What is a CDN?
What is a CDN? The acronym expands to Content Deliver Network. It is the soul of the internet as it is responsible for delivery of content. Whatever words, sounds and videos you watch and download via the internet are all through this delivery network. On a daily basis, most of the people on the internet interact with this system knowingly or unknowingly. It is the CDN which is behind every text, image, music file or video that you access via a PC or a mobile device.
How CDN works?
How CDN works is another question after what is a CDN? Well, let us first know the basics. When you request a content from a web page, it cannot always be stored in one location. This will cause a lot of delay as a popular content is being downloaded by thousands or even millions at the same time. This delay is known as latency, which is handled by CDN. CDN minimises the distance between the requester and the server.
How does this happen? It is very simple. A CDN stores the cached version of the file (text, image, audio or video) at multiple geographical locations on different locations on different servers via POP (point of Presence). Thus the user can access the nearest server and download it quickly. For instance, if you are located in Canada and access some content on a server in Norway, then the CDN lets you access the cached version on a US-based or a Canada based server. Thus your access time decreases making the internet efficient.
Who are the users of CDN
“What is a CDN?” comes with another very pertinent question of who uses it. Almost everyone using the internet uses the CDN. According to a recent survey more than half of the internet traffic is being served by CDN. This is very true if you are running a business and have put it online. Most of the CDN services are free. A content delivery network is particularly useful for business which is spread across an area.
So, is it for everybody? Even if the service is free it is not for everybody. If you are running a website which is strictly local then this service hardly makes a difference. If most of your users are located in the region from you are hosting then there is no need for this service per se. In fact, in this case, the use of CDN can actually worsen the load performance of your website.
CDN Is A Part Of Hosting Plan
When CDN was first introduced, it was very expensive and very few websites used it. However, with the evolution of internet content delivery became a critical factor and ultimately the service became free. A commercial CDN service is still not free and it offers something more than free service, which is just like the free virus protection that you get. But some hosting services offer this service for free and it is good for the business