CDN stands for Content Delivery Network, in essence, it is a group of servers place in different countries all over the world and act as a cache of sorts for your data. This smart technology allows the user to access your data and be routed on the fly to the closest server, this makes data retrieval feel snappy and also saves you money on bandwidth, as your users are actively distributed through the CDN provider preserving your bandwidth allocation.
Not only does CDN allow faster access to your data but it also can act as a failsafe in a rare case your server goes down. This means that visitors to your site can still browse a cached version of your site until the server is back online. With that being said, if you are looking to improve the loading time of your websites, a CDN service is definitely something to consider.
Setting up CDN networks has gotten a lot easier since the introduction of Cloudflare and KeyCDN — these providers make it easy to deliver static content of your site and are relatively low cost or free! Go check them out here.
If you do a lot of live streaming video there are media services provided by If you do a lot of live streaming there are services provided by Akamai and the newest on the block is a product by Microsoft Azure Media Services. These networks deliver live video the to the closest server based on your visitors location, unfortunately, this service does cost a bit. If you’re looking for a free alternative YouTube Live Streaming is great and it will get you as close to a CDN without paying a cent.
Do I need a CDN?
If you’re new to the CDN world I highly recommend Cloudflare as it’s easy enough to set up and also provides some security for your site. In addition, Cloudflare has a Free/No-Cost plan that is sufficient for most needs. If you have a rather large site you may want to talk to a CDN provider if you’re unsure how to implement.