KeyCDN Review – Cheap CDN For New Websites
This is a review of KeyCDN, one of the most popular content delivery networks (CDN).
The company was founded by Jonas Krummenacher and Sven Baumgartner.
I couldn’t find precisely the date when KeyCDN has entered this market, but according to whois.domaintools.com, the domain name was registered in 2012.
KeyCDN is owned by a company called proinity LLC, with the headquarters in Winterthur, Switzerland.
A content delivery network speeds up your website by delivering all its static files from the closest web server to the location of your visitors.
A caching plugin + a CDN solves the problem of having a slow site when the location of the visitor is far from the location of your web hosting server.
Besides that, a CND will also reduce the bandwidth consumption of your website and can decrease your web hosting costs.
If you want to know more details about what is a content delivery network and how to use KeyCDN for your site, read my step-by-step guide for implementing a CDN.
How I found about KeyCDN
I’ve heard the first time about KeyCDN from a review found on the internet.
I was initially trying to find an alternative to Cloudflare because I found out that if you have an SSL certificate from a certificate authority installed on your server, you must upgrade to one of their premium plans.
The other two options were to activate a free Universal SSL or purchase a Dedicated Certificate from Cloudflare.
I already had a 3-year SSL certificate from Comodo installed, so I just didn’t want to use a free version or pay again for a certificate.
I also didn’t want to upgrade to Cloudflare’s paid plan because I found it to be too expensive for my needs. At that time, my blog was new, barely had any content, and close to no traffic.
Paying $20 per month for a CDN when I knew my website would only use about 100 MB per month from the monthly plan was not an option.
Therefore, I had to look for other alternatives to Cloudflare.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to sling mud at Cloudflare. I have used their free plan for one of my sites before, and I was happy with the quality of their services.
The only reason why I’ve switched from Cloudflare’s free plan was that because otherwise, I would have had to upgrade to a premium plan to use my already installed SSL certificate. That would have been pretty costly for me.
The first alternative to Cloudflare I found was MaxCDN, which is again one of the best content delivery networks.
MaxCDN’s cheaper plan costs $9 per month, so it’s more affordable than Cloudflare’s cheapest offer, for which you have to pay $20 per month.
After reading more reviews of the content delivery networks, I found a review of KeyCDN.
The first thing I liked about this content distribution network was the pay-as-you-go pricing model. That means that you don’t have to pay a monthly price and then pay the same amount again the next month even though you have only consumed a 1% from the bandwidth included in your chosen plan.
With KeyCDN, you only pay what your site consumes, and that’s the perfect scenario for a new website. They have even a calculator which enables you to estimate your costs based on the consumed bandwidth.
I’ve never heard about KeyCDN before that time, and I initially thought that KeyCDN is just a very new company who tries to attract more customers with very low prices. So I’ve started to look for more customer reviews.
Surprisingly, the majority reviews found about KeyCDN were positive, and it was not such a new company as I initially thought.
The excellent customer reviews and the fact that KeyCDN was giving $10 in credits (250 GB in bandwidth, valid for 30 days) for any new customer signup, I’ve decided to give it a chance.
KeyCDN Review – After one year of Using KeyCDN
I’m now a customer of KeyCDN for approximately one year.
That means that regardless the location of the visitors, my site should always load very fast.
The two main reasons why I insisted on using a content distribution network for my blog was because I knew that my blog is going to have an international audience and I also was aware that I’m going to use a bunch of images in many of my posts.
For example, my guide on WordPress SEO and W3 Total Cache plugin configuration guide have, combined, over 100 images.
Without a CDN, the images of those two tutorials would load very slow, but with KeyCDN, the images and all the page content load very fast.
I have only purchased credits once since I’ve started using KeyCDN (more exactly I paid $49 with a few days before the trial period was about to end) and at the current traffic volume of my blog, that would probably cover a full year.
As you can see, I still have 1.45 TB of remaining traffic / 59.23 credits after my initial purchase.
1.45TB is 1500 gigabytes.
