Fastly CDN Review

Set up to Scale

Last updated on October 5, 2020 by Janz Nordman

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If you are looking for a good way to make your content available and quickly deliverable to your users, you might want to consider using a CDN (Content Delivery Network). Fastly CDN is a service that owns servers around the world, and whenever someone needs to access your products, content, and alike, they offer it from the servers closest to the individual’s physical location.

This significantly improves the speeds of content delivery and makes for satisfied customers. As a result, the company itself gains more popularity and a good reputation.

Now, BestCloudTools has a specific CDN in mind to recommend, and that is Fastly CDN, which is already a rather big player in the CDN market. Did you know that Fastly CDN is an official partner for Shopify since 2013? Probably not, but this partnership is the essence of Shopify success.

What is Fastly CDN about?

Fastly is a company founded in 2011, and it functions rather similarly to Cloudflare. In the nine years since its launch, the firm managed to make quite a few achievements. It raised over 175 million from various investors; it started serving a large number of enterprise-grade firms, and some of its biggest customers include Reddit, Spotify, Buzzfeed, Github, Wired, Imgur, and others.

Fastly CDN offers around 29 POPs (Points-of-Presence), with locations in the US, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, South America, and more. Fastly has great speeds worldwide, and it is considered to be among the best CDNs for the UK and US.

How Does Fastly Actually Work?

Fastly CDN works by following a Cloudflare-like reverse proxy model. What this means is that, instead of giving users an address where specific files are stored, it will route the website traffic through its own server network.

For websites that make use of it, some configuration will be required, and clients need to update the CNAME record for their websites with the domain registrar. After that, however, Fastly CDN will take care of the rest.

From there on, Fastly’s the system works pretty much like all other CDNs out there. Someone would visit your website and Fastly would obtain the visitor’s location. Then, it will refer to its closest POP to the visitor’s location, and fetch content from there.

As mentioned before, Fastly has its storages all around the globe, on every continent. As a result, it is capable of delivering very fast speeds, which will make users’ experience on your website swift and enjoyable.

What Does Fastly Have to Offer?

Now, let’s talk about what can Fastly CDN actually offers to you, as a client.

Fastly product includes a number of features, such as:

  • Dynamic content delivery
  • Large and small file delivery
  • Live videos
  • Video on demand
  • WAF
  • Image optimization
  • Anti-DDoS
  • Private CDN managed by Fastly itself
  • Edge Compute
  • A wide POP network
  • Transparent prices
  • Instant setup
  • Cache-control
  • Real-time analytics
  • Real-time streaming of logs
  • HTTP and HTTPS

Fastly POP Network

While we did talk about Fastly network briefly before, it might be beneficial for potential Fastly clients to know what they can expect in terms of POPs. That way, they will know whether or not Fastly has a large presence in the targeted regions.

At this time, Fastly CDN offers POPs in 35 different locations on 6 different continents. Its strongest presence appears to be in Oceania, where it has 6 individual POPs.

The regions and locations include:

North America (17 POPs)

  • US (Ashburn, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Houston, Kansas City, New York, Miami, Minneapolis, Seattle, St. Louis, San Jose)
  • Canada (Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto)

Oceania (6 POPs)

  • Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth)
  • New Zealand (Wellington, Auckland)

Africa (2 POPs)

  • South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg)

South America (6 POPS)

  • Argentina (Buenos Aires)
  • Brazil (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba)
  • Chile (Santiago)
  • Colombia (Bogota)

Asia (7 POPs)

  • Hong Kong
  • India (Mumbai, Chennal, New Delhi)
  • Singapore
  • Japan (Tokyo, Osaka)

Middle-East (1 POP)

  • UAE (Dubai)

Europe (13 POPs)

  • Austria (Vienna)
  • Denmark (Copenhagen)
  • Germany (Frankfurt)
  • Spain (Madrid)
  • Finland (Helsinki)
  • Norway (Oslo)
  • Sweden (Stockholm)
  • Netherlands (Amsterdam)
  • Ireland (Dublin)
  • UK (London, Manchester)
  • France (Paris)
  • Italy (Milan)

Fastly Customer Support

Another aspect where Fastly CDN performs very well is its customer support. There are multiple different support options that clients can use, as well as some paid plans.

The free support comes in the form of a rather extensive knowledge base, containing public documentation, API references, email support, and the community forum.

However, users are also offered a possibility to upgrade to a premium support level, and gain access to Slack support and phone support. As a result, users would receive much faster responses to any question or potential issues. Not only that, but they would be able to get support outside of business hours, as well. Lastly, they would also obtain dedicated account management.

How Much Does Fastly Cost?

If you are worried about the cost of Fastly — don’t be. The service will let you check out what it has to offer with a free trial that lets you test up to $50 per month of traffic. In other words, you can use it for free as long as you don’t go past those $50 worth of traffic. After that, Fastly CDN will charge users with a minimum of $50 per month, regardless of whether or not the customer’s traffic is worth that much.

However, if you have a huge amount of traffic on your site, you should know that Fastly has specific prices for each region for the first 10TB, the next 10TB, and per 10,000 requests. The pricing scheme is really flexible and affordable. You can take a closer look at the Pricing of Fastly CDN directly on their website.

There are two premium plans that include:

Gold

  • Gold will provide users with alerts for high-impact events
  • 24/7 incident response
  • Prioritized responses

Enterprise (including Gold)

  • General inquiries at any time
  • Phone and Slack support
  • Enhanced compliance support
  • Professional Services discount
  • PCI/HIPAA configuration services

PROs and CONs of Fastly CDN to Keep in Mind

Now, let’s take a look at some pros and cons of using Fastly CDN. We have seen a lot of positives up to this point, as the service offers much. Let us now summarize the benefits, and see if there are any downsides to using Fastly worth mentioning.

Fastly Pros:

  • Fastly speeds are above average due to the great concentration of POPs
  • Very configurable
  • The service allows you to test it by using $50-worth of traffic for free
  • Its customer list includes high-profile clients from various industries
  • Provides real-time updates
  • Excellent customer support
  • The prices are not too expensive
  • Offers powerful API
  • Supports many types of media, including Video
  • Manipulating and serving images is very simple

Fastly Cons:

  • After the free $50-worth of traffic, Fastly charges a minimum of $50 per month
  • Setup can be a bit complex

To Sum It up – When to Go for Fastly CDN?

Fastly is an excellent CDN, which many would easily call the fastest and the best in the industry. Fastly has a large presence around the world thanks to its multiple POPs, located on every continent.

The service is also very transparent when it comes to its pricing, even though it charging a minimum of $50 regardless of the amount of traffic does seem a bit expensive for those who do not yet see much traffic and whose requirements do not match this amount.

However, Fastly can ensure that you can boost your content delivery speeds by a massive amount. With that in mind, you should go for Fastly if you target users in numerous regions around the world, and you wish to provide all of them with an equal quality of service. More than that, you should use Fastly if you wish for a user-friendly and reliable service that you yourself will grow to enjoy using.

  • Go for Fastly if you target international users in numerous regions.
  • Go for Fastly if you wish a user-friendly CDN.
  • Go for Fastly if you wish to improve the speeds of your content delivery as much as possible.
  • Go for Fastly if your website sees a lot of traffic.
  • Go for Fastly for the best customer service and extensive documentation.

Thanks for Reading and Good Luck on Your Journey! Need Some Help or Would Like to Ask Something about Current Content? Please Add a Comment 🙂

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