CDN or content delivery network is a network or group of servers on which digital content is stored. These servers provide the cached content to their closest computers, increasing the transmission speed.
Due to their fast transmission of the requested files, most services, like Netflix and Amazon, utilize high-quality and robust CDNs.
As a business, if you also want an edge over your competitors, ensure a high-performing website for your visitors. Utilize the technology of CDN and accelerate the overall loading speed of your website and digital products.
Get to know these top 8 CDN providers and make your choice-
What Is CDN?
A content distribution network or CDN comprises many servers in different locations. When a user requests digital content, such as a video, the server closest to that user fulfills this request.
This way, CDN completes a user’s request instantly instead of a technology that doesn’t have such a distribution of servers. CDN provides content like images, videos, and web pages. The network stores the content as a cache to provide the data without any wait.
Since these servers are scattered worldwide, the nearest server sends the data instead of relying on the one that is far from the user’s location.
How does a CDN work?
The overall aim of using CDN technology is to reduce the wait time for the users so they don’t have to go through issues like lagging and buffering.
Companies that use large CDNs have more servers distributed in more locations; that’s how they ensure the fastest delivery of the requested file.
CDN distribution also delivers other digital data such as apps, software programs, OS updates, and anything that can be requested digitally.
Benefits Of CDN
There are many reasons why all big content providers and streaming sites utilize distributed content delivery networks. Let’s get to know some of the benefits here-
The primary reason why most big companies use CDN is for faster transmission. Websites where CDN works, experience double the speed in receiving the data packets. This enhanced speed increases customer satisfaction and motivates them to connect with the website and become regular visitors.
On the other hand, slow websites annoy every visitor, which keeps them from visiting the website ever again.
Many times, networks face problems like high traffic due to which the overall sending and receiving of the data packets get compromised. CDN resolves such troubles and balances the overall network traffic, ensuring a faster response time.
CDN servers are designed to find a way through heavy traffic and search for a resolution in a time of need.
3) Cost Savings
With CDN, the request doesn’t have to be responded to by the original server every time. CDN’s server always stores the cache files and hence cuts down on the expenditure when the origin server doesn’t have to work all the time.
Hosting companies charge as per the total data transmitted; using bandwidth ensures that minimum data gets transmitted from the origin server, hence cutting the overall cost.
When CDN runs, it handles almost all the requests and lets very few pass to the origin server.
4) Resilience Against Attack
CDN performance stays strong against common web attacks such as DDOS, also known as distributed denial-of-service. In such attacks, the attacker sends fake traffic to a server to overload it.
The attacker does it to let the server serve the fake requests and make the original requests slow. All such problems can be resolved using a CDN, as CDN servers are designed to find a way out even during congested situations.
How Do CDN And DNS Work Together?
While discussing CDN, it’s natural to stumble upon the term “DNS” as well. Both work side by side, however they can also create confusion among first time users.
In the case of CDN and DNS, CDN works as the ultimate destination, and DNS works as the pathway that leads to that destination.
So when a website uses CDN, DNS is the element that takes the request to CDN and lets CDN respond to it. Hence DNS works as a medium or bridge that connects a user’s request to access a webpage, application or any such content to CDN.
The overall process in steps:
- A user visits a website in a browser; the browser then sends the request to the local DNS server.
- The local DNS then checks the IP address of the website and confirms if the address is included in the cache. If the website is in the cache, the DNS fulfills the user’s request; if not, the DNS contacts the authoritative DNS.
- Here the request is resolved, and local DNS can send the request to the CDN.
- CDN then analyzes the closest node to the user and lets this node respond to the request.
- This makes the user’s browser get the IP address of the nearest CDN node and send the access to the user.
- From here, the CDN determines if the information is in the cache. If not, the CDN requests the origin server and receives the content and delivers it to the user.
Best 8 CDN Providers 2023
Now, let’s uncover the best 8 content distribution network providers of the year:
Cloudflare can be the best CDN for video streaming as it also provides free CDN service.
Some of its features include protection against DDoS attacks, load balancing, easy DNS, image optimization, SSL certification, etc. However, users should know that the free version is more prone to DDoS attacks and malware.
Also, to access the full list of features, users need to use the premium version of Cloudflare.
