What Is A Content Distribution Network and What Are Its Benefits?

Latency slowly kills online businesses.

Nothing decreases eCommerce website conversions like lagging, buffering, and slow performance.

Nothing forces your audience to bounce from your content like waiting for a video or a blog post to load for what seems like eternity.

The cause of a slow loading website isn’t necessarily the customer’s slow internet connection. The issue could be in a limited bandwidth that can’t deploy massive amounts of content or traffic.

How can you increase the speed and performance of a website or application that shares a lot of content?

Sites that offer streaming, content distribution, and eCommerce services have been relying on a CDN to scale their business globally without sacrificing speed. 

But first…what is a CDN, and what benefits does it provide?

What Is a CDN?

A Content Distribution Network (or Content Delivery Network) refers to globally available servers that deliver content quickly to any part of the world.

The main problem CDN’s are solving is the latency — or slow loading — of content for a user that is trying to access it.

This issue is even more annoying for users from a distant part of the world or remote workers who are trying to access your local website. The distance between the ECommerce shop owner and the user affects the speed of the content delivery.

The application of this technology is linked to the 5G network where it found its widespread use.

How Does a CDN Work?

In a nutshell, a CDN decreases the distance that information has to travel from point A to point B. The greater the distance is between the physical server of the website that you visit, the longer it’ll take for the website to load to your part of the globe.

A CDN’s main goal is to shorten that distance and increase the speed with which the content is delivered to its users.

For example, let’s say that your server’s website is in the USA and your visitor is in England. Instead of navigating from the server that’s located in the USA to England, the content is sent from the point that is in England, reducing the distance it has to travel.

To achieve that, a CDN utilizes Points of Presence. They place a cache version of your content to servers all over the globe to minimize the distance it has to travel when a visitor that’s far away wants to access it.

Are CDN’s Secure?

Yes. A CDN is a safer alternative because it’s already equipped with a firewall and has been built with best security practices in mind.

Because of its security, it has been preferred by medical institutions and banks to transfer large files of sensitive data from one place to another.

For instance, it can mitigate Distributed Denial of Service Attacks, also known as DDoS. The attack overwhelms the traffic and it can slow down the website or result in its crash.

What makes this particular threat so dangerous is that your website might experience a major lag and the attack could go under the radar – especially if you’re used to an occasionally slowed-down service.

DDoS affects the experience of users who visit a website and as a result, they often abandon their shopping cards or avoid using your application.

Although the CDN is safer, keep in mind that it doesn’t offer absolute security. Therefore, you’ll still need your antimalware and the tools that can scan the attack surface and indicate the parts that require patching up.

Is A CDN Right For You?

A CDN is a service suitable for eCommerce websites, publicly available applications, and any site that distributes massive amounts of content.

In fact, it’s likely that you’ve already encountered the technology without realizing it. 

It has been in development since the 1990’s. Nowadays, its widespread use already helps websites to load articles you read online faster and enjoy videos without that dreaded circle pausing them in the middle of your viewing session.

Apps and sites for which it makes the most sense to use CDN technology are global ones. If you have users that visit your website from remote countries, it might take a longer time for the website to load.

Therefore, whether you’ll get the most out of the technology will depend on if your website visitors or app users are local or global.

If you have mostly local users for your website, they might already be able to access your service or content at top speed because there is no great physical distance that affects it.

The Benefits of Using a CDN

Some of the benefits of using a CDN include:

  • Faster loading time
  • More secure applications and websites
  • Reduced cost of service

A CDN is a more cost-efficient way for app developers and organizations, regardless of their size, to share and distribute content at top speeds.

It has been made with security in mind, has an integrated firewall, and is less prone to cyberattacks.

The service is a less costly alternative to increasing the speed and reliability of your remote network.

Service For Users That Are Growing Impatient

The key benefits of introducing a CDN to the system are speed, increased security, and a more reliable application or website.

CDN’s are  becoming more relevant than ever with the rise of global remote work, increased data on the net, more content distribution, and companies seeking a sense of security.

Rapid speeds enable global workforces to do their jobs and connect to the company’s networks without affecting their workflows.

As more data is added to the site or an app, organizations can’t afford for the service to lag as this will likely drive the users to their competitors. 

The reality is, you only have a few seconds to make a good impression.

The role of cybersecurity is also important here because teams and customers count on you to keep their data safe.

What’s more, visitors are used to top speeds at which the content is loading online and they spend their time on websites and applications that can give them answers, provide services, or entertain them right away.

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