Online streaming services have witnessed a massive boost in their audience numbers over the last few years as services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video continued growing and delivering a better experience for their customers with high-quality content.
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are not only used in online streaming services but they are required for any kind of live streaming where low latency is desired. CDN networks are one of the crucial components when it comes to professional live streaming.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at what CDNs are and the role they play in the live online video world.
What is a CDN?
As the name implies, a content delivery network is a network that distributes content in the most efficient way over the internet. It is mostly used to broadcast live streaming video.
CDN live streaming services lower the latency of the video for the end viewer dramatically which creates a better and smoother viewing experience which is crucial when you want to live stream video content.
CDNs are basically a system of servers that are located away from each other geographically and distributed over a large area which removes the bottleneck that arises when a live online video is streaming from a single centrally located server.
In order to understand how live online video content is distributed by CDNs, it can be compared to any delivery system. In this comparison, the servers can be compared to warehouses storing the actual goods that’ll be delivered.
It natural that if there is a centrally located warehouse for all deliveries, the delivery time will depend on how far the warehouse is. This is the bottleneck of having a single server to distribute all the content.
It is better to create a system of servers that cover a large area instead of relying on a single server to distribute the data. Just like it would make much more sense to have warehouses in every city instead of just one for the entire country to ensure faster delivery times.
Benefits Of Using A CDN?
The biggest benefit of using a CDN is obviously reducing latency when it comes to live streaming services for seminar and other use cases. Here are some of the other benefits of using a CDN for professional live streaming needs:
- The biggest and primary reason why CDNs are used by digital streaming services is that it ensures a fast and reliable way of delivering data across the world.
- CDNs help in making webcast live streaming services much more scalable by ensuring that the video content reaches a lot of viewers across a wide geographical area in a fast and reliable manner.
- CDNs are also used in the live video features of social media platforms too as they usually have to reach a wide audience spread across the world and latency is a major concern.
- The biggest advantage of using CDNs to broadcast live streaming video is that the network delivers content with very low latency.
- CDNs allow fast delivery of content to vast audiences across the world which allows CDN live streaming services to outperform the traditional single-server model. Along with scalability, speed is one of the biggest benefits of using CDNs.
When it comes to digital streaming services, the quality of the content is one of the biggest concerns and an efficient CDN allows the streaming service to send high-quality video in a faster and more efficient manner.
Lastly, CDNs also add an extra layer of security by preventing common security attacks such as the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS can compromise a service that only uses a single server by flooding it with multiple requests. When the service uses a content delivery network, the data is distributed over multiple servers that protect the service from DDoS attacks.
Paid vs Free CDNs
Content Delivery Networks can range from free services such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitch to premium services that charge for dedicated CDN servers that are spread all over the world. While free CDNs are great for small scale streamers and content creators, paid CDNs provide almost guaranteed reliability and quality.
If you are serious about live streaming video and distributing it to a huge audience, using a premium CDN is the way to go in order to ensure smooth performance and wonderful viewing experience for your audiences.
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are an important part of the world of live streaming and they help in ensuring the fast and efficient delivery of content across a wide area and to multiple viewers at the same time.
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