01 Mar 2018

CDNs 101: The Basics of Content Delivery Networks

For years, the basic way to host and share media files was with a standard web server. You uploaded the files to the server, then users downloaded these files, either viewing them online or saving them to their computers. Today, though, there’s a new way of sharing media files: a Content Delivery Network or CDN.

How a CDN Works

First, let’s look at how one of these servers actually works. Instead of storing your media on a single server, CDN storage actually makes copies of the content. These cached versions are saved on different servers in various geographical locations. That helps to minimize the physical distance between your files and users, which decreases the amount of latency. Your information is shared way more quickly.

This is great for large media files that you won’t change often. The information is spread around the world, making it much easier for people to view it. Besides reducing the amount of transfer time, it also helps ensure that even if one server goes down, your information is still available.

The Benefits of a CDN

As mentioned earlier, the faster response time is one of the biggest benefits to using CDN. You don’t have to worry about transferring large amounts of data around the world. Those users will simply receive the information from another point on the CDN. They won’t know this—everything will look like it’s coming from your website.

Security is also a benefit. You can actually lock down the CDN to protect your data from being accessed by unauthorized users. By creating whitelisted or blacklisted domains, you can make sure only those you trust can download your files.

CDN servers also help reduce the stress on your personal server. It’s not being accessed all the time, helping reduce the amount of data that has to be sent and received on a daily basis.

Who Should Use a CDN?

CDN storage is a good option for any company that needs to share large files regularly. Everyone from small businesses to large corporations may find it helpful. This is especially true since a CDN host, like CDNsun, often offers flexible plans that let you determine how much hard drive space you want and increase/decrease it as needed.

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