Skip to main content

Cloudflare wants to run your web browser in the cloud

Best virtual desktop
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Bluebay)
Audio player loading…

Cloudflare has announced that its new “browser isolation” service, which runs a web browser in the cloud, is now available in beta.

As more and more computing is done inside a browser as opposed to on a system itself, many enterprise organizations have begun to deploy browser isolation services where the browser doesn't actually run on a user's computer.

Instead the browser runs on a virtual machine inside a cloud provider's data center. This means that any threats from the browser will stay in that virtual machine and won't be able to infect a corporate laptop or move laterally across an organization's network.

Cloudflare Browser Isolation

Other browser isolation services either record the isolated browser and send a live stream of it to a user or unpack the webpage, inspect it, repack it and then send it to the user. However, the first approach is slow and makes it difficult to complete basic tasks like text entry while the other approach can sometimes miss threats or fail to repack a webpage in a way that actually works.

Cloudflare Browser Isolation does thing a bit differently by sending the final output of a browser's web page rendering. As a result, the only thing every sent to a user's device is a package of draw commands to render the webpage and this also means that the company's new service will be compatible with any HTML5 compliant browser including Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox.

As Cloudflare has data centers in 200 cities around the world, its browser isolation service should be able to deliver a responsive web browsing experience regardless of where a user is located.

Interested users can sign up here to join the waitlist to test out the beta of Cloudflare Browser Isolation which is part of Cloudflare for Teams which also includes Cloudflare Access and Cloudflare Gateway. 

  • We've also highlighted the best CDN providers
Anthony Spadafora

After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal and TechRadar. He has been a tech enthusiast for as long as he can remember and has spent countless hours researching and tinkering with PCs, mobile phones and game consoles.