A content delivery network (CDN) is a group of servers distributed across different geographical locations that work together to deliver fast internet content delivery.
Properly configured CDNs also help to protect sites against malicious attacks like Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks.
Not only does this CDN block suspicious traffic even before it hits your site, but it also protects a site from comment spam and registration spam.
Combined with Cloudflare’s global network, your web page will load faster than ever before.
In addition, Cloudflare offers protection from DDoS attacks and hacking attempts.
What’s more, websites hosted on Cloudflare are automatically SSL enabled, protecting users’ information by encrypting it.
Cloudflare also provides automatic backups if your website crashes so users won’t lose essential data. The best part is that Cloudflare can keep your site up even when there’s heavy traffic or servers aren’t responsive.
However, Cloudflare lacks cache control, which may force users to handle it manually. Also, your website’s pages will load slower to new visits because Cloudflare adds a layer between your visitors and your web server, waiting to optimize the files before sending them.
If this is too much of a hassle for you, here are the best alternatives you can use.
Akamai Technologies is among the world’s largest CDNs. Its primary product, the Akamai CDN, enhances website performance, protects against DDoS attacks, and scales with the growth of its client’s websites.
One of Akamai’s main features is its smart routing. Akamai chooses the best route to deliver your content based on performance and the availability of connections between them and your end-users.
Another prominent feature is their global network. They have thousands of servers located in hundreds of networks spread worldwide. This enables them to increase performance and availability, thanks to localized caching.
What makes Akamai superior to Cloudflare is that it protects fantastic security features, such as web page integrity and account takeover prevention.
When your user requests content from a website that Akamai does not optimize, Akamai will fetch the content from your origin server and cache it in their nearest data center. Then they’ll deliver the cached content to your end-users.
This CDN also provides WAF (Web Application Firewall) services for protecting your origin servers from DDoS attacks and web application security. This increases the security of your website when you compare it to Cloudflare.
The software offers you a free trial to test some of their products. Their pricing plan comes after the trial has ended.
Also Read: Difference Between Antivirus & Firewall
The Amazon CloudFront CDN stores websites’ data, images, and videos worldwide so that your website’s visitors can download them as fast as possible through servers nearby their location.
One of its main benefits is its simplicity in integration: Amazon CloudFront is integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which means all you need to start working on is your AWS account.
I also came to learn that the software offers a guarantee on uptime, meaning Amazon CloudFront promises each object will be delivered to your visitors with 99.99% uptime or better.
Besides, the tool supports multiprotocol that is both HTTP and HTTPS.
Moreover, Amazon CloudFront supports AWS WAF, which means you can integrate your website with an advanced firewall that helps detect and mitigate DDoS attacks.
Amazon CloudFront’s granular but simple data management controls make it easy for IT teams to handle every element of their apps or site. This feature gives it an edge over Cloudflare, whose controls are difficult to set up, as they must go through API.
Amazon CloudFront already has servers all over the world, so you don’t need to upload all your static content to each region. This can be done automatically using Amazon S3 buckets.
The software is also a bit cheaper, which is best for starting businesses. They will offer you a free tier to get up to 1 TB accessible data transfer. If you want more, the pricing starts at $0.085 for the first 10TB.
Fastly is a CDN and cloud proxy service that allows you to manage and deliver content effectively and securely.
One of its main features is that it has a variable cache lifetime, meaning your content can be cached for a different amount of time, depending on how much you need.
Fastly has an easy-to-use API that you can use to deliver content (including HTML) through its edge network.
You can also integrate it with your current third-party service, like Google Analytics or Optimizely.
It has a user-friendly dashboard that can help you manage resources more efficiently.
Unlike Cloudflare, It has a TLS encrypt certificate and HTTP/2 (new technology you should be using if you aren’t) to secure your content.
It also has an edge network that can be used to deliver static content (HTML, JS, CSS…), cached files, and dynamic content.
Fastly is a good solution for businesses that need to do A/B testing easily and manage CDN resources and security simultaneously.
