Content Delivery Network Pricing. CDN Pricing
Despite the fact that the Internet seemed
saturated for a while now, it never stopped growing as a whole, since more and more
opportunities appear for both businesses and regular people. In this context, it is easy to see
how the usage of Content Delivery Networks became a necessity for the majority of websites. With
the number of advantages they can offer to a website, it is not that unusual for CDNs to become
more and more common all over the internet.
However, the existence of so many CDN brands
makes the matter of pricing somewhat problematic – it is hard to judge if the CDN cost is
justified, and it is hard to figure out if the service of the CDN provider would be on par with
its pricing. One of the biggest deal-breakers here is branding, surprisingly enough.
For a CDN, branding is a major part of its
pricing policy – there is a direct dependency between the popularity of a specific CDN and the
possibility of this specific CDN asking for a higher price than its lesser-known competitors.
While the overall pricing for CDN services on the market is slowly becoming more flexible, it is
still not flexible enough to stop a lot of potential customers from choosing a free CDN service,
even if it does not offer the best results for the customer's website.
This is how we
can figure out the biggest prerequisite for the best CDN – fair and transparent CDN pricing. The
popularity is not everything in the wide market of CDNs. It is easy to choose a popular CDN
(because of its popularity), or a free one (because of its price), but you may find other issues
with it aside from the Content Delivery Network pricing.
The first variable here is the
sheer scale of the service that a free CDN can provide – it may be enough for a small project or
a single customer with a website that consists of 3-4 pages with images or text posts. At the
same time, a free CDN would not be able to work at the speed and scalability that is necessary
for a growing business.
Additionally, a free CDN may outright lack some of the
important features that are considered a norm for any premium CDN, be it monitoring
capabilities, WAF, DNS network, DDoS protection, video streaming support, SSL, etc. With the
overwhelming popularity of CDN as a service, the Content Delivery Network pricing per terabyte
of data gradually gets lower, too, making a premium CDN service more accessible for a larger
group of potential customers.
What does the CDN pricing depend on?
CDN Cost Comparison
UCDN US+EU (18 POPs)
AHCDN US+EU (23 POPs)
HIGHWINDS US+EU (36
VERIZON US+EU (43 POPs)
CDNNOW Russia+CIS (34
When it comes to CDN pricing, it is
important to figure out what payment model your future CDN offers, be it a monthly contract or a
pay-as-you-go model. Additionally, each CDN's cost is divided into several different target
areas, offering you an insight into why a specific service costs a specific sum of money. For
example, here are some of the bigger contributors to a CDN's cost as a whole:
CDN set-up costs;
Traffic costs for your website;
Minimum monthly payment, if applicable;
Specific features that are outlined in your contract with a CDN (customer support, data
centers, SSL certificates, etc.), and more
One of the biggest advantages of a free CDN is that you can just get it whenever you want –
and testing it out for yourself might be a great way to find out if it suits you or not.
However, most of the time a customer quickly realizes how many important areas are not
particularly covered by free CDNs.
The first example here is server distribution. It is
extremely important for any growing service to be able to load quickly from pretty much any
place in the world – which makes an even CDN server distribution a priority of the highest
level. Unfortunately, free CDNs often do not have the scale nor the server numbers to cover a
lot of areas at once – or some of the servers would be straight-up unavailable for you if your
CDN offers both a paid and a free plan to its users.
Our second example is customer
support – a fast customer support response time is pretty much unheard of when it comes to a
free CDN. Most of the premium CDN services prioritize their paid users and pride themselves on
fast and efficient customer support as a whole. There is no such priority for free CDN users,
since everyone is on the same "free" level, and this often turns solving a simple problem into a
long waiting game.
As such, the benefits of a paid CDN far outweigh its costs –
especially when it comes to some of the best CDNs on the market that are already cheap on their
own. This is where CDN resellers come in, such as SpaceCDN, offering multiple different CDN
provider services (Verizon, UCDN, HighWinds, AHCDN and CDNNOW) with some of the lowest CDN
pricing on the market – offering you the ability to pick the one that suits your use case the