A content delivery network (CDN) is a group of geographically distributed servers that speed up the delivery of web content by bringing it closer to where users are. Data centers across the globe use caching, a process that temporarily stores copies of files, so that you can access internet content from a web-enabled device or browser more quickly through a server near you. CDNs cache content like web pages, images, and video in proxy servers near to your physical location. This allows you to do things like watch a movie, download software, check your bank balance, post on social media, or make purchases, without having to wait for content to load.
You could think of a CDN like an ATM. Having a cash machine on practically every corner makes it fast and efficient to get money. There’s no wait time in long bank lines, and the ATMs are placed in many convenient locations for immediate access.
The shortest possible route between a user and the web server is determined by the CDN based on factors such as speed, latency, proximity, availability and so on. CDNs are deployed in data centers to handle challenges with user requests and content routing.