Web performance firm aims to double use of web security layer.
Better web security is being offered free by web performance firm CloudFlare, under a new scheme to double the uptake of the secure sockets layer (SSL) responsible for protecting web connections.
Universal SSL will grant the technology to every one of the company’s customers, including 2 million subscribers to its free service, which speeds up page loading times and guards against bad bots.
Writing yesterday on the company blog, Matthew Prince, chief executive of CloudFlare, said: "Yesterday, there were about two million sites active on the Internet that supported encrypted connections. By the end of the day today, we’ll have doubled that."
However in a later update he said the process was taking longer than expected, and would likely be completed by Thursday.
Once the update is complete browsers connections to CloudFlare’s service will be encrypted, but customers will need to install SSL certificates on their servers to secure the link between the company and their hosting.
For non-paying customers the scheme only works with modern browsers, which account for only 80% of those used globally, but premium users can extend SSL to legacy browsers.
"Having cutting-edge encryption may not seem important to a small blog, but it is critical to advancing the encrypted-by-default future of the Internet," Prince added.
"Every byte, however seemingly mundane, that flows encrypted across the Internet makes it more difficult for those who wish to intercept, throttle, or censor the web."