What is a Content Delivery Network (CDN)?

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers distributed globally. For various reasons, it has become a standard and essential requirement for hosting modern applications and websites. While a website can effectively be served from a single server, nearly all major websites and applications (including their images, videos, and content) that you use today on phones and computers are delivered to you through a CDN.

A CDN is in charge of content delivery and is an integral part of a high-performing hosting infrastructure. No matter the type of content you use from the web such as news sites, the online shopping you do, or watching YouTube videos – without knowing it, the content is coming to you from a Content Delivery Network instead of a single server. The benefits of CDN are many, and to name a few are:

Responsive and Fast Website

Not only is it important for site visitors to load a fast site in our demand for immediate gratification, especially for the ever-growing wirelessly connected group who will have a slower download speed than a pc plugged in with ethernet, there are also Search Engine Optimization implications as well. With a CDN providing faster performance, search engines such as Google can confirm your site to be fast and responsive, thus causing them to prioritize your site over slower-loading sites on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The pageload speed helps to determine your website performance and a Content Delivery Network makes a huge difference in the download speed of your websites assets to make your site fast and responsive.

Enhanced Website Security

With a Content Delivery Network, we reap the added benefit of yet another acronym: a WAF, which stands for Web Application Firewall. Thanks to the fact that site visitors connect to the Content Delivery Network instead of the server which hosts the site itself, there is an added website security layer and as a result, the CDN withstands DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. It protects the content and the infrastructure. It protects your server from traffic spikes and is scalable automatically to your needs.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are a subclass of Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. A DDoS attack involves multiple connected online devices, collectively known as a botnet, which are used to overwhelm a target website with fake traffic.

-Imperva, https://www.imperva.com/learn/ddos/denial-of-service/

Hosting Reliability

One of the most important benefits of a Content Delivery Network is that the data is accessible at any time to your site visitors and users from an up-to-date, but replicated version on multiple servers across the world. So, if for some reason the server which contains the original version of the site is not available, the site is still able to be loaded from another location. There are times when networks congest, servers go down and connections are interrupted. A CDN provides uninterrupted services to balance the network traffic load and ensure the visitor is always able to load the site as quickly as possible.

Points of Presence (POPs)

How it works is the following – when someone accesses website content that is hosted on a CDN, the request will travel to a POP that is nearest to that person, rather than going back to the origin server.

For example, if someone in Singapore accesses a website hosted on servers in the UK, the request for content will only go as far as Singapore PoP.

-MediaNova, https://www.medianova.com/en-blog/what-is-a-pop-and-how-do-we-create-one/

Benefits of a Content Delivery Network

To summarize, there are many benefits to using CDNs as they are an essential tool for defending websites against cyber attacks, create a system of redundancy that guarantees your website never has a problem being loaded, and increases how fast your website or application will load for site visitors thanks to the network of servers around the world.

Media & Technology Group’s recent hosting architecture upgrade has implemented the CloudFlare Content Delivery Network offering our hosting clients a huge value in an enhanced service with one of the largest and most reputable organizations in the market.

If you are in need of a website design or are interested in an upgrade to your website hosting, contact us today!