Even if my blog’s traffic would grow several times than its current volume, that remaining bandwidth should easily be enough for at least one year.
Do you think $49 per year (around $4 per month) is a high price in order to keep your site fast and your visitors happy?
I think it’s an absolute bargain.
Because my blog is still new and doesn’t have too much traffic yet, it only consumes about 700MB/per month.
In December, my site has only used 617.26 MB.
If it were to pay for a monthly subscription plan, I would have had to pay the entire monthly fee regardless if I would have used 700 MB or 100 GB of the allowed quota.
That’s one of the main reasons why I love KeyCDN. Its pricing model is perfect for a new website.
With the help of KeyCDN + W3 Total Cache plugin for WordPress, I was even able to achieve a perfect speed score on Pingdom for the front page of my site.
Besides speeding up your site and reducing your site’s bandwidth consumption, KeyCDN has also a multitude of other features and benefits.
28 POPs worldwide
To enable their customers to get the lowest latency across the world, KeyCDN has multiple points of presence (POPs) around the world.
At the time I write this review, KeyCDN operates 28 POPs throughout the world, including 4 POPs in APAC (Asia Pacific Countries). They are also planning to open a few more in the near future.
Other content delivery networks charge their customers extra for the APAC POPs. As a KeyCDN customer, there’s no need to pay extra to enable these POPs. Any customer beneficiates by default by these locations.
Every user can create five zones. If you want additional zones, you’ll have to pay $1/zone/month.
Optimized for speed
- SSD-optimized Servers
- GZip compression
- Hotlink protection
- Shared SSL (TLS)
- Let’s Encrypt SSL (TLS)
- Block bad bots
- Custom SSL (TLS)
- OCSP stapling
- DDoS protection
- Email change alerting
- Two-factor authentication
- Real-time reporting
- Account stats for a chosen period
- Geolocation stats
- Top files distribution stats
- Real-time logs
Several Other Features
- Instantly purge zone caches or single URLs
- Origin shield
- Strip cookies
- Block bad bots
- Custom robots.txt
- Cache query strings
- Upload content to your FTP account
- FTP subusers
- Synchronize content with rsync
- Optimized for large files
See the full list of features on the official website.
According to the data provided by CDNPerf, a platform for monitoring the performance of the content delivery networks, KeyCDN has a very close speed performance in comparison with other similar services. It even manages to outperform several popular content distribution networks.
The customer dashboard has a clean look, and it’s organized in a very intuitive way. This interface is also responsive so you can also manage your settings, or see your stats even from your mobile phone.
Under the “Overview” menu, you can see your remaining traffic, used storage space, the remaining credits, and the number of your active zones.
You can create five zones. If you want additional zones, every zone costs $1 per zone/month.
Under the “Account Settings” menu, you can edit your account information, enable 2 Factor Authentication, manage your API keys, add access rules for your account, and see your unique referral URL.
The “Reporting” menu gives you statistics about the consumed traffic, cache hits, etc.
You can choose to see the stats for the last 24 hours, last 48 hours, last 7 days, last 30 days, or for a custom period.
You can see the statistics based on the location of your visitors and the volume of traffic each country has used.
If you want to know which of your site’s files have been delivered the most times for a specific period, you can see that under “Reporting–>Top Files.”
You can also see real-time stats and real-time logs.
From the “Billing” menu, you can buy credits, or you can see your invoices and the history of your payments.
The minimum amount to buy credits for is $49, and you can use PayPal or a Credit Card to make the payment.
The “Zones” menu, allows you to create new, or manage your existing zones.
For more information on how to configure your zones, see my tutorial on how to set up a CDN for your site.
“Zonealiases” menu, enables you to create a custom alias for your site’s CDN.
Instead of using the default zone alias provided by KeyCDN after the zone creation, you can create a custom zone alias like cdn.yoursite.com.
For example, all the static files of my sites are delivered from:
Under the “Zonereferrers” menu, you have to set your zone referrers.
This will enable the hotlink protection feature and prevent other people from embedding your assets on their websites.
