Out of the seven brands we review below, Cloudflare is our favorite content delivery network (CDN) provider. With data centers across over 100 countries, it ensures top performance for your website while delivering low latency and improved security. Cloudflare is just one of several CDNs that can work for you, depending on your needs. So, read on to learn about our top choices in this category.
Top CDN Providers: Golden Eggs
Here’s a quick rundown of our Golden Eggs, the best CDN providers we’ve found on the market today that covers a wide array of user needs.
Cloudflare offers users over 270 data centers to tap into to ensure ultra-fast content delivery and effortless cloud compatibility. Get started for free today.
KeyCDN is a great CDN for budget-conscious users thanks to its predictable and transparent pricing. Start your 14-day free trial.
StackPath comes with built-in capabilities like GZIP compression and image optimization that keep your page loading speeds fast. Register now to get started.
Akamai has a range of security solutions to enhance and reinforce website protection, including DDoS protection and web application firewalls. Request a quote and demo to learn more.
CDN Providers Review Process
In the reviews you’ll find below, we’ve split our top recommendations for the best CDN providers into different categories of use cases. That will help you quickly find the providers that deliver the needed features and choose the best option for your scenario.
After analyzing nearly two dozen providers, we identified the following four use cases as the most common situations for needing a CDN provider:
- Getting a CDN with traditional web hosting
- Finding an affordable standalone CDN
- Unlocking new levels of site speed
- Securing your website content
In our research, we took care to find the best options for each of these use cases. Each brand below is reviewed in light of those common scenarios based on their most prominent and beneficial features. Then, in each CDN provider’s review, you’ll learn why we think it’s a suitable option for meeting the needs of that scenario, along with any other benefits you can expect.
The Best CDN Providers on Traditional Web Hosting
When a user connects to your website, the physical distance between them and your web host’s server affects the total time taken for them to see your content. That’s why it’s recommended to look for web hosting providers that either offer their own high-quality CDNs or have partnered with leading CDN providers to minimize latency issues without having to worry about losing your competitive edge.
SiteGround is one of the more popular web hosting providers available today, offering an average uptime of 99.99% alongside bonuses like email accounts and a free SSL certificate.
The provider recently launched SiteGround CDN, a built-in-house solution that provides users with simple yet elegant control of server performance. Not only is SiteGround’s CDN hosted entirely in the cloud to facilitate content caching and replication, but it also has an ultra-fast private network to maintain swift loading speeds.
While SiteGround’s entry-level shared hosting plan supports up to 10 GB of bandwidth every month and offers a development mode to quickly check website changes, you can get more out of their higher-tier offerings. They come with unmetered traffic, plus the ability to set a custom TTL (time to live) and use an “always online” mode to deliver already cached pages in case your website starts returning errors.
Check out our full SiteGround review to learn more about the brand and what they offer.
HostGator is a great example of a traditional web host that has partnered with another provider to deliver a quality CDN with their hosting plans. HostGator utilizes Cloudflare to offer users improved security, load times, and more without you having to pay anything more on top of your monthly web hosting costs.
While HostGator provides a CDN on all of its shared hosting plans, only its top-tier Business plan for shared hosting comes with the power of Cloudflare on its side. And while the idea of paying for the most expensive shared hosting package might scare you, HostGator is known for its bargain pricing. Even that Business plan is available for just $5.25 per month when you commit to a three-year term.
That can be well worth it for the level of CDN you’re getting in that package. Expect improved text, image, and video speed and loading times. Thanks to Cloudflare’s wide presence across the globe, you can ensure visitors can readily view your web content anytime and from anywhere. It also has an offline browsing mode that allows visitors access to your site even when HostGator is unavailable.
The Best Affordable Standalone CDN Providers
There’s nothing wrong with having a budget, especially when you’re already shelling out money to host your website. The catch here is that CDN pricing can be slightly complicated. For starters, many of the big names aren’t transparent and don’t publish pricing information on their websites. Brands that do tend to have a complex system where they charge based on incoming traffic as opposed to static monthly rates. The alternative, of course, is choosing a free option or one that doesn’t penalize overages.
Cloudflare is one of the most popular CDN providers for small businesses and professionals, and rightfully so. It charges you nothing while offering a flexible, best-in-class solution to support website content delivery.
Not only is Cloudflare easy to set up, but it also gives you access to a wide range of features, including cache control that lets you dictate how resources will be cached and upscale or downscale your operations. No need to worry about bandwidth limitations, either.
Cloudflare’s premium plans are also reasonably priced if you need more power and capability, starting at just $20 per month. Paid packages deliver key extras like mobile web page acceleration, enhanced security, and a service-level agreement related to uptime. Each plan has clear monthly rates, too, so you don’t have to worry about sudden price surges.
While KeyCDN doesn’t offer a free plan, its predictable and transparent pricing is great for budget-conscious users. You get access to its entire CDN network and just pay according to the bandwidth you use.
