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Level 3 versus Akamai

Easily compare Level 3 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 Level 3 Akamai
Short profile Level 3 owns and operates a global Tier-1 network and - logically - their CDN runs on top of it. Level 3 CDN has POPs on all continents and their product focus is on video and large object delivery. Level 3 CDN is part of the Google Cloud CDN Interconnect. 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 Level 3 Akamai
Dynamic content deliveryNon-cacheable content delivery. User login, shopping cart ... Not 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 Not available/supported Available/supported
WAFWeb Application Firewall Not 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 Level 3 Akamai
North America 30 Unknown
Latin America 9 Unknown
Europe 38 Unknown
Russia & CIS 4 Unknown
Asia, excl China 8 Unknown
China 0 Unknown
Oceania 1 Unknown
Middle-East 5 Unknown
Africa 4 Unknown

Pricing

Pricing & contract duration Level 3 Akamai
Minimum contract term 12 months 12 months
Minimum monthly costs Unknown Unknown
Requests costsCustomers pay for client to CDN requests None Unknown
Ingress costsCustomers pay for origin-to-CDN bytes transferred None Unknown
NA/EU traffic (low volume) Unknown Unknown
APAC traffic (low volume) Unknown Unknown
LATAM traffic (low volume) Unknown Unknown

Features

Web acceleration Level 3 Akamai
Instant setupSign up, configure, start testing. Not available/supported Can't sign up and get started. Must talk to sales. 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? Unknown Unknown
Apex/root domain OK Blog: Root domain on CDN and performanceNo performance degradation when using http(s)://domain.com Not available/supported No global Anycast Extra costs If you also use their Fast DNS for your domain
HTTP/2 Not available/supported Available/supported
IPv6Do the edge servers have IPv6? Unknown Unknown
Compression CDN Guide: CompressionReduce file size for faster delivery Resend from origin Resend from origin, or compress on edge
Origin pull - protocolHTTP only or HTTPS possible too? Available/supported HTTP and HTTPS.
tooltip
Available/supported HTTP and HTTPS
Origin pull - Host headerUse client > edge value? Set specific value? Available/supported Configure specific other Host header
tooltip CDN can also forward client request Host header to origin
Unknown
Origin shieldOne POP pulls from origin, other POPs pull from the shield POP Extra costs Unknown
Push / uploadStore your content directly on CDN, no customer origin Extra costs FTP, SFTP, rsync. Storage costs apply Unknown
Cache control - CDN caching Partially Unknown
Cache control - client caching Partially Unknown
Serve stale CDN Guide: Serve staleCDN serves cached but expired content in case origin is in trouble Unknown Available/supported
Purge CDN Guide: PurgeInvalidate or delete cached objects on CDN Available/supported Instant Unknown
Purge - capabilities Partially Purge all but not purge by directory or tag or header Unknown
Analytics Available/supported Unknown
Log files Available/supported
tooltip Logs are 24h delayed
Unknown
API Partially Purge, analytics, configuration (but limited) Unknown
HTTPS & Content Protection Level 3 Akamai
CDN domain HTTPSUse the CDN's domain, like cloudfront.net Not available/supported Unknown
Customer domain HTTPSYour domain in the CDN's certificate Extra costs Unknown
Customer cert HTTPSYour certificate on the CDN Extra costs Unknown
Token authentication Extra costs Unknown
Geo blocking Extra costs Unknown
Hotlink protectionThird parties cannot deeplink to your content Unknown Unknown
Basic authenticationUser logs in on the CDN to get content Unknown Unknown
IP white/blacklisting Unknown Unknown

Support

Customer support Level 3 Akamai
Documentation Partially Yes, but not public Partially Yes, but not public
Humans Available/supported All customers get 24/7 email and phone support Unknown