CDN – How do Content Delivery Networks work?

You might have seen the acronym “CDN” almost everywhere, wherever you have heard about the web hosting, servers, website, website speed, etc. However, many people still don’t know about Content Delivery Networks. Others that have a little bit of know-how, however, don’t know how it works. 

What is CDN?

CDN is a shortened of the word Content Delivery Network. This network is a large chain of geographically distributed servers and coupled data centers. All these servers work together to distribute the content to the users fastly whenever they need it. So is the name content delivery network.

The content here isn’t restricted to the text blocks and media files. Instead, it indicates the internet content, which is undoubtedly the HTML pages, JavaScript files, stylesheets, images, video, etc.

It means whether mindfully or cluelessly, we all interact with the Content Delivery Networks regularly. That is while navigating articles and news sites, doing online shopping, using YouTube or social media.

While distributing the content, most businesses have to worry about enhancing the web hosting services and upgrading the plans to cope with users’ needs. Moreover, even many web hosting companies strive to provide fast servers. Still, the traffic to the servers and other factors somehow affect the content delivery speed. Also, to keep the web application safe and deliver the content in real-time and many more. A viable solution to all of these challenges is the CDN.

What is CDN used for?

World Wide Web has billions of websites, each with a myriad of users and colossal traffic residing in different locations of the world. Obviously, the website has its hosting server at a specific place (city, country) only. So when the users access this website from different locations, they have to face the delays technically called the latency – the original purpose CDNs are designed for. That’s where Content Delivery Networks come in handy.

Here is a list of the companies/ businesses that can and are using the CDN at their best.

Netflix, a famous entertainment website, is delivering HD content (high definition media) in many countries using CDN.
Similarly, many gaming companies can streamline their graphic-rich and heavy data access for users worldwide.

  • Ecommerce websites can serve and retain their customers by being accessed faster. e.g., amazon
  • News and journals publication platforms can cater to their valuable readers globally.
  • Diverse content delivery on the news feed on Social media sites, for instance, Facebook.
  • In addition, you can use it to protect your website(s) and avoid malicious attacks, for instance, DDoS as Distributed Denial of Service attacks.
  • So we can say that CDN has become a necessity for online presences. This is because no website comes live with the aim of providing a bad user experience and wants to lose its prospects and customers. Now, let’s move forward to check that:

How do Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) work?

CDN’s central focus is to reduce the physical distance between the users and the hosting servers. Therefore, CDN works on the points of presence (PoPs) and caching servers.
Points of presence are the data centers located strategically in multiple geographical locations, with cached versions of the website(s). Each data center, PoP, encompasses a considerable number of caching servers that, in the end, render the content. 

On the other hand, the caching servers store the data or files to load them when the user requests them immediately. As a result, it reduces the website/ webpage loading times alongside minimizing the bandwidth (data transfer) consumption. That is why CDN is always present in the tips of optimizing website speed. 
In short, the theme is to save the content to different places and send it to users using the server near them. Eliminating all the chances of the potential latencies

Also Read:

Is CDN and hosting the same thing?

Content Delivery Networks – CDNs are already popular worldwide and considering their usage and popularity, they will shine even more in the future. However, many people mix the CDN and Web Hosting services for the main word ‘server.’ Remember, the CDN can’t host the content; however, it can cache your files, so you can’t replace it with hosting. More specifically, to increase the performance of their websites, speed, individuals want to leverage CDN.

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