Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking about getting Connect?

What exactly does “all-in-one” website security mean?

You don’t have the time, budget or resources to deploy multiple solutions to keep your website up and running. Connect provides everything you need to make your website secure, resilient and performant, so you can focus on what matters most – connecting with and serving your customers. First, we eliminate the malicious automated traffic that exploits your website and misuses it in ways you never intended. In addition, we can speed up the delivery of your website to improve the experience for your actual customers. We deliver all this in a single, cloud-based solution that is dead simple to setup and to use.

How does Connect stop bots?

Connect sits in front of your website and monitors all your website’s incoming traffic before it actually reaches your origin server. Using a number of sophisticated detection techniques (and backed by 50+ patents!), Connect identifies (and optionally blocks) unwanted automated traffic coming from bots. Eventually attackers will get tired of having their efforts thwarted and they’ll pack up their bots and go elsewhere.

What happens when Connect blocks a request?

One would think that when a bot is detected that Connect would simply send it a 401 (not authorized) or a 500 error. But we don’t – that’s for amateurs. Instead, we prefer an approach that simply redirects the automated traffic to a destination of your choosing. Because attackers use a trial and error approach to automating your site, your goal should be to minimize the signal provided back to them that helps them understand when their automation is working and when it isn’t.

How many domains can I protect?

You can use Connect to protect as many websites as you want. In order to protect multiple domains with a single instance
of Connect, those domains must all point to the same origin server. You also need to have an appropriate certificate that can terminal SSL traffic for all the protected domains. If you’ve got multiple origin servers, you need an instance of Connect for
each one.

Do I have to transfer my domain to Shape?

No, we do not manage your domain. You retain ownership of your domain name and you continue to manage the domain registration with whichever registrar you choose. When you configure Connect to start protecting your website, you will simply go to your hosting provider (or where ever you manage your DNS settings) and update your DNS records to point to a dedicated AnyCast address that we’ll assign to you. This will begin to route your website’s traffic through your dedicated instance of Connect in our secure cloud and on to your origin server. It’s not rocket surgery, we’ve walked many customers through this change and in most cases it takes only minutes.

Do I have to change my website so that it can work with Connect?

One of the best things about using Connect is that you can use it with your existing website just as it is today – without changing a single line of code. That goes for the platforms, services, tools and frameworks that you may be using, too. Keep everything you’ve got, just the way you’ve got it and simply put Connect in front of your existing website. It couldn’t be simpler.

Why does Connect need my SSL certificates?

If we can get technical for just a moment, Connect actually acts as a secure reverse proxy for your website. All this means is
that Connect sits between your customer’s browser and your origin server and acts as an intermediary for that traffic.
Because responses coming back to your customer’s browser will be coming from Connect, your SSL certificates are required
to effectively terminate that SSL traffic and ensure the end-to-end security of those communications. Your certificate keys are uploaded to our secure cloud when you first sign up for Connect and are stored in a way that makes them completely unrecoverable (to everyone, including us).

What about CDN? How does that fit in with Connect?

If you’re serious about making your website performant, you’ve likely already deployed or are considering deploying a content delivery network (CDN) service that can improve the speed with which your website returns content to your customer’s browsers. If you don’t yet have a CDN service, Connect provide a really good CDN capability out-the-box. However, if you already have a CDN that you love, then by all means continue to use it. Connect’s CDN capabilities can be toggled on or off
with a single setting.

Will Connect protect me from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks?

Absolutely. DDoS protection is a primary benefit of Connect. Our cloud infrastructure can absorb even the largest volumetric DDoS attacks. What’s more, our anti-automation engine will also handle application-level denial of service attacks because we automatically block botnets anyway.

Can I use Connect to protect any website?

In general, if your website’s content is considered “safe for work” then we’d love for you to use Connect to protect it. We want to enable our team of world-class security experts to help keep your website safe. In order to do that, we need to know that they can navigate your website safely while at work. And, of course, we do not protect websites that may be used to support any kind of illegal activity.

Will Connect confer PCI-DSS protection to my website?

The Payment Card Industry requires cryptography, security controls and regular process review to protect credit cardholder data. Click here to see how Connect can satisfy your PCI-DSS requirements.

How much does Connect cost?

Allow us to direct you to our pricing page.

I already have Connect

I just signed up, now what?

After you register for Connect by completing the sign up form, we’ll send you an email at the address you provided with instructions on how to complete the last few remaining steps to get up and running. Because we spin up a dedicated instance of Connect in the cloud for every new customer, creation of this infrastructure can take a little while. So take a break, go for a walk and maybe grab a cup of coffee. If you come back and still don’t see that email, you might check the spam folder in your email client just to make sure it didn’t get routed there.

Is there a way to see how much automated traffic. Connect is blocking for me?

Of course. Once you’ve got Connect configured to proxy your website’s traffic, we’ll start reporting on all kinds of useful metrics that will help you better understand the traffic that is coming to your website – including what portion of the traffic was automated. This information is available in the dashboard you’ll see right when you log in to Connect.

What do I do if I need help?

Our world-class team of security experts is standing by ready to help you get the most out of Connect. If you’ve got a question, simply fill out the form on the Contact Us page. Include aclear description of the problem you’re experiencing and the domain of the website you are protecting with Connect.

Can I make a feature request?

Please do! We love customer feedback and are anxious to hear how we can make Connect work better for you. Just use our contact page and send us your thoughts.

I see that Connect has 3 different modes. Why?

Connect has 3 primary modes of operation: Monitor, Defense and Standby. Here’s a quick explanation of how each of these modes works:

Monitor Mode:
Connect will initially run in Monitor Mode for all new deployments. In Monitor Mode Connect will analyze and characterize your traffic, but won’t block anything. This mode is useful to allow you to run for a period of time (either initially or after significant website changes) to ensure compatibility with your website.

Defense Mode: Once you’re comfortable with what you’re seeing in Monitor Mode, switch over to defense mode and Connect will start blocking the unwanted automated traffic. This is the desired steady state.

Standby Mode: In the event you need to troubleshoot your website and you need to move Connect out of the way, Standby Mode turns Connect into a transparent proxy where all traffic is simply passed through directly to your origin. In Standby Mode, Connect will make no attempt to analyze or characterize any traffic.

Keep in mind that it can sometimes take several minutes for Connect to transition from one mode of operation to another.

What if I have known automated traffic that I don’t want blocked?

Many websites use various forms of good automation, including automation testing frameworks and monitoring tools. Connect allows you to configure single IPs or ranges of IPs that won’t be blocked when we see automated traffic originating from one of these whitelisted IPs.

What if there are portions of my website I don’t want Connect to protect?

By design, Connect aims to protect all the traffic coming to your entire website. However, Connect optionally allows you to configure paths to be excluded from protection.