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Akamai vs CloudFlare: What are the differences?


In this Markdown code, we will provide key differences between Akamai and CloudFlare. Both Akamai and CloudFlare are content delivery network (CDN) providers that assist in improving website performance and security. However, they have several distinct differences that set them apart from each other.

  1. Global Network: Akamai operates one of the largest content delivery networks in the world, consisting of thousands of servers across numerous data centers. This extensive network allows for faster content delivery and improved website performance, especially for international users. On the other hand, CloudFlare operates a smaller but still robust network of servers strategically located around the globe.

  2. Security Features: While both Akamai and CloudFlare offer security services, CloudFlare places a stronger emphasis on security features. CloudFlare provides built-in DDoS protection, Web Application Firewall (WAF), and other security measures as part of their standard offering. Akamai also offers security services but tends to focus more on performance optimization.

  3. Pricing Model: Akamai generally charges higher prices compared to CloudFlare. Akamai's pricing structure is often tailored to enterprise customers and can be more complex, including variable costs based on usage and additional services. CloudFlare, on the other hand, offers a more transparent and simplified pricing model, which is often more cost-effective for smaller businesses and organizations.

  4. Ease of Use and Integration: CloudFlare is known for its user-friendly interface and ease of use. It provides a straightforward setup process, making it accessible even for users with limited technical knowledge. Akamai, on the other hand, primarily caters to larger enterprises and may require more technical expertise for implementation and configuration.

  5. Caching Mechanisms: When it comes to content caching, Akamai offers a more customizable and fine-grained caching mechanism. Customers have more control over cache configurations, allowing them to optimize content delivery based on their specific requirements. Conversely, CloudFlare offers a more straightforward and automatically optimized caching system, making it easier for users to implement and manage cache settings.

  6. Additional Services and Specializations: Akamai has been in the CDN industry for a longer period and offers a wide range of additional services beyond content delivery, such as media delivery, cloud security, and edge computing solutions. CloudFlare, while also expanding its service offerings, primarily focuses on CDN and website security-related services.

In summary, Akamai and CloudFlare differ in terms of network size, security features, pricing, ease of use, caching mechanisms, and additional services. CloudFlare stands out with its user-friendly interface, comprehensive security offerings, and simplified pricing, making it a popular choice among smaller organizations. Akamai, with its extensive global network and range of specialized services, caters more towards enterprise clients.

Decisions about Akamai and CloudFlare
Francesco Boffa

I don't think I have registered a domain in the last 10 years that hasn't been linked to CloudFlare within the first 2 hours from registration.

The benefits you get from even the free version of CloudFlare are amazing. From day 0: - 30/80% of bandwidth savings thanks to their CDN - Origin IP address protection - Managed SSL

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Pros of Akamai
Pros of CloudFlare
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 424
      Easy setup, great cdn
    • 277
      Free ssl
    • 199
      Easy setup
    • 190
    • 180
    • 98
      Great cdn
    • 77
    • 71
    • 44
      Great UI
    • 28
      Great js cdn
    • 12
    • 12
      HTTP/2 Support
    • 12
      DNS Analytics
    • 12
    • 9
      Rocket Loader
    • 9
    • 9
    • 8
      IPv6 "One Click"
    • 8
      Fantastic CDN service
    • 7
    • 7
      Nice DNS
    • 7
    • 7
      Free GeoIP
    • 7
      Amazing performance
    • 7
    • 7
      Cheapest SSL
    • 6
    • 6
      Free and reliable, Faster then anyone else
    • 5
    • 5
      Asynchronous resource loading
    • 4
      Global Load Balancing
    • 4
    • 4
      Easy Use
    • 3
    • 2
    • 2
      Support for SSHFP records
    • 1
    • 1
    • 1

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    Cons of Akamai
    Cons of CloudFlare
      Be the first to leave a con
      • 2
        No support for SSHFP records
      • 2
        Expensive when you exceed their fair usage limits

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      What is Akamai?

      If you've ever shopped online, downloaded music, watched a web video or connected to work remotely, you've probably used Akamai's cloud platform. Akamai helps businesses connect the hyperconnected, empowering them to transform and reinvent their business online. We remove the complexities of technology, so you can focus on driving your business faster forward.

      What is CloudFlare?

      Cloudflare speeds up and protects millions of websites, APIs, SaaS services, and other properties connected to the Internet.

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      What companies use Akamai?
      What companies use CloudFlare?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Akamai or CloudFlare.
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      What tools integrate with Akamai?
      What tools integrate with CloudFlare?

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      Blog Posts

      Jun 19 2015 at 6:37AM

      What are some alternatives to Akamai and CloudFlare?
      Fastly's real-time content delivery network gives you total control over your content, unprecedented access to performance analytics, and the ability to instantly update content in 150 milliseconds.
      Google Cloud CDN
      Google Cloud CDN leverages Google's globally distributed edge caches to accelerate content delivery for websites and applications served out of Google Compute Engine. Cloud CDN lowers network latency, offloads origins, and reduces serving costs. Once you've set up HTTP(S) Load Balancing, simply enable Cloud CDN with a single checkbox.
      API management, design, analytics, and security are at the heart of modern digital architecture. The Apigee intelligent API platform is a complete solution for moving business to the digital world.
      It provides complete cyber security by protecting what really matters most—your data and applications—whether on-premises or in the cloud.
      It powers apps from development through their entire life cycle, so our customers can deliver differentiated, high-performing, and secure digital experiences.
      See all alternatives