What Is AWS CloudFront: Pros, How It Works, and Uses

Do you know What Is AWS CloudFront? If you don’t then read AWS CloudFront tutorial to learn all about it. Its benefits, drawbacks, and everything in between.

Video is the most consumed form of media in 2022. More people nowadays watch a video than read articles regardless of the niche or industry it is about, and we believe AWS CloudFront is a reason for it.

Before we dig deep into what Amazon Web Services CloudFront service is, we want to answer why people prefer watching videos more than reading about them with changing times.

The answer is simple: videos are easier to comprehend than reading. This is why more businesses prefer to share any information about themselves in video format and to do that; they use CloudFront service.

What is AWS & How It Works
What is AWS & How It Works

Explaining What Is AWS CloudFront?

Amazon CloudFront is one of the best content delivery services. They are the services businesses use to upload their videos on the internet, and these services also ensure that they are playable.

What is a Content Delivery Service?

A content delivery service does a lot, and in essence, they are the magic makers because of who people are so easily able to generate and share the video data they want.

We believe they have played a massive role in advancing the digital perks we enjoy every day.

What is the primary job of a Content Delivery Service?

Content delivery services like Amazon CloudFront are the heart and soul of your website. They are the service that allows you to share any video-based information on your website worldwide.

They help you distribute the videos you want to share. They are the vessel you can use to upload and manage a video end to end. They host the master version and forward copies to the local hosting station.

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This helps viewers worldwide watch your videos swiftly and without lag. Content delivery service is also responsible for creating presence points which are the local hosting station.

Uses of Content Delivery Service?

The following are the use case performance a content delivery service offers you.

1. Hosting Videos For Your Website

Suppose you have a promotional video about your business and you want to share it with the world.

Have you ever thought about how you can upload that on the internet and how everyone worldwide can see it simultaneously? How is the video playing so perfectly? So fast? Without crashing?

The reason for this is the service and performance a content delivery service like Amazon CloudFront performs for you. Because for the starter, they upload and host the video you wish to share.

2. Compressing & Securing it For Your Website

The second use of content delivery service is that it is equipped with the features to compress your video to a small size while retaining its quality.

For example, if you have an international business and you upload a 1GB worth of data video, then watching it in America would not be a problem.

But for lesser developed countries, it will be a problem as they do not have the same level of internet speed required to play your video. Hence, the content delivery service compresses it so everyone can play it.

Another feature they perform for your website is securing the video. They protect your website so that the video you are trying to upload gets uploaded and it doesn’t get hacked or taken down.

3. Ensuring Your Videos Have Local Edge Location For Faster Speed & Download

The third but most critical use a content delivery service like AWS CloudFront provides for your business website is establishing a local edge location.

They do this so in whatever region users want to watch your video. They can, as local edge hosting, help them achieve faster playback speed, and if they wish to download, then they can do that as well.

Reasons AWS CloudFront is Used For

Amazon Web Services offers hundreds of services, and the reason their CloudFront service has become one of their most utilized is because of the following:

1. CloudFront Can Help You Provide Secure And Fast Web Sites

CloudFront loyal users prefer this service over other content delivery services because they provide faster website loading speed and better security.

These two functions are the core reason people use content delivery services in the first place and when someone performs these functions to perfection, then using them is the smart move.

2. It Can Help Stream Videos on Your Site At Rapid Speed

Buffering is the #1 reason people leave a website when trying to watch a video.

Buffering is the worst nightmare for every web user as people of the 21st century have an attention span shorter than a goldfish.

So when something starts and stops, it loses your concentration very easily.

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And one of the major reasons Amazon CloudFront is preferred over its many other competitor services is because they can stream your videos without buffering.

3. Provides You The Ability To Playback Your Video Worldwide

Although there are many content delivery services, what makes CloudFront a cut above the rest is that they can serve you worldwide. From Asia to America you can reach anywhere with them.

Most content delivery services focus on being region-based, whereas CloudFront is the first truly global service.

It has local edge points scattered all over the world, due to which you can stream your videos seamlessly from any part of the world without ever facing any problems.

4. Secures Your Video From Getting Hacked

One of the primary jobs of a content delivery service is to secure your video from getting hacked, and most of the services can perform this feature, but if you want the highest grade protection, then CloudFront is the only logical choice for you.

Supported under Amazon Web Services, they are undoubtedly the most secure content delivery service available that is operating on a global scale. No one even comes close to their service or security.

5. Updates And Keep Your Website Running Automatically

CloudFront is the leader in content delivery service because it can provide automatic updates to your video without disrupting your user flow.

Imagine you have hundreds of videos uploaded with a different call to action, and you want to change that. With CloudFront, you can easily do it without needing to take your video down.

