2017 Guide & Ranking: How to Take Advantage of the Best CDN Providers

Utilizing CDN services is a great way to improve user experiences on your website. But do you know where to even begin in your search for the best content delivery network?

There are so many different options out there that is it very easy to become overwhelmed with the search process. If you haven’t used a CDN service before, this confusion will only increase.

Best Content Delivery Networks Red Award Emblem

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Content Delivery Networks

When you are trying to find the top content delivery networks, you likely have questions, including:

  • What is CDN hosting?
  • What should you look for in a content delivery network?
  • How much do content distribution networks cost?
  • What are the best CDN solutions?

Throughout this 2017 guide, we will answer the questions you have surrounding content distribution. We will explain what CDN services are and what you should look for in CDN solutions. Finally, we will provide a detailed review of the six best content distribution networks.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 6 Best Content Delivery Networks

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the CDN services below to go directly to the detailed review section for that content delivery network site):

Top 6 Best CDN Services | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best CDN Services

Premium Locations

Points of Presence (POPs)


North America, Asia & Europe


Amazon CloudFront

North America, South America, Asia, Europe & Australia



North America, South America, Asia, Australia & Europe



North America, South America, Asia, Australia & Europe



North America, South America, Asia, Australia & Europe



North America, Europe, Asia & Australia


Table: Top 6 Best Content Delivery Networks | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Detailed Overview: What a Content Distribution Network is and Why You Need One

So what is a content delivery network and why the heck do you need one? Well, let’s put it like this. Imagine you are searching for a hit new product that you’re interested in learning more about, but the page is loading incredibly painstakingly slow.

If you are not entirely sold on this product, are you going to wait around for the page to load? With the instant gratification driven notion, chances are that you might not. It’s also entirely plausible that many potential customers feel the same.

Now imagine that you are the business owner of that hot new product. Don’t you wish that there was a way you could keep those customers from dismissing your product and clicking back to scroll through their social media?

cdn providers

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Thankfully, with content delivery networks there is a way around this. By utilizing CDN servers across the globe, you can actually make your pages load faster.

The main concept behind CDN services is that if you disperse your information to servers throughout the world, visitors will be downloading your website from a CDN server that is much closer to them.

That means that their page will load much faster than if you had one central server location in say.

If you had just one main server located in say, Chicago, your potential customers in Asia and Europe will experience slower loading times. This can frustrate them and mean higher bounce rates and lower revenues.

Detailed Overview: What to Look for in Content Delivery Networks

Now that you know all about content distribution networks and how crucial they can be for websites, you need to figure out which CDN hosting site is the right fit for you.

However chances are if you knew little about what CDN providers do to begin with, you likely have no idea what makes for a great content distribution provider. Do you want the fastest CDN, the cheapest CDN service, or is there something else entirely that you should be considering?

When you are looking to find a content delivery network that is a good fit for you, you can easily become overwhelmed. That is because there are so many different CDN providers out there, many of which claim to be the best CDN.

So, it’s important to know what you are looking for. When you are looking at CDN solutions, it is important to consider the following:

Latency: Latency is the time it takes from the browser requesting an object until the browser receives a byte from the server. This is caused by geographical distances and is something to consider when you are trying to find the best CDN. Networks with more servers throughout the globe will have lower latency times.

Cost: The price of different CDN providers is definitely something that you will want to keep an eye on. Chances are that you are already paying for some time of website hosting services and possibly even paying a coder, so you need to find a CDN service that fits your budget. Also, be sure to compare what different plans actually give you and don’t just look at the price.

Customer Support: When you are working with something as technical as a CDN server, you want to be sure that you have constant access to customer support, and that this support staff is actually helpful. The best content delivery networks will have 24/7 support at your fingertips to help troubleshoot any issues that arise. 

Server Throughput and Speed: When you are utilizing a CDN service to ensure that your website loads faster across the globe, you obviously want to be housed on a fast server. Just because servers are close to a geographic location does not necessarily mean that they will load faster. Be sure to look at throughput (in kbit/s) in terms of minimum, maximum and average to determine what the fastest CDN is.

As you can see from the list above, there are many things that need to be taken into consideration when you are trying to find the best content delivery network. With so many options, it is essential to take a close look at the factors listed above before making your final decision.

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AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

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Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best CDN Providers

Below, please find the detailed review of each content delivery network on our list of CDN hosting solutions. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these content delivery networks to score so high in our selection ranking.

Akamai Review

In your search for the best content delivery network, Akamai is certainly one that should get some consideration. The site was founded in 1998 and has grown at a rate of 32% since then.

If you are looking for a vast network, Akamai is one of the top CDN providers. They offer their CDN services through over 100,000 servers that are located across 90 different countries. These server locations are strategically placed to deliver the fastest CDN possible.

