The content delivery network space is a fairly competitive one. Some CDNs have been around for decades while others are still fairly new. However, there are key differences that set each CDN apart from the others. Akamai has been around for 20+ years and is a trusted name in the CDN space. They’re a publicly traded company, have over 6000 employees, and are responsible for servicing between 15-30 of all web traffic.
However, that being said, there are some downfalls to using Akamai. For instance:
- Akamai’s bandwidth costs are expensive
- Many features come at an extra cost
- Akamai is geared more towards enterprise customers
- New feature releases may take more time than smaller, more agile CDNs
In this article, I wanted to share 5 Akamai competitors that should be considered before making a final decision.
KeyCDN sets themselves apart by offering their customers cutting-edge features and a growing network at an affordable price. KeyCDN doesn’t require any type of monthly commitment nor is their minimum payment very expensive ($49/year). But what many web performance advocates love about KeyCDN is that they’re quick to release new performance technologies. For example, they offer Brotli support, Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, HTTP/2, and even have a WordPress plugin that compresses and converts images to WebP.
Although their network isn’t as big as Akamai’s, their PoPs are spread out across the world quite well. At the time of writing this, they had 30 PoPs with a large presence in both North America and Europe.
If you’re looking for a solid Akamai alternative with strong infrastructure that doesn’t cost near the price, consider KeyCDN. To learn more, check out our complete KeyCDN review.
Fastly is another fairly large player in the CDN industry. Although they don’t hold as much market share as Akamai, they do have a significant number of users, employees, and are investor-funded. Fastly’s number of POPs closely reflects what KeyCDN offers. However, Fastly has slightly more POPs in North America and Australia while it has slightly less in Europe. Fastly has strong infrastructure and is well recognized however can start to get on the expensive side as their minimum monthly payment is $50 and users are charged for both bandwidth and based on the number of HTTP requests made.
If you would like to learn more about Fastly including what features they have to offer and how their network/pricing is structured, check out our complete Fastly review.
Incapsula is a content delivery network that primarily focusses on security including DDoS protection and WAF. If you’re looking for a CDN that offers security-related products as well then Incapsula might be worth looking into. Their pricing scheme is something worth noting as they work on a tiered-plan basis. This includes 4 different options:
- Pro ($59/site/month)
- Business ($299/site/month)
- Enterprise (Contact them)
Their free plan is somewhat limited in functionality and when a feature that isn’t offered in the free plan is required you’ll need to upgrade. They don’t offer some of the cutting-edge performance features other CDNs do, however, if security protection services is an important factor to your business and you don’t mind paying the monthly fee to upgrade your plan, Incapsula is a good choice.
If you would like to learn more about Incapsula including what features they have to offer and how their network is structured, check out our complete Incapsula review.
In terms of free CDNs, CloudFlare is the leader in the space. Their large network covers the regions that many other popular CDNs do, however in a more populated fashion. With CloudFlare, users don’t pay anything for bandwidth usage, instead what they pay for (if required) are additional features. This includes things like raw logs, custom SSL, DDoS protection, etc. However, if you need an additional feature with CloudFlare you’ll pay anywhere from $20 – $5000 per month.
CloudFlare is a great CDN for those who need basic features, and a performance boost for their small websites. However, as a site begins to grow, things can get quite expensive, not to mention certain features simply aren’t offered at all such as origin shield, secure token, and real time stats.
If you would like to learn more about CloudFlare including what features they have to offer and how their network is structured, check out our complete CloudFlare review.
The last Akamai competitor in our list of 5 CDN alternatives is MaxCDN. MaxCDN was acquired by StackPath in 2016 and StackPath has since acquired a couple of other companies to further build their platform. This CDN offers a number of great features which is good for customers who require a bit more functionality. In terms of pricing, they offer monthly plan-based pricing starting at $9 per month. However, with MaxCDN now being part of StackPath, their lowest pricing starts at $20/month.
With the merge of MaxCDN, StackPath, and other companies there presents a bit of confusion with what you’re getting as the MaxCDN site is still live although they are fully part of StackPath.
That being said, if you would like to learn more about MaxCDN including what features they have to offer and how their network is structured, check out our complete MaxCDN review.
There are other CDNs out there apart from the 5 listed in this article that many other customers use. However, if you’re looking for an Akamai competitor you’re likely looking for a solution that is robust and is able to handle large amounts of traffic without the worry of going down or experiencing delays. Each of these 5 CDNs have their pros and cons, however, are all worth looking into if you’re searching for a solution that can meet or even exceed the services offered by Akamai.