You’ve probably heard of content delivery networks, or CDNs, if you have a website, whether it’s a web application or an online store. There are various CDN providers on the market today, each with its own set of strengths and disadvantages. One of the key reasons we established a Multi CDN platform was to give users access to the strengths of many top-tier CDN solutions at the same time and use them as if they were one.

We’ll break it down into thorough components so it’s much easier to understand, because there are now a lot of publications that clarify what it is.

Are you all set? Let’s get started.

Because of the internet, more people are relying on cloud technology to grow their businesses. Whether it’s for personal musings or large-scale corporate operations, practically everyone uses the internet to get things done. So, if you’re looking to buy CDN but aren’t sure which provider would best match your demands, take a look at what the top 10 CDN providers have in common. While we’re at it, we’ll put together a CDN Pricing Comparison in 2021 guide to help you out as well.

In this post, we present a list of 10 top CDN providers that we believe you should consider in 2021, as well as recommendations for how to get started with adopting the best CDN solution for your website. There are, of course, more CDN providers on the market; if you’d want to learn more about them, here’s a comprehensive list.

Five Must-Have Features for a Content Delivery Network in 2021

A content distribution network, also known as a content delivery network (CDN), is an ecosystem of servers or data centers distributed around the globe that help deliver content at extremely low latency and support many concurrent users.

We spend more time online, consuming more web apps, content online, and digital publications. – a robust content delivery network (CDN) is required to support this delivery and consumption mechanism at the backend. CDN guarantees that content created by companies reaches their users at high speeds and with minimal downtime.

A CDN solution will also allow you to have additional capabilities such as performance optimization, security, and performance monitoring. This will provide you with an endto-end content distribution solution. These five features are essential to accomplish this:

Content delivery network provider features

  1. Global scale: You must have the network in all regions you want to reach. This can be addressed by the provider through its own data centers or servers, or by partnering with an Public cloud or through a local carrier or virtual machines.
  2. Low latency: Latency is the time between data origination (or data delivery at consumption endpoints) and data delivery. It basically refers to the seed of content delivery. By positioning its centers close to the user and by routing optimization, a CDN can reduce latency.
  3. Security: Online content is susceptible to many threats. This is why you need strict security measures. Support for hypertext transfer protocol secure is required. You can also have firewalls, threat information, security analytics, and security analysis.
  4. Cloud compatibility: CDNs should be able to deliver content from any storage environment. Public and private Multi-cloud, hybrid, and multicloud. You should also be able host CDNs on the cloud to make management easier.
  5. Advanced analytics: CDN metrics can provide valuable insights into website performance, audience behavior and network bottlenecks. Key performance indicators (KPIs), should be visible in real-time, or near-real time.

Let’s now discuss the top ten CDN solutions.

Top 10 CDN Providers to Consider in 2021

Let’s now take a look at the best CDN platforms and solutions that meet the above criteria.

Disclaimer: These listings include vendors that sell to small- and medium-sized enterprises. To ensure that the right fit is found for your organization, readers are encouraged to do their final research.

1. Akamai

Overview 

Akamai, a top CDN company, was founded in 1998. It has been traded publicly since 2001. The intelligent edge platform it uses to support enterprise content distribution through multiple clouds enables it to be traded publically. Akamai’s flagship platform is designed to address a variety of use cases. It can deliver global media delivery, security and web performance optimization, as well as industry-specific solutions to network operators.

Meant for 

Akamai is the best choice for content providers of all sizes.

The key features 

These are the key features of Akamai:

  • Global scale: Akami has 130+ countries represented and alliances with over 1700+ local networks around the world with designated regions for media storage and delivery.
  • Low latency: Akamai’s chunked Transfer Encoding (CTE), which reduces latency and overall transfer time for livestreamed media, supports ultra-low latency.
  • Security: Akamai provides a variety of security solutions to protect your websites, APIs and specific web pages. It also supports scalable cloud security to protect CDN from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Cloud compatibility: It works in all environments including hybrid clouds, on-premises, and multi-clouds.
  • Advanced analytics: This provides media analytics that provide detailed insights into video streaming quality, software delivery, and monitor Quality of Service (QoS), as well as Audience Analytics and Audience Monitoring features.
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USP 

Despite the rise in next-generation competitors, Akamai remains the leading CDN provider on the market. It supports large-scale content delivery, such as Star Network, and can support millions of concurrent users.

Pricing 

Akamai prices are per implementation

Commentary 

Akamai is a great choice if you’re in the content delivery business via traditional or web channels.

