The Hostway Blog

How Does a Content Delivery Network Work?

When a person enters a domain name into a browser or requests information from a website, that request is normally routed through a series of servers until it reaches the server housing the site. The farther the request must travel, the more time it takes to reach its destination. The same rule applies to the response on its way back.

The Shortest Distance

A content delivery network streamlines this process by shortening the distance the request and data must travel. With a content delivery network, groups of servers are deployed over a large geographic area. The CDN replicates its clients’ data and stores it at each location. When a request comes in, the CDN servers work together to identify the quickest route to transmit the data to the end user.

Better Reliability

Because CDN servers are spread out geographically and over the Internet, they also provide enhanced reliability because they are not affected by a slowdown or outage in one area. A CDN can reroute data through the next-quickest route to ensure delivery to the end user.

Takes a Load off Your Server

Another advantage of storing your files in each Point of Presence (PoP) on the CDN network is that the requests served by the CDN servers aren’t processed by your servers, thus lightening those servers’ load.