Everything you have to know about CDN

We all are very related to CDN! Besides business people, we are all users, and from both sides, we interact daily with CDNs. Without them, the delivery of content wouldn’t be as efficient as it’s currently. A CDN is behind each character, each image pixel, and video frame of the content you daily offer and consume. 

Are you interested now? Great! Here you have everything you have to know about CDN.

What is a CDN?

A CDN or a content delivery network is a set of servers distributed in different geographical points for accelerating web content delivery. By covering those different points on the planet, servers bring that content closer to the users’ physical location.

CDNs were born in the late 1990s. The Internet growth was non-stop, and the addition of more graphics, images, and video produced traffic congestion (bottlenecks) and latency. CDNs were primarily created to solve these issues. Its functionality was so appreciated that it evolved to the point, it currently delivers an enormous part of the Internet content. Downloadable objects, web objects, applications, social media sites, live streaming media, and on-demand streaming media.

How does a CDN work?

Content delivery network saves a cached version of the content in multiple PoPs (points of presence). And every PoP includes a caching server in charge of delivering content to users around its area. If you own an e-shop in the USA, users in Belgium will access your site through a local Belgium PoP. Their requests and your site’s answers won’t have to travel from continent to continent.

Every CDN locates servers at Internet exchange points (IXPs). Those are the spots where many other networks concur. For instance, ISPs (Internet service providers) connect to these primary locations to supply access between them to the traffic produced on their different networks. Connection to these IXPs means for CDNs a much higher speed and connectivity with many different locations. This also reduces costs and transit times in high-speed data delivery for content delivery network providers.

Benefits of CDN

A CDN speeds up websites’ loading time and reduces latency to the maximum. This is because you have a server close to where the request originated, with a cached version of the requested content. This makes really quicker the transfer of the necessary items to load it (images, videos, javascript files, stylesheets, HTML pages, etc.). Users and traffic engines highly appreciate a fast and efficient loading time!

A CDN boosts your content redundancy and availability. content delivery networks are large, and each of their servers can save a cached copy of your content. Of course, events can happen, hardware can fail, but this redundancy can guarantee the availability of your website’s content.

CDNs enhance security. Being large networks, they can efficiently distribute the traffic. Besides, quality providers offer DDoS protection, security certificates, and more features.

A CDN lowers the bandwidth cost. By caching the content, the origin servers avoid the constant delivery of the same content multiple times. This reduces the data amount transferred (in and out) from the site’s host server.

Difference between a content delivery network and web hosting

They are not the same! You need a web hosting service for your static and dynamic content to be available online. CDN only caches the static content, meaning it makes copies from your origin server.

Conclusion

CDN means reliable, fast, secure, and affordable content delivery through the Internet. It’s the best teammate for your site not to experience poor performance (sluggishness, latency, inefficiency) while delivering content. If you run a publisher, e-shop, social network, video platform, etc., CDN means a big improvement for your infrastructure.

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