparently could not pass the opportunity to select April 1st, or 4/1, as the date to reveal Warp.

The company launched a DNS service a year ago and with it the DNS applications for Android and iOS. The service supported security features like DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS, a strict no IP address logging policy, the deletion of logs in a 24-hour period, and fast speeds especially compared to default DNS services operated by most ISPs.

Cloudlfare calls Warp a "VPN for people who don't know what V.P.N. stands for". The explanation that Cloudflare gives is relatively weak: according to Cloudflare, it is the simplicity that makes it attractive to users who don't know about VPN services. The explanation is weak as Cloudflare's solution is not the first that offers a simple option to use a VPN.

Warp encrypts all Internet traffic, respects end-to-end encryption, and does not require that users install a root certificate on their devices.Unencrypted Internet connections will be encrypted but only between the user's device and Cloudflare's server (similarly to how all VPNs handle this). The same is true for all respected VPN services.

Cloudflare promises that Warp's performance, reliability, and focus on preserving power are what will set it apart from comparable services.

We’ve built Warp around a UDP-based protocol that is optimized for the mobile Internet. We also leveraged Cloudflare’s massive global network, allowing Warp to connect with servers within milliseconds of most the world’s Internet users. With our network’s direct peering connections and uncongested paths we can deliver a great experience around the world. Our tests have shown that Warp will often significantly increase Internet performance.

Warp will be offered as a free option that is included in the company's application. Cloudflare is working on Warp+, a premium version of Warp that will be available for a "low monthly fee" for people who want more speed.

It is not uncommon for companies to finance free versions of a product using premium offerings.

Warp+ follows Cloudlfare's web-based servicing model. The company offers a base version of Cloudlfare for free and paid upgrades to unlock certain features.

Cloudflare promises, in regards to the always hot topic privacy, that

  1. browsing data won't be sold or used for targeted advertising.
  2. user-identifiable log data is not written to disk.
  3. that users may use Warp without supplying their name, phone number or email address.
  4. that it will hire third-party auditors to make sure the service delivers what is promised.

The service itself uses WireGuard combined with Cloudflare's Mobile SKD. Warp+, the premium version of Warp, will use Cloudflare's Argo next to that as well.

Waiting list

Android or iOS users can join the waitlist in the application. Some may not see the option to join the waitlist yet as update propagation takes some time usually.

Closing Words

Warp's strengths are that it is backed by a company that operates one of the largest networks on the planet, and that it will become a part of the on mobile for ease of use. Users don't have to sign up for it if they use the free version similarly to how Opera's browser VPN works. The difference is that Warp works globally while Opera's solution only in the browser.

Desktop applications will be released at a later point in time. Warp won't convince users that distrust Cloudflare, but the success of the application has shown that there is a huge market out there for such a product.

Now You: What is your take on Warp?

Cloudflare announces Warp VPN service
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Cloudflare announces Warp VPN service
Cloudflare revealed the company's first VPN product today called Warp which it plans to launch as part of the company's application soon.
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  1. carry said on September 8, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Hello, Drknow, of course, there is still a load of DDOS attacks. And there would be even more with no protection. So? Sites and businesses shouldn’t try to protect themselves against attackers and make the lives of the attackers easier because the way they try to protect themselves is inconvenient for you??carry

  2. wangychungy said on April 13, 2019 at 1:23 am

    So, this uses WireGuard. But is WireGuard ready for prime-time, or is this going to be a beta test of some sort?

    What I see on Wikipedia is giving my some concern, although it’s a bit dated:

  3. Keith said on April 8, 2019 at 3:23 am

    A site that independently tests VPN’s & email services. Good info.

  4. TelV said on April 5, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Is it my imagination or is this a mobile only VPN? No good to me unless it works on Windows 8.1

  5. Clairvaux said on April 2, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    An interesting discussion here, provided you take into account the fact that this reddit is heavily slanted against big evil corporations that blah… blah…

    So take it with a grain of salt, re-balance the whole perspective, and pay special attention to the informed comments supporting this Cloudflare initiative.