Unlike other CDNs, with Fastly, you can deliver your content in less than 30 seconds after the initial request.
The tool offers you a free trial, and then later, you can upgrade your membership for the starting Essential, Professional, and Enterprise account.
Sucuri is an award-winning Website Protection Company. They recently announced their new Sucuri Firewall service, which is a cloud-based security solution that automatically detects and blocks threats at the firewall level.
The software also does regular backups of your site, monitors the need to update plugins/themes, and provides advice to help your website be more secure.
Sucuri Firewall is an intermediary security layer that sits before your server to protect it against intrusions. It also provides considerable protection against DDoS attacks.
Sucuri provides proactive protection against malware injections, site intrusions, blacklisting, and more. They are very transparent about what they do, and new security measures are mentioned on their blog.
It’s packed with robust security features like file integrity scans and malware removal. Cloudflare doesn’t offer the same.
Sucuri offers a basic platform for $199.99 per year and a pro platform for $299.99 per year for starters. Moreover, there is a business platform for $499.99.
Reblaze is an anti-DDoS & website protection company. They use intelligent techniques to ensure your application never goes down or gets attacked by botnets.
It has more fine-tuned security controls like limiting the max bandwidth of an IP (throttling) or setting which kind of attacks you want to block.
In addition, it offers a bot protection feature where it automatically filters out bots and other malicious apps. While Cloudflare has some measures to protect your website against DDoS, it doesn’t automatically detect bots the way Reblaze does. Instead, it uses behavioral analysis and machine learning to detect and block bad bots.
Reblaze protects your website by doing real-time monitoring of what is going on. If your website is under attack, they will either stop the DDoS attack or filter out the bad requests in real-time through their mitigations.
Moreover, instead of requests going directly to your web server, requests will first go through Reblaze, which performs its filtering and then will be sent to your web server. This ensures that even if your web server is under attack, it will never face a slowdown.
Reblaze offers you a free trial, which they can later send you a subscription plan direct to your email, depending on your needs.
Also Read: Best Utility Software
KeyCDN is a content delivery network (CDN) service offered by KeyTech Ltd. KeyCDN allows you to host files on their servers and distribute them out to users via a global CDN.
The tool supports HTTP/2, which is faster than HTTP/1.x because it requires only one connection between the client and server, which leads to smoother page loading.
HTTP/2 also offers server push, which allows the server to preemptively send CSS and JS files to the client without being asked first.
Server push is used, so the client doesn’t have to request these files, which saves time on page load.
KeyCDN offers a maximum upload size of 5 GB, which is way better than Cloudflare’s 100 MB.
The software offers a 14-day free trial, which you can use without adding your credit card. They also have a paid plan that starts at $0.04 per GB a month. Its charges are also quite fair since the more you purchase their product, the cheaper it gets.
Explore: Best Free Antivirus For Android
CDN77 is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that lets you cache your site’s static content in their own data centers, which allows you to save bandwidth and load web pages a lot faster.
One of its features is the CDN77 API, which allows its customers to access server stats and control how their content is delivered.
Another feature is that it lets you use your own domain name on the CDN servers. Unlike Cloudflare, this lets you keep complete control over your content without having to make any DNS changes.
They also have a free SSL certificate included for each domain, even if it’s being used on GitHub pages.
You can also automatically purge files or entire folders from their servers using one simple API call.
Last but not least, they have excellent customer support that is always available to help.
They offer a monthly plan depending on how much traffic you would need. For instance, the starting package is monthly traffic of 6TB, which costs $199.
Check Out: Best Avast Alternatives
BitMitigate is a service that functions as a security measure to ensure websites and their users stay safe from DDOS attacks.
One of its main features is that it allows the user to choose which specific traffic or protocols are to be filtered, this way allowing them to continue using their website while keeping it safe.
The factor that makes BitMitigate superior to Cloudflare is that it offers a more flexible and customizable service, allowing you to configure its features according to your needs.