2. Amazon CloudFront

Overview 

Cloudfront, a CDN service powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), was launched in 2008. It makes use of AWS’s global infrastructure. Amazon EC2 – Amazon EC3 High-quality content can be delivered using Elastic Load Balance and Amazon CloudFront. Amazon CloudFront is a developer-friendly environment that’s ideal for people who need to customize and program edge computing.

Meant for 

CloudFront is ideal for OTT content providers as well as digital media companies.

The key features 

These are the key features of Amazon CloudFront:

  • Global scale: There are 225+ points-of-presence (PoPs), which can be linked to the AWS backbone via 100 GbE metro fibre cables. This private network connects the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean, Red Sea and South China Seas.
  • Low latency: This device is approximately 10% faster than average CDN latency according to AWS tests.
  • Security: It integrates AWS Shield Advanced (WAF) and AWS Web Application Firewall(WAF), as well as the standard AWS Shield Standard.
  • Cloud compatibility: It can integrate with existing AWS services or developer tools.
  • Advanced analytics: You can access rich analytics through Amazon CloudFront monitoring. Additionally, you can receive near real-time alerts via Amazon CloudWatch.

USP 

CloudFront uses one the most popular Cloud infrastructure It is the most widely used in the world. It has a very low latency and provides excellent support for developers.

Pricing

You have three options: pay-as you-go, CloudFront Security Savings Bundle and custom pricing

Commentary

CloudFront is a powerful, easy-to-integrate CDN solution that can be used by enterprises already using AWS cloud infrastructure.

3. Azure CDN

Overview 

Microsoft offers content delivery capabilities through the Azure cloud infrastructure, just like AWS. It’s primarily used for website development, and supports media use such as streaming, gaming, and other online activities. The advanced routing optimization technology of Azure CDN speeds up dynamic content that cannot go into a cache.

Meant for

It’s best for software companies and small- to medium-sized mixed media providers.

The key features

These are the key features of Azure CDN:

  • Global scale: There are POP’s in North America, South America and Europe. Partner with Akamai to access additional locations.
  • Low latency: It enables low latency and high-capacity CDN, aided by partnerships with Akamai and Verizon to further aid speedy content delivery.
  • Security: The company offers DDoS protection and invests more than $1 billion each year in cybersecurity research.
  • Cloud compatibility: It is compatible with Azure and any other environment. It integrates natively with Azure services like Web Apps, Media Services Storage, Cloud Services and Cloud Services.
  • Advanced analytics: This tool provides insights into customer engagement using content, asset cache and real-time traffic.

USP

Azure’s CDN partners two of the largest media delivery companies in the world, Akamai (Velvet) This partnership extends Azure’s CDN capabilities beyond its technology and infrastructure.

Pricing 

Pricing for Azure CDN depends on your area of operation and the features offered by partners. Content volumes and custom content flows are also available via the Microsoft Rules Engine.

Commentary 

Azure CDN is very developer-friendly. The Rules Engine allows you to set performance benchmarks that optimize delivery of different asset types.

4. CacheFly

Overview 

CacheFly was founded in 2002 and is a pure-play CDN provider. It’s the first CDN to use anycast technology with transmission control protocol (TCP). CacheFly has developed a solid architecture to deliver digital platforms, contempt and services around the globe. A particular focus is on mobile optimization.

Meant for 

CacheFly is ideal for digital-native businesses operating in certain geographies.

The key features 

CacheFly’s key features include:

  • Global scale: There are 50+ PoPs around the world, which serve 3500+ customers in more than 80 countries.
  • CacheFly offers ultra-low latency streaming of video via web socket-based solutions and live video workflows.
  • Security: It has a range of cybersecurity capabilities in the CacheFly Security Suite, including DDoS prevention, bot mitigation, and more.
  • Cloud compatibility: It can be used with multi-cloud environments such as AWS’ S3, Azure Storage and Google Cloud Storage.
  • Advanced analytics: This tool supports historical and real-time analytics as well as reporting on website traffic, content speeds, users downloadeds, and other metrics.

USP 

CacheFly claims it has the highest performance benchmarks in industry, with speeds that are 30% faster then major CDNs, a 98% cache hits ratio and 100% availability over the past 12 months according to internal tests.

Pricing 

CacheFly is available for startup companies starting at $595 per Month. There are separate packages for global businesses, remote companies, and managed services.

