A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver pages and other Web content to a user, based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage, and the content delivery server.
CDNs are a layer in the internet ecosystem that provide many benefits including performance, security, economies of scale, redundancy, and sustainability. Any business with an online presence can benefit from a CDN, whether it’s a small site with infrequent traffic or a global website with millions of daily visitors. This is especially true for businesses whose websites rely on rich media content, such as images, videos, and applications.
How Does a CDN Work?
Whenever someone visits a website, their browser makes a request to the server that hosts the site. The further away the user is from the server’s physical location, the longer it will take for the site to load. A CDN solves this problem by placing copies of your site’s content in multiple data centers around the world. When a user visits your site, they are routed to the closest data center where they can access your site’s content quickly and efficiently.
A CDN typically consists of three parts:
- The origin server: This is where your website’s content resides. It could be a physical server in your office or data center, or it could be hosted in the cloud by a service like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.
- The edge servers: Edge servers are located around the world and store copies of your site’s content. When users visit your site, they are routed to the edge server that can deliver your content most efficiently.
- The DNS server: The DNS server is what maps your domain name (e.g., www.example.com) to an IP address so users can access your site. A CDN will usually have its own DNS infrastructure so it can route users to the appropriate edge server more quickly than if it had to rely on third-party DNS servers.
In addition to improving performance by reducing latency, CDNs can also improve website security by filtering out malicious traffic before it reaches your origin server. By distributing content across multiple edge servers around the globe, CDNs also make websites more resilient to attacks and downtime because if one data center goes offline, there are others that can pick up the slack. And because CDNs put less strain on origin servers by caching static content like images and videos, they can also help reduce hosting costs.” Conclusion: Paid CDNs offer more features than free ones but free ones are still good for small sites with not much traffic.”If you have a global audience or need advanced features like real-time Purge and detailed logging paid options to make more sense.” Both CloudFlare and BunnyCDN offer free plans that should suffice for most use cases.” cache fly is focused on delivering fast video files so if you have a video on your website”it’s worth considering them.” If you need help deciding which provider to go with reach out we’re here to help 24/7!