Internet: Tips and Guides

What is a CDN and how it works?

CDN is short for Content Delivery Network and is, in a nutshell, a network that delivers content to the web page. It is a group of servers installed in different locations used to quickly send all content to web pages located in a large geographical area.

They are also called “distribution networks” and the idea is to offer different points of presence (called PoPs, Point of Presence) outside the origin server of the web page. This allows websites to manage traffic better, as requests are processed faster, so the user experience is much faster (for the benefit of SEO ranking).

A common use of this technology is in the world of imaging. In this sense, the images are not stored on the server itself, but are distributed through a network of servers around the world. In this way, the images are sent from external sources and become “embedded” elements, saving resources and speeding up the loading of pages.

When a webpage doesn’t have an active CDN, all requests from around the world reach the server, so loading times can be slow. Instead, when made via a CDN, requests are answered through multiple nodes spread across the globe, which speeds up load times and distributes content at a faster rate. CDNs can store images, style sheets, JavaScript, web fonts, video and audio, as well as other types of downloadable formats such as HTML, PDF, EPUB, ODT, or DOC.

In this sense, by improving loading times, SEO is also improved. In 2018 Google confirmed that loading times are a ranking factor and now, with the arrival of Core Web Vitals, these times will be even more important to rank a webpage in the SERPs.

On the other hand, using this content distribution system also improves the overall security of the website, as it protects against DDoS attacks by distributing the content from more than one server.

What are the most popular CDNs and what do they offer us?

We’ll be looking at three of the most popular and important CDN servers we can hire today, although there are multiple vendors as CDNs are the order of the day.

Cloudfare

It has a growing and scalable global network with capacities of 30 Tbps and 194 data centers around the world. In Spain it has 2 data centers, located in particular in Madrid and Barcelona. Each data center has hundreds of servers. A third data center will soon be opened in Lisbon on the Iberian Peninsula.

Prices range from the free version to try, through the Pro with a cost of $ 20 per month, to the Business $ 200 per month, or the Enterprise which is a bespoke and logically more expensive service. Depending on your needs, it will cost more or less. Cloudflare was one of the first to provide CDN services and is currently used by thousands of websites around the world.

Akamai

Founded in 1997, its first commercial launch took place in February 1999 with the broadcast of a video on the Disney website. Akamai currently has offices around the world. In our country they located them in Madrid. Unfortunately, Akamai’s pricing isn’t posted on their website, but they do offer free trials of all of their products. You can go directly to the Akamai CDN website where full details about the service are available.

CDN transparent

Created in 2011 and born in Madrid, it has 21 PoPs, nodes, strategically distributed all over the world. Its philosophy is based on the 3 most important areas: speed, safety and performance. Their prices are based on traffic and continent and vary in the case of EMEA and USA, from 0.09 cents for 5,000 GB of traffic, to 0.056 for 50,000 GB of traffic. For the secure traffic mode, prices range per GB consumed from 512GB to € 400 per month to 5120GB for € 700 per month.

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