What Is A CDN?

July 7th, 2015 by

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A Content Delivery Network drastically improves a website’s speed around the globe, but how exactly does it work?

As its name suggests, the internet connects computing devices around the entire world. Every second, millions of requests are being sent between servers. Each request is usually quicker than you can blink, but this timespan (known as latency) increases when servers are physically far away from one another.

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a system of connected servers strategically positioned around the globe. Each location stores a replica of your data, so when anyone around the world visits your site that data can be delivered from the server which is closest to them geographically. By routing data from the closest location, a CDN eliminates the number of hops between routers and servers a request has to make before it arrives at the desired location.

Banks work in a similar way to a CDN. When you need to withdraw money, you don’t have to go to your bank’s headquarters (which could be halfway around the world) to take out some cash. For your ease, each bank has global branches in all major cities and some smaller towns, meaning each person has access to a nearby branch. The money in your account won’t change at any branch as they are identical, so you can quickly zip over to the nearest branch and make a withdrawal.

Just like a bank, a CDN has servers located near its users. If someone in New York City is trying to access a website that is based in London, a CDN will deliver the website’s data from a US location rather than making it cross the ocean, thus eliminating long wait times.

CDNs also improve the reliability of a website. As each server within a CDN stores a copy of the website, your data is easily recoverable from any number of locations should any of the CDN data centers suffer an issue. This increases uptime and ensures that your site will stay live even in the event of an outage.

We recently partnered with CloudFlare, a leading web optimization company dedicated to improving the speed and security of online data transfer. CloudFlare utilizes a robust CDN to increase the speed of websites which pass through their network. With 35 data centers spread around the world, requests are sent and arrive much faster. In addition to increased speeds, CloudFlare also improves security by placing their sites within its protective shield, eliminating pesky hackers and spammers from your site. Over 2,000,000 global websites are currently powered by CloudFlare, a number that is constantly on the rise.

Through this partnership, all WestHost clients will have CloudFlare as a FREE option with their web hosting package. Clients can upgrade to CloudFlare Plus for $12.99 a month.

Your site will see a significant increase in both speed and security thanks to CloudFlare’s impressive CDN. You can now have even more confidence in your site, giving your clients exactly what they want.

You can learn more about how CloudFlare will work with your site by visiting your C-Panel. Find out today how CloudFlare’s CDN can transform your site!

 

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