Although with the auto-scaling feature of GeekBee’s unique hosting solution, you do not need to worry about your website failing under excessive loads, you may benefit from using a CDN to serve visitors from different parts of the globe.
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network, which loads your webpages to visitors from the nearest servers to them. Usually, a CDN server will create a cached copy of your website or a specific web page; as soon as a user requests that page, it will provide that copy to the user from a CDN server nearest to them irrespective of your server’s location. For instance, your web server is located in Ohio, United States, and a visitor from London, UK, tries to reach your site. The CDN will redirect and serve the London visitor from its server located in (most preferably) London. If there is no server in London, then any server within the UK or the European Union, instead of letting the visitor wait for data to be loaded from the farthest and original web server in the US.
Doing so reduces load times considerably. According to Google, pages that load faster than 3 seconds are likely to retain more users than those which take longer to load, and also fast webpages are an importantfactor in Search Engine rankings.
After extensive testing and independent performance reviews, here are our recommended Best CDN Providers in 2021.
Although Cloudflare CDN is not the absolute winner of the contest, it is the most widely used and popular CDN provider, especially for new websites. If you are a small-scale business, startup, or an individual website owner, you are more likely to find it the most convenient CDN.
Their free tiers are the best and offer the most resources for free than any other content delivery network. Some key features of Cloudflare CDN are:
- Vast Global Network
- Established servers in 200 cities in 100 countries worldwide.
- Uses state-of-the-art intelligent traffic routing mechanisms.
- DDoS attack-proof.
- Network monitoring and reporting tools.
- Provides more resources for free than any other network.
5centsCDN won the race in every category that we tested even though they advertise themselves as excellent in the Video streaming category. According to their website, they have a network capacity of 65 Terabits per second, which is huge. 5centsCDN is neither free nor as cheap as Cloudflare; however, they do offer a 7-day free trial to give you a taste of their network’s performance. By the way, according to CDN Perf, they also rank the highest (as of Feb 2, 2021).
Some of the key features of 5centsCDN are:
- More than 1150 Multi-CDN Points of Presence.
- 65 Tbps network capacity
- Real-time traffic director that lets the user switch to the best CDN node
- Offers better video streaming solution than any other network
- Shared and Dedicated SSL support
- Supports custom CNAME
- Realtime protection and bandwidth overage protection
AWS CloudFront CDN:
AWS CloudFront CDN is owned by Amazon and is one of the oldest CDN’s. They have a strong infrastructure and very capable servers. The best thing about AWS is that they offer pay as you go solutions. If you use more resources, you will be charged more, and if you don’t, there won’t be any hefty bills, unlike other CDNs that offer fixed tier packages.
With all the bells and whistles as any other content delivery network, AWS CloudFront CDN has the following noticeable features:
- Fast servers spread strategically across 44 countries
- Cache retention and support for SSL/TLS encryption
- Best overall security features
- Free access for up to one year that includes 50GB of data and 2 million HTTP/HTTPS requests.
- Flexible pricing – pay as you go model.
- 100% uptime guarantee
Figure 1. CDN performance. Generated Feb 2, 2020. Source: CDNPerf
Google Cloud CDN:
With seamless integration with Google cloud, this CDN is offered by the giant itself – Google. It has a vast presence worldwide. We were impressed by its Google Cloud Pricing Calculator. All you have to do is to enter your required bandwidth in Gigabytes, and you will get an accurate estimate in less than a second. Another unique feature of Google Cloud CDN is the Global distribution with anycast IP. Anycast IP is a single IP shared by many servers that deliver content to the user from the closest one. Some of the key features of Google Cloud CDN are:
- Built-in support for newest protocols developed by Google like HTTPS/2 and QUIC
- Support for hybrid and multi-cloud architectures
- Excellent last-mile performance
- Built-in SSL support
- Excellent analytics
Whether you choose to use a CDN or not is totally up to you. However, if you have a static website and your pages do not receive frequent updates, using a (free) CDN can be quite beneficial. Make sure to choose a CDN that has servers near your most frequent visitors.