Benefits and Drawbacks of a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

The rate at which the internet has grown over the past decade has been phenomenal....

The rate at which the internet has grown over the past decade has been phenomenal. It has penetrated even the remotest of regions across the world and ensured that people are connected. Internet technology has been one of the biggest revolutions in the world, and it continues to grow each day. The rise of the internet led to the need for domains and hosting service providers. The best cloud hosting and other hosting providers have emerged in the industry developing smarter technologies helping users get the best out of the internet. 

One such technology developed is the Content Delivery Network (CDN). A content delivery system is a group of servers, distributed geographically, that work collectively to ensure a faster content delivery. It allows quick transfer of assets required to load the HTML pages, files images, etc. Today, the majority of the traffic is driven through CDN. Popular platforms like Netflix, Facebook, etc. use CDN for faster content delivery. 

There are certain advantages and drawbacks of a CDN. Let us first discuss some of the benefits of CDN.

  1. Faster Content Delivery – Through a CDN, the website owners can deliver their content faster by bypassing the distance factor between the user and the server. CDN bridges the gap between the user and the content transferring information from the server that is closely placed to the user. So, for example, if the website is hosted on a server in the UK, but a visitor from the US visits the site, the information will be bounced from the server located closest to the location of the visitor. 
  2. Simultaneous Users – A CDN can handle more simultaneous users without the server being crashed or delayed. Millions of users can access the website without any hassles because CDN ensures high data threshold. This ensures that your website loads at faster speed irrespective of the number of users. 
  3. Constant Content Availability – Without CDN, your website can be down if your server is under maintenance or if there is any technical issue with your server. However, with CDN, your website is always available online even if your own server is down. 

Along with advantages, there are certain drawbacks to the CDN network. These disadvantages are listed below:

  1. Costs – The main disadvantage of using a CDN is the associated costs. While there are a few free CDNs available on the market, most CDNs will charge a monthly fee which could depend on the resources on your website and number of visitors. The type of hosting you have can reduce the overall fees, but, even under the best web hosting plan, there can be additional CDN costs which are quite high. Even with the best VPS hosting providers or the best Cloud Hosting providers, CDNs are an additional cost that is borne by site owners. 
  2. Location restrictions – There are several CDN companies that have their networks widely throughout the world, but they might not have their servers in some countries where your customers are located. So, under such circumstances, using CDN may not prove to be very effective. 

So, CDN servers have their own advantages and disadvantages, which can be beneficial to the website owners based on individual cases. Therefore, depending on the type of business and affordability, a business owner should opt for CDN as it can directly affect the profits too. Websites with high traffic and huge popularity should definitely use CDN for providing a better experience to their visitors.