10 Best CDN for Video Streaming (Update 2024)

Best CDN for Video Streaming

Introduction

What is the best CDN for video streaming to enjoy my buffer-free, binge-watching sessions? 

You’re in the right place to find an ideal answer! The right CDN can make all the difference if you crave instant access to videos. These networks ensure the smooth delivery of high-quality video content, no matter where you are! 

But with so many options, how do you choose the fittest? In this blog, we’ll discuss the key features of the top 10 video CDNs that stand out and help you find the perfect fit to enhance your viewing experience. 

What is Video CDN?

Suppose you’re in New York and want to watch a video hosted on a server in California. Your request would travel to California and back without a CDN, which causes a delay in video streaming. 

On the contrary, it would have been a matter of seconds with the best CDN for video streaming! But how? It is because your request is handled by a nearby edge server in New York to load the video faster

A video CDN is a system of distributed servers working together to deliver videos as quickly as possible, no matter where you are. Several servers are located in various geographic locations around the world, called edge servers or nodes. 

However, the original video content is stored on a central server, which refers to the origin server. When you upload a video to your platform or website, the CDN creates temporary storage or caching on all its edge servers.  

When someone like you requests to watch the video, it is routed to the nearest edge server (based on their location) instead of the origin server. The result? The video loads faster and has a smooth appearance!

Videos load faster by using servers close to users. Also, a CDN routes requests to another server if one server is down. They handle significant traffic to ensure smooth video playback, even during peak times. 

Best CDN for Video Streaming

BunnyCDN

Bunny CDN for Video Streaming

Source: bunny

Let us begin with the simplest BunnyCDN! It offers core features, including free Let’s Encrypt SSL, HTTP/2, Brotli compression, a powerful rule-based system, access control by blocking IPs, etc. It has 100+ locations or PoPs with a Tier 1 network. 

The CDN offers a user-friendly dashboard with helpful documentation. Other key features that the company provides are 99.99% uptime, 80 Tbps+ Global Network, image optimization, query string ordering, full origin SSL, IP blocklisting, cache query strings, video delivery, and so on. 

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Competitive pricing
  • User-friendly dashboard
  • Low storage costs
  • Responsive customer support

Cons

  • Limited advanced features
  • Additional price for advanced tools

Gcore

GCORE CDN for Video Streaming

Source:logowik

Gcore CDN spans five continents in 130+ locations. It comprises 35+ PoPs in CIS countries and 20+ PoPs in Europe. The company focuses on providing advanced cloud services to the media and entertainment industry, making it a contender for the best CDN for video streaming. It supports a wide range of configuration and customization features.

Users can control caching settings, apply various security rules, and optimize content delivery based on specific needs. Its core feature lies in its pull CDN capability. Pull CDN refers to automatically pulling files from the servers when needed, with an average response time of 25ms. 

Pros

  • Low latency
  • High-speed content delivery
  • Advanced security features
  • Simple pricing structure
  • 14-days free trial

Cons

  • Limited free plan features
  • Lack of friendly customer support

Gumlet

Gumlet CDN for Video Streaming

It is an end-to-end video streaming and image delivery platform. You can host, secure, and stream your videos to millions of people. The company has 8k+ customers as of now, who are serving more than 7 billion images and videos. 

Gumlet also stands out as the best CDN for video streaming. Its critical features include video encryption (DRM protection, password protection, signed URL, geo-blocking), image CDN, video player, video management, analytics, and so on. It also has affordable pricing plans. 

Pros

  • Budget-friendly pricing
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Fully GDPR compliant

Cons

  • Can’t choose storage location
  • Tricky documentation

KeyCDN

key CDN for Video Streaming

Source:keycdn

It is one of the well-known European CDN providers whose centres are primarily located in regions of the USA and Europe. So, it has only around 40 data centres in these areas. However, its pricing is affordable, even for large companies. (So, if your audience base is in the USA/Europe/Oceania, KeyCDN is the key!) 

With its no-frills user interface you can easily access zones, billing, documents, reports, and other features. One of the critical features of KeyCDN includes real-time image processing that offers improvement for your pictures by optimizing and converting them. (trims, crops, resize, extend, position, background, rotate, blur, normalize, lossless, and adaptive are some of the advanced features of its image optimization). They make KeyCDN the best CDN for video streaming needs.

