CloudFlare Inc. of San Francisco took the top spot for technologies designed to improve the performance of websites, whether they are being accessed via a mobile device or a personal computer. It was CloudFlare’s second win in a row in the category.
Three technologies introduced since last June made up CloudFlare’s winning entry this year. The first, Rocket Loader, is used to help mobile websites load faster by automatically reformatting the page when the system detects a mobile device is trying to connect to the site.
Another technology, called RailGun, speeds up the connection between CloudFlare’s data centers and servers delivering up Internet content. Part of CloudFlare’s advantage is its ability to carry content rapidly from its own network, but this edge can disappear when a visitor has to get material directly from a distant server. This may happen when a Web page changes frequently—such as the front page of a news site that regularly rotates and updates articles. RailGun compresses the content, delivering only the changing parts of a site.
Finally, the company’s IPv6 Gateway addresses one of the Web’s biggest problems: the transition from the older technology that makes it possible to connect to the Internet, called Internet Protocol version 4, or IPv4, to the newest version, called IPv6.
CloudFlare’s technology, available free for all its users, makes websites compatible with the new protocol without expensive upgrades.