When it comes to fast speeds, Akamai is hard to beat. They use content caching technology that enables their network to pick out the closest open server to a visitor. This not only provides faster download speeds, but also gives you more traffic.

Bottom Line

If you want to be in good company with your CDN service, just remember that Akamai has over 4,000 customers and 1,000 networks across the globe.

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Amazon CloudFront Review

Amazon CloudFront is one of the best content delivery network providers to consider. Like everything else Amazon does, they do CDN services big. They have an overwhelming 52 different POPs spread across the world.

Their CDN services are able to provide accelerated delivery of your website and is also able to integrate with any other Amazon Web Services that you currently utilize. If you’re caught up in the Amazon web, using CloudFront might be a no-brainer.

The interesting thing with Amazon CloudFront is that there are no monthly or annual contracts. You pay as you go, for only what you use. Their prices range by location and by total usage. Based on per GB price, as you use more your rate will actually decrease.

Bottom Line

When it comes to finding the top CDN providers, Amazon CloudFront should be at the top of your list. With advanced servers and a wide-network, they might be a good fit.

CacheFly Review

CacheFly is another of the best CDN services that you will find. They offer 41 strategically placed edge locations across the globe, which gives you impeccably fast speeds in North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe.

Features vary across the three different plans offered by CacheFly, but all of the plans include instant activation, real-time reporting, access controls and 24/7 unlimited support. This is great for those unsure of what to expect with CDN services.

Their plans are based on different GBs of included transfer limits, and range from $99 a month to $409 a month. These are costlier than other CDN providers on our list, but you get a 30 day free trial to determine if it’s the best CDN for you.

Bottom Line

CacheFly is definitely one of the costlier CDN providers on the web, but the services you receive are top notch, as is the customer support.

CDN77 Review

CDN77 is a CDN service that has a far reach. They have over 32 edge locations that are spread throughout secure SSD data centers in North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

The neat thing about CDN77 is that they give you a 14 day free trial without even needing to provide credit card information. It’s definitely nice to be able test CDN providers before you choose the best CDN.

Another nice thing about CDN77 is their straight-forward pricing based on location and bytes transferred. With worldwide monthly plans and flexible pay-as-you-go options, you’ll only be billed for your exact usage amounts, providing a cost-effective solution for CDN service.

Bottom Line

With top of the line CDN service that is reliable and pricing that is to the point, CDN77 might be the best CDN service for you.

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CloudFlare Review

CloudFlare is one of the best content delivery networks packed with great features for a reasonable price. They have 36 POPs throughout North America, South America, Asia, Australia and Europe to help take your website speeds to the next level.

With instant cash purge, client API, spam protection and SSL certificates, this is one of the better CDN providers. You can also grab a free trial to put these features to work for you before making a decision to sign on for the long haul.

Perhaps the best thing about CloudFlare is that they actually offer a free plan. Yes, you read that right, you can get instant activation, load balanced CDN and email support for $0 a month. If you are looking for more advanced features, there are also a variety of pain plans ranging from $20 to $5,000 per month for CDN service.

Bottom Line

When you are looking for the best content delivery network while on a budget, CloudFlare is definitely a provider that is worth a second look.

MaxCDN Review

MaxCDN is one of the best content delivery network providers out there. With an impressive 16 points of presence throughout the globe, you will get great coverage in locations like Asia, North America, Australia and Europe.

You also get strong performance with MaxCDN. They have advanced SSD-powered servers that will provide reliability and fast download speeds. You will have access to CMS Plugins for Drupal, WordPress and many more, as well as real-time reporting.

When it comes to price, there are 4 different plans based on different bandwidth speeds. These plans range from $9 to $299 per month for anywhere from 100 GB to 5 TB of bandwidth speed. There are also high volume plans that reach up to 350 TB and this versatility of plans is why MaxCDN is one of the best CDN providers.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for the best CDN service among many different CDN providers, MaxCDN is definitely one to consider. With a variety of plans that can be scaled up, there is something for everyone.

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Conclusion – Top 6 Best CDN Services

Content distribution networks are a great way to improve the experience your global audience has with your website. It not only enables them to move throughout your website faster, but it also decreases bounce rates from frustrated visitors.

Conclusion - cdn service

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However, it is important to choose the right provider for your CDN services. When you are trying to determine the best content delivery network, it is important to look for a network that has:

  • Many points of presence (POPs)
  • A widespread network of servers
  • A cost that fits your budget
  • Fast speeds
  • Strong customer support available 24/7

The CDN provider that you choose should have most, if not all of the criteria listed above. It is important to invest some time in researching CDN solutions and deciding if it is a necessity for your website. Also, take the time to utilize free trials before signing on with a provider. 

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AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.