So is something going to be done about the extremely poor routing from South Africa and other countries?

Seriously, Netlify’s network is a joke from South Africa and many other countries mentioned around these forums (for YEARS).

“But it’s expensive/complicated/not profitable to reach some parts of the world,” Netlify might say.

Ok, sure. But then why, for the love of internet, does every site hosted with Netlify route me (in South Africa) to the South America (São Paulo) Amazon data center? Does the Netlify CDN think that anywhere starting with “South” is in fact the same place? I’ve seen some rushed coding in my time, but damn…

If you would, please take a look at this table (courtesy of cloudping.co).

Now let’s pretend Jeff at Netlify just straight up dropped the ball and didn’t realise there’s an Amazon data center in South Africa. That’s ok Jeff, none of your co-workers would be able to point it out on a map either.

But how do you explain that there are 10+ other Amazon data centers with significantly better latency that I could be routed to instead? Even US West is faster, and that’s geographically much further away. Yet I’m routed to South America and as a result the entire southern hemisphere of Africa has a sh!tty experience with any and every Netlify hosted site or app in the world.

By comparison, sites on GitHub Pages (also Amazon) are a dream to use. I don’t even think they’re using the South Africa data center yet. But what they are doing is routing me to Europe, which if you’ve been following along, has the next lowest latency from my location. It’s almost like the people over at GitHub/Microsoft actually know what they’re doing.

Now, if you’re not in one of the countries Netlify has conveniently decided doesn’t exist, try loading up proxx.app by Google Chrome Labs. Pretty quick right? Well it took more than 4 seconds for me. Here’s the proof.

Oh and just in case you think I must just have sh!tty internet, here’s a quick Speedtest.

Now let me be the first to acknowledge that this is 80% rant, since I don’t expect anything to be done about this. It’s not the first time it’s been brought up. But if Netlify was as great as they so often claim to be, this would never have been an issue to start with.

In summation, if you’re not in or near a country largely comprised of folks with strong opinions about what they wear on the face, do yourself (and the rest of the world) a favour and DON’T buy into the Netlify hype. You’ll be single-handedly fulfilling Netlify’s goal and making the internet a faster place for everyone.

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hey @slightlyfaulty -

First up, I’m sorry to hear that you’re not having the experience you were hoping for as far as routing/speeds on Netlify go. That’s never the scenario that we hope for our customers to have, of course. But it clearly is happening and you’ve given us a lot to think about, here. I do think that, despite zero intentions to misrepresent our network, that we might suffer from the same myopia that many tech companies do, in that we’re giving too much weight to the experience of our customers who are using Netlify from North America or Central Europe, as that is also where the bulk of our team resides. We can definitely improve this - and we should.

I’m gonna try and get some :eyes: on this - sounds like you are feeling pretty disappointed, not only by the lack of effective connection but also that we’ve not been as responsive as we could have been to requests to route things differently for your part of the world. That’s definitely something I want us to look in to. We have, previously, been better at being responsive to these needs - such as spending a lot of time improving access to Netlify from both Russia and Ukraine, neither of which previously had reliable access.

Not saying that helps you much - it doesn’t. But, i’m trying to demonstrate that we do listen - or at least, have listened, and made changes based on what we saw. If we’ve stopped listening, then, clearly we have to make some changes not only to our network but also to how we listen to customers. Part of the reason we have a great reputation is that we do care about what customers think. I can’t promise you we will be able to improve connectivity in your part of the world immediately, but we can definitely look into this & our processes for evaluating connectivity issues.

Let’s partner together to figure out how we can make this better - i am sure you’re not the only person who is frustrated with this.

Can you tell me the names of a site or two that you have hosted with us so I can also take a closer look at their configuration?

In the meantime, have a great weekend, and I hope we get a chance to keep talking about this next week.

Great reply @perry. I can see why Netlify pays you the big bucks. Though without the niceties, the TL;DR is basically “I don’t really know why this is happening, and there’s nothing I can do about it anyway.”

Asking me about my own sites on Netlify also just makes it clear that you didn’t fully read or understand my post, and you’re just here to do damage control.

Well here’s another one: Netlify intentionally slows down their free CDN to push sales of their High-Performance Edge network. It makes a pretty nice headline doesn’t it?

Of course, your enterprise customers in the US and EU would never notice. To them their site is blazing fast. But they keep getting reports from users around the world that their high-traffic web app is slow. So they contact Netlify who says, “Yeah. It’s a shame they live so far away. There’s only so much we can do for the poor bastards. Though I suppose we could get you on our exclusive high performance global network. That is, if you really care about your users.”

Naturally any global corporation doesn’t have much of a choice. They’ve already invested so much getting their infrastructure set up with Netlify. So they fork out, their site now loads lightning fast everywhere in the world, their users are over the moon, and everyone is happy. But little do they know, if Netlify just routed their users correctly to the nearest available data center, there wouldn’t be an issue to begin with.

“30% faster on global average”, according to your pricing page. So essentially, the same speed in the US and EU, and we’ll route everyone else correctly, with a few extra data center locations thrown in so it doesn’t look like we’re not actually offering anything of value.

Sorry but I’m just not buying “Herp derp, we can’t figure out how make a CDN work properly” from a company like Netlify. And I’m definitely not buying that you were unaware of this issue as it’s been brought up multiple times on this forum alone. It’s clear that at best, Netlify has no idea what they’re doing, and at worst they’re a money-hungry corporation operating under the guise of internet-lovers and exploiting their own users, in a time when more people than ever before are working remotely and need fast access to sites and services around the world.

Whichever way you wanna go with it, it’s just plain dishonest and unethical. And more people need to know what kind of company they’re dealing with before jumping on the Netlify train.

Hi @slightlyfaulty,

As I stated I would, I have re-brought-up this issue with our team after you posted. The result is that a productive discussion is unfolding internally, and we are evaluating what we can do to improve routing to south africa and surrounding regions. As soon as we have something concrete to share, I will definitely do so.

The reason I asked about any specific sites you might have, as that sometimes domain specific configurations can impact performance.