Amazon CloudFront vs CloudFlare

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Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudFront

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Amazon CloudFront vs CloudFlare: 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, CloudFlare is detailed as "The Web Performance & Security Company". Cloudflare speeds up and protects millions of websites, APIs, SaaS services, and other properties connected to the Internet.

Amazon CloudFront and CloudFlare belong to "Content Delivery Network" category of the tech stack.

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, CloudFlare provides the following key features:

  • CDN
  • WAF (Web Application Firewall)
  • DDOS Protection

"Fast", "Cdn" and "Compatible with other aws services" are the key factors why developers consider Amazon CloudFront; whereas "Easy setup, great cdn", "Free ssl" and "Easy setup" are the primary reasons why CloudFlare is favored.

Instacart, Slack, and StackShare are some of the popular companies that use Amazon CloudFront, whereas CloudFlare is used by Stack Exchange, Lyft, and SendGrid. Amazon CloudFront has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3358 company stacks & 599 developers stacks; compared to CloudFlare, which is listed in 2300 company stacks and 712 developer stacks.

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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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Why do developers choose Amazon CloudFront?
Why do developers choose CloudFlare?

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What companies use Amazon CloudFront?
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What tools integrate with Amazon CloudFront?
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What are some alternatives to Amazon CloudFront and CloudFlare?
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.
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.
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
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Decisions about Amazon CloudFront and CloudFlare
Johnny Bell
Johnny Bell
Senior Software Engineer at StackShare · | 8 upvotes · 61.7K views
Code Climate
Code Climate
CloudFlare
CloudFlare
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudFront
Buddy
Buddy
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Netlify
Netlify
GitHub
GitHub
#Gzip
#Git
#Webpack
#Devops

When I first built my portfolio I used GitHub for the source control and deployed directly to Netlify on a push to master. This was a perfect setup, I didn't need any knowledge about #DevOps or anything, it was all just done for me.

One of the issues I had with Netlify was I wanted to gzip my JavaScript files, I had this setup in my #Webpack file, however Netlify didn't offer an easy way to set this.

Over the weekend I decided I wanted to know more about how #DevOps worked so I decided to switch from Netlify to Amazon S3. Instead of creating any #Git Webhooks I decided to use Buddy for my pipeline and to run commands. Buddy is a fantastic tool, very easy to setup builds, copying the files to my Amazon S3 bucket, then running some #AWS console commands to set the content-encoding of the JavaScript files. - Buddy is also free if you only have a few pipelines, so I didn't need to pay anything 🤙🏻.

When I made these changes I also wanted to monitor my code, and make sure I was keeping up with the best practices so I implemented Code Climate to look over my code and tell me where there code smells, issues, and other issues I've been super happy with it so far, on the free tier so its also free.

I did plan on using Amazon CloudFront for my SSL and cacheing, however it was overly complex to setup and it costs money. So I decided to go with the free tier of CloudFlare and it is amazing, best choice I've made for caching / SSL in a long time.

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Johnny Bell
Johnny Bell
Senior Software Engineer at StackShare · | 7 upvotes · 30.2K views
CloudFlare
CloudFlare
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon S3
Amazon S3

I recently moved my portfolio to Amazon S3 and I needed a new way to cache and SSL my site as Amazon S3 does not come with this right out of the box. I tried Amazon CloudFront as I was already on Amazon S3 I thought this would be super easy and straight forward to setup... It was not, I was unable to get this working even though I followed all the online steps and even reached out for help to Amazon.

I'd used CloudFlare in the past, and thought let me see if I can set up CloudFlare on an Amazon S3 bucket. The setup for this was so basic and easy... I had it setup with caching and SSL within 5 minutes, and it was 100% free.

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RMW Web Publishing
RMW Web Publishing
Web Development at RMW Web Publishing · | 4 upvotes · 16K views
atWashington BrownWashington Brown
imgix
imgix
CloudFlare
CloudFlare
Pingdom
Pingdom
KeyCDN
KeyCDN
#GoogleInsight
#WebpageTest

Platform Update: we’ve been using the Performance Test tool provided by KeyCDN for a long time in combination with Pingdom's similar tool and the #WebpageTest and #GoogleInsight - we decided to test out KeyCDN for static asset hosting. The results for the endpoints were superfast - almost 200% faster than CloudFlare in some tests and 370% faster than imgix . So we’ve moved Washington Brown from imgix for hosting theme images, to KeyCDN for hosting all images and static assets (Font, CSS & JS). There’s a few things that we like about “Key” apart from saving $6 a month on the monthly minimum spend ($4 vs $10 for imgix). Key allow for a custom CNAME (no more advertising imgix.com in domain requests and possible SEO improvements - and easier to swap to another host down the track). Key allows JPEG/WebP image requests based on clients ‘accept’ http headers - imgix required a ?auto=format query string on each image resource request - which can break some caches. Key allows for explicitly denying cookies to be set on a zone/domain; cookies are a big strain on limited upload bandwidth so to be able to force these off is great - Cloudflare adds a cookie to every header… for “performance reasons”… but remember “if you’re getting a product something for free…”

