What is a CDN?

A content delivery network (CDN) refers to a geographically distributed group of servers that work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content by caching its files in servers around the world. A CDN allows for the quick transfer of assets needed for loading Internet content including HTML pages, javascript files, style-sheets, images, and videos. The popularity of CDN services continues to grow, and today the majority of web traffic is served through CDNs, including traffic from major sites like Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon. Here, Whether your visitors come from Europe, North America, Asia or anywhere else, content is automatically served from the nearest location.

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is an interconnected system of computers on the internet that provides web content rapidly to numerous users by duplicating or caching the content on multiple servers and directing the content to users in proximity. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. CDNs serve a large fraction of the Internet content today, including web objects (text, graphics, and scripts), downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications (e-commerce, portals), real-time streaming data, on-demand streaming media, and social networks.CDN Blog
When an end-user requests a specific web page, video or file, the server closest to that user is dynamically determined and is used to deliver the content to that user, thereby increasing the speed of delivery. Content may be replicated on hundreds or thousands of servers in order to provide identical content to as many users as possible even during peak usage.

Companies that are in media, entertainment, gaming, software, online retail and many more which have digital rich content on their website and want to deliver the same to their audience quickly and reliably can use CDN. Consumers want a high-quality online experience whether they are watching a movie, streaming an event, playing a game or shopping online. Using CDNs results in an increase in performance, thus giving the end-users an enhanced consumer experience.

The Best CDN Providers are
  1. StackPath. StackPath is one of the best CDN providers in the market. …
  2. Sucuri. …
  3. Cloudflare. …
  4. KeyCDN. …
  5. Rackspace. …
  6. Google Cloud CDN. …
  7. CacheFly. …
  8. Amazon CloudFront.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) Features & Capabilities

  • Dynamic site acceleration
  • CDN caching rules
  • Diagnostic logs
  • File compression
  • Geo-filtering
  • HTTP/2 support
  • DDOS protection

How CDN’s Work

CDN providers cache content in their own network or in third-party networks. When a user clicks on a website, the CDN redirects the request to the server geographically closest to the user without the user being aware. The CDN calculates which server is nearest to the requester and delivers content based on those calculations. The CDN eliminates the number of hops that a data packet must make which leads to optimized bandwidth and increased performance. It can also be useful in the event of an outage as content housed on a CDN remains accessible to at least a portion of the user base.

Advantages Of CDN:

Companies that witness huge traffic on their website on daily basis can use CDN to their advantage. When a large number of users simultaneously access a web page on some specific content such as a video, a CDN enables that content to be sent to each of them without delay. Here are a few of the benefits of using a CDN for your website:

  1. Improving website load times – By distributing content closer to website visitors by using a nearby CDN server (among other optimizations), visitors experience faster page loading times. As visitors are more inclined to click away from a slow-loading site, a CDN can reduce bounce rates and increase the amount of time that people spend on the site. increase in capacity and number of concurrent users that they can handle. Essentially, the content is spread out across several servers, as opposed to offloading them onto one large server.
  2. Reducing bandwidth costs – Bandwidth consumption costs for website hosting is a primary expense for websites. Through caching and other optimizations, CDNs are able to reduce the amount of data an origin server must provide, thus reducing hosting costs for website owners.
  3. Increasing content availability and redundancy – Large amounts of traffic or hardware failures can interrupt normal website function. Thanks to its distributed nature, a CDN can handle more traffic and withstand hardware failure better than many origin servers.
  4.  website & Content security – A CDN may improve security by providing DDoS mitigation, improvements to security certificates, and other optimizations. CDNs can secure content through Digital Rights Management and limit access through user authentication.
  5. Content Delivery Will Become Faster: Due to higher reliability, operators can deliver high-quality content with a high level of service, low network server loads, and thus, lower costs. Moreover, jQuery is ubiquitous on the web. There’s a high probability that someone visiting a particular page has already done that in the past using the Google CDN. Therefore, the file has already been cached by the browser and the user won’t need to download it again.
  6.  Segmenting Your Audience Becomes Easy: CDNs can deliver different content to different users depending on the kind of device requesting the content. They are capable of detecting the type of mobile devices and can deliver a device-specific version of the content.
  7.  Lower Network Latency And Packet Loss: End-users experience less jitter and improved stream quality. CDN users can, therefore, deliver high definition content with high Quality of Service, low costs, and low network load.
  8.  Higher Availability And Better Usage Analytics: CDNs dynamically distribute assets to the strategically placed core, fallback, and edge servers. CDNs can give more control of asset delivery and network load. They can optimize capacity per customer, provide views of real-time load and statistics, reveal which assets are popular, show active regions and report exact viewing details to customers. CDNs can thus offer 100% availability, even with large power, network or hardware outages.
  9.  Secure storage capacity: CDNs offer secure storage capacity for content such as videos for enterprises that need it, as well as archiving and enhanced data backup services.