Content delivery network providers have large groups of servers spread out worldwide and placed at strategic locations. These servers work together to help customers get their content quickly and reliably.
There are all kinds of CDN providers out there, and they all stay competitive by giving users something new and unique. Even though you might get different benefits from your CDN provider, there are certain things you can always expect:
Content delivery networks are large groups of servers networked together and designed with the same goals in mind. These servers deliver content securely, reliably, cheaply, and quickly via internet exchange points.
These points are the locations where different Internet providers connect with each other to allow traffic to flow between their networks. With CDN servers located at these points, it’s possible to reduce transit times and costs.
Content delivery networks cache content on servers close to users and extract this content from the origin server. When that content is cached close to users, it leads to less latency. At the same time, this reduces the stress on origin servers as the load is shared between multiple servers.
CDN providers give you a list of servers, infrastructure, and tools to work in the back end to improve your workflow.
Many people think that CDNs and hosting do the same, but this is not the case. Every website needs to be hosted before using a content delivery network, but these two can work together to improve some crucial website aspects.
Since CDN optimizes and caches content that the hosting server must provide, it reduces the amount of bandwidth required. In other words, users will get more bandwidth from their hosts for the same price.
The increased traffic can disrupt servers and hardware, making websites slow. CDNs can give the necessary support during traffic surges because of their distributed nature. Your site will be more available even if your hosting can’t support such substantial traffic volumes.
CDN providers can look identical on the surface, but many different variables can be considered when choosing one. Some providers give users a graphical user interface for purging stale content. That lets you easily control all your content and free up space when you need it.
High-quality images can load slowly, especially with mobile users. That’s why many CDN providers offer image optimization to convert and send images in the appropriate quality and format to people using smaller screens.
Other features to consider are video delivery optimization, pull zones, file storage, cloud platform integrations, security, data rights management, geoblocking, traffic management features, etc.