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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.

 logo CloudFront logo

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
Sort of/partially
No
Extra costs
Unknown
Product Akamai CloudFront
Dynamic content deliveryNon-cacheable content delivery. User login, shopping cart ... Dynamic Site Accelerator Dynamic Content Delivery
Small file deliveryStatic object delivery; caching of small files (file size <1 MB) Ion
Large file deliveryStatic object delivery; caching of large files (file size >1 MB) Download Delivery
Live videoDelivery of live video. RTMP? Transcoding/transmuxing? Adaptive Media Delivery Streaming Media
Video on demandDelivery of on demand video
Image OptimizationAutomatic image transformation/compression/optimization Image & Video Manager
DNSAuthoritative DNS for customer domain Edge DNS AWS Route53
WAFWeb Application Firewall Web Application Protector AWS WAF
Anti-DDoSDDoS attack protection. Specific product(s) for this. Kona DDoS Defender AWS Shield
Private CDNDedicated edge resources & custom configs
Edge ComputeRun your code on CDN edge servers EdgeWorkers 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 17
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
Sort of/partially
No
Extra costs
Unknown
Web acceleration Akamai CloudFront
Instant setupSign up, configure, start testing. Can't sign up and get started. Must talk to sales.
Change propagation delayHow fast do config changes propagate to all POPs? ~10 minutes
Apex/root domain OK Blog: Root domain on CDN and performanceNo performance degradation when using http(s)://domain.com If you also use their Fast DNS for your domain Only if used together with AWS Route53
HTTP/2 HTTP/2 announcement (Sep 2016)
WebSockets WebSockets docs Using WebSockets with CloudFront distributions
IPv6Do the edge servers have IPv6? IPv6 support announcement (Oct 2016)
Compression CDN Guide: CompressionReduce file size for faster delivery Resend from origin, or compress on edge 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? HTTP and HTTPS HTTP and HTTPS
Origin pull - Host headerUse client > edge value? Set specific value? Can't configure specific other Host header
Origin ShieldOne POP pulls from origin, other POPs pull from the shield POP Origin Shield docs
Push / uploadStore your content directly on CDN, no customer origin
Cache control - CDN caching
Cache control - client caching
Serve Stale CDN Guide: Serve StaleCDN serves cached but expired content in case origin is in trouble No Cache-Control extensions support
Purge CDN Guide: PurgeInvalidate or delete cached objects on CDN Purge Speed
Purge - capabilities Purge all and by directory/file type (wildcards)
Analytics Amazon CloudFront Reports & Analytics
Log files Only delivered to S3
tooltip CloudFront delivers access logs for a distribution up to several times an hour
API Purge, analytics, configuration
HTTPS & Content Protection Akamai CloudFront
CDN domain HTTPSUse the CDN's domain, like cloudfront.net Free (not SNI)
Customer domain HTTPSYour domain in the CDN's certificate
Customer cert HTTPSYour certificate on the CDN Free (SNI) or $600/m for non-SNI
Token authentication Serving Private Content through CloudFront
Geo blocking Restricting the Geographic Distribution of Your Content
Hotlink protectionThird parties cannot deeplink to your content Use AWS WAF for Referer Checking
Basic authenticationUser logs in on the CDN to get content
IP white/blacklisting Use AWS WAF to Block IP Addresses

Support

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