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CDN: Definition, Functions, Benefits, and How It Works

Last updated: Nov 24, 2022

What is a Content Delivery Network?

Content Delivery Network, or commonly referred to as CDN, is a group of servers that are geographically dispersed to speed up the reception of content on the internet by users. In its activities, CDN uses a cache that stores information about web pages, images, and videos on the servers closest to the user's location.

In this case, the role of the CDN is to help users access content in a short amount of time. The proximity of server and user locations makes the process of sending information faster.

The Content Delivery Network server enables users to download and watch movies online, share content on social media, and check balances quickly with m-banking. You could say a CDN works like an ATM, where users can access information without having to visit the main server location.

CDN Functions

In practice, CDN is an important element of smooth access to information on the internet. Instead of waiting for requests one by one through the main server, the CDN responds quickly.

In other words, CDN is a tool that helps speed up website loading. Although its role is not the same as web hosting, a global server helps provide cache at the edge of a computer network or network edge.

In short, one of the functions of CDN is to improve website performance by providing a cache of content accessed by users. This method can reduce hosting bandwidth, and users can receive information without interruption.

Apart from providing a cache, the Content Delivery Network server also has another role in delivering information to users. The following are some CDN functions:

Website Security Guard

Using CDN is one way to protect websites from DoS threats that not only harm users but also the company's image. With a CDN, websites can be better protected so that data leakage problems due to DoS can be avoided.

Real-Time Information Provider

In addition to accelerating the delivery of information, CDN also acts as a provider of up-to-date information. So, what kinds of data are obtained? Typically, data is in the form of website loading statistics in real-time mode, where active areas and popular assets are also displayed.

With this information, developers can determine which parts of the website need optimization, especially in terms of technical SEO. Implementation of optimization planning based on data from the CDN can improve website performance in terms of user experience and increase conversion and sales numbers.

CDN Examples

As previously explained, CDN can facilitate the process of delivering information to users easily. For this reason, there are several examples of CDNs that are generally used by many websites, such as:

  • Amazon CloudFront
  • Edgecast
  • Google App Engine
  • Cachefly
  • CloudFlare

How Content Delivery Network Works?

Basically, Content Delivery Network is a collection of servers that work to deliver content quickly, easily, and safely. To do so, it places servers at multiple exchange points between different networks.

For example, you live in Jakarta and want to access the website of a well-known suit shop in New York. Sending information will take a long time because of the great distance between Jakarta and New York.

To solve this problem, the website cache that has been stored by the CDN will be deployed to exchange points in various locations, including the closest area to Jakarta. That way, content can be accessed quickly.

When the content is updated, the CDN will provision the new cache and deploy it to exchange points that are located in several places. Once the information is received, it will be spread to the nearest geographical location.

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