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Level 3 versus Cloudflare

Easily compare Level 3 and Cloudflare for POP locations, products, pricing, features & support. We hope this helps you better understand the similarities and differences between these content delivery networks.

Level 3 logo Cloudflare logo

Company

Company Level 3 Cloudflare
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. Cloudflare provides a global CDN with unique performance capabilities and a strong focus on security. The company has a global infrastructure built from the ground up using only next-generation, high-performance equipment—no legacy software or hardware. The result is a CDN that's easy to set up, affordable, and built to continuously adapt and integrate emerging technologies to meet future needs of everyone's Internet properties.

Products

Product Level 3 Cloudflare
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 Not available/supported
Video on demandDelivery of on demand video Available/supported Partially
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 Not available/supported

Network

Region Level 3 Cloudflare
North America 30 25
Latin America 9 8
Europe 38 29
Russia & CIS 4 2
Asia, excl China 8 13
China 0 20
Oceania 1 5
Middle-East 5 4
Africa 4 6

Pricing

Pricing & contract duration Level 3 Cloudflare
Minimum contract term 12 months None
Minimum monthly costs Unknown $0
Requests costsCustomers pay for client to CDN requests None None
Ingress costsCustomers pay for origin-to-CDN bytes transferred None None
NA/EU traffic (low volume) Unknown $0
APAC traffic (low volume) Unknown $0
LATAM traffic (low volume) Unknown $0

Features

Web acceleration Level 3 Cloudflare
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 Available/supported Instant
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 Available/supported Global Anycast network
HTTP/2 Not available/supported Available/supported
IPv6Do the edge servers have IPv6? Unknown Available/supported
Compression CDN Guide: CompressionReduce file size for faster delivery Resend from origin Resend, 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
Available/supported Can be an IP address
Origin shieldOne POP pulls from origin, other POPs pull from the shield POP Extra costs Not available/supported
Push / uploadStore your content directly on CDN, no customer origin Extra costs FTP, SFTP, rsync. Storage costs apply Not available/supported
Cache control - CDN caching Partially Available/supported Page rules for overriding caching headers
Cache control - client caching Partially Available/supported
Serve stale CDN Guide: Serve staleCDN serves cached but expired content in case origin is in trouble Unknown Partially Only 'stale while revalidate'
Purge CDN Guide: PurgeInvalidate or delete cached objects on CDN Available/supported Instant Available/supported ~ 5 seconds
Purge - capabilities Partially Purge all but not purge by directory or tag or header Partially Purge per file and purge all
Analytics Available/supported Available/supported Web analytics, threats and more
Log files Available/supported
tooltip Logs are 24h delayed
Extra costs Only for Enterprise customers
API Partially Purge, analytics, configuration (but limited) Available/supported Purge, analytics, configuration
HTTPS & Content Protection Level 3 Cloudflare
CDN domain HTTPSUse the CDN's domain, like cloudfront.net Not available/supported Available/supported SNI
Customer domain HTTPSYour domain in the CDN's certificate Extra costs Extra costs More info
Customer cert HTTPSYour certificate on the CDN Extra costs Extra costs
Token authentication Extra costs Available/supported More info
Geo blocking Extra costs Available/supported Access Rules
Hotlink protectionThird parties cannot deeplink to your content Unknown Available/supported
Basic authenticationUser logs in on the CDN to get content Unknown Unknown
IP white/blacklisting Unknown Available/supported Access Rules

Support

Customer support Level 3 Cloudflare
Documentation Partially Yes, but not public Available/supported Yes, public. Cloudflare Community.
Humans Available/supported All customers get 24/7 email and phone support Partially Email support for all. Phone only for Enterprise customers