Guide to Content Delivery Networks and How They Work

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A Content Delivery Network, or a CDN as it is commonly called, is an essential part of any modern website and application. The content that you view on your phones today or on any website or app is very likely to be delivered using a content delivery network. But how many people know what a content delivery network is and how it works? Let’s explore more into CDN and how it is used today.

What Is a Content Delivery Network?

A Content Delivery Network or a CDN is a globally-distributed network of servers that helps provide high availability, faster performance, and security to websites distributing their content via it. A CDN is a network of computer servers located at different geographic locations around the world. A CDN’s location allows them to distribute content to their target location faster. Cast routing technology makes all your visitor’s connections routed through a firewall and CDN to ensure they are as short as possible. This results in faster website loading times.

How Do CDNs Work?

According to Semrush, CDNs can read your IP address and determine your location on the network. When a user loads a web page, the closest CDN sends a cached version of the web page’s content through to the user’s web browser. When you load the cached version of a web page, it can decrease the page load time and improve the user experience. In order to improve speed and connectivity, a CDN will place servers at the exchange points between different networks. As a result, webmasters will use multiple CDNs in different regions to serve users across the world.

CDN vs. Web Hosting

CDNs aren’t a replacement for web hosting. Instead, they help web hosts cache content so hosts can load assets with less bandwidth. Traditional web hosting relies on one server, while a CDN leverages a worldwide network of edge servers that disseminate content from a variety of interconnected hosts. With CDNs in place, your web host doesn’t have to load all of the content all of the time, saving time and money spent on bandwidth. To put it simply, web hosting is used to host your website on a server and let users access it over the internet while a CDN is about speeding up the access/delivery of your website’s assets to those users.

CDN can speed up sites, offer additional security and ensure everything runs smoothly. CDNs are vital for the function of the internet and content sharing for both consumers and online businesses.

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