Frequently asked questions about CDNs

We have compiled some frequently asked questions (FAQ) around content delivery networks (CDN) in general.
If you'd like to learn more or do have a specific question about CDNetworks, please contact us.

A content delivery network (CDN), is an interconnected network of servers placed around the globe for faster web content delivery. It is tuned for speed, security, reliability and scalability of web content and applications.

CDNs bypass the inefficiencies of the standard internet, ensuring faster and more reliable web content delivery. CDNs can also efficiently balance traffic loads, dynamically scale to accommodate any traffic surges, and even detect and mitigate security threats for your websites and web applications. 

A CDN will quickly deliver websites and applications to end users anywhere in the world in a secure and reliable environment. Using a CDN means it takes less time to transmit web content to the end user, giving the user faster load times. CDNs also serve as a fail-safe system to ensure the site is always available during traffic peaks and server outages.

Some can, but not all. Many CDNs only have the ability to cache (duplicate) content throughout their network for quicker delivery. This works for static content, but dynamic content such as games, applications, online trading transactions and any data that is generated in real-time cannot be cached and must be delivered directly from the origin server.

Dynamic acceleration is typically only provided by tier-one CDNs configured to streamline data requests and delivery between the origin server and the end user. Dynamic acceleration enables data from the origin server to bypass standard internet nodes and be delivered through a more direct and efficient path, drastically reducing load time and improving responsiveness.

Using a CDN is more practical and saves on both costs and time.

Managing multiple, globally-distributed datacenters can be extremely expensive and resource intensive, requiring fixed up-front costs and a multitude of ongoing operating costs. It can take months or even years to build, set up and deploy a fully functional network of datacenters. CDNs provide a quick deployment strategy and eliminate huge investments associated with building and maintaining an internal infrastructure. Most organisations will see positive net results in a few months, against a typical two year period before seeing any returns on deploying an internal solution.

Yes, some CDNs offer video streaming to accelerate the delivery of media files in a more secure and reliable environment. In addition to lag-free viewing experiences, CDNs also ensure the video is playable at all times, even during huge demand spikes.

That depends on the CDN but most CDNs continuously monitor, improve, and test their networks, infrastructure and services to meet strict security regulations such as PCI standards, to protect critical data. Some CDNs even add security to your website or application, through cloud solutions for protection against DDoS and other attacks, or by integrating a Web Application Firewall. 

While this depends on each site or application’s requirements, CDNs are typically easy to install and simple to deploy. They are pre-configured to meet general web performance needs and can be customized for specific delivery and performance requirements. Within 48 hours a CDN can be up and running on your site, as a CDN simply redirects your web traffic through its data centres all over the world. 

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