That means if other persons try to display one of your images on their sites using the direct image URL, the picture won’t show up.
This feature helps you to save bandwidth and reduce your CDN costs.
The “Subusers” menu, enables you to create a dedicated FTP user for each one of your push zones.
Those are broadly the options you will find inside your KeyCDN customer area.
Since I am a customer of KeyCDN, I never had any issues with the service.
The only time when I had to contact the support team was after I have created my account because I did not receive the activation email.
I’ve sent them an email, and I was pleasantly surprised to receive an answer in only about 2 minutes.
They kindly activated my account immediately after confirmation.
KeyCDN Referral Program
If you use and like KeyCDN, you can recommend this service to other people interested in adding a content delivery network to their websites and receive 100% of the first payment of everyone you referred after they consume their credits.
For example, if you refer someone and he spends $100 on credits, you will get $100 in return (in traffic credits) for his first payment after that person uses the credits.
Therefore, unless you have a website with a very high traffic volume, if you refer a few active persons per year, you can have the content delivery network for your site paying for itself.
Everyone who signs up via your referral link receives $10 in credits, so it shouldn’t be too hard to refer new people to KeyCDN.
You are not required to participate in KeyCDN’s referral program, but if you decide to do so, you can find your referral link inside the members’ dashboard, under “Account Settings–>Referral Program” menu.
Every member is approved by default.
CDN Price Comparison
I can say without any doubts that KeyCDN is one of the most affordable content delivery networks I found. Therefore, let’s compare KeyCDN’s prices with the plans of two popular competitors: Cloudflare and MaxCDN.
As you can see, 100GB from KeyCDN only costs $4. If you don’t use all that traffic, the left bandwidth remains into your account until you use it. When you consume all the traffic left, you can purchase more credits.
The cheapest plan of MaxCDN includes 100GB bandwidth/month and it currently costs $9/per month (or $7.50/mo paid annually).
And you have to pay that price regardless if you consume all your monthly bandwidth or not.
That’s a bit more expensive than KeyCDN, but it’s still a decent price. However, if your website is new (as it was my case) and it only consumes a portion of the allowed bandwidth, you’ll end up wasting money month after month.
Cloudflare has a free plan and you can use it without problems if you don’t have already an SSL certificate from a certificate authority already installed on your domain. This plan also has several limitations, but it’s still great because it’s free.
The cheapest premium plan of Cloudflare costs 20 / month per domain name.
This plan might have a few additional security features than KeyCDN, but I still consider it to be a bit too expensive for a new site. Even with a CDN, you’ll still have to pay your web hosting, domain name, and other specific services required by your business.
I don’t know if this plan has a bandwidth limitation, but probably if your site becomes very popular, you will still have to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
There are also many other content delivery networks, like Cdn77, Akamai, Amazon CloudFront, CacheFly, Google Cloud CDN, etc. Some of these are more suitable for large companies than for the new sites.
I don’t want to leave the impression that I’m claiming that KeyCDN is the best content delivery network that has ever existed; That wouldn’t be fair for the other companies.
The majority of the content distribution networks are very good, and each company usually has its strong and weak points.
Some of the CDN providers have more features than others, have more POPs, allow more zones, have an enhanced security, etc., and it would be really tough to make a correct comparison.
I can certainly say though that KeyCDN is one of the cheapest solutions for a CDN, without making compromises on the quality of the services.
Its pay-as-you-go pricing model makes KeyCDN perfect for new websites and the sites with a low volume of traffic.
I’m a happy customer of KeyCDN for almost one year, and so far, I’m super happy with this company. I would gladly recommend this company to any other website owner who wants to speed up his website with the help of a CDN.
Hope you’ve found this KeyCDN review helpful.
If you are still undecided whether you should choose KeyCDN or not, just give it a try. Register your account now and receive $10 in credits after you activate your account. You don’t have to provide your credit card details or other payment information when you create your account.
Check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to start with KeyCDN for more details on how to implement this CDN service for your site.
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