Pros

  • Decent performance
  • Offers a free 14-days trial
  • Advanced image optimization features

Cons

  • Lack of a wide range of data centres
  • Charges extra price for image optimization

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront

Source:AWSCloudfront

Scalability is what comes to mind first when we think about Amazon CloudFront, one of the leading services offered by AWS. Companies like Spotify and Sky News use Amazon CloudFront to deliver massive petabytes of content to their global subscribers. 

It has more than 300 edge locations across 50+ countries and 90+ cities. It can handle all types of content and files, from simple objects to complex items. Amazon’s CloudFront is best known for its low latency and high-speed distribution. 

Pros

  • High-speed performance
  • Scalable
  • Reliable

 

Cons

  • Complex pricing plans
  • Charges extra for tech support

Fastly

Fastly CDN for Video Streaming

Source:pngwing

Fastly is another of the best CDNs for video streaming, offering a variety of features and benefits to fulfil your content delivery requirements. The company has also managed to gain a vast number of positive reviews from expert network engineers and customers. It has 80+ PoP locations worldwide. 

Fastly is for you if you are looking for a high level of customization, real-time caching requirements, and flexibility to suit your specific needs. It also supports high configurations for video caching and can deliver HTTP-based media streaming protocols, including Adobe HDS, Apple HLS, and MPEG-DASH. 

Pros

  • Highly configurable
  • Feature-rich user interface
  • Real-time caching

Cons

  • Pricey for smaller companies
  • Limited control of account access

Cloudflare CDN

Cloudflare CDN

Source:pngwing

Regarding the best CDN for video streaming Cloudflare ranks as the top choice. It is a US-based global web security and performance solutions platform that caters to businesses of all sizes. CDN, DDoS protection, managed DNS, and load balancing are popular Cloudflare services. It covers 200+ cities and 100+ countries worldwide.

Unlike traditional CDNs Cloudflare CDN acts as a reverse caching proxy that handles all website requests. It is also a breeze to get started with this CDN. All it requires is the updation of DNS name servers over the platform. There is no need to edit site code or cache specific content.

Pros

  • Free pricing tier available
  • Ease of use & setup
  • Robust security features

Cons

  • Limited free features
  • Less responsive customer support

Google CDN

Google CDN

Source:pngwing

Google CDN uses the Google Cloud Platform and its global network infrastructure to fulfil your content delivery needs. Due to its vast network base, you get fantastic outputs such as reduced costs, low latency, and stress on your backend servers. 

The key specifications of Google Cloud CDN include SSL/TLS support, integration with HTTP(S) load balancing, real-time purging, Anycast IP addresses, DDoS protection, analytics, and monitoring. Google CDN also easily integrates with GCP services like Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, and Kubernetes Engine. So, don’t you think it is the best CDN for video streaming?

Pros

  • High speed and performance
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Highly configurable

Cons

  • Complex pricing
  • It might be tricky for novices

Microsoft Azure CDN

Azure is a global, cloud-hosted CDN solution with high-bandwidth services. It also handles dynamic content and static files by leveraging different routing and network optimizations. Another major plus of utilizing Azure is its integration with Microsoft Technologies. 

Certain key features of Microsoft Azure CDN include Origin Shield, API integration, shared SSL, custom SSL, cache purging, reports, etc. You can also map your domain using the endpoint of Azure CDN. Its DSA (Dynamic Site Accelerator) helps find the most reliable and optimal route for transferring dynamic data. Also, its pricing is based on five billing zones, as mentioned below.

Zone 5: India

Zone 4: Australia and New Zealand

Zone 3: South America

Zone 2: Asia Pacific (including Japan)

Zone 1: North America, Middle East, Africa, and Europe

Note: When selecting the best CDN for video streaming, it is also essential to consider the company’s geographical coverage.

Pros

  • Scalability
  • Hybrid cloud capabilities
  • Flexible deployment
  • IoT integration

Cons

  • High learning curve
  • LImited free pricing tiers

Akamai

Akamai

Source:pngwing

Akamai is our last but not the least pick as the best CDN solution for amateur users. It is spread across 120+ countries in over 4000 locations with 1200+ networks. It offers comprehensive content delivery solutions for apps, websites, videos, APIs, or software.

Akamai API acceleration improves user experience by optimizing API performance and availability. Its Global Traffic Management features intelligent load balancing that optimizes app performance and prevents sudden outages. (That’s why it’s among the best CDNs for video streaming!

