What Does CDN Stand For? A Quick Explanation

What Does CDN Stand For?

Content delivery networks enable companies to reach more customers at a wider scale, by improving browsing capabilities of their clients through effective website delivery. Content delivery networks are a go-to solution for organizations to achieve globalization, which only speaks of the journey CDNs underwent to achieve its usefulness in the 21st century.


Content delivery networks are very close to the overall history of the Internet. The expansion of the World Wide Web called for effective tools to act as scaffolding to the increasing reach of the online realm. Content delivery networks were created to make this expansion happen.

Emerging Demand

As the Internet gained popularity in the late 90s, demand for it is growing. With more individuals imbibing the label “netizen”, many are enjoying the conveniences of email, media streaming, and information at the touch of a button. However, many website visits mean heavier loads for website servers, and this poses a problem.

Solution in Mind

Content has to be readily available for future site visits even without having to create new content, as this will entail more time and resources. A tool that can relay the transfer of data from home servers to those who wish to access said data is what was developed at that time: the CDN.

Rise of Providers

As the demand for CDNs started to rise, ISPs began to showcase content delivery network capabilities especially for those who wish to expand their horizons through the internet. Businesses for example would like to take hold of what email and website advertising can do at that time. But if they want better reach, utilizing content delivery networks would have to be opted for.

CDNs Then and Now

Early CDNs managed simple data relaying; most early websites were about media streaming and information sharing. As the capabilities of online technology grew, so did content delivery networks. E-commerce is a considerable means to gain profit. Nowadays, cloud services are also all the rage to increase company productivity. These become more accessible thanks to content delivery networks.


Content delivery networks are clearly developed technology that took years to perfect. How it functions before may not differ much from how it did in the early 2000s, but the effectiveness of content delivery network are still lauded by many.

Edge Servers

CDNs are also referred to as “edge servers”. The company’s main server is connected to the edge server, the content delivery network, and this creates a path wherein content can be queued from the main server for distribution later on. When website visitors request for data, the edge server will be the one to distribute cached data into each visitor, while getting spare data from the main server. This process is called origin pulling. Instead of the data origin putting effort in sending content, the content delivery network will only pull data as needed.

Not Web Hosting

Content delivery networks are different from web hosting. The latter stores data for the management of a website, while the former facilitates content coming from a home source. Web hosting entails the storing of data, while CDNs facilitates transfer of data access without having to create it, the way it is done for websites.

Security Capabilities

Another feature of content delivery networks is its capacity to block or reprimand unauthorized website visitors and other malicious forces like malware and viruses trying to access the main network through website visits. CDN providers may empower their content delivery networks that it will only act and an exit, and not an entrance to other online forces, and also recognize specific entities to access the home server through the content delivery network.

Benefits to Customers

Through content delivery networks, clients are able to enjoy company websites wherever they may be. They are also to transact business without having to resort to physical access to enterprise personnel. They also are more informed with the company’s offerings before making a purchase, thanks to information availability.

Benefits to Companies

Companies on the other hand are able to expand without having to do this through physical means. They advertise to new audiences who are then given better market options online. The speed of the online realm is also harnessed for timely customer service and client satisfaction. Also, since content delivery networks take on the burden of the company website, the enterprise’s main servers have lesser work to do. The company can now enjoy this lighter network burden by focusing on other business matters.


Content delivery networks were developed for a clear reason: to facilitate the online experience. Businesses all over the world are taking advantage of this technology godsend. Content delivery networks are surely helpful to the online community, and will continue to be harnessed by the growing internet community.

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