What is Content Delivery Network (CDN)?

A CDN (Content Delivery System) is a highly distributed platform of servers. It also helps minimize delays in loading web page content by diminishing the physical distance between the server and the user. Users also globally can view the same high – quality content, sans slow loading time.

Content origin servers, without a CDN, must respond to every single end-user request. Resultantly there is heavy traffic to the origin and subsequent load. This increases the chances for origin failure, in case the traffic spikes are too high or in case the load is unrelenting. A CDN offloads traffic from content servers and betters the web experience. This is also achievable by the CDN responding to end-user requests in place of the origin and in closer network and physical closeness to the end-user. CDN hence benefits both, the content provider and the end-users.

How Does CDN work?
Latency Diminishes

Content Delivery Networks serve over half the internet’s traffic. The CDN also reduces the physical distance the request has to travel, thereby cutting down latency.

If the content has to travel across the Atlantic from a UK based server to reach an American visitor, he will experience poor loading time. Also to fight this, PoPs or Points of Presence of the CDN keep a cached version of your website content in varied geographical locations. These PoPs will have their own caching servers. They will deliver that content in the user’s location.

Speedily Delivery & Pre-Saved Files

As, devices running web browsers, or user agents, make requests for content required to render web pages such as HTML, images, CSS, and JavaScript files. Each request, for most CDNs, will have the end-user mapped to an optimally-located CDN server. It is the cached version of the requested files that the server will respond with. The CDN will look for the content on the other servers on the platform. This happens in case the CDN fails to locate the files. The CDN will then send the response to the end-user. On the content being unavailable or stale, the CDN will be a request proxy to the origin server. To serve future requests, it will store the fetched content.


The delivery of website content is a general use case for CDNs. Nevertheless, the CDN can deliver other types of content as well. Actually, an incredible variety of content is delivered by CDNs. These include:

  • 4K & HD quality video;
  • Audio streams;
  • Apps, games, OS updates, and other software downloads;
  • Data also records containing medical/financial information;

A CDN delivers any type of digitized data.

What is a CDN provider?

A vendor that provides businesses the ability to serve their content to end-users globally over a content delivery network is also a CDN provider.

Why use a CDN?

CDNs give an easy to increase the pace of a website. Simultaneously, the latency is lowered. CDNs are fast becoming a pre-condition for the efficient, fast, secure delivery of content to users globally. It has become imperative to deliver this content as quickly as possible. This follows website visitor attention span growing shorter each day.

Today, content providers face a multitude of challenges. Particularly, these include:

  • Delivery of all kinds of content;
  • Device detection, or adjusting content for different device type;
  • Securing data and the online presence of end-users.
Challenges Mastered

Media delivery challenges are being continuously mastered by CDNs.

CDN tech provides the following main benefits to businesses:

  • Performance;
  • Availability;
  • Security;

Performance means connected content speedily delivered. It is also immediate access to new content defined.


Availability means that despite high-stress situations such as excessive user traffic, intermittent spikes, and potential server outages, the content remains of easy access to users.


Security embraces measures undertaken by CDNs to mitigate cybercrime. Simultaneously, there also should be zero compromises on speed and availability.


Intelligence embraces Real User Monitoring, Media Analytics, and the general information security landscape. In any event, CDNs readily share such reports with users upon request.

In conclusion, CDNs have become vitally important for online business.