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About MaxCDN / MaxCDN Review
Content Delivery Network or CDNs are the latest technology to help your website up and running. It is basically a global web caching system spread across many servers. Thus, when the main website server goes down, there are other servers elsewhere which can provide the website to the Internet visitor, depending on his/her location. HDFC bank uses CloudFront CDN, as an example and there are many other providers in the global market. But, there are other uses as well, like the provision of media content from many servers. In this way, a company is always available to the world while assuring the fastest delivery of content. Among the various providers of CDN services, Max CDN is one of them and it started early in the CDN market.
Max CDN started in 2009 at Los Angeles, California, USA; by Chris Ueland and David Henzel. The current president is Chris Ueland, with about 70 employees. The key aspects of their services are reduction of latency for rich-content delivery. Their services have data replication, as well as dynamic routing logic to provide the rich-content to the user from the location which is closest to the geographical location of the user. Max CDN servers are spread across Europe, North America and Asia, which intra-network speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s. Furthermore, there are offerings for both the home customer and the enterprise customer. As a philosophy, Max CDN uses open source software; which is a great thing in its own right, but risky if the open source software has a flaw in itself.
The Offerings and Features
Content Delivery Network is more of a service and is closely linked to server availability, encryption of transit data and of course the support. MX CDN has two kinds of offerings, one for enterprise customers and the other for individual customers. To understand the differentiation in pricing and the offerings provided, it is necessary to understand the difference between enterprise and individual customers. Enterprise customers have a high volume of data transfer and more often than not, use CDNs more intensely. Whereas individual customers, like bloggers, local shop owners, gamers, do not require that much data and the likelihood of repeat business is also low.
Therefore, Max CDN primarily focuses on enterprise customers with costs on per GB basis across various geographical regions of the world and bandwidth based monthly pricing for individual customers. Bandwidth is the key feature to arrive at a pricing; but Max CDN also offers the following associated features:
The purging of old data from the CDN servers is critical for enterprise customers and Max CDN provides the ability to instantly purge data from their CDN servers.
Max CDN has its own reporting API and has a reporting panel to help keep track of your network and data.
- Secured Login
Two step authentication is a feature that helps in ensuring that only authorized personnel get to login to the admin panel. Also, secure tokens can be used to secure your content.
Often over-looked, support is very important in helping you utilize the services properly. Max CDN offers 24/7 phone and chat support with quick response to support tickets that you raise.
There are some advanced features as well that are offered and can help get the most out of the CDN experience. MaxCDN offers the following advanced features:
- Edge Rules
These rules can be set to control how your content is treated on the edge servers; thus you can customize your asset delivery, security measures, SEO and mobile experience while optimizing your allocated origin server.
- Origin Shield
This feature provides protection against overload of your origin server, when a change happens in your content by implementing efficient origin requests.
- REST API
State-of-the-art API by Max CDN for development using Max CDN SDK over Python, PHP, Ruby, Node.js, .NET and Go. Max CDN also has a Git Hub repository for automatic cache purging on code updates.
SSL stands for Secured Socket Layer and it makes sure that the data is encrypted when being transferred from one geographic location to the other. The SSL can be shared or be custom, with instant enablement facility in the admin control panel.
Now that the features are understood, it makes more sense to dive into the pricing of the offerings of Max CDN.
|Under 50 TB||$0.06||$0.06||$0.095||$0.095|
|51 TB – 150 TB||$0.04||$0.04||$0.07||$0.07|
|151 TB – 350 TB||$0.035||$0.035||$0.06||$0.06|
|351 TB – 1023 TB||$0.03||$0.03||$0.05||$0.05|
|1 PB – 2 PB||$0.02||$0.02||$0.05||$0.05|
|3 PB – 5 PB||$0.02-$0.008||$0.02-$0.008||$0.05||$0.05|
If anything more than 5 PB (Peta Byte) is required, Max CDN has to be directly contacted.
The above table is for enterprise customers and you can see the prices in the eastern hemisphere are a bit more versus the western hemisphere. This is probably due to the location of the company and the deals that they have across the globe with multiple ISPs. There are no charges for HTTP and HTTPS requests for enterprise customers. Furthermore, this is the SSL pricing for enterprise customers:
|SSL Type||Initial Setup||Monthly Recurring|
The SSL pricing is very high, but then again you are getting SSL on global transition of data and not for a single location. The pricing plans for individuals are of two types, which are on the basis of the data volume: less than 5 TB a month and above 10 TB a month.
