Content delivery network (CDN) is the transparent backbone of the Internet in charge of content delivery. Whether we know it or not, every one of us interacts with Content Delivery Networks on a daily basis; when reading articles on news sites, shopping online, watching YouTube videos or perusing social media feeds. Being one of the top Content Delivery Network providers in Oman, InteracOman offers the most flexible & scalable CDN globally.
No matter what you do, or what type of content you consume, chances are that you’ll find CDNs behind every character of text, every image pixel and every movie frame that gets delivered to your PC and mobile browser.
To understand why Content Delivery Network is so widely used, you first need to recognize the issue they’re designed to solve. Known as latency, it’s the annoying delay that occurs from the moment you request to load a web page to the moment its content actually appears onscreen.
That delay interval is affected by a number of factors, many being specific to a given web page. In all cases however, the delay duration is impacted by the physical distance between you and that website’s hosting server.
A Content Delivery Network’s mission is to virtually shorten that physical distance, the goal being to improve site rendering speed and performance.
How a CDN Works?
To minimize the distance between the visitors and your website’s server, a CDN stores a cached version of its content in multiple geographical locations (a.k.a., points of presence, or PoPs). Each PoP contains a number of caching servers responsible for content delivery to visitors within its proximity. In essence, CDN puts your content in many places at once, providing superior coverage to your users. For example, when someone in London accesses your US-hosted website, it is done through a local UK PoP.
This is much quicker than having the visitor’s requests, and your responses, travel the full width of the Atlantic and back. This is how a CDN works in a nutshell. Of course, as we thought we needed an entire guide to explain the inner workings of content delivery networks, the rabbit hole goes deeper.
Who uses a CDN?
Pretty much everyone. Today, over half of all traffic is already being served by CDNs. Those numbers are rapidly trending upward with every passing year. The reality is that if any part of your business is online, there are few reasons not to use a CDN especially when so many offer their services free of charge.
Yet even as a free service, CDNs aren’t for everyone. Specifically, if you are running a strictly localized website, with the vast majority of your users located in the same region as your hosting, having a CDN yields little benefit. In this scenario, using a CDN can actually worsen your website’s performance by introducing another unessential connection point between the visitor and an already nearby server.
Still, most websites tend to operate on a larger scale, making CDN usage a popular choice in the following sectors:
- Media and entertainment
- Online gaming
- Higher education