What is Cloudfront and what does it do?

The Amazon Cloudfront is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) provided by AWS, the world’s largest Cloud Computing platform. Cloudfront offers a globally spread out network of proxy servers that cache website content. This is extremely useful for speeding up the distribution of bulky media towards the end user. Interactive web pages usually host static or dynamic content that may normally take too much time to load due to their high definition or heavy file size.  

When a consumer visits a website, a request for the page content is triggered. If the website has Cloudfront, the users are directed to the nearest data center. This data center is called an ‘edge location’, which is a place where you can view the content with minimum latency. As a result, videos, slideshows, animation etc. reach the user at a faster rate, enhancing the overall experience.

Here’s Why You Should Consider It:

High Availability

AWS has a vast infrastructure that allots 132 points of presence across 26 countries around the world. Out of these 121 are edge locations and the remaining are Regional. If your website is regularly accessed by people from different parts of the world, you should consider getting an Amazon Cloudfront. Conventionally a user will receive content from the main server, which is its origin or host location. Users trying to view from far off places will then have to wait for a longer time as compared to those closer to the main server.

With Cloudfront, your content can be cached by numerous edge locations, providing faster data transfer to everyone. Moreover, you can customize your content before it reaches the consumer. For example, you can partially filter images for people of a certain area or send a personal message instead of a generic one at times when your website is down.

Customizable

You can also set a duration for cached material to stay at an edge point. When you lower the duration, it is so that the consumer can see latest or changing content. Increasing the duration helps improve the media quality and speed of content for the end user.

Cloudfront takes video hosting to a whole new level by enabling recorded as well as live streaming. You can choose the video player for presenting your content and add your personal touch. Your content can reach all viewers in real-time and consistent quality, despite their remote location. When your website is on a single server, the viewer in another continent will end up cursing the endless video buffering.

Trouble Free

Amazon’s Cloudfront is the safest CDN in existence. It is integrated with AWS WAF (web application firewall) and AWS Shield, which protects your app from major threats and attacks. The entire setup functions in accordance with ISO, PCI, HIPAA and DSS, thus keeping all your sensitive data in safe hands. You are provided free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for your website, which guarantees a secure connection with users. You can also choose your content to be un-downloadable in order to eradicate copyright infringement.

Affordable & Flexible

Most CDNs are subject to a fixed monthly fee and grant you a defined amount of storage and bandwidth. It doesn’t matter how less you use and there’s also no room for extra usage unless you pay more. Amazon Cloudfront is unique because it works on a pay as you go formula. Therefore, you are only charged for the storage or bandwidth that you use. Also, you might use more than the usual at times – no worries there either as you will be charged at the same rate. It’s a simple and convenient approach, best for websites that undergo drastic traffic variations.

Bonus Points

Similar to YouTube, videos hosted in Cloudfront can be skipped to any point without waiting for the whole thing to download. It also offers simulated live content which is actually recorded content that mimics live streaming, i.e all viewers will see the same part of the video, no matter when they join in. Amazon CloudFront can easily integrate with all AWS services, which is rather convenient for all clients. It rapidly enhances the user interface by reducing response time and increasing transfer rate. As a result, your website conversion rates will skyrocket on a global level. It’s a small investment for boosting your business prospect and the added bonus in that the first 12 months are totally free!

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