Amazon CloudFront vs CloudFlare vs Fastly

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Amazon CloudFront

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


When it comes to content delivery networks (CDNs), Amazon CloudFront, CloudFlare, and Fastly are three popular options. Each service offers unique features and strengths that cater to various needs of businesses and websites.

  1. Network Size and Reach: Amazon CloudFront boasts a massive global network with numerous edge locations worldwide, making it suitable for reaching a vast audience quickly. CloudFlare also has an extensive network with a strong emphasis on security features, while Fastly focuses on high-performance and low latency, often preferred by large enterprises with specific performance requirements.

  2. Security Features: CloudFlare is renowned for its robust security capabilities, offering protection against DDoS attacks, web application firewall (WAF), and other security threats. While Amazon CloudFront offers basic security features, CloudFlare provides more advanced protection options. Fastly focuses more on content delivery performance than on security, although it does offer some security features.

  3. Ease of Use and Configuration: Amazon CloudFront is known for its integration with other Amazon Web Services (AWS) products, making it a seamless choice for those already utilizing AWS services. CloudFlare, on the other hand, is praised for its user-friendly interface and straightforward setup process, suitable for both beginners and advanced users. Fastly is more geared towards developers and provides powerful tools for customization and fine-tuning of CDN configurations.

  4. Pricing Structure: Amazon CloudFront operates on a pay-as-you-go model, where users pay for the resources they consume. CloudFlare offers a free tier with additional paid plans that include more advanced features. Fastly's pricing is based on usage, with a focus on serving high-traffic websites efficiently, which may be cost-effective for businesses with specific performance needs.

  5. Cache Invalidation: CloudFlare and Fastly provide more advanced cache invalidation options compared to Amazon CloudFront. CloudFlare allows users to purge cache instantly on a specific URL or the entire cache, while Fastly offers real-time control over how content is cached and purged, giving users more flexibility in managing their CDN content.

  6. Real-Time Analytics and Monitoring: Fastly stands out for its real-time analytics and monitoring capabilities, providing detailed insights into traffic patterns, performance metrics, and audience behavior. Amazon CloudFront and CloudFlare also offer analytics tools, but Fastly's focus on real-time data can be beneficial for businesses that require immediate insights to optimize content delivery strategies.

In Summary, Amazon CloudFront, CloudFlare, and Fastly each offer unique strengths in terms of network reach, security features, ease of use, pricing, cache invalidation, and analytics capabilities, catering to different needs and preferences of businesses and websites.

Decisions about Amazon CloudFront, CloudFlare, and Fastly
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 Amazon CloudFront
Pros of CloudFlare
Pros of Fastly
  • 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
  • 423
    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
  • 28
    Real-time updates
  • 26
    Fastest CDN
  • 22
    Powerful API
  • 20
    Great support
  • 14
    Great customer support
  • 7
    Instant Purging
  • 7
    Custom VCL
  • 6
    Good pricing
  • 6
    Tag-based Purging
  • 5
    HTTP/2 Support
  • 4
    Speed & functionality
  • 4
    Image processing on demande (Fastly IO)
  • 4
    Best CDN

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Cons of Amazon CloudFront
Cons of CloudFlare
Cons of Fastly
  • 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
  • 1
    Minimum $50/mo spend

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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.

What is 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.

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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, CloudFlare, and Fastly?
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.
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
Azure CDN
It lets you reduce load times, save bandwidth, and speed responsiveness—whether you’re developing or managing websites or mobile apps, or encoding and distributing streaming media, gaming software, firmware updates, or IoT endpoints.
See all alternatives