What is a CDN? How does it Work? {Explained!}

Juhil Mendpara
Content Manager

Many of our recommended web hosting providers include a free CDN. What it is, how it works, and why you should use it is obvious to us. So, we either mention it here & there or summarize it in the shortest way possible.

However, we do realize you might not be aware of this “CDN” thing. And hence came the thought to create this comprehensive article.

What is a CDN?

What is a CDN

A CDN (short for Content Delivery Network) is a cluster of geographically distributed servers meant to deliver your website/web pages quickly.

It’s impossible to imagine the internet as we use it without CDNs. The article you just read, the video you just watched, the reels you just scrolled through...more than half of what you consume via the internet is served through CDNs.

Website owners don’t “need” to use a CDN, but you’d be frustrated if CDNs are ruled out of the equation. 

Pro Tip: If you are a website owner with a global audience, we highly recommend using a CDN.

How does a CDN work?

To explain how a CDN works, let us first explain how the internet works. 

Simply put, you send a request from your machine(laptop, mobile, refrigerator...whatever) to a server(where the website is stored), and the server responds with the result to that request. Now, that server can be anywhere ⁠— the farther it is, the slower the response time. E.g., If the website server is in the US and you want to access that website from India, it will take longer than if the server were in India. And that’s the primary problem CDNs solve.

How does a CDN work

A CDN stores a cached version of the site on all its geographically distributed servers (called points of presence). So, when a user tries to access that site, they get the requested information from the nearest/caching server instead of the central server.

Benefits of using a CDN

There are quite a few benefits of using a CDN. Let’s list all, starting from the one we already mentioned.

  • It helps you deliver content faster by shortening the distance between the client & the server.
  • Statistically, faster websites = better conversions. Meaning, a CDN helps you make more money.
  • Because the users get results from the nearby caching server, it matters less if the origin server goes down. In other words, it increases overall uptime/reliability.
  • Similarly, because the central server isn’t used directly, the load on it will be minimal.
  • The total usable bandwidth & server resources for your website increase multifold, essentially. In other words, your site won’t be affected by real-time users as much as it would without a CDN.
  • A CDN gives DDoS protection.

Types of CDNs

There are two types of CDNs: Pull CDN and Push CDN. 

In a Push CDN, you are responsible for pushing the data from your main server to the CDN server. On the other hand, a Pull CDN pulls the data from the origin server when a user requests it & then caches it until it expired.

Both have their pros and cons. We personally like pull CDN because it’s easy to use.

Best Hosting Providing CDN

Most top-of-line hosting companies include a free CDN with their packages. These are our favorites:

  1. 1
    Hostinger: Though it doesn’t offer a free CDN on the cheaper plans, you get an Rs. 545 value CDN for free with its Business Web Hosting.
  2. 2
    BluehostYou can directly connect to Cloudflare free CDN with Bluehost.
  3. 3
    Kinsta: Kinsta has partnered with KeyCDN, another real-time HTTP/2 and IPv6 powered CDN, to offer the service as a value-added feature.
  4. 4
    SiteGround: SiteGround has partnered with the #1 CDN provider, Cloudflare, to provide free CDN.


We hope this article answered all your questions about CDNs. Whether to use it or not is entirely up to you. 

If your website primarily targets a specific geographic audience, you might not need a CDN ⁠— simply having a server near that location will do the job. However, if you are trying to reach a global audience, sign up with any quality CDN service! 

The best way to go about it is by choosing a web hosting that includes a free CDN. Yes, it will be limited, but upgrade if needed; otherwise, what’s the harm?

Hostinger small logo


• Best uptime (99.99%)

• Fast, 0.4ms load time as average

• Good & quick customer support