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Fastly versus CloudFront

Easily compare Fastly 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.

Fastly logo CloudFront logo

Company

Company Fastly CloudFront
Short profile Founded in 2011, Fastly has grown into a mature CDN provider. Fastly offers a range of services including streaming media delivery and private CDN but Fastly is best known for being a 'real-time CDN', meaning changes happen instantly and the platform can deliver 'uncacheable' content well. 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 Fastly 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 Not 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 Available/supported Not available/supported

Network

Region Fastly CloudFront
North America 16 21
Latin America 3 2
Europe 6 17
Russia & CIS 0 0
Asia, excl China 6 11
China 0 0
Oceania 6 2
Middle-East 1 0
Africa 2 0

Pricing

Pricing & contract duration Fastly CloudFront
Minimum contract term None None
Minimum monthly costs $50 None
Requests costsCustomers pay for client to CDN requests $0.0075 - $0.016 per 10k requests $0.0075 - $0.022 per 10k requests
Ingress costsCustomers pay for origin-to-CDN bytes transferred Same rates as CDN-to-client traffic $0.02 - $0.16 per GB (free is origin is AWS)
NA/EU traffic (low volume) $0.12 per GB $0.085 per GB
APAC traffic (low volume) $0.19 per GB $0.14 per GB (India: $0.17)
LATAM traffic (low volume) $0.28 per GB $0.25 per GB

Features

Web acceleration Fastly CloudFront
Instant setupSign up, configure, start testing. Available/supported Available/supported
Change propagation delayHow fast do config changes propagate to all POPs? Available/supported Instant! Partially ~10 minutes
Apex/root domain OK Blog: Root domain on CDN and performanceNo performance degradation when using http(s)://domain.com Available/supported Global anycast IPs are available 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? Available/supported IPv6 at Fastly Available/supported IPv6 support announcement (Oct 2016)
Compression CDN Guide: CompressionReduce file size for faster delivery Resend from origin or compress on edge. Brotli!
tooltip
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? Available/supported Can be different from origin host Partially Can't configure specific other Host header
Origin shieldOne POP pulls from origin, other POPs pull from the shield POP Available/supported Not available/supported CloudFront does request collapsing though
Push / uploadStore your content directly on CDN, no customer origin Not available/supported Not available/supported
Cache control - CDN caching Available/supported Full and granular control Unknown
Cache control - client caching Available/supported Full and granular control Unknown
Serve stale CDN Guide: Serve staleCDN serves cached but expired content in case origin is in trouble Available/supported Cache-Control extensions support Available/supported No Cache-Control extensions support
Purge CDN Guide: PurgeInvalidate or delete cached objects on CDN Available/supported Instant! Available/supported 1 minute or faster
Purge - capabilities Available/supported Purge all and by key Partially Purge all and by directory/file type (wildcards)
Analytics Available/supported Real-time! Available/supported Amazon CloudFront Reports & Analytics
Log files Available/supported Real-time streaming of logs to your server Partially Only delivered to S3
tooltip CloudFront delivers access logs for a distribution up to several times an hour
API Available/supported Purge, analytics, configuration Available/supported Purge, analytics, configuration
HTTPS & Content Protection Fastly CloudFront
CDN domain HTTPSUse the CDN's domain, like cloudfront.net Available/supported Free Available/supported Free (not SNI)
Customer domain HTTPSYour domain in the CDN's certificate Extra costs $100/m per FQDN, $275/m for wildcard domain Not available/supported
Customer cert HTTPSYour certificate on the CDN Extra costs EV cert possible. Available/supported Free (SNI) or $600/m for non-SNI
Token authentication Available/supported Enabling URL token validation Available/supported Serving Private Content through CloudFront
Geo blocking Available/supported Available/supported Restricting the Geographic Distribution of Your Content
Hotlink protectionThird parties cannot deeplink to your content Available/supported Creating and using Edge Dictionaries Extra costs Use AWS WAF for Referer Checking
Basic authenticationUser logs in on the CDN to get content Available/supported Authenticating before returning a request Not available/supported
IP white/blacklisting Available/supported About Edge ACLs Extra costs Use AWS WAF to Block IP Addresses

Support

Customer support Fastly CloudFront
Documentation Available/supported Yes, public Available/supported Yes, public. API docs
Humans Available/supported Email support during business hours is free. Pay extra if you need more/better. Two paid plans available Extra costs Community support is free. Email and phone support (AWS Support) available at extra costs