A Content Delivery Network or Content Distribution Network (CDN), even known as Enterprise Content Delivery Network (ECDN), it’s a group of geographically distributed servers that work together to provide fast transmission of internet content. Properly configured CDN can play an important role in protecting websites from several common malicious attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
CDNs cache content such as web pages, images, and videos on proxy servers near your physical location. The CDN services were created to solve the problem of network clogging caused by the distribution of complex web content, such as images and videos through internet.
What are the advantages of a CDN?
Although the benefits of a CDN vary depending on the size and needs of an Internet property, the primary benefits for most users can be grouped into 4 different components:
- Improve site load times by distributing content on points closer to website visitors. By using a nearby CDN server, visitors have faster page load times. Because visitors tend to leave slow-loading sites, a CDN can reduce bounce rates and increase the amount of time people spend on the site.
- Reduced bandwidth costs. The cost of bandwidth consumption for hosting websites is one of the main expenses for sites. Through caching and optimization, CDNs are able to reduce the amount of data a source server needs to provide, thereby reducing hosting costs for website owners.
- Increased content availability and redundancy. When there is heavy traffic or hardware failure occurs, it can disrupt the normal operation of the website. Due to its distributed nature, a CDN can handle more traffic and better withstand hardware failures than many source servers.
- Improving the security of websites. A CDN can improve security by providing DDoS mitigation, security certificate enhancements, and other optimizations.
How does a CDN work?
A CDN is a network of servers connected to each other with the aim of transmitting content in the fastest, cheapest, most reliable, and most secure way possible. Internet interchange points (IXP) are the main locations where different Internet providers connect to provide reciprocal access to traffic coming from different networks. By having a connection to these highly connected, high-speed points, a CDN provider can reduce the cost and transition time of high-speed data transmission. In addition to placing servers in IXP, CDNs perform several optimizations on standard client/server data transfers.
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