Amazon, one of the largest e-commerce stores, also provides a suite of web services they call Amazon Web Services. Within this suite of services is their content delivery network called, Amazon Cloudfront. Amazon was originally founded back in 1994, however Cloudfront wasn’t Beta launched until 2008. Amazon web services provide an array of tools for web developers, network administrators, etc all within one dashboard. A few additional product categories they offer are:
- Security and Identity,
- Application services, etc.
However, in this Cloudfront review, we’re going to focus specifically on their CDN. This will include discussing their current network of PoPs, the features they offer, and their pricing.
Cloudfront currently holds 41 Points of Presence and 63 edge servers in total, with the majority of their edge servers being located in North America (US), EU, and Asia. The following table is a list of server locations that Cloudfront uses within these 3 continents.
|Ashburn x 3||Amsterdam x 2||Chennai|
|Atlanta x 2||Dublin||Hong Kong x 2|
|Chicago||Frankfurt x 5||Mumbai x 2|
|Dallas/Fort Worth x 2||London x 3||Manila|
|Los Angeles x 2||Milan||Seoul x 3|
|Miami||Paris x 2||Singapore x 2|
|New York x 3||Stockholm||Taipei|
|Newark||Warsaw||Tokyo x 2|
Cloudfront also has 2 server locations in Canada (Montreal and Toronto), 2 locations in Australia (Melbourne and Sydney), and 2 locations in South America (São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro).
Amazon Cloudfront comes with an array of features. The table below outlines some of the most popular CDN features that are included with Cloudfront as well as a few that aren’t.
|Origin Push||Partially (Need to use S3)|
|Instant Purge||Partially (Only invalidates assets)|
|Real-time Statistics||Partially (Near real-time)|
|Custom SSL||Yes (Extra cost)|
|Free Support||No (Extra cost)|
|Let’s Encrypt SSL||No|
Cloudfront’s pricing model is Pay as You Go. Therefore, there are no monthly commitments nor is there a minimum fee. They do have a free tier which provides users with 50GB of data transfer out and 2 million HTTP and HTTPS requests each month for one year. Once the one year mark is up, you will be required to start paying for the amount of traffic you use.
Amazon Cloudfront’s pricing is broken down into 3 different sections:
- Data transfer out to Internet
- Data transfer out to origin
- HTTP requests (per 10,000)
The following tables outline the pricing costs for each section.
The primary charge for using Amazon Cloudfront services is what they call Regional Data Transfer Out to Internet. This charge is in reference to the amount of bandwidth transferred from their edge servers to your visitors. The pricing here starts at $0.085 and fluctuates depending on both location and volume.
The next portion of pricing is based on if data is transferred from the Cloudfront edge servers back to your origin server. This includes DELETE, OPTIONS, PATCH, POST, and PUT HTTP requests. Same as above, the cost fluctuates upon where the visitor is based, however, there is no volume pricing.
Lastly, Cloudfront also charges based on how many HTTP requests are made. The following prices are based on a per 10,000 request basis. The cost also fluctuates depending upon visitor location as well as if the requests are made over HTTP vs HTTPS.
Cloudfront Review – In Conclusion
Hopefully, this Cloudfront review has given you more insight into the features and pricing model of Amazon’s CDN service. Amazon is certainly a well known, respected, and reputable brand name. They provide an array of tools that are accessible all within a single dashboard which may prove to be more convenient for certain web developers.
Although their pricing model is Pay as You Go, be aware that they do charge in 3 separate ways: data out to Internet, data out to Origin, and HTTP requests. Bandwidth costs also do increase significantly depending upon where your visitors are coming from (e.g. South America is priced at $0.25 per GB). Therefore, when looking at Cloudfront as a CDN provider, it’s important to consider the global distribution of your current website visitors as well as your CDN budget.