If you know what content delivery network (CDN) is, then you might be now thinking about CloudFlare vs Amazon CloudFront vs MaxCDN vs Akamai.
What do CDNs do?
They just increase the website’s speed without changing the hardware of the server and speed is everything to Google now, so many website owners are now taking benefits from CDNs.
But the world of CDNs is a busy one, even though you might often hear people debating about Cloudflare vs CloudFront and so on.
And if you are looking for a wordpress development agency to launch a website, a little knowledge of CDNs might help you make better decisions for your website.
While there are many CDNs in the market now, there are some who truly outshine others.
Names like Akamai have been here for some years and have quite the control over the traffic on the Internet. Meanwhile, CloudFlare is relatively new that kind of turns heads with its free features that can be upgraded at affordable rates.
In this article, we will look at the Comparison between Cloudflare vs CloudFront vs MaxCDN vs Akamai primarily.
Content Delivery Networks: A Brief Overview
Before we can dive into the comparisons, let us briefly go over what and how exactly CDNs are and take a glance at some of the other popular CDNs.
What are CDNs and How Do They Work?
A system of scattered servers/networks that provide pages and other online content to users, depending on their geographic location, the birthplace of the web page, and the delivery server all makes up a CDN.
This service is useful in making website content delivery faster with high traffic and gives websites a more international range.
The closer a server is to a user, the quicker the content will load. CDN also protects from massive increases in traffic.
Servers closest to the user answer the request. The CNS copies website pages to a server network that is scattered at various places, capturing the page contents.
When you request a webpage that belongs to the CDN, it will redirect this request from the issuing server site to a CDN server that is nearest to you and provides the content.
CDNs also interact with the original server to provide any content that was not cached earlier.
The system of jumping over CDNs is almost visible to users. The only means with which a user would be aware of accessing a CDN is if the provided URL is separate from the URL they requested.
☛ Some of the Most Popular CDNs:
Even though we are covering only four of the CDNs mentioned below, we will give you a brief description of the five most common CDNs.
Launched in 2009, Cloudflare entered the CDN market wanting to revolutionize it. This was executed via their service that was very easy to use and the tier of free service. While they do not own as many data centers as other established providers, they do have 14 centers for data all across the world. This enables them to provide free service that is of good quality and even more efficient service for those who want to upgrade at affordable rates.
Amazon Web Service launched its CDN in 2008. Their model of pay-as-you-go has enabled them to only go toe to toe with Akamai and other established CDNs, but it also has provided smaller websites access to CDN features that would be otherwise outside their budget. Aws CloudFront has edge locations in South America, the United States, Asia, and Europe.
To give website owners a more affordable network, MaxCDN launched in 2009. The service from MaxCDN has followed the same model for years and provides among the most competitive models for pricing in the CDN market. The initial fee encompasses the application of data worth 1 TB over a year. If the usage of data exceeds this limit, pay-as-you-go is offered. This enables many website owners to just pay for one fee and keep getting amazing speed improvements for their app or website.
Fastly is a service provider for cloud computing from the United States. Its platform for edge computing offers internet safety services, streaming and video services, CDN, and load balancing. It was launched by Arthur Bergman in 2011. They also include services such as DDoS protection from attacks, firewalls for web applications, and bot mitigation.
Akamai is the most commonly used content delivery network in the world and it began in 1998 by a group from MIT. It is estimated that roughly 15% to 20% of all traffic on the Internet passes through servers from Akamai. Back in 2012, they had more than 108, 507 servers stationed globally. This enables them to support some of the biggest websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Adobe.
Features of Cloudflare, Akamai, CloudFront, and MaxCDN/Stackpath:
Firstly, let us take a closer look at the features our starred CDNs provide.
- Online: The website’s static features are still accessible even if the server of the websites goes down.
- Analytics: Comprehensive analytics are added that enable users to trace their most current data. The free tier has a 24-hour pause and the following tiers have a 15-minute pause.
- Easy Usability: Websites can simply use their CDN by employing their services and modifying their DNS. This is a really straightforward method that Cloudflare has drafted.
- Free Bandwidth: If a website notices an inrush in traffic, bandwidth costs are not contracted. This is because plans for Cloudflare just charge sites for their service features and not the bandwidth.
- Free Tier: CloudFlare enables everyone to seek their service freely. In fact, you learn to work it freely for however long you want. This diminishes server charges and allows smaller websites to include CDN into their company.
- Security: Standard and high-level safety features are ready and provide a broad range of security against content scraping, comment spam and also restricts common threats from getting to your website.
- Caching: Things being brought in are cached on a server near to the user’s vicinity. This enables the following users near the server to experience quick download rates.
- Compression: Compression is used to improve download speeds between users and servers.
- Connection and Route Optimization: When a user visits a site, Akamai will instantly hunt for the closest accessible server holding a website’s content. This enables the fetching system to be much more durable and more secure.
- Pre-fetching: When files experience extreme demands, pre-fetching can be arranged. This would permit files to be scattered over multiple data centers to guarantee more accelerated download speeds.
