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CDN77 review

A straightforward novice-friendly CDN you can set up in minutes

CDN77 21:9 Hero
(Image: © CDN77)

Our Verdict

An easy-to-use service which delivers the core CDN basics for a fair price. Look out for that monthly minimum of $199 for 6TB traffic, though.

For

  • Easy to use
  • Simple pricing
  • Free Let's Encrypt SSL
  • 50GB free CDN storage

Against

  • $199 minimum monthly credit
  • Short on advanced settings
  • Marginally below average performance

CDN77 is a capable CDN player with some big-name customers, including ESET, Avast, Plesk, Santander and the European Space Agency.

The company can accelerate your website by serving content direct to your visitors from 35 data centers around the world. Europe and North America get the most attention, but there are also seven locations in Asia and more in South America and Africa.

HTTP/2 optimization and TSL 1.3 keep overheads to a minimum, while Brotli compression shrinks common file types like JavaScript or CSS by 25% more than GZip.

SSL options include free Let's Encrypt certificates for the CDN URL or CNAME (cdn.mydomain.com). You can install an existing SSL certificate for free (single domain or wildcard), or purchase an 'A' graded SSL certificate for $69 per year.

CDN77's own servers can be used to store large files, reducing the load on your origin server. Others do something similar with origin push support, but unusually CDN77 gives you the first 50GB for free. After that, storage prices start at $20 a month for up to 150GB storage, ranging up to $95 for 1TB and $295 for 5TB.

WordPress Integrations

CDN77 allows you to integrate its CDN with most popular CMSs (Image credit: CDN77)

There's support for integrating CDN77 with WordPress, Drupal, PrestaShop, Magento, Joomla and SocialEngine. You're not restricted to a single WordPress plugin – there's support for WP Fastest Cache, Comet Cache, W3 Total Cache and more – and multiple tutorials to help you get set up.

If you have issues with CMS or anything else, all CDN77 plans include 24/7 support by email, chat and phone. It looks effective, too, with the company claiming '94% of issues solved directly via live chat.'

Pricing

CDN77 pricing is simple and straightforward, with traffic charged at the same rate regardless of where it comes from, and SSL, HTTPS requests, DDoS and other security settings included by default.

Minimum charges are relatively high, starting at $199 per month to cover up to 6TB traffic, with an overage charge of $0.045/ GB. Value improves significantly as you use more traffic, though, and for example using up to 100TB costs only $0.0099 per GB, with an overage charge of $0.019 per GB.

Raw logs are available for an extra $49 per month per CDN resource. These include the date, time zone, data center location, client IP, request type, domain, URL, HTTP response code, response size and hit/miss verdict for up to a million hits per day, over the last three days.

If you can't quite make up your mind, a generous 14-day free trial including all features and with 1TB of global traffic gives you a chance to check the service out properly.

Overall, CDN77's per-gigabyte pricing is good value, and considerably easier to understand than some of the competition (the usual mix of regional pricing and HTTP/ HTTPS requests can be so complicated that the likes of CloudFront, Azure and Fastly give you a custom calculator to help you figure them out.)

If you won't use the 6TB minimum traffic allowance or are put off by the $199 a month payment, though, check out KeyCDN. It has more complicated regional pricing (from $0.04 per GB in the US to $0.11 in South Africa and South America), but usage charges start at a tiny $4 a month (with a minimum credit of $49), good news if you're a newbie and looking to experiment with CDNs.

Website

CDN77 has an extensive network available (Image credit: CDN77)

Setup

CDN77 offers a 14-day risk free trial which is unusually easy to set up. There's minimal personal data required – name, email address, password – and you're not asked for any payment details.

Click the Signup button and the site immediately prompts you to create your first CDN. There's no need to hunt around a complicated web console, and options are kept to a minimum. Enter the CDN name, your domain, where your data is held (your server, an AWS S3 resource or CDN77's own CDN storage, and remember you get 50MB of that for free), hit 'Create CDN Resource' and you're on your way.

