What is Azure Front Door?

Discover how Azure Front Door, Microsoft's powerful content delivery and security solution, can supercharge your web applications.

What is Azure Front Door?
What is Azure Front Door?

Azure Front Door was first released as a Private Preview in September 2018, an went into General Availability (GA) in April 2019.

Since it's release it has went through some changes to the service we see today.

What is Azure Front Door?

Today Azure Front Door is a modern cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) that can help your applications to your end users in a fast and secure way across the world.

Taking advantage of Microsoft's global network that is distributed around the world, this is a service available to both small businesses and enterprise businesses.

With Azure Front Door you can load balance and route traffic intelligently from apps hosted anywhere, within Azure or without.

You also have the ability to secure your applications with built-in DDoS protection and attach a Web Application Firewall (WAF).

With the current version of Azure Front Door, you have two pricing options, Standard and Premium.

Azure Front Door Standard vs Azure Front Door Premium

The first difference between the Azure Front Door Standard and Azure Front Door Premium services is the price. The Premium option is almost ten times the cost of the Standard option. But there is a reason for this.

With Azure Front Door Standard you are able to do things such as:

  • Static file delivery
  • Custom Web Application Firewall (WAF) rules
  • Route requests from mobile or desktop devices to different versions of your application
  • Create redirects based on return errors or hostnames
  • Origin load balanced

The Azure Front Door Premium service builds on the Standard features and you get the additional benefit of having access to a Microsoft-managed rule set, set-up bot protection and support for private links.

In order to switch between Standard and Premium you need to recreate the Azure Front Door profile. 

A classic tier also exists, if you want to understand its options please refer to this document.

Is Azure Front Door a CDN?

Azure Front Door and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) share some similarities but serve different purposes. While both aim to improve web application performance, Azure Front Door is not strictly a CDN.

Azure Front Door is primarily a global service that provides secure and highly available application delivery, offering features like load balancing, traffic routing, and DDoS protection. It optimizes user access to web applications, APIs, and content, enhancing reliability and security.

On the other hand, a CDN is designed to cache and distribute content, such as images, videos, and static files, to reduce latency and speed up content delivery to end-users. While Azure Front Door can leverage CDN capabilities, it is more comprehensive in its functionalities, making it a robust choice for global application delivery and security needs.

Is Azure Front Door a firewall?

Azure Front Door is not a firewall in the traditional sense.

While it plays a significant role in enhancing security for web applications, its primary purpose is content delivery and global load balancing. Azure Front Door offers features like traffic routing, load balancing, and application acceleration, making it easier to distribute traffic efficiently and improve the user experience.

However, it does include security features such as DDoS protection, Web Application Firewall (WAF) integration, and SSL termination, which can help protect your applications from threats.

While these security features are essential for safeguarding your applications, Azure Front Door should not be relied upon as a standalone firewall solution. For comprehensive network security, it is recommended to complement Azure Front Door with additional firewall and security services tailored to your specific needs.


In conclusion, Azure Front Door has evolved significantly since its Private Preview, becoming a powerful tool for modern web application delivery and security.

Leveraging Microsoft's expansive global network, it caters to businesses of all sizes, offering intelligent traffic routing, load balancing, and robust security features such as DDoS protection and Web Application Firewall (WAF).