It has around four key media delivery solutions, including Adaptive Media Delivery (which delivers high-quality, consistent online videos), Download Delivery (which delivers large files), Media Services Live (which broadcasts live video streams), and DataStream (which delivers performance insights of streaming media servers and CDNs with the log data at scale). 

Pros

  • Comprehensive image and video streaming manager
  • Excellent customer support
  • Speedy, large network

Cons

  • Not for beginners
  • Pricey

Why Choose CDNs for Video Streaming?

 

Improved User Experience

Improved user experience is one of the many benefits of a CDN. It ensures your videos are always available in the best quality, no matter where your viewers are or how many are watching. 

When you hit play, the video gets delivered from the nearest server. Thus, this specific video streams to you in milliseconds. All of this results in an enjoyable user experience. 

Global Scalability

Without the best CDN for video streaming, a single server would likely crash under the heavy load of requests from users. Or, it might take a while to start playing because it comes from a single, faraway server. 

CDN is the key to a reliable and fastest way to deliver video content to a global audience (as we say, no matter where you are, it gets delivered smoothly). The video loads almost instantly due to distributed servers around the world.

Analytics and Performance Monitoring

The best CDN for video streaming, such as Gumlet, offers analytics and performance monitoring features. It helps users make further crucial decisions. You can also reduce and optimize CDN costs to a certain extent by watching over its traffic and performance patterns.

Some video CDNs also mould those valuable insights into actionable plans. Some of the common analytics features that CDNs offer include the audience’s primary geographic locations, the number of viewers, identification of possible performance bottlenecks, and other related data 

Faster Video Streaming

As we say, it’s a system of distributed servers. Thus, the best CDN for video streaming ensures that the end user does not have to wait for the delivery of video content from the origin server. The user gets this content much faster via edge servers (near the user).

The content gets delivered to the farthest user even with the high intensity of the user traffic. Thus, video CDN is a significant plus for retaining visitors site as a website/platform owner. 

Reduced Buffering and Loading Time

When a user sends a video streaming request, it is sent to their nearest CDN. Now, several edge servers or CDNs hold video content copies from the origin server to fulfil the user’s request quickly while reducing content loading and buffering.

As the best CDN for video streaming distributes traffic among many servers, it is manageable for that server to share a portion of the load. The result? You get a smooth video streaming with minimal to no buffering! 

Cost Efficiency

CDNs significantly reduce businesses’ operational costs. They reduce the load on the origin server, leading to substantial savings. Video CDNs also offer in-built security features, without which you might have to face costly security breaches or downtime. 

CDN allocates additional resources to meet high demands but can also be scaled down to prevent unnecessary costs. It also ensures proper resource alignment per the business needs. 

Conclusion

Which feature is most important to you when choosing the best CDN for video streaming? Simplicity leads when everything is already too technical! Simplicity of CDN setup, understanding pricing structures and comprehensibility are the top priorities of users when choosing an ideal provider.

In our extensive research, we found that complex pricing structures put users off. As I said before, technical complexity (which is already too complex) is like an uninvited guest!

So always opt for an easy-to-use CDN with the most PoPs in the world. Find your perfect solution by considering the complexity of each feature, and thank us later!

FAQs

 

Why use a CDN for video?

The best CDN for video streaming ensures a smooth viewing experience by caching content. Thus, video CDNs are crucial if you don’t want your end user to experience ‘world wide wait’ instead of ‘world wide web.’

Does YouTube use CDN?

It is still being determined whether YouTube leverages CDN’s capabilities. However, YouTube is a video streaming site with a distributed network structure that utilizes Google’s expansive infrastructure of global data centres. 

Is CDN free to use?

It depends upon the pricing mechanism of the company whose CDN you use. Some companies provide free trials with limited features. Nevertheless, it is a paid service that is not free for a lifetime. 

Is CDN good for SEO?

Yes, a fast-loading, buffer-free website is one of the key contributors to SEO. And it is all possible with the best CDN for video streaming. Consistent performance also helps maintain SEO rankings even during high-traffic periods. 

What are the disadvantages of CDN?

It is costly, difficult to deploy, encourages loss of control due to heavy caching, and increases the chance of depending on a CDN provider for a website owner.

ALTERNATIVES MAGAZINE

Harry Duckham

Professional Blogger

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Harry Duckham

Harry Duckham

Alternatives Magazines is a software review and tips blog. We provide honest and unbiased reviews of the latest software products, so you can make an informed decision about which ones are right for you.

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