Bypassing Cloudflare: A Quick Overview

Cloudflare is a widely used security service that protects websites from cyber threats, like DDoS and brute force attacks. However, it denies all bots access, so your scraper will also be left out in the cold.

On the bright side, as its bot detection measures have become more advanced, so have the techniques for bypassing them. Below, you'll learn more about the way the Bot Manager works and how you can get an effective Cloudflare bypass.

What Is Cloudflare

Cloudflare is an internet security provider and content delivery network that allows website owners to set rules and policies to control bot traffic. These rules are based on factors such as User-Agent and behavior patterns. That way, malicious bots are identified and detected while legitimate traffic passes through.

More specifically, Cloudflare uses a mix of active and passive techniques to collect sensor data and analyze it for inconsistencies on the server side.
  • IP address reputation analysis: Cloudflare assigns a score to each IP that tries to access a protected website. It's based on data from various sources, like spam reports, virus and malware detection systems, etc., evaluating its past behavior and associations.
  • HTTP request headers analysis: The HTTP request contains additional information about the type of request being made and the client it's coming from. Cloudflare looks for red flags, like non-browser User Agents, mismatching headers, and other inconsistencies.
  • Canvas fingerprinting: This technique identifies and tracks users across different websites by collecting information about their browser and system configuration and creating a unique fingerprint. Cloudflare uses this data to determine whether the request comes from a legitimate user or bot.
  • CAPTCHAs: You may encounter several types of these challenges: text, image, and audio-based. All are becoming increasingly harder to bypass, so your best action is to avoid triggering them.
  • Event tracking: Event listeners track users' interactions with the site, like clicking buttons and keystrokes, to determine if they deviate from the expected behavioral pattern. That's an efficient method to detect bots, as they normally act notably differently from humans.
As you can see, Cloudflare has a lot in its arsenal, so you better prepare to get around it.

Best Methods to Bypass Cloudflare

You can employ specific techniques to fortify your scraper and circumvent Cloudflare's detection. Here are the most reliable options:

Use a Web Scraping API

A feasible way to handle Cloudflare's anti-bot measures is to build your own solver. However, that requires much time (also for frequent updates), expertise, and effort, so you'll be better off with a ready-made custom solution.

ZenRows is a web scraping API that can handle all Cloudflare throws in your way: detection techniques, dynamic obfuscation, and challenge-solving. Its advanced anti-bot bypass toolkit features rotating residential proxies, geo-targeting, and randomized request headers.

To top it off, you can integrate it into any web scraping project, as it works seamlessly with all programming languages. You'll get plenty of helpful documentation and tutorials to get started.

Use a Cloudflare Bypass Proxy

Smart proxies, also known as anti-bot APIs, can independently take care of the required checks and solvers to return the data you want. The other benefits are that they work on API and proxy mode and are resource-efficient, taking minimum computing time.

Send Your Request Directly to the Origin Server

As a general rule, Cloudflare can only block you if your request goes to its servers. But if you find a way to contact the origin server directly, you won't face this issue. However, that's not easy, as you'll have to find that origin IP, and Cloudflare does its best to hide the DNS records of its protected sites.

The way to go about this is by looking through unprotected subdomains, mailing, or old services. You can also try your luck with databases like Censys and tools like CloudPeler. If you manage to find the IP, you'll need tools such as cURL to request the data. It's not a straightforward method, but it's worth trying on certain occasions.

Scrape Google Cache

Another method is to look for a copy of your scraping target on Google Cache and Internet Archive.

What you need to do is manually search for the cached version of your target on Google. The downside is that even if it's there, the data may not be up-to-date, so make sure you verify that before you start scraping. Also, many websites don’t allow Google to save a cached version.

Use Fortified Headless Browsers

You can use headless browsers, like Selenium, Puppeteer, and Playwright, to effectively emulate human behavior when web scraping. However, all of them have automation marks that Cloudflare quickly detects.

The solution is masking them with plugins. For Selenium, you can go with Undetected ChromeDriver, while the Stealth plugin works for both Puppeteer and Playwright. Remember that they're very resource-consuming, so proceed carefully.


Due to its wide use, you'll inevitably run into a Cloudflare-protected website when web scraping. But if you've taken the proper measures to avoid detection, you can extract the data you want without hassle.

The most straightforward and reliable method to ensure success is using a web scraping API like ZenRows. It'll get you the content you want in a convenient-to-use format and ensure you won't get blocked, thanks to its advanced anti-bot bypass features. You can sign up for free and test it.
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