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What is a CDN?

A content delivery network (CDN) refers to a geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content.

Advantages of CDNs

A CDN allows for the quick transfer of assets needed for loading Internet content including HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets, images, and videos. The popularity of CDN services continues to grow, and today the majority of web traffic is served through CDNs, including traffic from major sites like Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon.

A properly configured CDN may also help protect websites against some common malicious attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks.

Differences between CDNs and web Hosting

  • Web hosting is used to host your website on a server and let users access it over the internet. A content delivery network is about speeding up the access/delivery of your website's assets to those users.
  • Traditional web hosting would deliver 100% of your content to the user. If they are located across the world, the user still must wait for the data to be retrieved from where your web server is located. A CDN takes a majority of your static and dynamic content and serves it from across the globe, decreasing download times. 
  • Web hosting normally refers to one server. A content delivery network refers to a global network of edge servers which distributes your content from a multi-host environment.

How does a CDN protect data?

Information security is an integral part of a CDN. a CDN can keep a site secured with fresh TLS/SSL certificates which will ensure a high standard of authentication, encryption, and integrity. Investigate the security concerns surrounding CDNs, and explore what can be done to securely deliver content.

How does a CDN reduce bandwidth costs?

Various web hosts cost organizations for data transferred from the originating server. But CDN reduces the amount of data between the Web host server and the user, which reduces traffic between them and the rest of the Internet. This act in itself reduces the need for excessive abuse of accommodation costs.

CDN stores duplicate copies of website content closer to end-users and allows less data transfer from the originating server, thereby reducing bandwidth consumption and costs.

But be aware that bandwidth consumption is already a massive part of the cost, so CDNs help website owners save this cost and improve page load times, or increase the global availability of the content.

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