Exposing 4 Dirty Secrets of CDNs: From Price Inflation to Shady Auto-Renewals

Exposing 4 Dirty Secrets of CDNs: From Price Inflation to Shady Auto-Renewals

The big cloud computing companies and content delivery networks (CDNs) don’t want you to know what I’m about to tell you. Most people don’t even know they’re being taken advantage of because they don’t know any better. They say that ignorance is bliss, but in this case, it is just expensive. That ends today when you finish reading this.

A CDN is nothing more than taking your content and putting it physically closer to your users. The description “Content Delivery Network” is the fancy way of describing the complicated solutions that make that possible. If I wanted to be facetious, I could call it a “series of tubes.”

Instead of relying on a piece of paper and expensive lawyers to force someone to do business, we believe earning business every day and working harder for clients is the way to go.

What is essential, though, is no matter what path your content takes to get to your users, the research shows that it all needs to happen faster than 250 milliseconds (that’s a quarter of a second). The bottom line is that the faster your content moves, the more money you make, so a CDN can make more money than it costs. That is, unless you fall prey to one of the four perils I am revealing below:

CDNs Can Shut You Down at Any Moment

Big mainstream companies have big mainstream clients. That means that they often cave to those vanilla pressures as well. The way this usually goes is one day, someone “notices” that you are distributing terabytes of adult content around the world using their services, and one day may wake up and say, “What? There’s porn on our network?!”

With that realization, many adult companies have been sent packing from big CDNs without notice. We believe that as long as content and services are legal, our own adult hosting services will not have any issue with your adult materials, and we even accept all that nasty mainstream content, too.

CDNs Can Exploit Origin Servers to Drain Your Wallet

The origin server is the primary central location where your content is held and the efficacy of your content distribution relies heavily upon whether your needs are being met.

A few years ago, we moved a leading VR website from another CDN company who was billing them sometimes more than $100,000 per month. We found that the restrictive configuration from their provider was forcing their content to be downloaded repetitively from their origin server. This was not only exploiting their wallet but also hurting performance. By continually downloading the same material, it acted like a DDOS attack against its origin server, which caused higher operational costs. Adding insult to injury, the configuration was distributing the entire video, even if only one minute was watched, causing additional bandwidth burn. Needless to say, we fixed the problem and made them enormously happy.

More than a few clients have experienced similar configuration problems at other CDNs, so much so, that we decided to do something about origin server exploitation via the MojoCDN Gateway (it acts as a vast data storage and shield between the origin servers and the edge nodes). So, when your content is requested at a far-flung location around the world, it is downloaded from the Gateway rather than the origin server; and we decided to charge nothing for it.

CDNs Can Reel You In With Shady Contract Terms

I want to draw your attention to a dirty trick that some lawyers put into CDN contracts: auto-renewal. While this is legal (usually), avoiding it will save you headaches and money. I urge you to check your contract carefully because usually this clause will auto-renew your entire agreement if you don’t cancel several months in advance.

One of our clients had this happen with their CDN contract. The customer service was terrible, the rates were multiples more expensive than necessary and they wanted to leave, but the agreement had already auto-renewed. Lawyers got involved. The clause was questionable for the requirements of the state of California. However, since the provider was a multi-billion-dollar company, it was cheaper for the client to capitulate than launch an expensive lawsuit.

There are hosting companies right now (even some you may have heard of) litigating and suing their clients because they were not good enough to keep them happy in the first place. How insane is that? Instead of relying on a piece of paper and expensive lawyers to force someone to do business, we believe earning business every day and working harder for clients is the way to go. That’s just good mojo. Lawyers and lawsuits aren’t. In fact, we don’t even use contracts for any of our services.

CDNs Can Inflate Prices Like a Predatory Monopoly

Are people foolish enough to pay $32 for $1 worth of service? Yes, they are. I wouldn’t say I like naming competitors, with one exception. We are coming for you, Amazon. I make that single exception to illustrate the magnitude of wasted money on exorbitant rates. For example, on MojoCloud object storage bandwidth is nearly 20 times cheaper than Amazon S3, and when paired with MojoCDN, it’s 32 times less expensive than Amazon’s S3 and AWS base rate offerings for data transfer. So why do people pay so much? We believe it is because people don’t know that there is a drop-in replacement that will slash their bill in half (or more). Knowledge is power and it’s one of the reasons CDNs don’t want us to tell you the truth. Most people don’t need the level of sophistication that Amazon services provide, so consider saving yourself buckets of money instead.

Brad Mitchell is the founder of XBIZ Award-winning adult web hosting company MojoHost, the trusted choice for tens of thousands of sites. Known for his dapper style and charismatic wit, Mitchell is a regular fixture at trade shows, where he frequently shares hard-won wisdom while striking profitable deals. He believes in earning his client’s loyalty because “That’s Good Mojo.”


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