15 Excellent and Cheaper Content Delivery Network (CDN) Alternatives to Akamai

A content delivery network system is a collection of internet servers which serves about one third of the most visited websites. The system improves speed of access for download-able data, applications, queries, web objects and media streams, as it increases the access bandwidth and reduces latency.

It contains copies of data located at different nodes of the selected servers, providing service from servers which are located geographically close to the user, hence saving access time. Furthermore, this unique method assists in reducing load on web application and improves scalability. There are several types of Content Deliver Networks which includes third party CDN providers too.

Akamai is one of the most famous CDNs which support many of the Fortune 50 sites. Akamai delivers between 15-30% of all Web traffic. Though Akamai is the leader, if your work is restricted to the US, there is no need to spend on Akamai as you can go for other efficient but cheap alternatives, such as the ones mentioned in this list.

Some companies may prefer to roll their own CDN using open source libraries along with freely available public CDNs just like for jQuery and other popular libraries.

Here is a list of 15 popular CDN alternatives to Akamai–

  1. CoralCDN
  2. CoralCDN is a free CDN and the source code is available through GNU GPL. CoralCDN locates cached objects and helps to improve the availability of data. It is built on key indexing infrastructure which is called Coral. The drawback of Coral is that it can be blocked by a few antivirus software and web filtering packages (Websense and Open DNS.)

  3. Incapsula
  4. Incapsula is a technologically advanced CDN platform preferred by business-oriented websites - from privately held e-commerce platforms to large bitcoin exchanges and Fortune 50 organizations. Incapsula uses its CDN platform to provide high-quality added value security services, including DDoS protection and PCI DSS compliant WAF. Incapsula’s enterprise plan also offers various high availability features, including in-datacenter and cross-datacenter failover and load balancing. Incapsula CDN has a Free plan option and several of paid subscription plans, starting at $19/month.

  5. Amazon CloudFront
  6. Amazon CloudFront provides cloud computing, database and storage. Amazon costs $0.075 per 10,000 HTTP requests and $0.0100 per 10,000 HTTPS requests in the US. The rates vary with region. Users can also go for reserved capacity pricing, if the usage level is lower than 10 TB per month in one region.

  7. CacheFly
  8. CacheFly is a reliable CDN which ranked at #1 in a website comparison of 24 CDNs for efficiency by ‘Cloudclimate.com’. The custom plan of CacheFly costs $0.03 / GB and a risk free trial is provided for 30 days. The minimum package is available at $99 / month.

  9. MaxCDN
  10. Max CDN provides easy uploading, GZip compression (unlike Cloudfront), is compatible with shared hosts, provides caching of database / pages / posts / RSS and is easy to install as well. It is priced at 2.9 cents for a GB and it takes $39.95 annually for 1000GB. Its major drawback is that it does not have sufficient nodes in Asia.

  11. ProCDN
  12. ProCDN provides Grid Service and has a dedicated server. It is provides fast access to data and is one of the most affordable providers. It is in fact the first company authorized to host iASP for Macromedia’s Flash Communication Server and Linux. ProCDN’s rate is $20 per month for 200 GB data transfer.

  13. BitGravity
  14. BitGravity was established in 2006 and has nodes across North America and Europe. It provides delivery of software, audio, video and advertisements. It is one of the first CDNs which allowed interactive broadcasting. The CMS only package is priced at $179 / month.

  15. Limelight
  16. Limelight has 900 user accesses across the globe and it provides features such as site caching, dynamic ad insertion, streaming etc. The service is priced at minimum $0.50 per GB for 500GB - 2 TB.

  17. CDNetworks
  18. CDNetworks is full service CDN which provides video streaming, image caching and large volume downloads. It has more than 80 POPs in 52 geographical regions and it has one of the best transfer performances. It is priced at $0.50 per GB.

  19. Swiftway
  20. Swiftway is a UK based hosting service which offers many different packages. It has 8 nodes in North America and Europe and you have to pay 39.95 € for 2000 GB data transfer per month.

  21. Edgecast
  22. Edgecast is a Los Angeles based CDN and claims to provide the fastest access to the biggest sites. It is priced at $250 for 500GB per month.

  23. Cotendo
  24. Cotendo provides high efficiency and secured delivery options through SSL. It has CDN balancer to distribute content and it is priced at minimum $400 for one million DNS queries per month.

  25. SoftLayer
  26. SoftLayer provides software for streaming, organizing and storing website content. It provides 250GB bandwidth for $45.00 and pay as you go starts at ($0.20 per/GB). It is recommended for good service and reliability.

  27. GoGrid
  28. GoGrid a reliable provider which is priced as pay-as-you-go, and there are no contracts on minimum usage. It has global footprint with nineteen POPs in four continents. It charges minimum $0.25/GB.

  29. CloudLayer
  30. CloudLayer is available on two distribution options – Origin Pull and POP Pull. It provides both monthly packages ($45 / month) and pay-as-you-go ($0.20 per GB).

  31. Level 3
  32. Level 3 has comprehensive CDN service which allows caching, streaming, delivering content, secure delivery as well as storage.
There are a number of other popular CDNs, besides the ones mentioned in above list. Do let us know in comments section if you have used some other CDNs which you were impressed with.

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