Skip to main content
All CollectionsDomains, Web Servers, and BeyondCDN
In Cloudflare DNS, what are gray clouds and Orange clouds? usage of them?
In Cloudflare DNS, what are gray clouds and Orange clouds? usage of them?
Rapyd Team avatar
Written by Rapyd Team
Updated over a week ago

Cloudflare, a prominent player in web infrastructure and security, employs specific icons in its DNS settings to offer users an intuitive grasp of how their traffic is managed. These icons, mainly the gray cloud and orange cloud, play a vital role in indicating the nature of traffic routing and security features. This article delves into what these clouds symbolize and how to use them efficiently.

Introduction to Cloudflare's DNS Management

Cloudflare's DNS system is multifaceted, operating both as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and a security barrier. It offers you the flexibility to decide how your domain's traffic should be routed, enabling the use of Cloudflare's performance and security features either separately or in conjunction.

Gray Cloud: What is it?

When a DNS record displays a gray cloud icon, it indicates the following:

  • Direct Routing: Traffic will go straight to the origin server, bypassing Cloudflare's CDN and security layers.

  • No Performance Boost: Cloudflare's performance enhancements, such as content caching, will not be applied.

  • No Security Filtering: Your traffic will not undergo security checks or DDoS protection via Cloudflare's Web Application Firewall (WAF).

Orange Cloud: What is it?

In contrast, when a DNS record shows an orange cloud icon, you can expect:

  • Through Cloudflare: Traffic is routed via Cloudflare's robust network.

  • Performance Enhancement: Cloudflare's CDN functionality will cache your site's content, resulting in quicker page loads.

  • Enhanced Security: Cloudflare's extensive security measures, like its WAF, get activated, offering robust protection from various threats, including DDoS attacks.

When to Use Gray Cloud vs. Orange Cloud

Gray Cloud (Direct Routing):

  • Bypass Cloudflare's systems for specific services or subdomains.

  • Troubleshoot website issues potentially stemming from Cloudflare.

  • When Cloudflare's enhancements could conflict with particular services.

Orange Cloud (Through Cloudflare):

  • Enjoy both performance and security features for your primary website or app.

  • Ideal for web-facing content that benefits from caching.

  • When shielding from online threats and DDoS attacks is crucial.

Key Benefits of Using Cloudflare's DNS

  • Flexibility: Tailor which segments of your domain use Cloudflare's services.

  • Performance: Experience quicker load times thanks to CDN caching.

  • Security: Gain robust defense against a wide array of online threats.


Understanding the implications of the gray and orange clouds in Cloudflare's DNS settings is essential for anyone keen on optimizing both the performance and safety of their online assets. With strategic traffic routing, you can maximize the benefits derived from Cloudflare's comprehensive toolkit.

Did this answer your question?