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AWS CloudFront vs AWS Global Accelerator (a quick guide)

Shamim Ahmed 37

AWS CloudFront vs AWS Global Accelerator (a quick guide)

Shamim Ahmed
Level Up Coding
Published in
2 min read11 hours ago


Photo by Alexander Londoño on Unsplash

Amazon CloudFront and AWS Global Accelerator are both AWS services that help improve the availability, performance, and reliability of your applications, but they serve different purposes and have distinct use cases:

Amazon CloudFront:

1. Content Delivery Network (CDN):
— CloudFront is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) service designed to accelerate the delivery of web content (e.g., images, videos, web pages) to end users by caching content at edge locations around the world.

2. Caching:
— CloudFront caches your content at edge locations, reducing latency for users by serving content from the nearest edge location rather than the origin server.

3. Content Optimization:
— It supports features like gzip compression, dynamic content acceleration, and the ability to serve content over HTTP/HTTPS.

4. Web Application Security:
— CloudFront integrates with AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) to provide security against common web application attacks.

5. Domain Management:
— You can use your own domain names (e.g., example.com) with CloudFront, allowing you to serve content from custom domains.

6. Usage:
— CloudFront is typically used for serving static and dynamic content, including websites, APIs, and media streaming.

AWS Global Accelerator:

1. Global Application Acceleration:
— Global Accelerator is a service designed to improve the availability and performance of applications that span multiple AWS Regions or endpoints by routing traffic over the AWS global network.

2. Any TCP/UDP Application:
— It can be used for any TCP/UDP-based application, including non-HTTP(S) applications like gaming, IoT, and custom protocols.

3. Anycast IP Addresses:
— Global Accelerator provides static Anycast IP addresses that can be associated with application endpoints (such as Elastic IP addresses, Network Load Balancers, or EC2 instances) in multiple Regions.

4. Traffic Routing:
— It uses intelligent traffic routing algorithms to route traffic to the optimal endpoint based on health, proximity, and application-defined routing policies.

5. Health Checks:
— Global Accelerator performs health checks on endpoints and directs traffic away from unhealthy endpoints.

6. Static IP Addresses:
— Provides static IP addresses for clients to use when accessing your applications, making it easier to manage client connectivity.

Use Cases Comparison:

- Use CloudFront when you need to accelerate content delivery, optimize web applications, and enhance the performance of websites, APIs, and media streaming.

- Use Global Accelerator when you have applications with endpoints in multiple AWS Regions and need to ensure high availability and low-latency connectivity for global users. It’s particularly useful for disaster recovery, failover, and load distribution across regions.


CloudFront is primarily for content delivery and acceleration, while Global Accelerator is for routing traffic to the best-performing AWS endpoints across multiple regions for applications that require global scalability and redundancy.

Depending on your specific application requirements, you may use one or both of these services to optimize your AWS-based applications.