An orange cloud means your web traffic is running through Cloudflare making your site faster, safer and smarter.
A gray cloud means your web traffic is not running through Cloudflare.
Only A and CNAME over web traffic ports (such as 80 and 443) records have the option to be powered by Cloudflare, meaning that only A, AAAA, and CNAME records have the option of an orange cloud.
However, not all A, AAAA, and CNAME records are appropriate to pass through Cloudflare. Cloudflare makes suggestions for which records should be orange, but you can easily change this by clicking on the cloud. To decide which records pass through the Cloudflare network, you need to understand what type of content appears on that subdomain. You should enable Cloudflare for any subdomain that gets web traffic.
By default, Cloudflare only proxies HTTP traffic. If you need to connect to your origin using another protocol (SSH, FTP, SMTP, etc.), do one of the following:
- grey cloud your DNS record,
- connect directly to the origin web server’s IP address, or
- use Cloudflare Spectrum.
To view these options for Cloudflare protection, please go to Your Websites -> Settings -> DNS Settings. A list of common gray records follow below: