Compare CDN
17 Sep 2018

How to Compare CDN Networks – A Pro Guide

With over 50 CDN providers on the market and each of them offering various terms and conditions regarding pricing, servicing, functionality and reliability, comparing all those vendors and finding the one that fits your needs perfectly can be a daunting and time-consuming task, especially if you’re new to the field.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a CDN to distribute software, deliver games and apps, stream videos, serve ads, or simply augment your content delivery, ensure 100% website uptime, reduce costs and improve the user experience of your customers, there are a number of metrics that you’ll need to take into account (more on those soon).

It’s important to understand that since the popularity of CDNs has been rising steadily over the past decade, the quality of the service across all providers has improved greatly. This means that trying to evaluate different vendors based on the quality of their service, the reliability of the servers and superior functionality may appear highly misleading. On a large scale, all of these aspects are relatively equal among all market players. Instead, here are two effective ways to approach the CDN comparison procedure, both of which are equally important.

  • Business-wise

The first approach is used to evaluate the needs of your business to determine what type of CDN you’d most likely need to have. The key metrics here include business size, target auditory, global page views/website visits and the geographic areas with the highest volume of website visits.

These metrics are unique for each business and must be determined to choose a CDN vendor correctly. There are a number of easy ways to acquire these metrics – tools like Google Analytics, GeoFli, etc. Some of these metrics can also be tracked directly with the help of the CDN you choose in the future.

  • Vendor-wise

The second approach is directly linked with the first one and is used to analyze the features and functionality of a given CDN provider, taking into account the metrics you’ve determined during the first step. These include pricing, number of PoPs (points of presence) and server speed.

To make everything easier for you, we’ve selected some of the leading CDN vendors on the market and compared them.

Fastly

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in San Francisco, Fastly is an American cloud computing services provider. Their edge cloud platform allows clients to directly connect to the Google Cloud backbone and ease the load of the original server by taking a portion of the load and distributing it among the edge servers.

The whole network is equipped with the newest generation of SSD drives and is capable of handling over 7 million requests per second. As of now, Fastly has 60 PoPs scattered across North America, the southern part of South America, Europe, APAC and Australia and New Zealand.

fastly pops

Fastly uses the on-demand pricing model, which depends on the region and involves discounts based on traffic volume. Customers interested in areas that aren’t listed on their pricing page can contact the team for more information.

Global Flat Fee – None

Region Price (up to 10TB) Price (10TB+)
NA/EU $0.12/GB $0.08/GB
Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand $0.19/GB $0.14/GB
Brasil, India and South Africa $0.28/GB $0.24/GB

Extra HTTP and HTTPS requests are calculated per 10.000 requests and range from $0.0075-$0.016, depending on the region.

Amazon CloudFront

Powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon CloudFront is a CDN that can be purchased either as a stand-alone service or together with other Amazon web products. The product is most effective when used in conjunction with other Amazon web products primarily due to seamless integrations including physical locations – regional edge caches – directly connected to the AWS global network.

Also, getting started with the CDN is a matter of a few minutes if you’re already familiar with the other AWS tools like PIs, AWS Management Console, AWS CloudFormation, CLIs, and SDKs. Finally, the support is automatically included in your AWS monthly Support subscription.

The vast network of PoPs (135 in total) is mostly scattered through North America, Europe and Asia, with only a few locations in other regions of the globe.

amazon cloudfront pops

Their on-demand pricing model is highly complex, with the price per GB varying based on the region and the amount of GBs used.

Global Flat Fee – None

Region Price (first 10TB) Price (next 40TB) Price (next 100TB)
North America and Canada/EU $0.085/GB $0.08/GB $0.06/GB
Asia $0.14/GB $0.135/GB $0.12/GB
India $0.17/GB $0.13/GB $0.11/GB
South America $0.25/GB $0.2/GB $0.18/GB

The number of HTTP and HTTPS requests also have different prices ranging from $0.0075-$0.016 for HTTP and $0.01-0.022 for HTTPS requests, calculated per 10.000 requests.

