Published on June 20th, 2022 | by Bibhuranjan


Video CDN: The Ultimate Guide To Get It Right In 2022

Streaming video online, whether on-demand or live, has transformed the content delivery approach. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, when lockdown pushed everyone to interact with each other in a virtual global village, delivering quality and fast-paced content became the need of the hour.

To make video web content accessible to every user worldwide, video content delivery networks (CDNs) are deployed. CDNs become the surf in surfing and the nets in the internet. For geographically dispersed users, video CDNs are essential junctions made up of interconnected servers to ensure speedy, high-quality video content is easily accessible online. Video CDN also solves the slow video startup issues, stream interruptions, and the irksome point while playing any video, which is buffering.

But, as a video creator you need to understand the working of video CDN and some do’s and don’ts to get it right.

What is Video CDN?

A video CDN is defined as a group of servers connected to a network, which delivers the temporary stored video file on the network, to avoid lagging due to huge geographical distances from the originator, with ease. It helps video creators reach the stream to a wide range of viewers, minimizing latency and buffering time; maintains the quality of the video, and keeps the origin server from overwhelming requests.

For example, there is a Video CDN edge server located at both the places A and B. If the user from location A travels to location B, then the video will be streamed from location B CDN edge server than location A CDN. So, the automatic switching of proximate CDN makes this technology a smart approach to delivering video content online.

Most of the CDNs cache and deliver the video content alongside Javascript, HTML, images, audio files, and other web content; there are exclusively constructed video CDNs available too, like Netflix OpenConnect, Amazon CloudFront, etc.

Let’s dive deeper into how exactly the video CDN process works.

How Does A Video CDN Work?

Video streaming is a resource-intensive process, which requires a constant flow of data between the sender and the receiver for smooth delivery. Here’s the basic process of a video CDN:

  • Dividing video content into small duration length chunks of around 5-10 seconds.
  • Encrypting and decrypting these chunks individually.
  • Assembling and duplicating file chunks in the respective order.
  • These files are uploaded to dedicated servers via the HTML5 communication protocol.
  • Video CDNs then deliver the content to their nearby requests. Now here, the video CDN will store the video file temporarily when the first request is made, which may involve some buffering (downloading time to load the content). After this, every request will be delivered smoothly without any buffering lag faced by the users.

Hence, the video CDNs along with helping internet service providers (ISPs) and transit providers handle the traffic of requests, and optimize the network bandwidth of the server; it reduces the distance between distant user requests and original video creator server with high-quality and seamless streaming.

How Does Caching Help In Video CDN?

A video file size of megabytes or gigabytes isn’t delivered as a single file to a user request. It is divided into small video segments by the server and then transmitted to video CDNs in segments, which the CDN then stores as a single-ordered video file. Basically, on the first request for a video file, the video CDN starts caching (storing) the video file segments from the original server, and stores it temporarily for next requests by the users.

Though, in live streaming the video isn’t streamed as a previously cached video, instead the real-time video files are continuously cached and streamed to the users viewing the video. But, live streaming faces some lag as the CDN uploads real-time video segments. Thankfully, this issue is resolved by HTTP live streaming and dynamic adaptive streaming, which has made video CDNs more powerful for live streaming.

So, caching the video file segments helps video CDNs to leverage the speed of the delivery of content to the requests, distribute the traffic load from servers, reach distant geographical locations within seconds, and prevent bandwidth issues in live streaming for viewers.

Next-Gen Streaming With Video CDN

Video CDNs are evolving to address major issues in video streaming and latency is the biggest one of them. Lag in loading video content ruins the user experience and may lead to huge losses in revenue. For example, if a person is experiencing a virtual reality (VR) device to enjoy a rollercoaster ride, anything over six milliseconds will cause motion sickness, and frustration instead of an adventurous adrenaline rush. Here, you can use multi-CDN and edge computing to improve response time and save bandwidth by storing data closer to the users. For global streaming and handling different CDNs over huge distances, multi-CDN is the better choice.


Streaming video online through video CDNs is a smart choice, but how to do it right is a wise one. It helps save the server’s bandwidth from overwhelming requests, delivers faster data to the users away from the server, maintaining the quality of the video, and resolving latency and buffering issues to most extents. Though, it is still developing and there are solutions available to handle global streaming seamlessly using multi-CDN video delivery.

About Gumlet

As the internet becomes increasingly global and data-hungry, serving media in a high-performance, low-latency environment is considered table-stakes for all to earn customer trust.

Gumlet offers three products that cover every aspect of media. Gumlet Video, Video Insights, and Image optimization are fully managed solutions for developers, brands, and businesses to ensure exceptional user experience across devices globally. Gumlet currently serves over a billion media files daily for more than 6,000 customers, including online stores, news sites, blogs, EdTech startups, travel sites, and crowdfunding portals. Our clients range from startups to brands and enterprises, including Colearn, Apna, Simplilearn, 1mg, Bloomberg Quint, YourStory, Superdry, Diesel, Steve Madden, and many more.

Cover Image by Freepik

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About the Author

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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