Akamai CDN

6 months ago 89

This isn't a CDN for newbies, but if you request existent powerfulness - particularly if you're streaming video - Akamai has the features, the configurability and the show to deliver.


  • Hugely powerful
  • Comprehensive video and representation manager
  • Large and speedy web (especially successful Asia)
  • Excellent support


  • Pricing isn't transparent
  • Intimidating for CDN newbies

This isn't a CDN for newbies, but if you request existent powerfulness - particularly if you're streaming video - Akamai has the features, the configurability and the show to deliver.


  • +

    Hugely powerful

  • +

    Comprehensive video and representation manager

  • +

    Large and speedy web (especially successful Asia)

  • +

    Excellent support


  • -

    Pricing isn't transparent

  • -

    Intimidating for CDN newbies

If you're uncomfortable buying a captious concern work similar a CDN from a tiny supplier you've ne'er heard astir before, past Akamai makes a precise appealing alternative. With much than 20 years successful the cybersecurity business, 8,000+ employees, a lawsuit basal covering 56% of the Fortune 500 and a $3.2 cardinal turnover, determination are plentifulness of reasons to beryllium assured that the institution delivers what it promises.


(Image credit: Akamai)

Akamai's web surely dwarfs astir of the competition, with 325,000 servers crossed much than 135 countries. That covers some media and storage, truthful if you're lone looking to store files connected borderline servers past you'll person little coverage, but the institution inactive outdoes astir anyone else. (There's coagulated grounds for that successful its show results, but much connected those, later.)

As you'd expect for an enterprise-level CDN, there's besides plentifulness of high-end functionality here. Although the halfway of the work works similar astir competitors, a big of low-level APIs let you to customize it to suit your needs.

This isn't precisely a CDN for beginners, then, but Akamai does astatine slightest bash a batch to help. Non-customers tin browse the documentation to get a consciousness for what's possible, and if you bash motion up, there's 24/7 unrecorded chat enactment to locomotion you done immoderate issues.


Normally we supply an outline of a CDN's prices successful a review, allowing you to comparison them to the competition. Unfortunately, Akamai doesn't enactment that way. There's nary pricing leafage and you can't motion up online: your lone enactment is to interaction the institution and inquire for a quote.

You tin get a wide thought of prices from Dacast, which provides a video streaming level powered by Akamai's network. Plans commencement astatine $39 a period (billed annually) for 50GB of retention and 1.2TB of postulation a year, rising to $188 for 1TB retention and 24TB of traffic, astir successful the country we'd expect from a apical CDN.

Customer restitution is different indicator of whether a supplier offers worth for money. We don't enactment overmuch value connected idiosyncratic reviews, but it's absorbing to spot Akamai scores precise good successful astir areas. Gartner's Peer Insights shows a 4.8/ 5 standing from 213 reviews, for instance, compared to (for instance) 4.5 for Amazon CloudFront.


Akamai's abilities commencement with the CDN basics. This begins with immoderate comparatively elemental DNS tweaks which way incoming requests from visitors to Akamai's borderline servers, for illustration pointing www.mysite.com to www.mysite.com.akamaized.net. Your visitant is past redirected to their nearest Akamai server, which decides what to bash next.

A much basal CDN mightiness conscionable service up immoderate static content, and thing more, but Akamai is acold much flexible. Expert users tin acceptable up analyzable rules to specify which contented is served, however and from where, giving them afloat power implicit the service.

Purge UI

(Image credit: Akamai)

Comprehensive purge tools alteration removing aged contented by Time To Live expiry dates, URL, cache tags, keys, wildcards and more. That allows you to update dynamic contented frequently, but support comparatively static contented - PDFs, accidental - connected the borderline servers for a agelong time, reducing the load connected your root servers.

Security features see DDoS protection to support your servers harmless from attack, portion a Web Application Firewall intelligently monitors entree to your contented to artifact bots, hackers and more.


(Image credit: Akamai)

Video and representation manager

A bully CDN doesn't conscionable store and service up the aforesaid canned transcript of your website. It adapts it to suit the viewer, their instrumentality and web conditions.

Akamai CDN delivers connected this with a almighty media processor. It automatically reduces the size of your leafage by optimizing formats and compression levels, delivering an other velocity boost each connected its own, with nary other requirements for you.

This goes mode beyond conscionable manually reducing the prime of JPEGs, too. An automated 'perceptual prime algorithm' automatically figures retired the due prime levels, truthful you don't person to. And the video processing is truthful almighty it mightiness warrant utilizing Akamai CDN each connected its own. Just upload a root video and the work automatically serves contented with the optimum format, solution and bitrate for the user's device.

There's 1 perchance important video processing statement successful its 5-minute limit, but that's inactive a precise large positive for the service. If it sounds similar it could beryllium important for you, browse Akamai's Developer site for in-depth accusation connected what you get, and however it works.


(Image credit: CDNPerf)


As we write, Akamai CDN ranks sixth retired of 21 contenders astatine CDNPerf.com with an mean worldwide query velocity of 26.34 seconds. That's a susceptible performance, lone marginally down the velocity leaders 5centsCDN (24.15ms), Google Cloud CDN (24.51ms) and Limelight CDN (24.63ms.)

CDNPerf's summary figures are each astir worldwide performance, and drilling down to speeds per continent gives a somewhat antithetic picture.

Akamai scored an fantabulous archetypal spot successful Asia with an mean query velocity of 27.27ms. That's important due to the fact that it's importantly faster than galore large names. Azure CDN has mean Asia query times that were much than doubly arsenic agelong astatine 56.24ms, for instance, portion Cloudflare's were a lengthy 98.1ms.

Akamai topped the database successful Oceania, too, its 22.51ms mean query trampling each implicit the contention (even the 2nd placed ArvanCloud managed lone 31.78ms.)

Performance elsewhere was reasonably consistent, with Akamai's scores ranging from sixth spot successful South America, to 10th successful Africa.

Whatever you deliberation of these figures, support successful caput they're based connected earthy effect times only. They don't instrumentality afloat relationship of optimizations specified arsenic Akamai's representation and video manager, which could marque a immense quality to website speeds each connected their own.

Overall, Akamai looks similar a velocity person for Asia and Oceania-focused sites, but it's besides a bully all-rounder which delivers coagulated results wherever your assemblage are located.

Final Verdict

Akamai's lengthy diagnostic database means it's overkill for galore users, but if you've a demanding application, its power, velocity and configurability marque the work a must-see.

We’ve besides highlighted the best CDN

Mike began his vocation arsenic a pb bundle developer successful the engineering world, wherever his creations were utilized by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. He present covers VPNs, antivirus and each things information for TechRadar, though helium inactive has a concealed emotion of quirky open-source and freeware apps which find marque caller ways to lick communal problems.

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