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Kinsta CDN vs Cloudflare (2021): Is KeyCDN Better Than Cloudflare?

A lot of WordPress website owners who are migrating their site over to Kinsta end up wondering whether to use Kinsta’s CDN or Cloudflare for their content delivery network. Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting plans include free CDN bandwidth through KeyCDN, another highly-rated content delivery network. Using Kinsta CDN or Cloudflare has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages, and we unpack them for you below to help you decide which CDN is better for your WordPress website.

Kinsta CDN vs Cloudflare Comparison Chart

NameKinsta (KeyCDN)Cloudflare
 
PricingCheck Pricing at Kinsta.comCheck Pricing at Cloudflare.com
CDN TypeTraditional PullReverse Proxy
Best ForLow TTFBBlocking bad traffic, wider network of server locations
Free CDN BandwidthStarter: 50 GB
Pro: 100 GB
Business: 200-500 GB
Enterprise: 500-1000 GB
Unlimited
Data Centers34193
Custom SSLYesYes
Cache Dynamic ContentYesYes
DDoS ProtectionBasic (edge)Basic (edge + origin)
Brotli CompressionYesYes
Customer Support24/7 chat and ticket (Kinsta)24/7 chat, phone, ticket for Enterprise Plans
Money Back Guarantee30 daysFree account available

Performance

Cloudflare has a larger network of server locations than Kinsta’s CDN (KeyCDN)

Here’s the network map of Kinsta CDN through KeyCDN (left) and Cloudflare

Why do I need a CDN?

Content delivery network, or CDN, helps load your website faster by hosting and delivering a cached version of your website to your visitors through their network of servers around the world. Without CDN, your website visitor from, say, Australia, will get a slightly slower page load speed when viewing your website that is hosted on a server in Canada. On the other hand, if your CDN has a server location in Australia, then the network latency time* is reduced since the server or source of data is much closer.

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*the slight delay that happens when transmitting your data to another network

Server Locations

Kinsta’s CDN is powered by KeyCDN, which has around 34 points of presence (PoPs) around the world. Meanwhile, Cloudflare has servers in 193 cities across the globe (see maps above). They even have a paid add-on option to store your data across 20 server locations in China in its Enterprise Plan. If you have a wide global reach, a wider network of servers definitely helps.

Traditional Pull vs Reverse Proxy CDN

Kinsta’s CDN (KeyCDN) is a traditional pull CDN while Cloudflare is a WAF/reverse proxy CDN

On top of the number of data centers globally, another major difference between Kinsta’s CDN and Cloudflare is how they deliver your content. Kinsta’s CDN (KeyCDN) is a traditional pull CDN and uses another URL or a subdomain to deliver a cached copy of your website content. Meanwhile, Cloudflare, a reverse proxy CDN, doesn’t usually need a subdomain to serve your assets. Instead, Cloudflare acts as the middleman for your hosting provider and your website visitor.

Because Cloudflare is a reverse proxy CDN, it has a higher TTFB (time to first byte) because it’s another channel between your hosting provider and your website. With that said, you can configure the page cache rules to improve your site’s TTFB. You have to know which files to bypass to improve your website’s TTFB. With Kinsta’s CDN, you get lower TTFB without having to configure page cache rules. The downside to this is Kinsta’s CDN is not as good as blocking bad traffic compared to Cloudflare’s web application firewall.

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Features

Both offer DDoS protection, Brotli compression, dynamic content caching, and more

Kinsta CDN and Cloudflare can help mitigate DDoS attacks

Kinsta CDN (KeyCDN) and Cloudflare both do a great job at protecting your site from bad traffic. Here are more features offered by Kinsta CDN and Cloudflare:

  • DDoS protection (DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service)
  • GZip compression
  • HTTP live streaming
  • Cache bypass
  • Instant purge
  • Brotli compression
  • image hosting and optimization
  • Analytics

It’s worth noting that Kinsta’s CDN, KeyCDN, has a limited bandwidth while Cloudflare’s is unlimited. The downside to Cloudflare, however, is the more advanced CDN configurations are only available to its higher-tier plans (more on this in the next section).

Pricing

CDN is free with Kinsta’s hosting plans, while Cloudflare has free and paid plans

The pricing tiers of Kinsta and Cloudflare

Kinsta has partnered with KeyCDN to include free CDN in all its managed WordPress plans. The Kinsta CDN bandwidth has a limit, depending on your plan:

  • Starter: 50 GB
  • Pro: 100 GB
  • Business: 200-500 GB
  • Enterprise: 500-1000 GB

If you exceed the allotted bandwidth, Kinsta charges an additional $.10/GB. With that said, most Kinsta users find the free CDN included more than enough.

Cloudflare, on the other hand, uses a freemium model, where the free plan includes DDoS attach mitigation and global CDN. If you want more advanced features like lossless image optimization, cache analytics, enhanced security with WAF (Web Application Firewall), and DDoS alerts, you’ll have to opt for the Pro plan which costs $20/month. The higher tier Cloudflare Business Plan, which costs $200/month, includes 24/7 chat support, CNAME set-up compatibility, and the ability to use your own SSL certificate.

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Verdict

Kinsta’s CDN is enough for smaller sites, but if you want a global CDN with more servers globally, go for Cloudflare

Kinsta CDN (KeyCDN)

Best managed hosting overall

Kinsta logo

Cloudflare

Best for blocking bad traffic

Whether you choose to use Kinsta’s CDN or Cloudflare, you’re getting a reliable CDN that will help optimize your website’s speed. But since what’s recommended is to only use one CDN platform if you’re on Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting plan, choosing between the two depends on your priorities.

If you’d rather not mess with the page rules and DNS settings and don’t mind bad traffic, then using Kinsta’s inbuilt CDN makes more sense. It’s quick and easy to set up, although it’s not as good as Cloudflare when it comes to filtering bad traffic. On the other hand, Cloudflare better suits you if you don’t mind paying extra for Cloudflare’s advanced CDN features and don’t mind configuring the necessary settings yourself.

FAQs

πŸ“Œ Which CDN should I use, Kinsta’s CDN or Cloudflare?

Both are great CDN, but Kinsta’s CDN is faster out of the box while Cloudflare needs some configurations at first before it delivers a lower TTFB.

πŸ“Œ Does Kinsta have unlimited CDN bandwidth?

No, Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting plans have limited free CDN bandwidth. When you exceed your bandwidth, you’ll be charged $.10/GB.

πŸ“Œ Does Cloudflare have unlimited CDN bandwidth?

Yes, there’s no limit to Cloudflare’s bandwidth no matter which plan you’re on.

πŸ“Œ Does Kinsta have Git support?

Yes, Kinsta supports Git, but the automatic deployment of Git repo is a feature yet to be released.

Rhodaline Escala-Phelps