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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

Product Akamai CloudFront
Dynamic content deliveryNon-cacheable content delivery. User login, shopping cart ... Available/supported Available/supported
Small file deliveryStatic object delivery; caching of small files (file size <1 MB) Available/supported Available/supported
Large file deliveryStatic object delivery; caching of large files (file size >1 MB) Available/supported Available/supported
Live videoDelivery of live video. RTMP? Transcoding/transmuxing? Available/supported Available/supported
Video on demandDelivery of on demand video Available/supported Available/supported
Image OptimizationAutomatic image compression/optimization Available/supported Not available/supported
DNSAuthoritative DNS for customer domain Available/supported Available/supported
WAFWeb Application Firewall Available/supported Available/supported
Anti-DDoSDDoS attack protection. Specific product(s) for this. Available/supported Available/supported
Private CDNDedicated edge resources & custom configs Unknown Not available/supported

Network

Region Akamai CloudFront
North America Unknown 18
Latin America Unknown 2
Europe Unknown 13
Russia & CIS Unknown 0
Asia, excl China Unknown 10
China Unknown 0
Oceania Unknown 2
Middle-East Unknown 0
Africa Unknown 0

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 is origin is AWS)
NA/EU traffic (low volume) Unknown $0.085 per GB
APAC traffic (low volume) Unknown $0.14 per GB (India: $0.17)
LATAM traffic (low volume) Unknown $0.25 per GB

Features

Web acceleration Akamai CloudFront
Instant setupSign up, configure, start testing. Not available/supported Can't sign up and get started. Must talk to sales. Available/supported
Change propagation delayHow fast do config changes propagate to all POPs? Unknown 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 Partially Only if used together with AWS Route53
HTTP/2 Available/supported Available/supported HTTP/s announcement (Sep 2016)
IPv6Do the edge servers have IPv6? Unknown Available/supported IPv6 support announcement (Oct 2016)
Compression CDN Guide: CompressionReduce file size for faster delivery Resend from origin, or compress on edge Resend, or compress on edge
tooltip CloudFront can compress many content types on the edge
Origin pull - protocolHTTP only or HTTPS possible too? Available/supported HTTP and HTTPS Available/supported HTTP and HTTPS
Origin pull - Host headerUse client > edge value? Set specific value? Unknown Partially Can't configure specific other Host header
Origin shieldOne POP pulls from origin, other POPs pull from the shield POP Unknown Not available/supported CloudFront does request collapsing though
Push / uploadStore your content directly on CDN, no customer origin Unknown Not available/supported
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 Available/supported Available/supported No Cache-Control extensions support
Purge CDN Guide: PurgeInvalidate or delete cached objects on CDN Unknown Available/supported 1 minute or faster
Purge - capabilities Unknown Partially Purge all and by directory/file type (wildcards)
Analytics Unknown Available/supported Amazon CloudFront Reports & Analytics
Log files Unknown Partially Only delivered to S3
tooltip CloudFront delivers access logs for a distribution up to several times an hour
API Unknown Available/supported Purge, analytics, configuration
HTTPS & Content Protection Akamai CloudFront
CDN domain HTTPSUse the CDN's domain, like cloudfront.net Unknown Available/supported Free (not SNI)
Customer domain HTTPSYour domain in the CDN's certificate Unknown Not available/supported
Customer cert HTTPSYour certificate on the CDN Unknown Available/supported Free (SNI) or $600/m for non-SNI
Token authentication Unknown Available/supported Serving Private Content through CloudFront
Geo blocking Unknown Available/supported 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 Not available/supported
IP white/blacklisting Unknown Extra costs Use AWS WAF to Block IP Addresses

Support

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