What is CDN?

Understanding Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

In today's digital landscape, where online content consumption is at its peak, delivering digital media efficiently and reliably to users around the world has become paramount. One critical technology that enables this seamless content distribution is the Content Delivery Network (CDN). In this blog post, we will delve into the world of CDNs, exploring what they are, how they work, and why they are essential for modern internet-based services.

TL;DR A Content Delivery Network (CDN) improves performance and latency by serving content from servers closest to the users' location.

What is a CDN?

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a geographically distributed network of servers strategically placed in multiple locations worldwide. CDNs work as intermediaries between content providers, such as websites or streaming platforms, and end-users, optimizing the delivery of digital content across the internet. These networks consist of edge servers that store and cache copies of web content, such as images, videos, audio files, software updates, and other media assets.

How do CDNs work?

CDNs operate on the principle of proximity. When a user requests content from a website or online service like Paris, the CDN's edge server closest to the user's geographic location responds to the request like Paris or London, instead of the origin server where the content is hosted like New-York City. This proximity reduces latency and improves the overall user experience by minimizing the time it takes for content to reach the user's device.

CDNs employ a technique called caching, where copies of frequently accessed content are stored on edge servers. When a user requests a particular piece of content, the CDN serves it from the nearest edge server, eliminating the need for the content to travel long distances across the internet. This caching mechanism enhances performance, reduces traffic consumption, and alleviates strain on the origin server.