Video streaming has become one of the most popular ways to consume content online with the advent of the internet. The world has become smaller and more connected, with people from all corners of the globe able to watch the same video simultaneously. Thus, the need for quality video streaming has become more important than ever.
One of the most important aspects of streaming video is the choice of CDN. A CDN, or content delivery network, is a network of servers that delivers video content to users. There are various video CDN providers available, each with its strengths and weaknesses.
In this article, we will look at the basic knowledge of CDN and review 5 of the best CDNs for video streaming.
What is a CDN?
The acronym CDN means Content Delivery Network. A content delivery network (CDN) refers to computers that deliver digital content, usually video or audio, to end-users. The CDN caches the content on its servers closest to the end-user, resulting in faster content delivery.
Since the video streaming market is rising rapidly, the demand for video streaming CDN is also growing. More and more businesses are moving their video content to video CDN providers to ensure smooth streaming for their viewers.
CDN is a necessary investment for a professional broadcaster to guarantee quality and uninterrupted live streaming service to their viewers.
How does a CDN work for live streaming?
The main purpose of using a CDN is to reduce streaming latency. Streaming latency is the delay between when a video is requested and when it starts playing. The longer the streaming latency, the higher the chance viewers will give up watching the video.
Live streaming without delay is crucial for any broadcaster. By reducing the streaming latency, broadcasters can keep their viewers engaged and reduce the chances of abandoning the live stream. CDNs make this possible by caching the video content on servers nearest to the viewers. It cuts down on the time for the video to load, thus reducing the streaming latency.
When a viewer requests a video, the CDN server delivers the video from the local cache instead of the origin server. It reduces the streaming latency and ensures smooth streaming for all viewers.
Benefits of Using a CDN for Video Streaming
When it comes to video streaming, using a CDN is essential for ensuring a smooth, uninterrupted viewing experience for your audience. By using a CDN, you can reduce latency and keep your viewers engaged. Video streaming CDNs are particular CDN types designed to support video stream delivery.
A video streaming CDN ensures that your viewers receive the same high-quality streaming experience. If streamed from a CDN, the content is delivered from a server closest to the viewer’s location. It cuts down on the amount of time it takes for the video to start playing and also helps to reduce buffering.
The best CDNs for video streaming offer a wide range of services and features, including:
- A global network of servers that can handle large volumes of traffic
- Ability to cache videos locally to reduce latency
- Real-time analytics so you can see how your videos are performing
- Integrated transcoding for converting videos to different formats
- Integrated content delivery for distributing videos to different devices
5 Best CDNs for Video Streaming
1. Akamai CDN
Akamai is one of the most well-known and popular CDNs for video streaming. They have a tremendous contribution to the video streaming market.
Akamai is a company that provides content distribution services for video streaming. They started their journey in 1998, and by 2021, they are worth $3.5 billion with up 7% yearly growth rate according to stats from last year alone! They have over 1350 networks worldwide that provide high-speed content delivery across 135 countries.
Key Features of Akamai CDN Service:
- Image & Video Manager
- Adaptive Media Delivery (AMD)
- API Acceleration
- Media Analytics
- Media Services Live
- Adaptive Media Player
- API Gateway
- Google Cloud Platform Interconnect
- Global Traffic Management
2. Amazon CloudFront CDN
Amazon CloudFront is a video content delivery network from Amazon.com, Inc. It is a global content delivery network (CDN) that delivers your content to users with low latency and high throughput.
CloudFront is one of the popular video CDN providers that operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, so you only pay for the services you use. You can get started with CloudFront for free. There is no minimum usage requirement and no long-term contract.
Key Features of CloudFront:
- High-quality videos without latency
- Fast content delivery
- Secured Websites
- Accelerate Dynamic Content Delivery
- On-demand video hosting
- Geo-redundant storage
- Integrated with AWS services
3. Fastly CDN
Fastly is quickly becoming one of the most popular CDNs for video streaming. They offer a wide range of services and have some great features.
The fully configurable CDN of Fastly caches your dynamic and static content at the edge of their global network. This makes your media available closer to your viewers, improving response times and reducing buffering. Fastly caches your entire website, including dynamic content and large files like videos and software downloads. You can easily adjust your configuration settings via an API or the Fastly web interface.
Key features of Fastly CDN:
- Real-time visibility
- Low Latency
- API friendly Control
- Change the Content Rapidly
- Stress-free Rollbacks
- Device Detection
- Detect Geolocation
- Edge Dictionaries
4. Cloudflare CDN
Cloudflare CDN is one of the perfect content delivery networks for businesses looking for a reliable and affordable CDN.
It offers ultra-fast static and dynamic content delivery, as well as security and performance enhancements for your website.
Cloudflare has a global network of data centers that provide fast and reliable delivery of your content.
Key Features of Cloudflare CDN:
- Video CDN Provider with Fast & Agile Network
- Static and Dynamic Content Delivery
- Highly Customizable CDN
- Increased Bandwidth Savings
- Real-time Traffic Analytics
- Support for HTTP/3
- Support for HLS, CMAF, and MPEG-DASH Video Files
- Web Cache Deception Protection
Different video CDN providers offer different features and pricing plans. You need to choose the best CDN for video streaming according to your needs and budget. We hope this article will help you choose the best CDN for your video streaming needs. If you need further information or have any questions, comment below, and we will be happy to assist you.
For getting the best performance for your video streaming, Castr uses the Multi-CDN strategy to deliver your content. You can use our platform to stream your live videos and on-demand videos to any device without any hassle. Try Castr for free today.