Setup Interface

You'll begin setting up CDN77 from its CDN Resources page (Image credit: CDN77)

The web dashboard opens at its CDN Resources page, where tabs begin with the setup basics (using CNAME records to create a readable CDN name, like cdn.mydomain.com, or checking its SSL status.)

Create New CDN Resource

CDN77 will even walk you through the process of creating new CDN resources (Image credit: CDN77)

Experienced CDN users should feel at home immediately, but if you're unsure, an Integration tab explains precisely how to set up a CNAME records (with domain management instructions for GoDaddy, HostGator, Bluehost, SiteGround, A2 Hosting and more), or that you can get started right away by changing your asset paths from something like 'http://mydomain.com/path/to/image.jpg' to 'http(s)://1698210349.rsc.cdn77.org/path/to/image.jpg'.

Reporting Status Codes

CDN77 provides you with a great deal of data on your site's performance (Image credit: CDN77)

Once you're done, the full CDN77 console opens at its reports page. There probably won't be anything to review just yet, but when the service is active you'll be able to view charts of bandwidth use, traffic, cache hits and misses, costs, HTTP responses (2xx, 3xx, 4xx, 5xx) and more. You can filter these by time, CDN resources and data centers, and there are buttons to download graphs in JPEG form or a CSV file of the graph data.

Dashboard

This is the user interface of CDN77's dashboard (Image credit: CDN77)

The rest of the console interface does its very best to avoid intimidating users. There are few options, jargon is kept to a minimum, and you're not confronted with any CDN technicalities unless you go looking for them.

Setup Settings

Each of CDN77's settings have a description where you can find out more information on what exactly they do (Image credit: CDN77)

CDN77 does offer some useful tweaks and settings, but the focus remains on simplicity rather than power. Other services usually allow you to set a cache expiry time to a number of minutes, for instance. Here you select fixed options from a list (10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, 12 hours and so on).

Cache purging supports the most basic options only: removing individual files or clearing everything.

Cookie handling is limited to a single choice: cache requests with cookies, or not.

Access Protection

Advanced users will feel right at home in CDN77's Access Protection panel (Image credit: CDN77)

The 'Access Protection' panel is more interesting, with options to whitelist or blacklist visitors by IP address or country. There's hotlink protection, including the ability to block requests with empty referrers, and a Secure Token feature allows restricting downloads to authorized users only.

There are a scattering of other options to add an SSL certificate, redirect HTTP requests to HTTPS, preload large files to the CDN, and so on.

Experts might be frustrated by the lack of low-level CDN tweaks available here, but everyone else will appreciate CDN77's ease of use. The console assumes far less knowledge than most of the competition, and also provides useful help within the interface.

Dashboard Network

The dashboard also provides extensive information on CDN77's network (Image credit: CDN77)

Performance

Comparing CDN performance is a complex business, as there are so many factors involved: the web applications used, the size and type of files, CDN configuration, locations and numbers of visitors, the volume of requests and more.

CDNPerf gives you a starting point by comparing CDN response times as experienced by users around the world. It's just one metric and can't tell you the whole story, but it does at least give you an idea how speedy a CDN network can be.

Performance

You can see how well CDN77 stacks up against the competition by visiting CDNPerf (Image credit: CDNPerf)

As we write, CDN77 ranks 11th out of a field of 24 for worldwide responses, with an average query time of 37ms. That's not bad at all, especially as there's very little difference between the top names. Verizon's EdgeCast service made sixth place, for instance, but its average query times were similar at 30ms.

Sometimes the worldwide averages conceal better performance in a few regions, but that doesn't seem to be true here. CDN77 is 11th in Europe and Africa, 14th in North America and Asia, falling to 16th in Oceania and 17th in South America – it's typically lower mid-range just about everywhere.

While this doesn't look impressive, the difference in performance is marginal, and at less than half the price of some competitors, CDN77 still seems like fair value to us.

Final verdict

A straightforward CDN which is easy to set up and fair value for North America and European transfers. The minimum $199 a month and 6TB traffic means the service won't work for small sites, and it's short on advanced options, but CDN77 could still be a good choice for new users who'll be happy with the CDN basics.