    I’m personally very Cloudflare-curious, their literature sounds very convincing, but of course I’m slightly reluctant for obvious reasons.

    One thing I dislike about them is, it’s practically impossible to get any support at all, unless you’re a paying customer. Even through a forum or such. At least, that has been my experience when I tried their DNS server.

  6. will said on April 2, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    A recent post from a discussion on VPN’s !

    “You need to know that any VPN service that is registered or does business in the United States has to keep a log of your activities, whether they tell about this or not. It is a requirement of DHS. That log has to show at least the past 6 months of your activity. Virtually every VPN out there lies and says they do not keep logs but it will hurt their business if you understood that. This also applies to VPNs in the UK, Canada and the European Union as well as most other countries.
    Also VPNs mention they use proxy servers and anonymous servers but fail to mention who owns and operates them or where they are specifically located. When you connect to any server a log is created of the connection and its activity. people think that by using the TOR network they are hidden but fail to realize the TOR network was created by the US Navy, the NSA and CIA. it’s an historical fact, look it up. They own those servers. Or they are owned by fronts for them.
    And VPNs brag about their encryption. Or double encryption. But they only use approved encryption standards, usually the AES standard. But it was created by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and it has already been shown that they have hidden backdoors to unlock them. And the key lengths such as 128 or 256 or 512 are jokes nowadays anyway. They can be cracked immediately even without a backdoor. I can remember 4098 and even 8192 and those were discarded back in the late 90’s as insecure.
    I use a Swiss email service that highlights its double encryption but I know it is meaningless if they get a request to see your emails. They are there for at least the past 6 months, usually forever in most cases. And fully accessible to any agency that requests it.
    If you use a VPN without understanding what they can and cannot do then you probably haven’t noticed that you get spam from companies related to your browsing interests. Why? because most major companies can still see the cookies and logs of sites you have visited directly through your browser. A lot of companies don’t do this. visit sites like Target or Sears and you are most likely safe but when you visit the giant websites like the top 5 sales and auction sites then you are almost certainly being scanned and your preferences noted.
    And then there is the problem of windows itself logging your activities in several dozen different places on your computer and reporting this info to Microsoft 5500 TIMES AND HOUR. Look it up. MS sells this info for profit and has stated that they decide it it needs to be turned over to law enforcement. They don’t ask you or tell you, they just report you. its buried in their agreements but you can Google it and find out.
    So are VPNS worthwhile. In some instance, yes. I use a VPN to watch BBC television shows and to gain access to media that may be blocked to my country. Also to visit sites that reject anyone from a country other than where it is located. Things like that. You can download torrents with a VPN and generally are safe if, and only if, you know how to make your activity safe. Like downloading through a country that is extremely lax to begin with.
    Other than that they are worthless. “

    1. Clairvaux said on April 2, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      “A post” from “a discussion” we don’t even know where it happened, there’s zero supporting sources in this “post”, and it has this telltale silliness that shows whoever wrote that text is speaking through his arse :

      “People think that by using the TOR network they are hidden but fail to realize the TOR network was created by the US Navy, the NSA and CIA. it’s an historical fact, look it up.”

      The US Navy, actually. Everybody knows that, and it does not make Tor less secure or private, on the contrary.

      So everything this guy wrote about VPNs is bullshit.

      Incidentally, anyone using a computer needs to stop this America-is-evil moronic rant, or get rid of their computers, phones and whatnot. The blasted Internet itself was invented by America, and by the American defence community at that, as the Kremlin is wont to repeat to any gullible conspiracy lovers.

      And personal computing itself wouldn’t exist without the American tech industry and inventors. So you need to make a choice here : either take advantage of what the US has given you, or spread all the lies that you want, but do it with pen and paper. Not on the Internet.

