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CloudFront versus Limelight

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

CloudFront logo Limelight logo

Company

Company CloudFront Limelight
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. Limelight (NASDAQ: LLNW) has been a strong player in the CDN market since 2001. Limelight has a large, high-capacity network with POPs on many continents and offers digital content delivery, live and on-demand video, cloud security and edge computing services.

Products

Product CloudFront Limelight
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 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 Not available/supported Available/supported

Network

Region CloudFront Limelight
North America 21 16
Latin America 2 6
Europe 17 12
Russia & CIS 0 0
Asia, excl China 11 10
China 0 0
Oceania 2 1
Middle-East 0 4
Africa 0 1

Pricing

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

Features

Web acceleration CloudFront Limelight
Instant setupSign up, configure, start testing. Available/supported Available/supported
Change propagation delayHow fast do config changes propagate to all POPs? Partially ~10 minutes Partially A few minutes
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 Not available/supported Non-Anycasted network
HTTP/2 Available/supported HTTP/s announcement (Sep 2016) Available/supported
IPv6Do the edge servers have IPv6? Available/supported IPv6 support announcement (Oct 2016) Available/supported
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.
tooltip Match protocol
Origin pull - Host headerUse client > edge value? Set specific value? Partially Can't configure specific other Host header Available/supported Configure specific other Host header
tooltip CDN can also forward client request Host header to origin
Origin shieldOne POP pulls from origin, other POPs pull from the shield POP Not available/supported CloudFront does request collapsing though Available/supported Self-service control
Push / uploadStore your content directly on CDN, no customer origin Not available/supported Extra costs Origin Storage. Upload via UI or API
Cache control - CDN caching Unknown Available/supported
Cache control - client caching Unknown Available/supported
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 Available/supported Instant
Purge - capabilities Partially Purge all and by directory/file type (wildcards) Available/supported Purge by path, all, pattern, wildcard.
Analytics Available/supported Amazon CloudFront Reports & Analytics Available/supported
Log files Partially Only delivered to S3
tooltip CloudFront delivers access logs for a distribution up to several times an hour
Extra costs Download logs via FTP, SFTP, rsync and scp
tooltip Delay is ~10 minutes
API Available/supported Purge, analytics, configuration Available/supported Purge, analytics, configuration, OVP, origin storage
HTTPS & Content Protection CloudFront Limelight
CDN domain HTTPSUse the CDN's domain, like cloudfront.net Available/supported Free (not SNI) Available/supported Free. SNI
Customer domain HTTPSYour domain in the CDN's certificate Not available/supported Extra costs
Customer cert HTTPSYour certificate on the CDN Available/supported Free (SNI) or $600/m for non-SNI Extra costs
Token authentication Available/supported Serving Private Content through CloudFront Available/supported MediaVault. Highly customizable
Geo blocking Available/supported Restricting the Geographic Distribution of Your Content Available/supported IP access control by Geo and IP
Hotlink protectionThird parties cannot deeplink to your content Extra costs Use AWS WAF for Referer Checking Available/supported MediaVault. Highly customizable
Basic authenticationUser logs in on the CDN to get content Not available/supported Not available/supported MediaVault. Highly customizable
IP white/blacklisting Extra costs Use AWS WAF to Block IP Addresses Available/supported MediaVault. Highly customizable

Support

Customer support CloudFront Limelight
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 Available/supported All customers get 24/7 email and phone support. Customers who purchase Advanced Services have access to a designated Limelight Advanced Services team member.