Skip to main content


What is a CDN?

A content delivery network (CDN) is a group of interconnected servers that is geographically distributed to enable faster web performance. The servers that are closest to the end user cache content so that it takes less time to load.

Major websites like Facebook, Netflix and Amazon serve their web traffic through CDNs because it allows for the quick transfer of assets. Elements such as HTML pages, JavaScript files, stylesheets, images and videos can be loaded more quickly using CDNs.

Why is a CDN important for live streaming?

Live streaming requires the quick and reliable transfer of large video files over the internet. A CDN ensures that the video content can be delivered to several geographic locations quickly. Most major live streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube and Facebook use CDNs to deliver content to billions of users worldwide.

CDNs are crucial for live streaming for several reasons:

  • Scalability: CDNs can have servers scattered across the globe and handle traffic spikes effectively.
  • Reliability: CDNs have a network of servers so if one goes down another is ready to take its place.
  • Performance: Since CDNs reduce the physical distance between the server and the user, they also reduce latency.
  • Quality of experience: CDNs can distribute the load, reduce latency, and manage bandwidth — all of which minimize buffering and improve the viewer experience.
  • Security: CDNs can use security features that help prevent malicious attacks or unauthorized access.
  • Cost-efficiency: CDNs help optimize bandwidth usage, which lowers costs.
  • Real-time engagement: CDNs can handle multiple simultaneous streams and facilitate real-time interactions like polls and chats

There are countless CDN providers out there and they come with different features to help meet users’ needs. The most popular CDNs are:

  • Cloudflare
  • Akamai
  • StackPath
  • Fastly
  • CacheFly
  • Amazon CloudFront
  • CDNetworks
  • Google