To access premium features, you need to pay $20 per month.
Amazon CloudFront is the CDN provided by Amazon. Enterprises that need all advanced features and a rapid CDN performance should opt for this one. However, since it is an advanced CDN, it requires some programming skills, and hence, it’s better for programmers than beginners.
Once you have integrated your system with Amazon’s CDN, you can provide dynamic and superfast content since they have CDN nodes all around the globe.
Pricing: It varies by location and is offered on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.
Google Cloud provides you with a cost-efficient CDN distribution that utilizes Google’s global network. Their data centers at around 90 locations worldwide ensure you have a rapid delivery of content while staying within your budget.
Google CDN, the best content delivery network, also provides SSL protection without charging; the seamless integration of this CDN with your hosting platform is another reason to consider it.
Google Cloud CDN lets you utilize their 90 days service with the $300 free trial credit so you can be more assured about their services.
Pricing: Free trial.
“Pay as you go” pricing plans.
Microsoft Azure is one of the popular content distribution network providers. Their nodes are positioned in different geographical locations in a way that brings out the best transmission speed.
Azure CDN provides fast cached content as well as content that is traced from the origin server.
Pricing: Azure features Standard and Premium CDNs, which users can choose as per their budget and requirements.
Jetpack enables CDN services with just a WordPress plugin. You can access all its security features, backup, integrations, CRM, and more upon enabling the plugin.
The plugin is free of cost and doesn’t limit your bandwidth or storage. This means you don’t have to worry about the number of files you want to store; from ten to ten thousand, you can store any data.
Those who want to activate Jetpack can log into WordPress, search for the plugin, and add it; it’s that simple! Also, with Jetpack, you don’t have to take care of any technical complexities, which makes it a beginner-friendly choice.
KeyCDN offers users budget-friendly plans, making it widely used by small businesses. They provide features like IPv6, Header Control, Byte-range Requests, etc.
Their plugin, CDN Enabler can easily be integrated with the WordPress website, making the overall process smooth. Here they enable users to pay only for the features they use, increasing the overall customization of the plans.
They have 34 data centers globally with 24/7 customer support without any additional cost.
Pricing: Pay as you go. It starts from $0.04 per GB
StackPath offers multiple data centers globally, and its acquisition of MaxCDN makes it even more secure. The EdgeSSL certificate for free is a cherry on top since they do not charge anything for it.
With Stackpath, you can receive real-time analytics with features like an intelligent caching system, Gzip compression, 301 redirects, load balancing, etc. This CDN is beneficial for people living in the West as they have 14 PoPs in North America and 9 in Europe.
Pricing: One-month free trial.
CDN service at $10 per month.
Last among the best CDNs for video, Fastly protects against DDoS and bot attacks. They have multiple PoPs distributed worldwide, especially dedicated to various populated locations.
Currently, they have 18 PoPs in North America, 8 in Europe, 5 in Asia, and other continents. All these PoPs work together and present the user with minimum load times. Their pricing points are different, which makes Fastly suitable for an individual as well as enterprises.
Pricing: They offer three plans, Standard, Gold, and Enterprise, which charge as per the storage amount.
It is advised that small businesses or big enterprises should analyze their requirements for bandwidth and features. You should also consider the location of your audience and choose the CDN provider accordingly.
Take pricing plans and the geographical reach of the CDN technology provider into consideration. You can also look for the additional tools they provide, such as image optimization and tools to enhance the website’s speed.
Additionally, a CDN should be as per your technical knowledge; the right CDN service allows an easy setup while keeping you from any complexities.
Stream & Monetize your with Superfast CDN enabled Online Video Platform?
Frequently Asked Questions
Cloudflare, Azure, and Google are some of the best CDN providers for years.
A CDN provider speeds up the overall process of transmitting digital content, presenting users with instant response. For this, CDN technology uses a group of servers which are scattered globally.
To upload a file, you need to locate it in the Local Site panel. Now, just drag the file and drop it to your choice of destination.
CDN works by reducing the latency of video transmission and provides minimum to zero buffering time.
CDN stores multiple copies of videos at different geographic locations. When a user requests for a video, CDN uses the nearest server to speed up the transmission process.