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Level 3 versus CloudFront

Easily compare Level 3 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.

Level 3 logo CloudFront logo

Company

Company Level 3 CloudFront
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. 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 Level 3 CloudFront
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 Not 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 CloudFront
North America 30 21
Latin America 9 2
Europe 38 17
Russia & CIS 4 0
Asia, excl China 8 11
China 0 0
Oceania 1 2
Middle-East 5 0
Africa 4 0

Pricing

Pricing & contract duration Level 3 CloudFront
Minimum contract term 12 months None
Minimum monthly costs Unknown None
Requests costsCustomers pay for client to CDN requests None $0.0075 - $0.022 per 10k requests
Ingress costsCustomers pay for origin-to-CDN bytes transferred None $0.02 - $0.16 per GB (free is origin is AWS)
NA/EU traffic (low volume) Unknown $0.085 per GB
APAC traffic (low volume) Unknown $0.14 per GB (India: $0.17)
LATAM traffic (low volume) Unknown $0.25 per GB

Features

Web acceleration Level 3 CloudFront
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 Partially ~10 minutes
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 Partially Only if used together with AWS Route53
HTTP/2 Not available/supported Available/supported HTTP/s announcement (Sep 2016)
IPv6Do the edge servers have IPv6? Unknown Available/supported IPv6 support announcement (Oct 2016)
Compression CDN Guide: CompressionReduce file size for faster delivery Resend from origin 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.
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
Partially Can't configure specific other Host header
Origin shieldOne POP pulls from origin, other POPs pull from the shield POP Extra costs Not available/supported CloudFront does request collapsing though
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 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 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 Partially Purge all but not purge by directory or tag or header Partially Purge all and by directory/file type (wildcards)
Analytics Available/supported Available/supported Amazon CloudFront Reports & Analytics
Log files Available/supported
tooltip Logs are 24h delayed
Partially Only delivered to S3
tooltip CloudFront delivers access logs for a distribution up to several times an hour
API Partially Purge, analytics, configuration (but limited) Available/supported Purge, analytics, configuration
HTTPS & Content Protection Level 3 CloudFront
CDN domain HTTPSUse the CDN's domain, like cloudfront.net Not available/supported Available/supported Free (not SNI)
Customer domain HTTPSYour domain in the CDN's certificate Extra costs Not available/supported
Customer cert HTTPSYour certificate on the CDN Extra costs Available/supported Free (SNI) or $600/m for non-SNI
Token authentication Extra costs Available/supported Serving Private Content through CloudFront
Geo blocking Extra costs Available/supported Restricting the Geographic Distribution of Your Content
Hotlink protectionThird parties cannot deeplink to your content Unknown Extra costs Use AWS WAF for Referer Checking
Basic authenticationUser logs in on the CDN to get content Unknown Not available/supported
IP white/blacklisting Unknown Extra costs Use AWS WAF to Block IP Addresses

Support

Customer support Level 3 CloudFront
Documentation Partially Yes, but not public Available/supported Yes, public. API docs
Humans Available/supported All customers get 24/7 email and phone support Extra costs Community support is free. Email and phone support (AWS Support) available at extra costs