Moreover, instead of offering protection on a set of protocols and traffic, BitMitigate provides you with complete control over your site’s security.
This is done through a dashboard where one can see statistics about the website performance under attack, as well as being able to configure the mitigation settings.
BitMitigate also offers the option to use dedicated IPs specifically for its users by renting them from hosting providers. This means that the IP will point specifically to the user’s website and at no other.
Also Read: Best Revo Uninstaller Alternatives
BunnyCDN is a CDN (Content Delivery Network) based on open-source code. BunnyCDN delivers data fast, reliably, and securely to different locations around the world. The tool is not only faster than commercial CDNs, but it’s also at least ten times cheaper.
One of its features is that you can customize your hostname and choose the location where your data will be delivered. BunnyCDN is a worldwide CDN, so it enables you to deliver content in different countries that you target.
BunnyCDN also provides you with cache statistics, resource management tools that give you ultimate control over your bandwidth. Its API makes BunnyCDN highly compatible with any platform, CMS, or programming language.
BunnyCDN is also very easy to use because it can function with four different types of scripts, namely: URL, HTTP, SOAP, and LWP. BunnyCDN can function even with non-DNS scripts.
BunnyCDN allows video streaming and has a video delivery network with custom cache expiry.
The software contains region-based pricing that starts at $0.01 per GB. Notably, its pricing is more affordable than Cloudflare’s and is region and bandwidth-based rather than monthly-based.
10 Cloud CDN
Cloud CDN is a solution provided by Google Cloud Platform to help your website scale. It is an edge cloud service that helps to serve your content faster than ever.
It allows you to host static content on the Cloud CDN servers close to the user. The Cloud CDN content is cached on these servers, and subsequent requests by users are routed from a nearby edge location.
This means it loads all assets, including HTML files, images, and media files, from a fast, low-latency edge location closest to the user, thus improving the loading speed.
Another feature of Cloud CDN is that it caches frequently accessed content on a network of over 100 edge servers around the world.
Moreover, Cloud CDN allows you to configure custom cache behavior for each path of your website.
Unlike Cloudflare, you can set different cache-expiration policies and headers to meet the needs of your specific application.
The tool offers a free plan to get started. On top of that, there are a variety of plans available for you, depending on how much traffic you want to use and your location.
Zscaler is a cloud security solution with over 100 data centers across the world. It has flexible scalability and top-notch performance that enables its clients to deliver content at fast speeds.
Zscaler partners with internet exchange points to provide boosted performance with excellent uptime. It reliably scales to its users’ traffic needs, including SSL. With this solution, you are well protected against cloud security issues since it responds automatically to breaches and blocks.
The CDN offers a three-tiered solution with unified control and consistent policy. It contains modules that offer swift and resilient performance.
Users can send their traffic into Zscaler’s enforcement nodes to generate data logs. This capability lets users access services, applications, and content with utmost security.
Its activity monitor scans the cloud system to allow users a unified interface for threat data, software and database updates, and settings. The software has Nanolog technology for compressing logs while ensuring that they stay lossless.
Zscaler uses HTML5, JQuery, and other products. While Cloudflare hides its network security features, this software shows them openly. It has helped many large enterprises to reduce their costs by simplifying IT operations.
Its prices are quote-based.
Check Out: Best Speedtest Alternatives
Imperva is another cloud security platform for websites and blogs offering DDoS protection, load balancing, and failover services.
One notable feature of this service is the bot recognition engine. It helps reduce false positives in attacks, including the overly sophisticated Layer 7 attacks. Layer 7 attacks often target particular areas of the website, making it hard to detect malicious traffic.
Imperva also offers extra DDoS protection for infrastructures like email and FTP. It has a free tier, with other paid tiers, including WAF and DDoS protection.
Its ‘IncapRules’ feature is a scripting language that offers detailed and complete control of the security policies for all the clients. It gives them access to tools that analyze crucial information on incoming traffic, including client type, access rates, location, and headers.
