If one hosts a full-fledged website, there’s a high chance of getting viewers from all around the globe and to provide them with better services, tools like Cloudflare or CloudFront is used.
For a basic level of understanding, both of these tools help a website to speed up their performance for global visitors by storing the host’s content at different servers.
And so, it has also a specific term – Content Delivery Network or CDN.
However, both Cloudflare and CloudFront have a similar target, but they choose to accomplish it differently from each other. They also have different features.
Cloudflare vs CloudFront
The difference between Cloudflare and CloudFront is that Cloudflare is a reverse proxy, which means one has to connect their domain’s nameservers to it. CloudFront is a traditional form of CDN, where it will automatically grab the data from the host’s origin server onto its server network.
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|Parameters of Comparison||Cloudflare||CloudFront|
|Setup||Its setup is quite easy navigational.||Its setup has two ways – Push & Pull.|
|Live Video||It does not support the live streaming videos feature.||It supports the feature of live streaming videos.|
|Image Optimisation||Cloudflare can be used for image optimisation.||CloudFront does not support image optimisation.|
|Integrated Tools||Tools integrated with it are Buddy, Cloudcraft, Mixmax.||Tools integrated with it are Google Analytics, Terraform.|
|Best Used For||Cloudflare is best at managing server loads and site speeds.||CloudFront is best used when a site seeks speed in static and dynamic web contents.|
|SPDY Protocol||It supports the SPDY protocol.||It does not support SPDY Protocol.|
|Origin Push||It does not support Origin Push. The number of Point of presence is 71.||It partially supports Origin Push. The number of point of presence is 41.|
What is Cloudflare?
It is a United States-based web infrastructure and security company that offers content delivery network services, domain name server services, Internet security, DDoS mitigation, etc.
Cloudflare believes in the idea to enhance reliability, performance and security of anything that is connected to the internet. The company’s services lie between a website’s visitor and its user’s hosting provider, behaving as a reverse proxy for websites.
Its DDoS mitigation services secure its customers from distributed denial of service attacks. Cloudflare also provides a Content Distribution Network service. The firm now claims to support more than 25 million websites.
On the list of its free core features are – SSL/TLS, Firewall, page rules, analytics, registrar, workers, CDN, DNS Hosting, etc – but with certain limitations.
What is CloudFront?
CloudFront, which is generally popular as Amazon CloudFront as it is offered by Amazon Web Services, provides the content delivery network to websites that speed ups distribution of web contents like HTML, CSS, image files, etc.
Its servers are situated in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Japan, South America, Africa. CloudFront competes with other larger CDNs like Akamai and Limelight Networks.
It works seamlessly with services like Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon EC2, AWS Shield Standard for DDoS mitigation. An eye-catching feature of CloudFront is that it provides live streaming video facility.
CloudFront can easily get started with the Content Delivery Network in just a few minutes with tools like AWS Management Console, APIs, SDKs, Command Line Interface.
Main Differences Between Cloudflare and CloudFront
- Cloudflare’s system setup is quite easy and its interface is smooth to navigate. On the other hand, CloudFront follows a two-way type setup – Push and Pull.
- Cloudflare does not support the feature of live streaming or live video. Whereas CloudFront successfully supports the feature of live streaming videos.
- Cloudflare can be used for image optimisation which includes image resizing, mirage or polish. Whereas CloudFront does not support image optimisation.
- Tools that are integrated with Cloudflare are – Buddy, Cloudcraft and Mixmax. On the other hand, tools that are integrated with CloudFront are – Google Analytics and Terraform.
- Cloudflare is best used for managing server loads and site speeds. Whereas, CloudFront is best used when a site seeks speed in static and dynamic web contents.
- Cloudflare supports SPDY protocol. Whereas Amazon’s CloudFront does not support the SPDY protocol.
- Cloudflare does not support Origin Push and its Number of point of presence is 71. On the other hand, CloudFront partially supports Origin Push and its Number of point of presence is 41.
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Sandeep Bhandari holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computers from Thapar University (2006). He has 20 years of experience in the technology field. He has a keen interest in various technical fields, including database systems, computer networks, and programming. You can read more about him on his bio page.