When comparing CloudFlare vs Incapsula, the Slant community recommends CloudFlare for most people. In the question“What are the best content delivery networks (CDNs)?” CloudFlare is ranked 1st while Incapsula is ranked 6th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Easy management interface
Pro Very affordable
CloudFlare offers a free plan with basic DDoS protection and promises to always provide a free service with at least the feature set that it has today. More advanced DDoS protection is available for the higher plans, which can be added as your needs grow.
Pro Works with static and dynamic content
Pro Highly secure
Pro Anyone can add or update libraries
Pro Has npm auto-update
Pro Site enhancing apps
Cloudflare has a wide selection of app support that allows the user to install the app easily through Cloudflare instead of in their site. This creates ease of use, time saved and less degradation of performance.
Pro Works with other CDNs
Pro Automatic IPv6
Pro Page Rules are powerful
Pro Railgun optimization for Business & Enterprise plans
Railgun allows caching dynamic and personalized sites, allowing for up to 140% performance increase.
Pro SSL encryption
As of late 2014 Cloudflare offers SSL encryption for all sites using its service.
Pro Handled some of the largest DDoS attacks in history
Cloudflare was able to deflect 2 massive DDoS attacks. During the March 2013 attack on Spamhaus, they were able to absorb a peak 120Gbps attack that lasted 4 days, as well as a 400Gbps attack in February 2014.
Their track record shows their ability to protect against DDoS attacks in practice.
Pro Official WordPress plugin
Cloudflare offers an official WordPress plugin that allows for customization through the user panel.
Pro Has tag based cache spoilage for Enterprise plan
Pro Free service is Best
Pro Intelligently recognizes bots to counter layer 7 attacks
Incapsula has a bot recognition engine to achieve a low rate of false positives on layer 7 attacks. These attacks are notoriously hard to detect as they are designed to look like regular network traffic.
Their always-on recognition solution automatically triggers layer 7 protection without user intervention, protecting you during downtimes like holidays, weekends, and late nights.
Pro Instant propagation of security rules
Rules configured through IncapRules are able to instantly propagate to Incapsula's reverse proxy based global network. This is in contrast to DNS based systems that are subject to TTL/DNS cache delays, which slow down the propagation of custom security rules.
Pro Real time dashboard
Incapsula provides a dashboard that shows traffic data in real time, allowing you to respond to threats immediately as they happen, and see the results of your response as quickly as possible.
Pro Great value for the price
For a full ADC package Incapsula comes in at 4k a month, compared to Akami's 13-14k, it is quite the bargain.
Pro Powerful security rule scripting through IncapRules
IncapRules is a full fledged scripting language that gives clients full and detailed control of security policies. The language provides access to dozens of filters for analyzing incoming traffic, including headers, client type, location, access rates, and more. There are also a multitude of trigger responses on how to deal with the filtered traffic, including alerts, captchas, and blocking.
Pro Protects non-web assets
Incapsula has an extra layer of DDoS protection that also protects subnet network infrastructure, like FTP and email.
Pro 24x7 chat support
Incapsula chat support is always available. Chat can be much easier to use than phone support, as you can easily copy and paste technical data through text, and get instant feedback you don't get through email.
Pro Massive network capacity
Incapsula's proprietary "Behemoth" machines handle 170 Gbps each, and process up to 100 million packets per second. As of March 10th 2015, they have a network of 13 data centers with these machines, allowing them to process more than 2 Tbps of bandwidth on top of their existing capabilities.
Con Practices Man-in-the-Middle certificate forgery
Https ("secure") comunications with sites using CloudFlare are intercepted at their servers, decrypted and recrypted with CloudFlare's certificates. This poses huge problem with what users perceive as safe communication - browsers fail to display notice about MitM taking place.
Con Lowers usability of the web for Tor users
Tor users are required to enter captcha at each site using CloudFlare. In some circumstances, this introduces unsolvable roadblock.
Con Relies on intrusive captcha screens to validate visitors
During large attacks, Cloudflare will block users with captcha screens to filter out malicious attacks. Albeit effective, they cause a considerable annoyance to legitimate users.
Con Slow support
Even on paid (Pro) account, support often takes several hours per reply. So a single query can take days to resolve.
Con Layer 7 attacks must be manually identified
In order to enable layer 7 protection with Cloudflare, customers must manually press an "I'm under attack" button.
Con Support doesn't have access to logs
Log access is an enterprise feature and priced at the "contact us" level. So when an error code is returned to the user that wasn't returned from your app, debugging this is impossible at the pro level. Unfortunately these logs aren't available to support personnel either so they have no way of tracking/validating issues.
Con Lack of cache control
If you want to cache all kinds of content (e.g. HTML, JSON), you need the "Cache Everything" setting, and this imposes a long "max-age" directive of 2 hours. It ignores your origin server's value.
Con Scripting language and rules for IncapRules has steep learning curve
While there is a rules editor that offers a shortcut into rule definition, the learning curve to master how to utilize in full IncapRules is pretty steep.
Con Enterprise package pricing not listed
Potential enterprise customers will need to call Incapsula to find out the pricing for their enterprise plans as they are not listed on the site and appear to be priced on a case by case basis.