What is Project Shield and How Does it Work?

Article author
Betty Fleming
  • Updated

What is Project Shield? 

Project Shield is a free service that helps protect websites from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. A DDoS attack is an attempt to make your website unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources.

Project Shield works by filtering out harmful traffic and passing safe traffic to your website server.  Project Shield also helps by serving your content from Google's network, speeding up your site, reducing your hosting costs, and smoothing peak load (like election day).

It is important to note that Project Shield is an alternative to DDC's other partner product, Cloudflare, and the two should not be used together.

How Project Shield protects your site from DDoS

Project Shield is a reverse proxy: Project Shield servers receive traffic requests on your website's behalf and then send safe traffic to your website's server. This protects your site against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in two ways:

  1. It filters harmful traffic. Project Shield filters out harmful traffic using Google’s Cloud Armor technology and DDoS tools. If someone tries to take your website down with a DDoS attack, Project Shield can identify and block harmful traffic so your website stays up and running.
  2. It absorbs traffic through caching. Project Shield can cache — or save — versions of your content to serve to website visitors. This reduces traffic requests to your website server and absorbs potential DDoS attacks. 

For example, if many visitors want to view the same content on your website (or, in a DDoS attack, an attacker is trying to overwhelm your website with traffic), Project Shield will fetch the content from your website's server once and then serve a cached copy repeatedly.

Start by applying for Project Shield at https://projectshield.google (you can learn more about How to apply for Project Shield here.)  But “How do I set up Project Shield?” you ask? Click the link for detailed instructions!

(Information provided in this article is taken directly from Project Shield’s support site, https://support.projectshield.google)

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