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CloudFront versus Akamai

Easily compare CloudFront and Akamai 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 CloudFront Akamai
Short profile 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. 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.

Products

Product CloudFront Akamai
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 Not available/supported 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 Not available/supported Unknown

Network

Region CloudFront Akamai
North America 21 Unknown
Latin America 2 Unknown
Europe 17 Unknown
Russia & CIS 0 Unknown
Asia, excl China 11 Unknown
China 0 Unknown
Oceania 2 Unknown
Middle-East 0 Unknown
Africa 0 Unknown

Pricing

Pricing & contract duration CloudFront Akamai
Minimum contract term None 12 months
Minimum monthly costs None Unknown
Requests costsCustomers pay for client to CDN requests $0.0075 - $0.022 per 10k requests Unknown
Ingress costsCustomers pay for origin-to-CDN bytes transferred $0.02 - $0.16 per GB (free is origin is AWS) Unknown
NA/EU traffic (low volume) $0.085 per GB Unknown
APAC traffic (low volume) $0.14 per GB (India: $0.17) Unknown
LATAM traffic (low volume) $0.25 per GB Unknown

Features

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

Support

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