Cloudflare vs CloudFront: Difference and Comparison

If one hosts a full-fledged website, there’s a high chance of getting viewers from around the globe, and to provide them with better services, tools like Cloudflare or CloudFront are used.

For a basic level of understanding, both tools help a website speed up its performance for global visitors by storing the host’s content on different servers.

And so, it also has 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.

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Key Takeaways

  1. Cloudflare and Cloudfront are both content delivery networks (CDNs) used to accelerate web content delivery.
  2. Cloudflare provides security features such as DDoS protection, while Cloudfront does not offer such security features.
  3. Cloudflare offers a free plan with limited features, while Cloudfront does not have a free plan and charges based on usage.

Cloudflare vs CloudFront

Cloudflare is primarily known as a web security and performance company, having a global network of over 200 data centres. CloudFront offers a range of caching and optimization features and integration with other AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, and Lambda@Edge.

Cloudflare vs CloudFront

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCloudflareCloudFront
SetupIts setup is quite easy to navigate.Its setup has two ways – Push & Pull.
Live VideoIt does not support the live streaming videos feature.It supports the feature of live-streaming videos.
Image OptimisationCloudflare can be used for image optimisation.CloudFront does not support image optimisation.
Integrated ToolsTools integrated with it are Buddy, Cloudcraft, and Mixmax.Tools integrated with it are Google Analytics and Terraform.
Best Used ForCloudflare is best at managing server loads and site speeds.CloudFront is best used when a site seeks speed in static and dynamic web content.
SPDY ProtocolIt supports the SPDY protocol.It does not support SPDY Protocol.
Origin PushIt does not support Origin Push. The number of points of presence is 71.It partially supports Origin Push. The number of points 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 of enhancing the 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.

cloudflare 1

What is CloudFront?

CloudFront, which is generally popular as Amazon CloudFront as Amazon Web Services offers, provides the content delivery network to websites that speed up web content distribution like HTML, CSS, image files, etc.

Its servers are in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Japan, South America, and Africa. CloudFront competes with other larger CDNs like Akamai and Limelight Networks.

It works seamlessly with services like Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon EC2, and AWS Shield Standard for DDoS mitigation. An eye-catching feature of CloudFront is that it provides a 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, and Command Line Interface.

cloudfront

Main Differences Between Cloudflare and CloudFront

  1. Cloudflare’s system setup is quite easy, and its interface is smooth. On the other hand, CloudFront follows a two-way type setup – Push and Pull.
  2. Cloudflare does not support the feature of live streaming or live video. Whereas CloudFront successfully supports the feature of live-streaming videos.
  3. Cloudflare can be used for image optimisation, resizing, mirage or polishing. Whereas CloudFront does not support image optimisation.
  4. 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.
  5. Cloudflare is best used for managing server loads and site speeds. CloudFront is best used when a site seeks speed in static and dynamic web content.
  6. Cloudflare supports the SPDY protocol. Whereas Amazon’s CloudFront does not support the SPDY protocol.
  7. Cloudflare does not support Origin Push, and its Number of points of presence is 71. On the other hand, CloudFront partially supports Origin Push, and its Number of points of presence is 41.
References
  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3278532.3278552
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8888058/
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