CDN is short for Content Delivery Network, standing for a bunch of servers all around the world that are used to store and deliver content from website. The service is effective in speeding the delivery of content of websites with high traffic and websites that have global reach. Geographically closer the CDN is to the user means the faster content delivery he/she can get. Usually along with the fast connection is outstanding traffic protection offered by CDN service providers.
Choosing a suitable CDN has been an essential task for each website administrator in 2016. There are plenty of CDN providers out there, with MaxCDN and CloudFlare being two of the best CDN service brands in the business. Both of the two providers offer a range of excellent services and features, but are unique in their own ways, so it can be hard to decide which one is truly best for a website.
Quick Overview of MaxCDN and CloudFlare
MaxCDN (www.maxcdn.com), based in Los Angeles, the United States, is a fast-growing CDN provider in the industry. Since inception, the company has committed to creating the best CDN experience possible by developing an in-depth delivery platform, combining the latest powerful and easy-to-use tools, and offering friendly customer service. Currently, MaxCDN has been trusted by a large group of customers, including the fastest responding large blogs, online gaming and widget hosting services, plus ad networks.
CloudFlare (www.cloudflare.com) was created in 2009 and has been an industry leader for providing a series of quality services like CDN, DNS, SSL, WAF, DDoS protection, and etc. The company now has partnered with a great number of optimized hosting providers as A2Hotsing, DreamHost, Bluehost, MediaTemple, GreenGeeks, and so on so forth.
MaxCDN vs. CloudFlare on Plans and Pricing
MaxCDN comes with three types of plans, namely Entrepreneur, Professional, and Custom, the price of which starts at $9/mo regularly. The company now is promoting its solution by offering 2 months free for people who sign up with a yearly plan. As to custom plans, people can get in touch with the MaxCDN team with their specific requirements and customize a plan to suit their websites. MaxCDN will roll over unused bandwidth from one month to the next month, all bandwidth has an expiration date of the year.
Compared to MaxCDN, CloudFlare provides customers with four separate packages, one of which is entirely free. This is a big bonus for the provider and attracts a lot of users. However, what makes customers excited is the company never bills customers for bandwidth usage, and it ensures that all customers only get charged once per month.
MaxCDN vs. CloudFlare on Features
Below is the comparison of main features offered by MaxCDN and CloudFlare for their users.
MaxCDN has integrated API with GitHub to support total automation of their CDN, uses EdgeRules to allow users to have control over their content delivery instantly and customize their asset delivery, SEO, security and mobile experience.
With CloudFlare, users can get benefit from its rocket loader which offers automatic website page optimization to minimize the network connections and keeps high page rendering even for resources from a third party. It also allows users to take advantage of local storage caching on mobile devices as well as popular browsers. And there is cache header optimization service to adjust the cache header instructions.
MaxCDN makes it possible for all users to get real-time reporting and analytics to view, calculate, and predict the future behavior. While at CloudFlare, in addition to visitor analytics, users are enabled to monitor threats and search engine crawlers.
MaxCDN offers two step authentication, as soon as which is enabled, no one can log in unless he/she has both the correct login credentials and the user’s physical phone identified. In addition, users can establish OAuth, IP Whitelisting, Secure Tokens, HTTP Referrer Whitelist and etc. within their own application by connecting to CloudFlare API. As well, there are also Origin Shield for protecting users from request overload and EdgeSSL options.
To keep users’ website running in a safe network, CloudFlare provides security protection against online threats as well as malicious attacks. Especially for paid users, they can stop real-time attacks like cross-site scripting and comment spam using CloudFlare WAF, enable the one-click SSL support to add an additional layer of security for site visitors, benefit from advanced DDoS protection and manage their mod-security rules, and so on so forth.
MaxCDN vs. CloudFlare on Network
MaxCDN is made up of 56 data centers spreading across the continents of North America, Europe, and Asia. In order to increase speed and reliability, every data center is equipped with the latest the best-in-class hardware like SSD-equipped servers, 10GB connections, bare metal servers, and anycast. The company also has many global peering partners including AT&T, Rogers, Comcast, Level3, Vodafone, China Telecom, and etc. to reduce the number of hops between ISPs.
On the other side, CloudFlare is operating out of 86 data centers around the world. Due to its taking advantage of latest changes to hardware, web server technology, and network routing, CloudFlare manages to build a CDN that is easier to setup, more affordable, and performs well.
MaxCDN vs. CloudFlare on Customer Support
This part is going to compare the quality of MaxCDN and CloudFlare customer service, and their money back guarantee.
MaxCDN offers 24/7 technical support allowing users to get in touch with its support engineers via Live Chat, telephone, and email system, while CloudFlare only supports email and phone.
Money Back Guarantee
Additionally, MaxCDN offers a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, enabling customers to request full refund if they cancel their service within the first 30 days. However, CloudFlare fails to give any guarantee for protecting users’ financial security.
Verdict—Which CDN is Better
To be honest, it’s not easy to pick a winner between MaxCDN and CloudFlare as they both offer high speed and optimal performance. According to their different offerings and market position, we think MaxCDN is ideal for large traffic websites and enterprise website, for which site optimization is of the utmost importance. CloudFlare, compared to that, is a better CDN option for websites demanding for enhanced security. More information about MaxCDN and CloudFlare is at www.maxcdn.com and www.cloudflare.com.