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Commentary 

CacheFly: Although it has fewer POs than other CDN providers CacheFly can be a compelling choice for businesses in remote areas of South America, Australia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

5. Cloudflare

Overview 

Cloudflare was established in 2009 and has quickly grown to be a top-rated infrastructure provider. Cloudflare is a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, among other honors. Cloudflare is a global network that delivers static and dynamic content quickly and securely.

Meant for 

Cloudflare can be used by anyone, regardless of their size, whether they are independent professionals or large corporations.

The key features 

Cloudflare’s key features include:

  • Global scale: There are 200 data centers located in 100+ countries. It supports 25 million online properties.
  • Low latency: This allows for ultra-fast content delivery, intelligent routing of content requests along a fastest route using the Argo Smartrouting feature.
  • Security: You can gain from a complete suite of security solutions across application, network, and user levels, including threat intelligence, web application firewalls, and secure access service edge (SASE).
  • Cloud compatibility: It can be used on any cloud infrastructure that has a dedicated firewall to protect content.
  • Advanced analytics: This provides insights into website cache via website performance dashboards. Filter data by parameters such as hostnames and missed URLs for cache URLs.

USP 

Cloudflare supports the most recent version of HTTP/3 protocol. This was introduced in June 2021. This allows the use of Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC) instead of the older TCP. It is more secure and faster.

Pricing 

Cloudflare comes in four plans: Pro, Business, Enterprise and Free. Prices start at $20 per month.

Commentary 

Cloudflare is a great choice if you are looking for an affordable, flexible solution to help website content delivery (i.e. non-media use cases).

6. CDN77

Overview 

CDN77 is a content delivery provider that focuses on both live and on-demand usage cases. This company was established in 2011. It handles complex content needs such as Udemy education content and Hubble Space Telescope imaging.

Meant for 

CDN77 is the best choice for live streaming and video-on-demand platforms.

The key features 

These are the key features of CDN77:

  • Global scale: It is home to 35 POPs on six continents, and handles 2-3% of all internet traffic during peak times.
  • Low latency: This service provides direct access to 14 of the top transit providers as well as 3000+ local Internet Service Providers (ISPs), for low latency delivery at any location.
  • Secure connections via HTTPS are possible thanks to this security feature. Other security features include proxy servers, token-based signed URLs and whitelisting and blocking.
  • Cloud compatibility: It is compatible with any hosting environment and ships with its own cloud-based CDN storage (free up to 50GB).
  • Advanced analytics: CDN777’s real-time analytics are up to date every five minutes. You can access powerful insights such as traffic consumption, bandwidth capacity and performance overview.

USP 

CDN77 boasts two key USPs. It has a Clients Solutions & Engineering group that can tailor your CDN setup. It also has a DDoS protection feature powered by machine learning (ML).

Pricing: 

CDN77 offers preset monthly plans up to 150TB, as well as custom monthly plans between 150TB & 50 PB and high volume plans of 50PB+. Prices start at $199 per Month

Editor’s comments:

CDN77’s transparency pricing makes it an attractive solution for businesses of all sizes looking to get on board with the technology.

7. Fastly 

Overview 

Get fast offers Edge cloud Platform for optimizing web content and web apps. You can either use the entire edge cloud platform or just one of its segments to create a configurable CDN for a server less environment.

Meant for:

It is ideal for online publications and digital mixed-media businesses.

The key features

These are the key features of Fastly:

  • Global scale: There are POPs all over the world, including in North America, South America and Europe.
  • Low latency: This platform supports content delivery at low latency even for large-scale live events. The website also shows the number of requests processed per second via a live ticker.
  • Security: This includes web app and API protection, DDoS mitigation and account takeover prevention.
  • Cloud compatibility: This product is built on Azure Cloud, but can seamlessly integrate into any other hosting environment.
  • Advanced analytics: This provides historical statistics that provide performance and activity reports. Service statistics can be obtained for specific features, as well as real-time analytics of data traffic. These are updated every second.

USP 

Fastly’s unique feature is its ability to give you real-time visibility into the performance of your network and deliverable reach. This feature is available to digital media companies that are digital-based media.

Pricing: 

Fastly is available as a Trial, Essential, Professional and Enterprise version, with bandwidth-based pricing.

Editor’s comments: 

Fastly provides a complete solution for web-based content providers. Its serverless architecture makes it highly scalable and doesn’t cause downtime.

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8. Google Cloud CDN

Overview 

Google’s Cloud CDN was launched in 2015, just like AWS and Microsoft Azure. It integrates seamlessly with all other Google cloud services. If you are already using Cloud Load Balancencing to optimize content storage and delivery via Google, it can be activated in a single click.

