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Amazon CloudFront

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Amazon S3

41K
29.3K
+ 1
2K
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Amazon CloudFront vs Amazon S3: What are the differences?

Developers describe Amazon CloudFront as "Content delivery with low latency and high data transfer speeds". 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. On the other hand, Amazon S3 is detailed as "Store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web". Amazon Simple Storage Service provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web.

Amazon CloudFront and Amazon S3 are primarily classified as "Content Delivery Network" and "Cloud Storage" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Amazon CloudFront are:

  • Fast- Using a network of edge locations around the world, Amazon CloudFront caches copies of your static content close to viewers, lowering latency when they download your objects and giving you the high, sustained data transfer rates needed to deliver large popular objects to end users at scale.
  • Simple- A single API call lets you get started distributing content from your Amazon S3 bucket or Amazon EC2 instance or other origin server through the Amazon CloudFront network.
  • Designed for use with other Amazon Web Services Amazon CloudFront is designed for use with other Amazon Web Services, including Amazon S3, where you can durably store the definitive versions of your static files, and Amazon EC2, where you can run your application server for dynamically generated content.

On the other hand, Amazon S3 provides the following key features:

  • Write, read, and delete objects containing from 1 byte to 5 terabytes of data each. The number of objects you can store is unlimited.
  • Each object is stored in a bucket and retrieved via a unique, developer-assigned key.
  • A bucket can be stored in one of several Regions. You can choose a Region to optimize for latency, minimize costs, or address regulatory requirements. Amazon S3 is currently available in the US Standard, US West (Oregon), US West (Northern California), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Sydney), South America (Sao Paulo), and GovCloud (US) Regions. The US Standard Region automatically routes requests to facilities in Northern Virginia or the Pacific Northwest using network maps.

"Fast", "Cdn" and "Compatible with other aws services" are the key factors why developers consider Amazon CloudFront; whereas "Reliable", "Scalable" and "Cheap" are the primary reasons why Amazon S3 is favored.

According to the StackShare community, Amazon S3 has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3235 company stacks & 1616 developers stacks; compared to Amazon CloudFront, which is listed in 3388 company stacks and 622 developer stacks.

Decisions about Amazon CloudFront and Amazon S3
Gabriel Pa

We offer our customer HIPAA compliant storage. After analyzing the market, we decided to go with Google Storage. The Nodejs API is ok, still not ES6 and can be very confusing to use. For each new customer, we created a different bucket so they can have individual data and not have to worry about data loss. After 1000+ customers we started seeing many problems with the creation of new buckets, with saving or retrieving a new file. Many false positive: the Promise returned ok, but in reality, it failed.

That's why we switched to S3 that just works.

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Oleksandr Fedotov
Senior Software Engineer at joyn · | 2 upvotes · 1.9K views

At Joyn we use AWS infrastructures extensively, so we need a wide range of different tools starting from file storage until the health monitoring of our running services. For Smart TV stack we use S3 to mostly store static files (like scripts, styles and html), CloudFront to keep good response times using the cache, Lambda to recognize the TV platform and serve appropriate bundle (except Samsung Tizen platform where application is packaged), CloudWatch to receive alerts in case we have any issues inside of our lambda function.

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Pros of Amazon CloudFront
Pros of Amazon S3
  • 245
    Fast
  • 166
    Cdn
  • 157
    Compatible with other aws services
  • 125
    Simple
  • 108
    Global
  • 41
    Cheap
  • 36
    Cost-effective
  • 27
    Reliable
  • 19
    One stop solution
  • 9
    Elastic
  • 1
    Object store
  • 1
    HTTP/2 Support
  • 591
    Reliable
  • 492
    Scalable
  • 456
    Cheap
  • 328
    Simple & easy
  • 83
    Many sdks
  • 29
    Logical
  • 12
    Easy Setup
  • 11
    1000+ POPs
  • 9
    REST API
  • 5
    Secure
  • 3
    Easy
  • 2
    Web UI for uploading files
  • 2
    Plug and play
  • 1
    GDPR ready
  • 1
    Flexible
  • 1
    Faster on response
  • 1
    Plug-gable
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
    Easy integration with CloudFront

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Cons of Amazon CloudFront
Cons of Amazon S3
  • 3
    UI could use some work
  • 1
    Invalidations take so long
  • 7
    Permissions take some time to get right
  • 6
    Takes time/work to organize buckets & folders properly
  • 5
    Requires a credit card
  • 3
    Complex to set up

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

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 Amazon S3?

Amazon Simple Storage Service provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

What companies use Amazon CloudFront?
What companies use Amazon S3?
See which teams inside your own company are using Amazon CloudFront or Amazon S3.
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What tools integrate with Amazon CloudFront?
What tools integrate with Amazon S3?

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What are some alternatives to Amazon CloudFront and Amazon S3?
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.
CloudFlare
Cloudflare speeds up and protects millions of websites, APIs, SaaS services, and other properties connected to the Internet.
Google Cloud Storage
Google Cloud Storage allows world-wide storing and retrieval of any amount of data and at any time. It provides a simple programming interface which enables developers to take advantage of Google's own reliable and fast networking infrastructure to perform data operations in a secure and cost effective manner. If expansion needs arise, developers can benefit from the scalability provided by Google's infrastructure.
Fastly
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.
MaxCDN
The MaxCDN Content Delivery Network efficiently delivers your site’s static file through hundreds of servers instead of slogging through a single host. This "smart route" technology distributes your content to your visitors via the city closest to them.
See all alternatives