Published on

CDN Provider Performance Monitoring: Best CDNs in Canada

This blog continues our best CDN series. Today we will be analyzing CDN performance and uptime in the Great White North (aka Canada) within the last seven and 30 days.

Let’s get started!

Tip: Are you new to CDNs? Visit our What is a CDN resource to learn more.

In 2021, Canada had 36.39 million internet users, up from 35.72 in 2020. That's approximately 96% of the Canadian population. By 2026, the country’s usage is predicted to grow to 39.26 (Statista). Couple that with a GDP of 1.643 trillion, the 10th largest in the world, and it's clear that businesses with a large Canadian audience require fast and reliable CDNs.

How Does PerfOps Work?

PerfOps gets its performance metrics via real user metrics (RUM) from resources around the world. PerfOps, as well as our free performance monitoring service CDNPerf, analyzes over 300 million tests per day, with data updates occurring on the hour. Measurement is based on a 2,500-millisecond timeout limit. If a query takes longer than this, we consider it a timeout. Performance is measured according to how long it takes for a user to download a 500-byte image from a prospective CDN.

Best CDNs Canada: CDN Speed Comparison

Now it's time to analyze the data! The graph below shows the CDN performances of the top 10 performing CDNs in Canada (averaged over the last 30 days).

Provider Speeds (milliseconds) within last 30 days

Google      23

Limelight  24

AWS   24

5cents    24

Cachefly  25

Fastly   25

Akamai   29

Cloudflare 30

ArvanCloud  33 33

This data not only tells us which CDN is fastest in Canada on average but also gives us a better glimpse into their stability. As seen in the graph below, there are fluctuations over the last 30 days.

While the majority of CDNs show relatively consistent performance, there are some noticeable anomalies. For example, AWS experienced a spike that slowed their speeds to 31 milliseconds on January 18 and 20th. also had marginally increased speeds, up to 37 milliseconds on January 28 and February 13. In addition to analyzing speeds, PerfOps can help pinpoint network issues. Along with performance graphs, we provide raw data logs and an excellent traceroute tool for even greater precision troubleshooting.

Below is an example of our raw data tables.  The data in these tables include time, MS, CDN, User IP, User Agent, Continent, Country, City, ASN, and ISP:

For more precise details, you can select the option for View in the RAW column of the data log table.

Now let’s look at the same providers, but within the last seven days.

Analyzing different timeframes gives you an even deeper look into the performance of your CDN(s). As you can see,  performance rankings shifted from the 30-day average. When comparing the same providers in the last seven days, we get these results:

Provider Speeds (milliseconds) within last 30 days

AWS 23

Limelight 23

Google 23

Fastly  24

5cents 24

CacheFly 24

Akamai   28

Cloudflare  29 31

Arvan 32

During the last seven days, AWS grabs the leading spot while Google drops to third place and Limelight holds its number two position. Arvan and swap rank, due to a marginal millisecond. Overall, speeds remained consistent compared to the 30-day average, with only slight variations.  While milliseconds don't seem like they'd make a large difference, they do add up. The fact is, just a one-second delay in page load times can lead to a 7% loss in conversions. Because of this, regularly monitoring  CDN performance is crucial for maximizing ROI and ensuring the best end-user experience.

Best CDN Uptime in Canada

Speeds aren't the only critical factor for CDNs.  Uptime is just as important if not more so, as no one will be served content if your CDN is down. Let's examine the same providers from the above examples using RUM uptime data (Canada, last seven days).

Provider Uptime (within last 7 days)

Fastly 98.75%

Google Cloud 98.71%

CacheFly 98.68%

5centz 98.48%

Cloudflare 98.42%

Limelight  98.33% 97.78%

Akamai  97.74%

Arvan 97.61%

AWS  89.99%

When comparing CDNs by RUM uptime, there are significant differences in how the CDNs rank. Fastly jumps to the number one spot while AWS drops to last and Google and CacheFly take the second and third positions.  

In this seven-day comparison, we can see that AWS had a noticeable drop in performance and availability, with its lowest uptime on February 15, at 80.77%. All other CDNs during this timeframe were, for the most part, stable.

Now let's compare uptime for a 30-day window.

In the last 30 days, Google overtakes the first spot while AWS still comes in last. Fastly drops to number two, while Arvan jumps up two spots.

This data is highly valuable for both organizations and CDN providers as it not only lets you track uptime and performance, it also helps pinpoint issues and areas that need improvement.  

Tip: Keep in mind, these analytics are based on RUM data, and don’t reflect the actual uptime of a provider. Some false positives can occur, but overall, this gives you the best picture of CDN stability and reliability during a specified time range.

Multi-CDN Solution For Best Performance and Uptime

As the data demonstrates, CDNs vary in speeds and uptime. Relying on only one puts your business at risk of a full-blown outage. This can be detrimental for brands that provide high-in-demand products and services. In today's online marketplace, it is best practice to use more than one CDN provider. Of course, this comes with its own set of challenges. Managing and configuring multiple CDNs can be laborious. You may also need to meet commits.  Fortunately, there are Multi-CDN solutions available that solve this issue.

Two notable services are:

The Best CDN: Performance Monitoring is Key to Success

As Canada has such a large internet user base and is a major contributor to the world's economy, CDN performance is a critical factor for businesses that cater to Canadian audiences.  With PerfOps or our free product CDNPerf, your organization can analyze provider data and use this information to make informed decisions, including what provider is best for your domain(s) and even to negotiate commits.  

CDN Providers can use PerfOps to troubleshoot network issues and to identify underperforming nameservers that could be affecting the overall performance of their services, and much more. PerfOps is the #1 trusted source that provides highly accurate, unbiased DNS, CDN, and Cloud metrics for domain owners and providers.

Don’t just take our word for it. Try it for yourself!

Related Resources:

How to Troubleshoot Your Network Using Traceroute

DNS Speed Performance Test

Best CDN providers in China

Best CDN providers in America