Compared to Cloudflare, Imperva offers powerful features like code minification, session reuse, and TCP connection pre-pooling to enhance your website’s speed.
It has plenty of data centers with Behemoth machines with the ability to handle 170 Gn/s of data per piece. They can also process up to 100 million packets every second. Imperva offers app and data features separately.
Imperva offers a free trial, with paid pricing plans available on quote.
StackPath is a platform offering cloud security by creating technologies that keep you safe from online threats. It allows you to deliver content with ease without the fear of threats.
StackPath has 90 active technologies, with its products and services using 30 of them, including JQuery and HTML5. It has a user-friendly, responsive interface.
Compared to Cloudflare, StackPath is easier to use when doing business. Its simplicity is the main reason why small enterprises prefer StackPath.
The content delivery service for StackPath is integrated with a fully documented API and web application firewall. It also has instant configuration updates, real-time analytics, instant purging, and origin shield.
This platform also offers built-in analytics and reporting, together with exhaustive standard policies you can manage via its portal. It has Serverless Scripting and RESTful API too.
Its pricing strategy is simple to grasp and quite affordable. The Basic plan is $15/month, while its Enterprise Plans are available on quote. With all the plans, you get SSL, DDoS, and WAF protection.
14. Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure is well known for delivering high bandwidth content. It has top-of-the-line proficiency with the ability to cache static objects using POP (closest point of presence). Microsoft Azure is also excellent when it comes to accelerating dynamic content while leveraging efficient routing optimizations and multiple networks.
With Microsoft Azure, you are assured of extensive scaling when handling high loads. If you’re hosting a big event, high traffic will not bring your site down. It is actually the best in this area when you compare it with Cloudflare.
It also offers great customization, allowing you to fine-tune it for better outcomes. You can also create custom mobile experiences assisted by the smart traffic manager, HockeyApp, Xamarin, and Axure Cosmos DB.
Microsoft Azure offers a 12-month free plan with paid ‘pay as you go’ plans.
Rackspace is a dedicated cloud computing platform offering CDN services to help enhance the performance of your websites, web applications, and eCommerce sites.
It utilizes the pay-as-you-go pricing system which lets you pay $0.16/GB to use its services. The platform is built on a powerful cloud infrastructure to ensure fast speeds. It has over 200 data centers across the globe.
Some of its features include rules for caching, pulling content from the website’s origin servers, purging content from the CDN edge nodes, and access restrictions. It also has top-notch customer support compared to Cloudflare.
Rackspace enhances performance for publicly distributed assets including web application components, website content ads, interactive experiences, and media-like videos. CDNs reduce these assets’ load time by caching them on the edge nodes (edge servers or point of presence (POP) servers).
With edge nodes distributed worldwide, they get to cache the content, serving it directly to your clients to reduce the transit time to their location.
The Rackspace Cloud Control Panel (API) has simple provisioning that helps you to CDN-enable your applications and websites in seconds regardless of where your content is stored. You can also manage your CDN-enabled domains and all the assets and origins connected with these domains.
It works well with all origins including cloud load balancers, cloud servers, dedicated servers, cloud files, and other sources that have a public interface. Its prices are quote-based.
Rackspace uses Akamai Technologies CDN, which is among the largest distributed computing platforms in the world with more than 230 edge nodes. It can cache publicly accessible resources that are hosted in a public cloud files container or on a cloud server instance.
With a single global endpoint for accessing API and a RESTful API, you have everything you need to achieve the best outcomes.
Our winning CDN platform is StackPath. It creates technologies that ensure you get enough protection against online threats.
StackPath isn’t just user-friendly; its content delivery service is integrated with API and web application firewall too.
Alongside cloud security, you also benefit from real-time analytics and reporting, serverless scripting, instant configuration updates, instant purging, and origin shield. Besides its simplicity, you also get to enjoy affordable pricing inclusive of DDoS, SSL, and WAF protection.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.