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Content Delivery Networks

Better, Faster, Safer and More Reliable Internet Experiences

Steve Smith talks about Content Delivery Networks, how they speed up your experience on various web-sites, make connections more reliable, and how it makes the web-site safer.

Episode #3-26 released on March 24, 2013

Content Distribution Networks (CDN) are very useful to the internet. We talk a lot about how the internet brings us closer together, but rarely do people attempt to understand how it may work, and how we make it work better, faster, safely and more reliably.

Your traditional web-site is served from a fixed server, in a specific geographic location. This is fine for more traditional web-sites providing content in a text based manner, for a local area of interest. This does not work for with a lot of multimedia being accessed internationally.

Let's presume that the idea of waiting for content from a web-site to load has an affect on whether someone will click back and access another web-site instead. And, let us, also, presume that the web-site is being accessed by thousands of similar users, and one specific user is a further away from the main server. The content itself will need to travel further, in order, to be accessible to the more remote users. This theoretically means that the user's experience will be less than optimal just based on distance and traffic.

Now, if a lot of people access the same web-site, all at the same time, it may cause an unintentional crash of the server, usually related to DDOS, or distributed denial of service attacks, but does sometimes happen because a lot of people attempt to access a web-site, all at the same time.

These two issues are related. We need a way to shorten the distance content needs to travel for users to access it faster, and as if they were in the same geographic location. We, also, need a way to allow many more users to access a web-site without crashing it in the first place. We can do this with a Content Distribution Network.

Content Distribution Network cache various parts of web-sites allowing them to be accessible to more people, further away, and speeding up the download rates, and therefore experience on those specific web-sites. You can, also, use a CDN to protect a web-site from DDOS attacks by having them spread amongst a whole array of servers, meaning they are less likely to crash your web-site, intentionally, or even accidentally.

This brings to light why visitors of web-sites on a CDN typically have a better experience. Now, who would use such services, or provide them, or even have their own CDNs for their web-sites?

Anyone, including this podcast, but a few names you may know are Google, Amazon, Facebook, Cloudflare, Cachefly, etc...

TQA Weekly uses Cloudflare to manage our CDN services, and you can, also, use them for free, for your own personal web-site. They, as well as other CDN services, also, block spam attacks, and various other kinds of bots from causing harm, or issues to your web-site. Meaning you, and your visitors, or clients, will have a better experience.

Next week, bigger is better, when it comes to fans, and this is going to be an explanation of air flow, how to correctly install fans, and things you should consider when buying new fans for your own computer.

Remember to like this episode if you were interested in today's topic, share if you think someone else could benefit from the topic, and subscribe if you want to learn more. For the show notes of this episode and others, for more information on other ways to subscribe to our show, to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, and how to participate by submitting your questions, comments, suggestions, and stories, head over to TQAWeekly.com.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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