What is a Video CDN? Advantages & Disadvantages of CDN Video Streaming

If you have been in the middle of a video conference or video call that keeps buffering, you know how frustrating it can be. Not to mention when you are trying to chill by watching your favourite series or movie and it lags. If you have a video streaming platform and you want to make sure your users never have to face the buffering and lagging issues, video CDN is the answer. In this article, we are going to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of CDN video streaming.

What Is CDN Video Streaming? 

A Content Delivery Network is a collection of servers spread across the world that work together to deliver video content. The servers can be located anywhere in the world. Video CDN streaming keeps buffering and latency to a bare minimum even with millions of viewers streaming videos using a single platform.

How Does CDN Video Streaming Work?

Video streaming platform owners choose the location of servers based on the geographic location of their audience. When a user on the online video platform clicks on the ‘play’ button of any video hosted on the platform, the audio and visual contents of the video are transmitted from the server nearest to the location of the user. This means that the video streams fast and without any interruption. Having a network of multiple servers not only provides a buffer-free viewing experience but also reduces the load on the main server thereby making the platform more efficient and user-friendly.

Benefits Of Video Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Globally, the video streaming market generated a revenue of $42.6 billion in 2019 and is projected to generate $82.43 billion in 2022. As a video streaming business owner, if you want to gain a share of this revenue, utilize video CDN. Detailed below are the benefits of video content delivery networks.

  • Reduces latency

Normally, video content is streamed to users from the main server of the video streaming platform. Video CDN streaming reduces latency by streaming video content from a server that is in close proximity to the user. This helps in loading the video content quickly and playing it without any issue.

  • The origin server is not overwhelmed

As a result of distributing the load across multiple CDN servers, the origin server isn’t overburdened. Compared to one origin server, 140 servers in the CDN are more capable of handling thousands of video viewer requests in a minute.

  • Network bandwidth is not exceeded

Generally, bandwidth is defined as the amount of data (audio, video, text, images) flowing through a network. If there are more requests for content to stream through a single line of the network, the traffic there can increase, which slows down the process.

  • Make streaming reliable

Streaming is reliable when it is secure. Video streaming platforms have been experiencing data breaches in large numbers of late. There have been over 11.8 million attacks in one year. Security is a shared responsibility and when it comes to the data of the users, it is the responsibility of the video streaming platform to keep it secure. Use a CDN that comes with inbuilt security features.

  • Increases the security of infrastructure

Infrastructure of a video content streaming platform includes software and hardware – networking equipment and servers. Video CDN has security features such as DdoS mitigation, physical server security, and enhanced security certificates to ensure the security of the video streaming platform.

  • Increase the redundancy of content

If the video streaming server goes down, the traffic gets routed to another server for processing the video content. As a result of multiple servers, video content requests yet pass through barriers of hardware issues or  high traffic. CDN video streaming ensures that the video streaming services are never interrupted for any reason.

Drawbacks of using CDN video streaming   

  • Fee

Setting up a video CDN for a video streaming platform requires the services of a network company. This means it involves paying a fee to the third party. In order to keep the CDN in operation, you will need to know the total fee and the recurring fee the network company requires. Make sure to check on the cost per transfer of each gigabyte.

  • Location of servers of CDN service provider

Every CDN service will have servers in chosen geographies. Choose a video streaming CDN service that has servers in the geographies that your business serves. Your users shall experience lags in video streaming in employing a  CDN server located farther from your location thereby increasing the streaming distance.

  • Limitations

Your video content becomes less streamable to such regions if the goal includes serving to these locations and companies. You may lose viewers in such a case.

  • Availability of customer support

Not all CDN service providers run the CDN. Some outsource the workings of their services to a third party. In case you purchase a CDN service from one such provider, there is no control over customer support or accountability of services.

  • Sharing company data with third-party

CDN service providers will have access to your video streaming platform data of your videos and your customers. When you opt for any CDN service, you will lose control of your data. This makes it essential to only choose CDN service providers you are sure you can trust.

  • Additional threats

Although this is rare, CDN providers can also go out of business, like any business. If this happens, you will be without your business services until you find another CDN provider.

Things To Check In a Video Streaming CDN

Capacity of data transfer and a large number of dependable networks of servers in the geographies your business serves are the two most important things to check before opting for a CDN service. Other things include – live streaming support, ABR format support, video content storage and pricing.


Now that you know the benefits and drawbacks of a video CDN in detail, it is time to run a check on the requirements of your business. If your business has a large number of resources and high traffic, investment in video CDN will be worth it as you will be able to serve your customers better with a layer of added security.

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