Content Delivery Network

Updated Sept 19, 2020 · 2 min read

What is a content delivery network?

A content delivery network (CDN) (sometimes referred to as a content distribution network) is a network of servers that’s distributed across many different geographic locations. The network will automatically determine the closest server to the user for providing content. The goal of a CDN is to provide high availability, data replication, and improved performance to users in different locations.

For example, a user in Phoenix can receive web content quickly from a server in Los Angeles, while a user in New York can receive the same content quickly from a server in Virginia.

CDNs are most commonly used for hosting websites.

Related Terms


Latency is the time between when a user makes a request to when the website or application responds to the request.

Software as a Service

Software as a service (SaaS) is a way of delivering and licensing software over the Internet, typically through a recurring subscription.


A server is a computer that provides a service (such as providing data) to other computers and its users, known as the clients.