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Akamai versus CloudFront

Easily compare Akamai and CloudFront for POP locations, products, pricing, features & support. We hope this helps you better understand the similarities and differences between these content delivery networks.

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Company

Company Akamai CloudFront
Short profile Akamai is one of the oldest CDNs and generally considered to be the largest global CDN. They have 'servers everywhere' and a wide range of products and services. The company is actively involved in Let's Encrypt and is pushing HTTP/2 adoption. CloudFront is the CDN of AWS (Amazon Web Services), the world's largest cloud services provider. CloudFront offers a mature set of content delivery products and has a big network of POPs on many continents. Solid documentation and APIs make CloudFront a developer-friendly CDN.

Products

  • Yes = Yes
  • Sortof/partially = Sort of/partially
  • No = No
  • Unknown = Unknown
Product Akamai CloudFront
Dynamic content deliveryNon-cacheable content delivery. User login, shopping cart ... Yes Dynamic Site Accelerator Yes Dynamic Content Delivery
Small file deliveryStatic object delivery; caching of small files (file size <1 MB) Yes Ion Yes
Large file deliveryStatic object delivery; caching of large files (file size >1 MB) Yes Download Delivery Yes
Live videoDelivery of live video. RTMP? Transcoding/transmuxing? Yes Adaptive Media Delivery Yes Streaming Media
Video on demandDelivery of on demand video Yes Yes
Image OptimizationAutomatic image transformation/compression/optimization Yes Image & Video Manager No
DNSAuthoritative DNS for customer domain Yes Edge DNS Yes AWS Route53
WAFWeb Application Firewall Yes Web Application Protector Yes AWS WAF
Anti-DDoSDDoS attack protection. Specific product(s) for this. Yes Kona DDoS Defender Yes AWS Shield
Private CDNDedicated edge resources & custom configs Unknown No
Edge ComputeRun your code on CDN edge servers Yes EdgeWorkers Yes Lambda@Edge

Network

Region Akamai CloudFront
North America Unknown 24
Latin America Unknown 6
Europe Unknown 27
Russia & CIS Unknown 0
Asia excl. China Unknown 15
China Unknown 4
Oceania Unknown 4
Middle-East Unknown 4
Africa Unknown 3

Pricing

Pricing & contract duration Akamai CloudFront
Minimum contract term 12 months None
Minimum monthly costs Unknown None
Requests costsCustomers pay for client to CDN requests Unknown $0.0075 - $0.022 per 10k requests
Ingress costsCustomers pay for origin-to-CDN bytes transferred Unknown $0.02 - $0.16 per GB (free if origin is AWS)
NA/EU traffic (low volume) Unknown $0.085 per GB
APAC traffic (low volume) Unknown $0.12 per GB (India: $0.109)
LATAM traffic (low volume) Unknown $0.11 per GB

Features

  • Yes = Yes
  • Sortof/partially = Sort of/partially
  • No = No
  • Extra costs = Extra costs
  • Unknown = Unknown
Web acceleration Akamai CloudFront
Instant setupSign up, configure, start testing. No Can't sign up and get started. Must talk to sales. Yes
Change propagation delayHow fast do config changes propagate to all POPs? Unknown Sortof/partially ~10 minutes
Apex/root domain OK Blog: Root domain on CDN and performanceNo performance degradation when using http(s)://domain.com Extra costs If you also use their Fast DNS for your domain Sortof/partially Only if used together with AWS Route53
HTTP/2 Yes Yes HTTP/2 announcement (Sep 2016)
IPv6Do the edge servers have IPv6? Unknown Yes IPv6 support announcement (Oct 2016)
Compression CDN Guide: CompressionReduce file size for faster delivery Yes Resend from origin, or compress on edge Yes Resend from origin, or compress on edge
tooltip CloudFront can compress many content types on the edge and supports Brotli
Origin pull - protocolHTTP only or HTTPS possible too? Yes HTTP and HTTPS Yes HTTP and HTTPS
Origin pull - Host headerUse client > edge value? Set specific value? Unknown Sortof/partially Can't configure specific other Host header
Origin ShieldOne POP pulls from origin, other POPs pull from the shield POP Unknown Extra costs Origin Shield docs
Push / uploadStore your content directly on CDN, no customer origin Unknown No
Cache control - CDN caching Unknown Unknown
Cache control - client caching Unknown Unknown
Serve Stale CDN Guide: Serve StaleCDN serves cached but expired content in case origin is in trouble Yes Yes No Cache-Control extensions support
Purge CDN Guide: PurgeInvalidate or delete cached objects on CDN Unknown Yes 1 minute or faster
Purge - capabilities Unknown Sortof/partially Purge all and by directory/file type (wildcards)
Analytics Unknown Yes Amazon CloudFront Reports & Analytics
Log files Unknown Sortof/partially Only delivered to S3
tooltip CloudFront delivers access logs for a distribution up to several times an hour
API Unknown Yes Purge, analytics, configuration
HTTPS & Content Protection Akamai CloudFront
CDN domain HTTPSUse the CDN's domain, like cloudfront.net Unknown Yes Free (not SNI)
Customer domain HTTPSYour domain in the CDN's certificate Unknown No
Customer cert HTTPSYour certificate on the CDN Unknown Yes Free (SNI) or $600/m for non-SNI
Token authentication Unknown Yes Serving Private Content through CloudFront
Geo blocking Unknown Yes Restricting the Geographic Distribution of Your Content
Hotlink protectionThird parties cannot deeplink to your content Unknown Extra costs Use AWS WAF for Referer Checking
Basic authenticationUser logs in on the CDN to get content Unknown No
IP white/blacklisting Unknown Extra costs Use AWS WAF to Block IP Addresses

Support

Customer support Akamai CloudFront
Documentation Sortof/partially Yes, but not public Yes Yes, public. API docs
Humans Unknown Extra costs Community support is free. Email and phone support (AWS Support) available at extra costs