CDNsun

Founded with the idea of providing affordable, reliable, highly secure and lightning-fast CDN services, CDNsun has been helping clients to substantially accelerate their content delivery since 2012. CDNsun is headquartered in Prague and the infrastructure runs on OnApp and Dyn Services which include site acceleration, software/gaming delivery, livestreaming and VoD. CDNsun is the most suitable CDN provider for handling 100GB-500TB monthly traffic volumes.

The whole network of PoPs consists of over 50 locations scattered through North America, Europe, Asia, India, Latin America, New Zealand and Australia. All of the PoPs are equipped with the latest generation, fastest SSD drives, ensuring 100% uptime and most optimal content delivery across the globe.

cdnsun pops

CDNsun offers one of the most flexible and affordable pricing models available on the market. It’s a pay-as-you-go model, with price variations depending only on the traffic volume and the number of active PoPs – users can freely add additional or remove unnecessary PoPs anytime they wish with no financial obligations or technical limitations.

The price per GB doesn’t change based on the region. Also, there is no limit or additional fees on the number of requests (both HTTP and HTTPS) and all users, including trial accounts, get access to 24/7 support via email, phone and live chat.

Setup Fees – None

Global Flat Fee – None

Price per GB Spent Minimum Monthly Traffic
$0.04 0B
$0.038 2TB
$0.037 5TB
$0.036 50TB
$0.032 100TB
$0.028 250TB
$0.02 500TB

KeyCDN

Headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland, KeyCDN was founded in 2012 and emphasizes speed, scalability and providing high-level support to its customers. The company is also highly motivated to simplify their service delivery and minimize efforts from the customers’ side.

The network consists of 33 active PoPs located in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania with 8 more to be introduced in the near future. All of the servers are equipped with SSD drives, which paired with a well-optimized TCP stack, allow to significantly accelerate content delivery in the above-mentioned geographical regions.

keycdn pops

Like CDNsun, KeyCDN offers pay-as-you-go pricing dependent on the region and involves a number of discounts when certain traffic volume milestones are met. The discounts become most noticeable after the 100TB/monthly traffic mark has been passed.

Global Flat Fee – $0.04/GB

Region Price (first 10TB) Price (next 40TB) Price (next 100TB) Price (next 350TB)
North America and EU $0.04/GB $0.036/GB $0.03/GB $0.01/GB
Asia $0.12/GB $0.116/GB $0.06/GB $0.04/GB
Oceania $0.16/GB $0.156/GB $0.08/GB $0.06/GB

Also, KeyCDN offers 24/7 customer support and has no additional fees on processing HTTP or HTTPS requests.

Here is the full comparison of the above-mentioned CDN vendors, involving all the advantages and disadvantages:

CDN Provider Number of PoPs PoP locations (vast majority) Pricing models and dependencies
CDNsun 51 North America, Europe, Asia, India, Latin America, New Zealand and Australia Pay-as-you-go model, No setup fees, no additional HTTP(S) fees.

$0.04-$0.02/GB across all regions, depending on traffic volume and number of active PoPs. Best value when handling 100TB-500TB monthly volume.

KeyCDN 33 North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania Pay-as-you-go, global flat fee of $0.04/GB, discounted fares most notable with over 100TB monthly volume. NA/EU $0.04-$0.01/GB, Asia $0.12-$0.04/GB, Oceania $0.16-$0.06/GB depending on region and traffic volume. No additional HTTP(S) fees.
Amazon CloudFront 135 North America, Europe and Asia Complex on-demand pricing, depending on the region and traffic volume. Additional fees – $0.0075-$0.016 HTTP, $0.01-0.022 HTTPS per 10.000 requests. NA/EU $0.085-$0.04/GB, Asia $0.14-$0.06/GB, SA $0.25-$0.125.
Fastly 60 North America, South America, Europe, APAC and Australia and New Zealand On-demand pricing dependent on region, discounts based on traffic volume, extra fees – $0.0075-$0.016 HTTP(S) per 10.000 requests, NA/EU $0.12-$0.08/GB, Asia, SA, Oceania $0.19-0.14/GB, Brazil, India, South Africa $0.28-$0.24/GB.

 

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