Best CDN Providers: Content Delivery Network Companies

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A content delivery network (CDN) provides secure, efficient, and quick delivery of content to websites and internet services. In this guide, we will discuss the best CDN providers in the market today.

What is a CDN (Content Delivery Network)?

A content delivery network (CDN) is a set of geographically distributed servers that work in tandem to provide fast, efficient and secure delivery of internet content. A CDN enables the rapid transfer of assets needed for loading internet content, such as videos, images, stylesheets, javascript files, and HTML pages. 

Today, the majority of internet traffic is delivered through CDNs, including traffic from major internet entities (media companies and e-commerce vendors) such as Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix. A CDN that is properly configured may also protect websites from the wrath of cybersecurity threats, including Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

While a CDN does not host content, it utilizes caching to prevent service interruptions and improve website security. 

Do You Need a CDN Provider?

The benefits of using a CDN vary depending on the needs and size of an internet entity. A CDN provider may enable internet entities to deliver content to their end users while providing a reliable, secure, and fast online experience. The benefits of a CDN provider include:

  • Improved website load times
  • Reduced bandwidth costs
  • Increased content availability
  • Improved website security

We have made the procedure of choosing a CDN provider much easier for you. Here are the top five content delivery network providers.

Also read: 7 Trends in Network Management APIs

Top Content Delivery Network Providers 

Cloudflare CDN

Cloudflare logo.

Cloudflare CDN provides quick delivery of static and dynamic content over the Cloudflare global edge network. The CDN provider enables you to take advantage of DDoS protection, reduce bandwidth costs, and exercise control over how your content is cached.

Key Differentiators

  • The Cloudflare global network of data centers cache static content closer to end users and deliver dynamic data over the most reliable and quickest private backbone links.
  • Caching content on the Cloudflare global network increases savings, as the need to source content from the origin point is reduced. 
  • The Cloudflare global network is API-first. This allows you to simply automate workflows with highly granular control over how content is purged and cached.  
  • You can simply personalize caching based on your application needs with Cloudflare Workers.
  • With Cloudflare CDN, you can obtain actionable insights into your cache for an improved cache-hit ratio. This will help you further reduce your bandwidth costs.
  • The CDN provider offers abundant security and performance services that are specially tuned for video content. 
  • Cloudflare CDN provides support for HTTP/3 and Bring your own IP (BYOIP). 

Pricing: Reach out to the Cloudflare sales team for product pricing information. 

Akamai CDN – Content Delivery Network Solutions

Akamai logo.

Akamai provides two content delivery solutions: APP & API Performance and Media Delivery. The scale and agility of the Akamai Intelligent Edge will help you deliver the digital experiences you create with minimal delay. Here are the main APP & API performance features:

Key Differentiators

  • You can enhance API availability and performance while optimizing user experiences.
  • With CloudTest, you can stress test your websites and applications with robust load testing in real time.
  • DataStream provides a granular view of CDN performance with log data at scale.
  • Intelligent load balancing helps you optimize application performance and avoid outages.
  • With Image & Video Manager, you can simply enhance and optimize visual media for every end user, on any device.
  • Ion delivers adaptive acceleration, script management, and intelligent routing.
  • With mPulse, you can capture user experience data, measure ROI, and optimize website performance. 
  • Media Delivery features include NetStorage, live media services, media analytics, download delivery (for example, large files), high-performance edge delivery and Cloud Wrapper. 

Pricing: Reach out to the Akamai sales team for product pricing details.

Azure Content Delivery Network

Azure Content Delivery Network ensures secure and reliable global content delivery. The CDN provider helps improve responsiveness and save bandwidth when encoding or distributing Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints, firmware updates, and gaming software. It also helps reduce load times for streaming media, mobile applications, and websites.

Key Differentiators

  • End users can download large files rapidly and stream media with enhanced delivery.
  • Content is served directly from edge servers. This sends less traffic to the origin point and delivers optimized online experiences.  
  • Azure CDN is a scalable solution that can handle instantaneous high loads and worldwide traffic spikes.
  • You can integrate effortlessly with your Azure services.
  • Azure APIs and developer tools enable you to automate workflows and processes.
  • With custom domain HTTPS, web application firewall (WAF) and DDoS protection, you can protect content.  
  • You can set advanced rules to validate end users or block requests. 
  • Geo-filtering enables you to ensure content is delivered to specific regions only.

Pricing: Visit the product pricing webpage and apply filters to customize pricing options to meet your needs.

Fastly’s Fully Configurable CDN

fastly logo

Fastly’s fully configurable CDN enables you to simply finetune your configuration settings through an API and roll back changes as necessary. Key features include rapid content changes, API-friendly control, safe rollbacks, and real-time visibility. 

Key Differentiators

  • Fastly’s edge cloud network is completely configurable with flexible APIs and allows for state-of-the-art caching configurability.
  • You can create custom caching rules, upload them to Fastly’s Points of Presence (PoPs) and activate/deactivate them at will.
  • You can clear cache, reset Time-to-Live for content and instantly purge stale content through an API call.
  • Fastly provides stress-free rollbacks and version control.
  • Real-time logs provide instant visibility into threats, potential problems, performance, and traffic trends. 
  • You can integrate a logging provider of your choice and instantly stream your log files to the logging provider to diagnose issues and better understand customer engagement.
  • Fastly’s CDN provides support for agile development and operations (DevOps).

Pricing: You can try Fastly’s CDN for free. Reach out to a sales expert for a custom quote. 

Also read: 

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a CDN service built for security, high performance and developer convenience. The CDN provider enables you to securely deliver content to end users with high transfer speeds and low latency.

Key Differentiators

  • A global network of over 300 PoPs enables high throughput, low latency, and reliable network connectivity. 
  • In terms of security, Amazon CloudFront protects against network and application layer attacks, access control, HTTPS and SSL/TLS encryptions and compliance.
  • Origin Shield increases cache-hit ratios and helps enhance the availability of your applications.  
  • Amazon CloudFront provides secure edge and programmable CDN computing capabilities through AWS Lambda@Edge and CloudFront Functions. 
  • The CDN provider offers real-time logging and metrics. 
  • Amazon CloudFront is DevOps friendly.
  • Overall, the solution is cost-effective. 

Pricing: Use the AWS Pricing Calculator to create a custom estimate today. 

Choosing a CDN provider

As an internet entity, there are four main reasons why you should integrate a CDN into your technology stack: improved performance, enhanced reliability, cost savings, and resilience against cybersecurity threats. 

Conduct due diligence before purchasing a CDN. Navigate to the websites of the CDN providers, scrutinize their features, determine a pricing plan that fits your budget and go through earnest peer-to-peer (P2P) reviews—purchase a solution accordingly.

Read next: Best Network Management Software & Tools 2022

Surajdeep Singh
Surajdeep Singh
Surajdeep Singh has been working as an IT and blockchain journalist since 2018. He is a contributor to publications including IT Business Edge, Enterprise Networking Planet & Smart Billions and works as a consultant at Drofa Communications Agency.

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