Brands That Use AWS CloudFront Service For Their Brands

The following are the major brands that use AWS CloudFront service to benefit their business.

1. Hulu

Hulu is a streaming giant, and being a streaming service, it must host and distribute a lot of data worldwide. They use CloudFront because it provides the best service at the cheapest prices.

2. REUTERS

The world’s biggest and most trusted news agency REUTERS has a fan following that relies on them for accurate and authentic news.

They provide this news in both text and video format, and they can provide it seamlessly worldwide because of the magic CloudFront performs for them day in and out.

3. Slack

Slack is the leading workplace communication platform and can host various data from text, pictures, video, etc. They use CloudFront because no one can provide them the security they do.

4. King (Candy Crush Creators)

Candy Crush is one of the most played games of all time, with hundreds of millions of active users. King uses CloudFront because it allows them to perform seamless updates without disrupting their application performance.

5. Sky News

Sky News is Britain’s leading news source, and they use CloudFront on their website and web app because they get unrivaled speed, security, and performance for their vast content delivery.

Benefits CloudFront Serves Your Website

The following are the benefits of using CloudFront for your website.

Makes Your Website Easy To Use

The biggest benefit CloudFront provides is that it makes using your website easier. Consumers are always looking for a smooth experience, which is what CloudFront serves.

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Through Geo Tagging, It Ensures Seamless Streaming

The emphasis of use on local edge location hosting is another massive benefit CloudFront serves as this facility ensures you get buffer-free video streaming.

It is An Affordable Service – Pay What You Use

The final benefit of using CloudFront is that compared to other content delivery services, it is affordable as it has a pay what you use policy and not a monthly fixed retainer.

Why Should I Use Amazon CloudFront?

You should use Amazon CloudFront for the following uses

Hosting Videos For Your Website
Compressing & Securing Videos For Your Website
Distributing Videos For Your Website

AWS cloudFront pricing

There are three pricing options given by CloudFront. Let’s have a look at those.

  • Free Tier: Each month we get 10000000 HTTPS requests, 1TB of out transfer data, and 2000000 function invocations.
  • Saving Bundle: Monthly commitment on spending can save up to 30% of your billing.
  • Custom Pricing: This pricing is based on customer commitment of usage per month. For availing the custom discounted pricing you have to contact AWS Customer Support.

AWS cloudFront availability

CloudFront is available to be used through AWS locations. The backbone of CloudFront is the Edge Locations of AWS. So we have the power of CloudFront where ever we have the AWS Edge location.

AWS CloudFront edge locations

Edge Locations works as the backbone of the CloudFront Distribution Network. Cloudfront caches the content in the Edge Locations which is accessed by the users making it fast.

For example, when a user requests content then it is rendered from the edge location if it is cached there. But in case it is not then the content is requested from the hosted location and it is then cashed in the edge location.

Henceforth, when a user requests the content it is rendered from the edge, making it fast.

AWS CloudFront architecture

Now let us check out how the CloudFront works. Have a look at the below simple architecture diagram. Then let us discuss more how it works.

AWS CloudFront
AWS CloudFront Architecture
  1. The user makes a request to the Cloudfront Distribution Network (CDN).
  2. The call is then redirected to lambda@edge to check the user authentication.
  3. The lambda makes a call to the Cognito user pool to check the user.
  4. Then the user can now access the website after valid authentication is completed.
  5. If the content is not available in that particular edge location then it is cached from the S3 bucket from where it is hosted.

AWS CloudFront S3

CloudFront can be used to render static web pages hosted in the S3 bucket. It’s simple, we have a static webpage in the S3 bucket and we can make that webpage available throughout the globe in a much faster way with the help of CDN, which works primarily at the edge location.

AWS CloudFront documentation

We have tried to give as much information as possible on the CloudFront Distribution Network (CDN). Still, if you like to have more then click here.

What Is AWS CloudFront FAQS

Q: Explain AWS CloudFront?

Amazon CloudFront is one of the best content delivery services. They are the vessel you can use to upload and manage a video you want to upload to your website.

Q: Is Amazon CloudFront Available On AWS Free Tier?

Yes, Amazon CloudFront is available on AWS free tier.

Q: How Much Data Can I Host On AWS Free Tier?

You can host up to 1TB of free data on the AWS free tier.

Q: Should I Choose CloudFront AWS Free Tier Or Premium Version?

The answer to this query depends upon the usage and need of your business.
If you are a business starting your journey, then the free tier will be sufficient for the time being.

But if you are an established business looking for a content delivery service switch, then the premium is the one for you.

Final Word

People like to consume content, preferably in the video format, but to upload, host, and distribute them, you need a service that can handle it all.

Which, according to us, is AWS CloudFront. We have talked about it in detail in this article. So go through this article and let us know your thoughts.

Keep Clouding!!

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