- Starter Plans
|Bandwidth/month||100 GB||500 GB||1 TB||5 TB|
- High Volume Plans
|Bandwidth/month||10 TB||50 TB||150 TB||350 TB|
What’s great is that custom plans can be created by individuals; which can be very handy when working on short term projects and the like. Additionally, there is a 30 days’ money back guarantee in case the service is disliked. Also, the yearly pricing for individual plans, provides 2 months free usage, which is a good deal.
A test account can be easily created to test the services of Max CDN; using your billing details. The card is not charged, but it requires those details as well as your name and email ID. The standard test account package only has 100 GB and would most be suitable for simple websites. Incidentally, there is no differentiation between an enterprise test account and an individual test account; though you can have a test account which has under 5 TB of bandwidth, but in that case, account activation is not automatic and Max CDN contacts you to activate your test account.
Max CDN has a good industry hold and has some of the big names as their clients, like Nissan, The Washington Times, Adobe and StumbleUpon, to name a few. And Max CDN’s main focus is the enterprise customer, which makes a lot of sense if profits are considered. A comparison of the enterprise customer offering and the individual customer offering is given on Max CDN website and is something like this:
|Comparison Aspect||Starter Plans||High Volume Plans||Enterprise Custom Plans|
|Custom Caching Rules||No||No||Add-on Available|
|Cache Entire Page||No||No||Add-on Available|
|Dedicated SSL||$99/mo||$99/mo||Add-on Available|
|Wildcard SSL||No||No||Add-on Available|
|Real Time Reporting||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2 Step Authentication||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Detailed Activity Log||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hijack Session Alerts||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Secure Tokens||$99/mo||$99/mo||Add-on Available|
|1-on-1 Setup Call||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|VIP 24/7 Support||No||No||Yes|
|Dedicated Account Manager||No||No||Yes|
Quite evidently, there are more features available in the enterprise plan, versus the individual plan of Max CDN. More importantly, enterprise customers get express support, which is critical for any business. Max CDN also has a specialization of being the best CDN for Bootstrap code.
Another aspect to see is the free of cost HTTPS and roll-over bandwidth, i.e. any unused bandwidth gets rolled over to the next month, for use. Furthermore, Max CDN network is spread across the world and it’s good to look at the global server locations:
These locations are of the global edge servers and each one of them has some great features like:
- SSD storage
- 10 GB connections
There are a total of about 57 data center locations, many peering partners and tie-ups with the following providers:
- Telecity Group
It is good to look at the customer dashboard, which gives an idea about the information and control available to the end customer:
Social Media Presence
As with any of today’s successful businesses, Max CDN also has a vibrant social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The Facebook page of Max CDN is at https://www.facebook.com/MaxCDN/ and has regular updates every 1 or 2 weeks about new features, case studies, some posts on achieving website optimization. There are some reviews as well, that help you see what others are saying about Max CDN services.
Max CDN has a twitter account and it’s available at https://twitter.com/MaxCDN . There are almost daily updates, with tips, suggestions and a lot of in-direct selling. But, the Twitter page is worth a visit from time to time.
The company LinkedIn page is at https://www.linkedin.com/company/maxcdn and some company information can be seen on it. If you are also on LinkedIn, it is a great avenue to do business and connect with actual Max CDN employees.
MaxCDN also has a blog at https://www.maxcdn.com/blog/, which doesn’t seem to be much active, but has some useful posts like information about the Max CDN Insights tool. But, some posts are the same as on Facebook.
Max CDN has its own support page, which is more like a support cum tips page which is named as MaxCDN One. The URL is https://www.maxcdn.com/one/ and has regular updates under various categories.
An interesting aspect of the support team is that it is named as Speed Team, which is a good thing, as it shows the support is fast. Additionally, the entire support team can be viewed at https://www.maxcdn.com/team/ .
All in all, Max CDN is one of the best CDN providers out there, with the likes of Cloud Flare and Cloud Front, to name a few. With its enterprise features with good price point, MaxCDN is worth a shot. If you are an individual, the minimum plan is of $9, which is reasonable. And if you are an enterprise customer, you can take a 5 TB account or just test things using the $9 plans.
The point is, there are options to test the services, which is mostly seen with top providers in the business services industry. CDNs do not have a single advantage, but a plethora of advantages, which is a boon to any website. If your business is good, a CDN can help make it great. And even if your business is bad, CDNs like Max CDN are known to help get more traffic, indirectly.
Adding to the great service and pricing plans, Max CDN ought to be one of the first choices when making a buying decision. Just type “buy CDN” and the first result is Max CDN (except the promoted ones of course). Thus this is a great buy with its advanced features and sleek dashboard, with a global network of servers.