KeyCDN’s rates break down based on region. Pricing for North America and Europe costs $0.04 per GB for the first 10 TB each month. If you expect to use more bandwidth than that, the rate goes down for each threshold higher: three cents per GB for the next 40 TB, then two cents per GB for the next 50 TB after that, and then finally just one cent for every GB beyond 100 TB.
Pricing for Asia and Oceania starts higher at $0.08 per GB for the first 10 TB, as do the rates for Africa and Latin America at $0.10 per GB. Each of those scales down in rate as you use more bandwidth, just like the North America/Europe pricing, going as low as two cents per GB when you go over 100 TB for Asia/Oceania and four cents per GB in the same situation for Africa and Latin America.
The pricing is also inclusive of unlimited HTTP and HTTPS encryption requests, helping keep costs low and affordable right off the bat.
The Best CDN Providers for Unlocking New Levels of Site Speed
If your website deals with lots of content or features videos, images, 3D models, and other interactive elements, you need to be particularly careful when choosing a CDN provider. Your main priority should be to find a provider that offers features to handle optimization, support streaming video, and utilize edge computing and server distribution for maintaining speed and uptime around the globe.
An innovative CDN provider, StackPath offers cutting-edge web services for content delivery. Take advantage of its Dual CDN to share traffic between two or more providers to mitigate security risks and Edge SSL to add and change SSL certificates as needed. This gives end-users around the world secure and fast file delivery for video, audio, and other large files and site elements.
You also get access to built-in capabilities that are designed to solve your most pressing delivery challenges. This includes GZIP compression, which lets you compress and decompress files, and large file segmentation that helps reduce bandwidth congestion.
StackPath’s image optimization provides even lower latency when delivering image files and caches each optimized version for future requests. Altogether, you’re getting a CDN that can handle just about anything your site can throw at it.
Sucuri is primarily a website security company that also offers a CDN as part of its protection platform. It offers multiple caching options so every type of website can be more responsive and load quickly for any visitor.
By storing a subset of your site data, web files can be retrieved faster on Sucuri, helping ensure top-level load time optimization. In fact, thanks to Sucuri’s auto-caching feature and a globally distributed Anycast network that prevents network interruptions, its global content delivery network can optimize website speed by 70% on average.
Your site will be up and running 24 hours a day thanks to its dozen data centers around the globe and Sucuri’s 24/7 customer support will ensure your site continues operating optimally if you run into any issues.
The Best CDN Providers for Content Security
All CDNs aren’t equal, especially when you factor in security. Most CDN providers do a fair job at keeping your website content secure, but some take it up a notch by providing extensive protection against hacking, DDoS attacks, and other types of cybercrime. At the very minimum, you should look for TLS encryption and WAF (firewalls) from these providers, but can also tap into advanced security offerings for bot protection, managed incident response, and custom security rules via API.
Akamai is one of the more prominent names in the CDN niche. It’s present in over 130 countries and has partnerships with over 1,700 local networks, with dedicated regions for media delivery and storage.
While that helps it keep sites speedy thanks to its chunked transfer encoding (CTE) feature, Akamai deserves special mention for its excellent security. It offers a diverse range of solutions to protect your website and its content.
This includes Akamai’s Page Integrity Manager, which helps you spot and block malicious activity, and its proprietary secure gateway. Akamai also supports more advanced forms of protection, such as guards against DDoS and ransomware attacks.
Akamai’s firewalls control incoming and outgoing network traffic and deliver incident reports that help you identify and eliminate any vulnerabilities in your system. On top of that, you have the pros at Akamai in your corner, as they will monitor, respond to, and mitigate security threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities for you.
Cloudflare isn’t messing around when it comes to website content security. It provides users with a suite of security solutions that cover your content at both the site and network levels.
You get access to features like the secure access service edge that simplifies traditional network architecture and web application firewalls to keep your site secure while repelling DDoS attacks and bots.
Cloudflare’s threat intelligence provides you with information about potential cyberattacks, allowing you to defend yourself against these attacks and make adjustments to shore up any vulnerabilities. Plus, you get smart page rules to manipulate traffic in the way you see fit and a REST API that lets you exercise more custom control over operations.
With the right CDN provider, you can effectively reduce the bandwidth requirements on origin servers for faster asset distribution without bearing the humongous expenses related to infrastructure, hosting, and installing servers across the globe. If you’re interested in learning more about website optimization, check out the following Crazy Egg reads:
- The Complete Guide to Optimizing a Website
- How to Optimize Your Website for SEO and Conversions
- 20 Ways to Speed Up Your Website and Improve Conversions
- The Beginner’s Guide to Website Images
- How to Optimize Images for a Website
- The Complete Guide to Ecommerce Security
- The Complete Guide to Ecommerce Website Load Times
- Best WordPress Cache Plugins
- How to Clear Your Cache in WordPress