A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of geographically positioned servers working to speed up the delivery of internet content to users. This is done by ensuring the quick transfer of HTML pages, stylesheets, images, videos, and other assets required in the content-loading process.
Meeting the performance needs of any website can be a feat, especially for social media, streaming, and e-commerce platforms whose requirements are constantly evolving and expanding. CDNs have become the era’s go-to solution for overcoming the hurdles of conventional hosting, even for average-sized web properties.
Four Key Advantages of Using a CDN
The specific size and needs of a website affect a CDNs performance. Still, the technology offers four key advantages:
- Faster load times
- Bandwidth savings
- Security boost
- Strategic content availability and redundancy
1. Faster Load Times
Increasing a website’s load time is one of the most natural effects of using a CDN, whose main job is to deliver content from a nearby server. Because people usually click away when a website loads too slow, it is logical to say that CDN crunches bounce rates and makes people stay on the site for longer.
2. Bandwidth Savings
A CDNs caching feature also allows website owners to save a lot of data that would otherwise come from an origin server. This leads to smaller bandwidth requirements and, in turn, lower hosting costs.
3. Security Boost
On top of bandwidth savings, a CDN can provide other optimizations, such as beefing up a website’s security by improving its security certificates, amping up its DDoS defense, and more.
4. Strategic Content Availability and Redundancy
Lastly, because CDNs are essentially designed for distribution, they offer the default advantage of handling more traffic and hardware failures the way no origin server can.
KeyCDN vs. Sucuri — The Lowdown
KeyCDN is one of those dedicated CDNs whose strength lies in the size of its network. Many users might also say this is where it ends for the provider, having nothing else up its sleeve. Still, it remains one of the fastest you can get when it comes to content delivery.
KeyCDN uses caching, but a little code play is involved as you work your way around. The good news is there’s an instant purge feature you can activate with one click of a button, whether you want to clean the entire site at once or by URL.
- 34 data centers in six continents worldwide
- Edge servers running processing edge locations
- Straightforward caching process
- Instant purging button
- Inbuilt DDoS and bad bots protection
- Cloud storage
- Advanced developer features
To use KeyCDN on your website, you need to pay a fixed fee of $4 monthly, no matter your bandwidth consumption. Considering the other pricing schemes of the service, you can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $0.11 per GB, depending on your bandwidth cap and the areas to be served.
While Sucuri is one of the most trusted names in CDN services today, it is actually a full-fledged website security platform that specializes in building revolutionary security apps for websites. Responsible for its CDN services is a network of 12 data centers in five continents, with two edge-server locations in Australia and Brazil.
In contrast to KeyCDN, which operates out of an edge infrastructure, Sucuri is a cloud-based platform whose caching system is nowhere as advanced as KeyCDNs. That said, you won’t have much independence as a user, except for the ability to leave out certain URLs and to choose from four options, namely basic caching, sitewide caching (at minutes-long intervals), header caching, and disabling.
Conversely, Sucuri’s cache-clearing feature is superior to Key CDNs, offering you a choice between clearing the cache by file or throughout the site. In addition, you can configure the platform’s cache API and simultaneously clear your cache from a bookmarked page.
Sucuri may not seem so significant when it comes to CDN services and caching, especially when pitted against KeyCDN. However, it’s worth noting that Sucuri is a website security giant, with its WAF almost effortlessly thwarting any inbound threats while its CDN and ruthless defense protect against DDoS attacks.
Then again, because no security system is totally impervious, Sucuri also employs a malware scanner that is constantly on the lookout for suspicious movements on your website. And just in case a threat does manage to sneak in, they will take care of booting it out too.
- 13 data centers across five continents
- Caching with exceptions and clearing
- DDoS defense at layers 3, 4, and 7
- Malware scanning and expulsion
- Monitoring of website uptime and blacklist status
- Detects changes in a site’s DNS settings and SSL certificate
- Automatic and manual incremental backups
Sucuri’s yearly access rate is drastically more expensive at $199.99 than KeyCDN’s $4 per month. Except for varying response times, Sucuri’s plans generally offer the same functionalities.
So, is it KeyCDN or Sucuri?
It’s not easy choosing the best content delivery network for your website. Deciding between two of the most formidable names in the industry makes it harder but doable, starting with making the right comparisons.
For example, if budget is an issue, obviously go for KeyCDN if you want a CDN plus stronger site security, Sucuri hands-down win. If you’re confident about the level of protection your website currently enjoys, Sucuri might be overkill, with KeyCDN providing the distribution service you need.
We already know that KeyCDN has a way bigger network than Sucuri. The more servers a provider has, the faster and more reliable content delivery from your website will be. Not only that, but it also means more redundancy and scalability, as well as less buffering.
Then again, that’s not where it stops because geographical coverage also matters. Some CDNs are pretty strong in the U.S. and Europe but not in Asia, the Middle East, or Africa. Compare KeyCDNs 34 data centers in 6 continents against Sucuri’s 13 in 5. Then again, it ultimately depends on the audience you’re trying to reach. If you don’t have global traffic, you won’t want to pay for it with KeyCDN.
A CDN provider’s customer support should be nothing less than fast and expert. Configuring a CDN can be tough for newbies, and while the process has become a lot simpler today, you still need a bit of technical knowledge to make any real progress.
In other words, go for a CDN whose support staff comprises real experts instead of call center agents. They should also be available 24/7 with an option to talk to an actual person and not just have you submit tickets.
Sucuri’s customer support has been particularly notorious for being purely ticket-based, which means it may take days to get one tiny issue fixed. It’s the complete opposite with KeyCDN, which lets you talk to a live customer rep so your problem can be addressed and resolved as quickly as possible.
Do I need a CDN for my website?
To say CDNs are essential may be an understatement for many website owners, from governments to media and publishing to fast-food restaurants and more.
Anyone with a website that processes two or more user requests at a time can use the help of a CDN. Naturally, the bigger and more complicated a website is, not to mention the wider its reach, the more beneficial a CDN will be. It’s better to be prepared for website traffic and orders; long before you struggle to keep up with demands, you will surely drive customers away with lagging or even a site that crashes.
After all, is said and done, choosing between KeyCDN and Sucuri can only boil down to your needs. We know that KeyCDN is superior in terms of distribution and coverage. But unless your reach is wide, you may go with Sucuri, especially if you’re also looking to toughen up on cybersecurity. Sucuri is not just a CDN provider but a globally recognized authority in web security. That is something KeyCDN isn’t.
Lastly, while it’s important to know about pricing, it isn’t crucial unless you are willing to compromise your objectives to save a few bucks. Besides, both providers are very reasonable in the cost department. At the end of the day, you have to get what you need, no matter how much you have to pay for it, simply because your website and reputation are at stake.