- Security: Items can be provided passage control, which provides only specific users to install the content. If SSL is needed, Akamai will direct traffic via their reliable platforms
- Service-level Agreement: Quality service and performance are among the principal causes behind Akamai’s impressive increase. Availability and performance agreements are secure to guarantee excellent service every time.
☛ AWS CloudFront
- Access Logs: Logs are used to enable owners to decide what is getting downloaded the most and where users are originating from.
- Cost-effective: The pay-as-you-go design enables users to just settle for anything they use. If no information is conveyed, the only expense contracted is for the quantity of data cached on their servers.
- CNAMEs: CNAMEs enable a website to utilize their personal subdomain as a means to reach their data. Often, websites will save their total data in cdn.sitename.com.
- Invalidation: Articles uploaded to the CloudFront can be quickly canceled over their servers. This is useful for unexpected developments that require to be disposed of promptly.
- Simple API: A strong API provides scripts to obtain CloudFront to design, change and remove objects.
- Simple Integration with Other AWS: For those who apply multiple Amazon Web Services, CloudFront is combined into each service, providing secure data shifts.
- Cache Override: Files that require to be replaced regularly can get their caches overridden. This enables files to be changed everywhere on the CDN properly.
- Compression: Every file is driven over gzip compression. This additionally decreases download rates and file volumes.
- Low Starting Cost: The opening fee allows a bandwidth of 1 TB to be applied over 12 months. This is usually more how much a smaller website will use, which makes MaxCDN Feature & Pricing Overview so compatible with small website owners.
- Real-time Recording: Records on data consumption is refreshed in real-time. This enables website owners to understand what data of theirs is getting downloaded and how frequently.
Pricing of Cloudflare, Akamai, CloudFront, and MaxCDN/Stackpath:
Generally speaking, what you pay for a quality CDN service largely relies on the volume of data you want to link with the CDN and the bandwidth this will demand on a monthly period.
So, here’s a breakdown of prices you can avail for every CDN:
Cloudflare pricing and review of the costs include the following:
- 0 to 200 USD for 250GB because CloudFlare does not charge on bandwidth; the three central plans prepared (including the free plan) all have various parameters depending on various features other than the bandwidth.
We are sorry to say but Akamai’s pricing isn’t available without request. Akamai does not display their pricing openly; you require reaching the company to receive a quote. However, this CDN service is more expensive than others with prices going up to 3500 USD for 1 TB.
It is difficult to say who wins in CloudFlare vs CloudFront on the pricing front. Amazon CloudFront provides different plans for different content sizes:
- 24 USD for 250 GB
- 48 USD for 500 GB
- 96 USD for 1 TB
- 480 USD for 5 TB
- 888 USD for 10 TB
If you pit CloudFlare vs MaxCDN, MaxCDN looks like a much cheaper option with only 10 USD charged for 1 TB.
Performance of Cloudflare, Akamai, CloudFront, and MaxCDN/Stackpath:
Here is how each CDN’s performances compare:
Firstly, CloudFlare looks to boost internet applications. Chunky pages and large distances from the source decrease webpage, API, and application speeds. They deliver intense, quick user experiences for online applications that reduce expenses, optimize engagement, and improve conversions.
Secondly, they want to boost mobile experiences. Mobile users include content and performance delivery restrictions that damage user experiences. Delivering quick mobile experiences that boost conversions and engagement, despite the servers distance, device models, or network strength is CloudFlare’s objectives.
Lastly, they guarantee the availability of the application. Unavailable or overwhelmed support blocks users from obtaining applications. Cloudflare maintains fast applications that are flexible and available even when traffic spikes unexpectedly or the infrastructure crumbles.
Akamai asserts that their Dynamic Site Accelerator can increase a website’s performance up to five times quicker than what your average server could produce. This rate improvement would considerably improve user experience and this backs some of the world’s most resilient websites.
The two most popular ways AWS CloudFront measures their CDN performance are RUM (Real User Monitoring) and Synthetic Monitoring. RUM is the method of estimating execution while actual end-users are communicating with a web app. With synthetic monitoring, applications are proactively transmitted by outside agents configured to simulate real web traffic.
For the price, MaxCDN definitely provides the most with the least. Page loading times are certainly faster than most CDNs. MaxCDN is a real-time CDN that allows you to hasten, check, and monitor your web cache with a few clicks only.
If one solution had to be chosen for CMS website development, the resounding champions that stand last are CloudFlare vs MaxCDN.
Both have good records and offer high-quality features at the price. For newcomers to web development, CloudFlare is a great option as it speeds up your site with the least effort.
But if you are a professional or you Hire Web Developers for this job, and you see massive amounts of traffic, MaxCDN is the better option.
However, at the end of the day, you might just want to choose the CDN closest to you, which says Akamai is the best choice but Akamai isn’t entirely affordable.
So, whatever it is, you should start looking into it now to give your website the best reach, best speed, and best optimization.