Meant for

It’s best for large to medium-sized businesses that have an existing dependency on the Google ecosystem.

The key features

These are the key features of Google Cloud CDN:

  • Global scale: It is available in more than 100 locations, with POPs on every continent. Additionally, it connects to other network operators with edge POPS around the globe.
  • Low latency: Last-mile delivery powered with QUIC (designed and developed by Google).
  • Security: Built-in HTTPS, signed URLs and cookies provide security. Per-user authorization is possible.
  • Cloud compatibility: It is integrated with Google Cloud and supports hybrid and multi-cloud architectures, including on-premise content.
  • Advanced analytics: With the Google Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Logging services you can access detailed network analytics, as well as raw log export.

USP

Google CDN’s main USP is its massive cloud infrastructure that Google backs, along with advanced analytics services.

Pricing 

Google Cloud CDN is built on bandwidth consumption and HTTP/HTTPS request. Additional fees may be charged for cache egress or cache misses.

Commentary

Cloud CDN: This is an excellent option for companies that want to develop and deploy web apps using Google’s infrastructure. Its capabilities are further enhanced by partnerships with CDN providers such as Akamai Fastly, Cloudflare and Cloudflare.

9. StackPath

Overview 

StackPath was founded in 2015 and is most well-known for its edge cloud platform, which powers the CDN web app firewall (WAF). It is still a young company that raised $216 million in Series A funding in 2020. Its strategic location in the most densely populated areas of the globe has allowed it to attract customers of all sizes, including independent users and Fortune 50 companies.

Meant for 

It’s best suited to multi-format digital businesses, especially in the video, gaming, and IoT sector.

The key features 

StackPath’s key features include:

  • Global scale: There are 50+ edge locations available in 35+ markets. This includes densely populated areas.
  • Low latency: The virtual machines are able to run the system at 2.6x speed than other competitors, according to internal testing.
  • Security: It includes an end-to-end web application firewall with threat identification, DDoS attack mitigation, certificate management, and security analytics.
  • Cloud compatibility: It works via virtual machines on StackPath servers. It can also connect to all types of computing environments.
  • Advanced analytics: Get detailed CDN analytics about bandwidth usage, bandwidth rate and request volumes. You can also see cache hits and misses and data center-wise performance.

USP 

StackPath uses virtual machines that are hosted on physical servers to replicate the resilience of public clouds. This creates a secure, dedicated environment for routing content. Edge Rules guide the experience.

Pricing 

StackPath Starter Plans start at $15 per Month, according to G2.

Commentary 

StackPath is a unique tool that makes it perfect for disruptive organizations. EdgeSSL certificate management and CDN support are just a few of the many capabilities available to StackPath.

10. Verizon Media Platform

Overview 

The Verizon Media Platform was launched in 2013 using technologies purchased from EdgeCast (and upLynk) The powerful and popular Verizon Media Platform was created by EdgeCast’s CDN and upLynk’s video encoding technology, along with Verizon’s vast network presence.

Meant for 

It is ideal for large, multinational digital companies.

The key features 

These are the key features of Verizon Media Platform:

  • Global scale: It’s present on six continents with 5000+ delivery partners.
  • Low latency: This strategically positions network interconnections in order to reduce network traffic’s “hops”, resulting in high speeds.
  • Security: This team includes a WAF, DDoS and bot mitigation specialist, as well as the Verizon Digital Media Managed Safety Services.
  • Cloud compatibility: It is compatible with all cloud infrastructures and connects with your on-premise content assets.
  • Advanced analytics: This provides separate analytics solutions in addition to QoS data, session data and many other data.

USP 

Verizon Media Platform’s greatest USP is its strong market presence in the U.S. owing to Verizon’s network capabilities. It is one of the few global carriers that offers a complete feature CDN solution for video delivery.

Pricing 

The price of the platform can be customized to suit your implementation.

Commentary 

Verizon is a top choice for large companies when it comes to choosing a CDN partner. It powers 10% of the internet worldwide and is well-suited for complex use cases.

Takeaway

According to a ResearchAndMarkets report, the global CDN market will reach $24.7 billion by 2025. This is due to the huge increase in digital and OTT content demand across all regions and devices during the pandemic. CDN solutions such as those mentioned above can help you scale, control costs, drive performance and leverage content to support your business model.

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Evangeline Christina is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cyberspecial.net. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter in a reputed news agency.

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