Akamai vs Amazon CloudFront vs CloudFlare

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Amazon CloudFront

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Akamai vs Amazon CloudFront vs CloudFlare: What are the differences?


In this article, we will explore the key differences between Akamai, Amazon CloudFront, and CloudFlare. These are popular content delivery network (CDN) providers that offer various services related to website performance, security, and scalability.

  1. Network Size and Global Presence: Akamai has a vast network of servers located in over 135 countries, ensuring high availability and low-latency content delivery worldwide. Amazon CloudFront operates from multiple edge locations in more than 200 cities globally, while CloudFlare has a network presence in over 200 cities across 100+ countries. This extensive global infrastructure allows businesses to reach a broad audience and ensure fast delivery of content regardless of the user's location.

  2. Integration with Other Services: When it comes to integration with other cloud services, Amazon CloudFront has an advantage. It seamlessly integrates with other Amazon Web Services (AWS) offerings, such as Amazon S3, EC2, and Lambda, making it a preferred choice for organizations already using AWS. Akamai and CloudFlare also offer integration with various services, but CloudFront's tight integration with the entire AWS ecosystem simplifies the setup and management process for AWS users.

  3. Security Features: All three CDN providers offer security features to protect websites and applications from various threats. Akamai and CloudFlare have comprehensive security offerings, including distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection, web application firewall (WAF), SSL/TLS encryption, bot mitigation, and threat intelligence. Amazon CloudFront also provides DDoS protection and integrates with AWS Shield for advanced security measures. Additionally, CloudFlare offers its customers a free SSL certificate, making it an attractive option for startups and small businesses.

  4. Performance Optimization: Akamai, Amazon CloudFront, and CloudFlare focus on optimizing website performance through various techniques. Akamai offers dynamic site acceleration, route optimization, and image optimization to improve page load times. CloudFront provides features like dynamic content caching, origin shielding, and content compression for enhanced performance. CloudFlare's performance features include automatic content minification, image optimization, and a global content delivery network. These performance optimizations help reduce latency and enhance the overall user experience.

  5. Pricing and Cost Structure: Akamai is known for its high-end enterprise-grade services, and as a result, its pricing tends to be on the higher side. Amazon CloudFront follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model, where customers only pay for the data transfer and requests made. CloudFlare offers a variety of pricing plans, including a free tier, making it accessible to startups and small businesses. Their pricing is based on features and additional services, such as advanced security, rate limiting, and load balancing.

  6. Ease of Use and Configuration: Amazon CloudFront provides an intuitive user interface within the AWS Console, which simplifies the setup and management process. Akamai and CloudFlare also offer user-friendly interfaces, but CloudFlare's interface is particularly favored for its user-friendliness and ease of configuration. CloudFlare's dashboard provides a range of customization options and real-time analytics, making it easier for website owners to monitor and optimize their content delivery settings.

In summary, Akamai, Amazon CloudFront, and CloudFlare are leading CDN providers with key differences in terms of network size, integration with other services, security features, performance optimization, pricing, and ease of use. Choosing the right CDN depends on specific requirements, such as global presence, cloud service integration, security needs, budget constraints, and ease of configuration.

Decisions about Akamai, Amazon CloudFront, and CloudFlare
Francesco Boffa

I don't think I have registered a domain in the last 10 years that hasn't been linked to CloudFlare within the first 2 hours from registration.

The benefits you get from even the free version of CloudFlare are amazing. From day 0: - 30/80% of bandwidth savings thanks to their CDN - Origin IP address protection - Managed SSL

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Pros of Akamai
Pros of Amazon CloudFront
Pros of CloudFlare
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 245
    • 166
    • 157
      Compatible with other aws services
    • 125
    • 108
    • 41
    • 36
    • 27
    • 19
      One stop solution
    • 9
    • 1
      Object store
    • 1
      HTTP/2 Support
    • 424
      Easy setup, great cdn
    • 277
      Free ssl
    • 199
      Easy setup
    • 190
    • 180
    • 98
      Great cdn
    • 77
    • 71
    • 44
      Great UI
    • 28
      Great js cdn
    • 12
    • 12
      HTTP/2 Support
    • 12
      DNS Analytics
    • 12
    • 9
      Rocket Loader
    • 9
    • 9
    • 8
      IPv6 "One Click"
    • 8
      Fantastic CDN service
    • 7
    • 7
      Nice DNS
    • 7
    • 7
      Free GeoIP
    • 7
      Amazing performance
    • 7
    • 7
      Cheapest SSL
    • 6
    • 6
      Free and reliable, Faster then anyone else
    • 5
    • 5
      Asynchronous resource loading
    • 4
      Global Load Balancing
    • 4
    • 4
      Easy Use
    • 3
    • 2
    • 2
      Support for SSHFP records
    • 1
    • 1
    • 1

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    Cons of Akamai
    Cons of Amazon CloudFront
    Cons of CloudFlare
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      • 3
        UI could use some work
      • 1
        Invalidations take so long
      • 2
        No support for SSHFP records
      • 2
        Expensive when you exceed their fair usage limits

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      What is Akamai?

      If you've ever shopped online, downloaded music, watched a web video or connected to work remotely, you've probably used Akamai's cloud platform. Akamai helps businesses connect the hyperconnected, empowering them to transform and reinvent their business online. We remove the complexities of technology, so you can focus on driving your business faster forward.

      What is Amazon CloudFront?

      Amazon CloudFront can be used to deliver your entire website, including dynamic, static, streaming, and interactive content using a global network of edge locations. Requests for your content are automatically routed to the nearest edge location, so content is delivered with the best possible performance.

      What is CloudFlare?

      Cloudflare speeds up and protects millions of websites, APIs, SaaS services, and other properties connected to the Internet.

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      What companies use Akamai?
      What companies use Amazon CloudFront?
      What companies use CloudFlare?

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      What tools integrate with Akamai?
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      What are some alternatives to Akamai, Amazon CloudFront, and CloudFlare?
      Fastly's real-time content delivery network gives you total control over your content, unprecedented access to performance analytics, and the ability to instantly update content in 150 milliseconds.
      Google Cloud CDN
      Google Cloud CDN leverages Google's globally distributed edge caches to accelerate content delivery for websites and applications served out of Google Compute Engine. Cloud CDN lowers network latency, offloads origins, and reduces serving costs. Once you've set up HTTP(S) Load Balancing, simply enable Cloud CDN with a single checkbox.
      API management, design, analytics, and security are at the heart of modern digital architecture. The Apigee intelligent API platform is a complete solution for moving business to the digital world.
      It provides complete cyber security by protecting what really matters most—your data and applications—whether on-premises or in the cloud.
      It powers apps from development through their entire life cycle, so our customers can deliver differentiated, high-performing, and secure digital experiences.
      See all alternatives