Best CDN Providers to Speed Up and Secure Your Website

Best CDN Providers to Speed Up and Secure Your Website

If you already have a website, be it an e-commerce store or a web application, chances are that you have heard of Content Delivery Network (CDN). For those who are new to the term, here is a quick overview. CDN is a network of servers to keep a cached copy of a website on multiple servers. When you use a CDN solution, static content, such as CSS files, Flash, images, JavaScript files, and more are cached and stored on servers at different locations. CDN delivers that copy to the location of your site visitor. However, you still need a web hosting account to maintain your website files. A CDN provider keeps the static resources of a site rather than hosting the original website files. 

There are numerous CDN providers with each having its own weaknesses and strengths. In this blog, we have listed the 6 best CDN providers with their extensive overview. Take a look and choose your solution wisely. 

Akamai

Akamai is one of the oldest and greatest CDN service providers, serving up to 30% of the entire internet traffic. Being the world’s largest distributed platform, it has over 2,200 PoPs globally and covers 275, 000 servers across 135 countries. The company also offers round-the-clock customer support, which is expected from trusted companies in the business. Akamai is known for its impressive features and performance, considered among the best of all. Apart from CDN, it also provides security, performance, and DNS solutions but its primary focus has always been CDN. Another feature appreciated by many corporations is its consistent global performance. 

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Setting up Akamai can be a bit of a problem for beginners but that doesn’t imply they can’t do it at all or face a lot of trouble. It’s just their services are more focused on advanced users. Also, it’s not a commonly used option among small or medium businesses because of its tricky pricing. Due to the lack of information on their website, you might have to connect with the team directly over a call, but thankfully, they are easy to reach.  

  • Corporate level pricing
  • Network experience analytics
  • Superior global performance
  • Aura object store

StackPath

StackPath is another leading CDN provider that acquired MaxCDN a few years ago for more strengthened services. The solution offers multiple data centers across the world to help users improve the loading speed of their websites. On the security front, it provides users with a free shared EdgeSSL certificate. Along with a comprehensive suite of easy-to-manage features, this innovative CDN provider also offers cutting-edge web services and information. Seek high-performance content delivery, top-quality reporting, and unified DDoS and WAF solutions with this developer-friendly tool that also allows complete provision and fully-documented API. Using StackPath, you can monitor real-time analytics by leveraging its advanced features, such as Gzip compression caching system, 301 redirects, and more.

One biggest strength of StackPath is that it seamlessly integrates with WordPress along with other content management networks. There is also a capable Web Application Firewall and EdgeRules, and you can use this powerful tool to customize CDN behavior at different phases of the CDN request. However, StackPath doesn’t offer a free plan so the best option is to use a one-month free trial to test its service.

  • Seamless and intuitive navigation
  • Multiple server locations across the globe
  • Transparent pricing module that ensures excellent value for money
  • Additional security services

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Cloudflare

Cloudflare is a widely popular American content delivery network provider for small businesses, bloggers, and professionals. It comes with a user-friendly interface, expert-level features and functionality, and a free plan without any restriction on bandwidth. Hence, making it among the top free CDN providers in the market with 180 data centers worldwide. This can be quite useful to enhance the speed, performance, and security of a website. The best WordPress plugins for design are also there to help you customize your website. Also, Cloudflare is easy to set up without editing the code. All you need to do is update DNS nameservers to use Cloudflare and the service will start automatically, caching content and serving users from the nearest location. 

In addition, web filtering can block bots and limit content spam to avoid infringements, keep you secure from hackers, and mitigate DDoS attacks. Thanks to smart image optimization, you can reduce image file sizes to improve speed. Cloudflare widely supports standards, which include SPDY HTTP/2, IPv6, and smart page rules to manipulate traffic. A REST API allows developers to control all operations.

  • Monitor the performance from the control panel easily
  • Great user experience
  • Built for modern cloud computing
  • Most efficient hardware

Fastly

Fastly marks a strong presence in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil but falls short in Asia. It offers CDN solutions for some of the renowned organizations and giants, such as Reddit and Spotify, delivering impressive and super-fast performance. One of the strongest points of Fastly is its configurability, paving the way for a large number of use cases. It offers diverse support for various types of video caching and tons of low-level user control like manipulating HTTP headers to customize content. For more convenience, log in to multiple Fastly customer accounts using a single set of credentials. 

Yes, you require technical know-how to set up everything while using Fastly and users who are new to the CDN world will be confused by all the options. However, for a great level of flexibility and configurability, Fastly is priceless to have. One drawback is that its configurations are complicated, especially for inexperienced users. But its quality documentation makes the steep learning curve more gentle.

  • Great SaaS user experience
  • Steep learning curve
  • An innovative CDN solution
  • Pay-as-you-go model

KeyCDN

KeyCDN is a budget-friendly CDN that seamlessly integrates with your WordPress website through the CDN Enabler plugin. It is a good option for first-time users as getting started with CDN couldn’t be simpler. You just sign up using your email address, get an immediate 25GB to use without sharing any payment details, and a well-designed web dashboard enables you to create the first zone with minimum clicks. You can also seek help from comprehensive guides to integrate the solution with other apps. Some of the most amazing and key features of KeyCDN are real-time reports, Gzip compression, two-factor authentication, instant purge options, DDoS protection, Block Referrer to blacklist the domains that are hotlinking content, Image Processing, and more. 

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KeyCDN supports IPv6. Experienced users will surely appreciate its excellent options like Origin Shield that you can use to specify a KeyCDN server as the source for updates instead of the origin, which reduces server load. You can also manipulate cache, headers, or strip cookies, or set up a custom roots.txt. Once the server is running, you can watch CDN performance in real-time using reporting tools. The solution offers “pay as you go” plans so you only pay for what you use. This can be useful for low-traffic websites and the monthly bill may increase in case you get a lot of traffic to your site. However, one downfall is that at such low prices, you can’t expect leading-edge performance but its other powerful features make it worth your money. 

  • Hotlink protection
  • Byte-range requests for HTTP streaming
  • Block bad bots
  • Cache query strings
  • OCSP stapling

CacheFly

CacheFly is known to develop the world’s first TCP-anycast-based CDN- a network built for throughput. It is one of the fastest CDN solution providers and pioneered delivering rich media content which is 10 times faster than single-hosting delivery. Also, it is faster and more reliable than traditional delivery methods. Hence, many brands trust CacheFly to deliver their content. 

There is more to why we included CacheFly in this list of the best CDN providers. It assigns a single IP address to a website on a global scale. It has a proven track record of more than a decade with over 2000 clients across 80 countries. Although this network is not as huge as others, it is optimized for ultra-fast speed and strict security. It has efficiently served websites from different niches, be it regular content delivery, podcasts, smart edge apps, or HD video streaming.  

  • Real-time reporting
  • Infinite scalability
  • TCP anycast architecture
  • Flexible contract terms
  • Smooth integrations and instant activation

Conclusion

We hope that this blog will help you pick the best CDN provider. Selecting the right content delivery network won’t be easy and would take a lot of time. And that is how it should be. After all, you will be using the network for years, hopefully. So, be meticulous and consider all the key factors to choose the CDN that can boost your site’s performance. 

 

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