Fast internet is the future. Quick loading times, instant video streaming and an intuitive UI aren’t just nice to have. They are essential. As consumers firmly embrace the digital world, our habits are morphing. We research products online, shop on our phones and consume branded content at home and on the go.
By this stage in the digital evolution, most online business owners have embraced content marketing. Just like soap manufacturers sponsored daytime television as a way to connect with potential clients, brands create relevant content squarely aimed at their ideal audience.
According to a 2017 report from the Content Marketing Institute, 89% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers actively use content marketing. Over 50% of the non-users on both sides have plans to launch their content marketing strategy by the end of the year.
More content means more pressure on the servers to deliver. For a lot of websites, it means higher levels of traffic. Certain types of content, like high resolution images and video often need a little extra help.
This is where Content Delivery Networks come in. Using a CDN helps you distribute content quickly, reducing loading times and latency. Faster delivery keeps users on your page longer, decreases the bounce rate and creates an enjoyable experience. As a result, search engines like Google and Bing reward faster content with a higher rank, increasing the organic traffic to your site. So why aren’t more people using CDNs?
The problem is that traditional CDNs have a hefty price tag attached to them. Just 500GB a month will set you back $43 if you use Amazon CloudFront and about $40 if you use Google Cloud. This isn’t a lot of bandwidth. Realistically, a blogger with an average amount of traffic would be looking at closer to $200 a month. If you use Beluga CDN, you are looking at about $20 for 2.5TBs (Terabytes, [2,500 Gigabytes]).
This radical price difference raises a few questions. Why is it so huge? Can consumers really trust cheaper CDN providers when the well known brand names are charging so much more? Where are the savings coming from? Let’s dive in.
Why is the price so different?
In theory, consumers love cheap products. Walmart and Amazon built behemoth sized brands on selling cheap goods combined with great customer service. In reality, our relationship with price is pretty complicated. A high price point can either imply high quality and desirability or low value. A low price point can be seen as low quality or high value. The challenge is that our perception depends on the situation and our own beliefs.
So, when we see a price that’s starkly different from its closest competitors, warning bells start to go off. You start asking yourself, what’s wrong with it? If it’s worth the money, why aren’t they charging a premium? Am I really getting a good deal?
The warning bells can be particularly loud when it comes to tech. A CDN can make or break your business. If it fails regularly, search engines like Google can start penalizing your site and visitors will stop coming back for more. If the safety protocol isn’t good enough, you can accidentally compromise your customers. Let’s bring these worries out in the open and take a look at why BelugaCDN is so much cheaper than its major competitors.
1. Built in 2015 with a small team
Akamai started in 1999 and Amazon CloudFront launched its beta version in 2008. While that doesn’t sound like that long on paper, technology is developing incredibly fast. Just think back to the hard drive size of the first computer you ever had.
We are a small team of a handful of people with a shared background in running high performance networks since the early 2000s. Team members worked with a diverse range of clients, ranging from ad networks that served billions of impressions to entertainment companies with huge video libraries that needed super fast response times. As technology advanced, we saw the need for a new type of CDN firsthand.
We built BelugaCDN from scratch with the tech available today. We wrote the caching technology, built the network from the ground up and own and operate all the equipment. The advancements in the last 20 years made it possible to bootstrap this project, finding initial clients, running tests and supporting ourselves without relying on outside sources.
To keep costs low, we participate in exchanges and closed peering. Instead of jumping through different providers, we strategically have direct connections with local service providers. This minimizes the number of hops, decreases latency and therefore increases speed and performance.
2. Bootstrapped with little overhead
Once you’ve put a system into place and established a protocol for doing things, it’s incredibly hard to change it. The large CDNs serve thousands of clients and employ hundreds of people. They grew up at a time when big server farms were the future. Innovations like the blockchain and decentralized storage were still mere concepts.
We built Beluga when these innovations were becoming an integral part of the way we interact with technology. The internet of things was already in sight and large parts of the world had run out of IPv4 addresses.
This meant that we could build new advancements into the very foundation of Beluga. The small size of the team made it possible to make changes and introduce new ideas without disrupting the service. We first launched as an IPv4 CDN. Shortly after, the team quickly realized the potential of IPv6 and pivoted, making our IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack a part of our new-gen technology.
This kind of pivot is a lot harder to pull of on a large scale, especially for publicly traded companies that have board members and investors to answer to. Our responsibility is solely to our user base and our diminutive size and direct to consumer model makes it possible to pass the savings onto you.
3. High standards, low cost, by design
Through our experience in the Internet Service Provider (ISP) industry, we’ve worked with some very demanding clients, across some of the most competitive industries. This forced us to think of solutions that provide the most value (i.e. the best performance at the lowest cost). At over 1/10th the price of services like Amazon’s CloudFront, we also have the lowest average response time and lowest average load time (lower = faster = better) [source].
The bottom line
New innovations, a small team, and a proprietary system have allowed us to build a scalable CDN that can offer speed and reliability at a fraction of the cost of more established companies.
Digital technology is an incredibly fast moving field and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. Back in 1982, Buckminster Fuller proposed an interesting theory. He posited that it took from about 0 CE to 1500 CE for the entirety of human knowledge to double once. By the start of the 20th century knowledge doubled every 100 years.
Today, knowledge doubles around every 13 months. In certain fields like technology and medicine, it is happening even faster. In a 2006 IBM report, it was theorized that the world’s information base will double every 11 hours.
Smaller companies that understand the industry can stay at that competitive edge and pivot much faster than larger companies weighed down by heavy responsibilities. We are cheaper than our competitors because we built our product on a brand new foundation, with the goal of delivering the most value to our clients, without sacrificing performance. We are going to stay innovative and affordable because our team doesn’t owe allegiance to big corporations or shareholders.
Our allegiance is to you, our customer.