How a CDN Works

IT Server

If you’ve ever used Google’s Hosted Libraries to quickly link a javascript library on your website then you’ve used a CDN (Content Delivery Network), but how exactly does it work?

A content delivery network is a distrbuted network of servers that allows users to load the content closer to their geographic location. You may not think it really would improve speeds but it’s actually a very effective technique for delivering content for websites that have an audience all around the world or with high traffic. Not only does this help with speeds by providing the content from a closer location but it also helps to distribute the loading across many different servers.

When a user would load your webpage utilizing a CDN they would see no difference from the frontend however loading behind the scenes is a process that allows the CDN to detect which server the user is closest to and deliver the content from it. CDN’s also take advantage of caching and will only return a new hard copy of the content if it has been changed or is the first time being delivered.

Another additional benefit from using a CDN is that your site no longer uses the bandwidth for loading that resource when it is being delivered via CDN!

Here is a list of some of the top CDN’s to take advantage of today: