A content delivery network (CDN) consists of groups of servers spread out over a large geographic area (usually on different continents) that work together to speed up the delivery of large files to end users across the globe. It is a high-end solution for high-volume Web sites that transmit large amounts of data — usually media files or images — and serve customers who are spread out geographically.
There are two major advantages to using a CDN over a regular server. First, the network has connections to more routes along the Internet than a single server, so it is less sensitive to outages and slow-downs. Second, because it uses locations spread over a large area, it sends the data using the shortest route, cutting transmission times.
Larger, complex Web sites can provide a better user experience by using a CDN, but not everyone needs one. In fact, most standard Web sites are small enough to load relatively quickly without any extra help. This is especially true if the server that houses the Web site is located near the people who use it most.
CDNs are typically used by:
In today’s online world, speed is not an option. Consumers and businesses expect short load times, and they’re not willing to settle for anything less. A CDN is one way Web sites with vast amounts of data can deliver the high-quality user experience customers expect.