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Bram Verdonck
Bram Verdonck
Founder at CloudvCard · | 5 upvotes · 7.1K views
atCloudvCardCloudvCard
AWS CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon Route 53
Amazon Route 53
CloudFlare
CloudFlare

Yesterday we moved away from using CloudFlare towards Amazon Route 53 for a few reasons. Although CloudFlare is a great platform, once you reach almost a 100% AWS Service integration, it makes it hard to still use CloudFlare in the stack. Also being able to use Aliases for DNS makes it faster because instead of doing a CNAME and an A record lookup, you will be able to receive the A records from the end services directly. We always loved working with CloudFlare , especially for DNS as we already used Amazon CloudFront for CDN. But having everything within AWS makes it "cleaner" when deploying automatically using AWS CloudFormation. All that aside, the main reason for moving towards Amazon Route 53 for DNS is the ability to do geolocation and latency based DNS responses. Doing this outside the AWS console would increase the complexity.

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Interest over time
Reviews of Amazon CloudFront and CloudFlare
Review ofCloudFlareCloudFlare

I first wore my first domain cloudflare IE "https://rifqiarief.tk" until now can still be visited, I am really grateful to the cloudflare, thanks to rare to my website down cloudflare, before my website is down so often, because I'm wearing a great resource, and dilimit by my hosting party "be advised, I wear free hosting:D" now thanks to him, to my website really stable, unless it's really my full server connection my server, run faster, regardless of my location in Indonesia, unfortunately the cloudflare doesn't have a datacenter in Indonesia, if you don't believe me, please visit my website "https://rifqiarief.tk"

Review ofAmazon CloudFrontAmazon CloudFront

I love CloudFront. All my assets are hosted by them, and they cut page load time in half, and my average bill is around $0.15/month. They're good, fast, and cheap — pick three!

How developers use Amazon CloudFront and CloudFlare
Avatar of StackShare
StackShare uses Amazon CloudFrontAmazon CloudFront

We chose CloudFront mostly because it’s incredibly popular. But also because it’s the recommended CDN for Heroku, which means there shouldn’t be any problems using them together. Rails makes it really easy to drop in a CDN reference for your app so that when your assets get compiled, they’re shipped off to the CDN and then deployed with your app.

So anytime we push to Heroku, we’re pushing up to CloudFront (if the assets don’t already exist). One major issue we still haven’t been able to solve involves Fonts. Has anyone actually been able to get fonts served up through CloudFront using Rails 4 and Heroku? Literally spent hours researching this and can’t find any solutions. We ended up just referencing a CDN for all the font libraries.

We have a separate distribution for each environment, since I don’t think it’s possible to use the same distribution for the multiple domains.

Avatar of Tim Lucas
Tim Lucas uses CloudFlareCloudFlare

Cloudflare sits in front of the entire site providing HTTP2 and HTTPS, which is particularly important due the large number of SVG images for the headings that need to be send down to the browser in parallel. Cloudflare also manages the DNS for DKIM TXT records, a dynamic root ALIAS record to the Heroku application, and GeoIP country headers.

Avatar of Volkan Özçelik
Volkan Özçelik uses Amazon CloudFrontAmazon CloudFront

I use CloudFront to front the static website at zerotoherojs.com that I host in an s3 bucket.

This way, I don’t have to worry about scalability or performance, as I’ll know that the content will be delivered to the users as fast as possible from the closest edge location.

Avatar of ShadowICT
ShadowICT uses CloudFlareCloudFlare

We use CloudFlare to protect our network from breaches as well as to reduce bandwidth on the servers themselves and therefore freeing up the bandwidth for our other projects. We also use CloudFlare for instant DNS propagation across the internet where possible.

Avatar of Adminout
Adminout uses CloudFlareCloudFlare

We love the free SSL and extensive CDN network. DDoS protection is a plus. Great premium features for rapidly growing projects. Cloudflare has helped us forget about silly things like asset minification and email obfuscation.

Avatar of Pathwright
Pathwright uses Amazon CloudFrontAmazon CloudFront

Parked in front of an nginx instance that serves all of our static assets. Performance and reliability have been excellent, and the header pass-through rules are wonderful. Price is affordable, as well.

Avatar of Jeff Flynn
Jeff Flynn uses Amazon CloudFrontAmazon CloudFront

In my opinion, the best Content Delivery Network for the money. This, along with other services from AWS's ecosystem make this the easy choice for CDN. Fast, simple and cheap.

Avatar of OnlineCity
OnlineCity uses CloudFlareCloudFlare

We use CF for DNS hosting, since their AnyCast DNS provides the best latency in the business, and they support DNSSEC + IPv6. We don't use the CDN or website optimizations.

Avatar of CloudRepo
CloudRepo uses Amazon CloudFrontAmazon CloudFront

We use this because it's a CDN that sits in front of our static resources hosted in S3. It makes it so that users in other countries can have quick access to our portal.

Avatar of Adrian Harabulă
Adrian Harabulă uses CloudFlareCloudFlare

lots of good stuff available for free that you don't even think about it, default configuration saves you weeks of work, painless https setup, good to kickstart projects

How much does Amazon CloudFront cost?
How much does CloudFlare cost?