  7. chump2010 said on April 2, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Not sure why all the hate on Cloudflare. I have looked into other VPN’s and their track records are usually much worse. i.e. when you start looking at who owns the company etc you start to realise that maybe you should not trust this company.

    Has their been any actual proof of actual wrong doing with this company? What are the VPNs other people use?

  8. ULBoom said on April 2, 2019 at 4:27 am

    From lots of 1’s: “a strict no IP address logging policy, the deletion of logs in a 24-hour period”
    Uh….huh? You have to log an IP to make a connection but the log should be obliterated as soon as the connection is broken.

    And this is why their VPN won’t be a VPN, beside the fact that they are Cloudshare who makes money collecting, storing, selling data and recapcha’ing us to near violence.

    2019, the year of VPN’s. Almost no one knows what a VPN is and CloudF**k does get credit for acknowledging that in their hook. Otherwise, as far as I could throw a horse!

    Wasn’t facebook sort of forced to shut down the 24/7 monitoring tool they ran for years and called a VPN? A VPN from facebook? That’s not even possible! 2020 will be the year of the proxy, another spectacular opportunity for obfuscation.

    Alas, this can’t be an I Lirpa joke, “tech” companies have no concept of humor. They think arrogance is funny. Jokes on them!

  9. Manly P. Hall said on April 1, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    PROTIP: The height of DDOS attacks ended before Cloudflare entered in business with its DDOS protection.

    Hegelian Dialectic at its finest. Buy a VPN, trust our free VPN. We own you.

    1. DrKnow said on April 2, 2019 at 12:51 am

      Even more PROTIP: There’s still a LOAD of DDOS attacks. Small sites and businesses can easily be taken off-line for extended periods at nominal cost compared to the damage potentially done.

      That said, I wouldn’t buy or use their VPN.

      1. Anonymous said on April 2, 2019 at 9:59 am

        Drknow, of course there are still load of DDOS attacks. And there would be even more with no protection. So? Sites and businesses shouldn’t try to protect themselves against attackers and make the lives of the attackers easier because the way they try to protect themselves is inconvenient for you??

      2. DrKnow said on April 2, 2019 at 8:08 pm

        Anonymous, You missed my point.
        I was replying to Manly regarding the attacks. Cloudflare entered precisely because they saw a business opportunity for many sites that need protection.

        I mentioned nothing about it inconveniencing me. Any small business that replies on the internet would be wise to use some form of protection.

  10. 11r20 said on April 1, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    I’m leaning toward the idea that goolag e100, cloudflare, akamai and amazons ec2 cloud networks are all interested in global trends and the publics browsing habits…and that these trends especially consumer and political will be sold to elites and governments just as they are now.

    Those who provide encryption have the power to un-encrypt…just sayin

    1. Anonymous said on April 2, 2019 at 3:41 am

      Cloudflare is just another front for the same people, the usual suspects. They all answer to the same government. People assume Cloudflare is an alternative to Amazon, MS, Google’s spy networks but it’s not, it’s exactly the same.

      Cloudflare’s owners: Google Capital, Microsoft, Baidu, Qualcomm.

  11. sunny said on April 1, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    April 1st ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is it lie?

  12. Ascrod said on April 1, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    “A VPN for people who don’t know what V.P.N. stands for”

    If you know that little about what a VPN is, you probably shouldn’t use one.

    1. NotAnonymous said on April 2, 2019 at 6:24 pm

      VPN only replaces your ISP
      Whats wrong with that?

    2. boris said on April 2, 2019 at 3:00 am

      If you use torrent or other file-sharing software, you should use VPN. Even if you dow not know how VPN works.

      1. Yuliya said on April 2, 2019 at 3:47 am

        >If you use torrent or other file-sharing software, you should use VPN
        I never used one:

  13. Yuliya said on April 1, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    From the company which actively makes the WWWeb a worse place for end-users. Lol no thank you.
    I wonder if they will whitelist their own servers, freeing the Warp users from the reCAPTCHA hell they go through once they reach CloudFlare’s property…

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