Deliver the Best Possible Download Experiences

Solution Brief


For improved performance, new features, the latest software and more, smart phone, PC users, and video game players frequently download updates, and large game files. From the perspective of device manufacturers, OS providers and video game developers, each download is a touchpoint opportunity with their users. Users have high expectations for how fast and well their downloads perform. Provide them with a great download experience and they’re happy customers. But if things go wrong with a download, you will turn them off and risk bad word of mouth. Fortunately, there are download solutions available to solve the challenges unique to each download scenario, including exceptionally large files.

Challenges: Continuously Growing Download Sizes

Software file sizes have been increasing substantially with every release as new capabilities and features are added. Plus, the number of devices in use and people playing video games continues to increase. Here are three categories of download scenarios with the size of a release or update, and the number of devices that exist across the globe:


  • Updates for devices such as smart phones - The Apple update to iOS 14 is almost 3GB and there are over 1.65 Billion iPhones to update. The Android 11 update is 1.8GB and there are over 2.3 Billion Android phones.
    Together these updates are 8 Quintillion Bytes!
  • PC OS updates – Windows with Office 365 updates are in the range of 20GB to 50GB and there are over one billion Windows machines in existence. The latest MacOS is 12GB and there are 100 million active Mac users, for an aggregate update volume of 31 Quintillion Bytes.
  • The above device download sizes are dwarfed by large video games. Most of the big popular games are over 100GB, and a few are much larger. Game graphics are getting more sophisticated and realistic with each release and this means much larger in file size. As for the number of players for popular video games, the range is a few hundred million up to one billion! A popular large game with half a billion players will drive 50 Quintillion Bytes.

    Distributing massive downloads to a large global user base and ensuring this interaction with customers lives up to their expectations for a fast and robust experience is challenging.

    Addressing These Challenges

    Limelight’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) has the capacity and global reach to simplify and ensure fast delivery of these massive downloads, and peering relationships with all major global ISPs. Limelight’s download solution can deliver a continuous flow of software and firmware updates as well as major releases from ISPs closest to user locations for the fastest downloads. Software beta programs and restricted versions are easy to manage with built-in geo-fencing capabilities, and tokenization. Using device detection technology integrated at the edge, you can deliver the correct device specific update to virtually any device. CDN Origin Storage and edge caching allows you to position large software files and game downloads at CDN edges near where your device users and game players are located. This speeds time to download and protects your origin from large numbers of requests.


    Your downloads are protected with a global HTTPS footprint, a range of access control mechanisms and token authentication.


    The below shows the download solution workflow:

    Limelight Networks Software Download Workflow


    The solution allows you to access powerful file and game analytics such as download completion rates, download receipts,and traffic patterns, for smarter business decision-making.


    Delivering software downloads, device updates and massive video games is no easy task. Although the components may seem simple, optimizing them is not. To provide the best possible download experience for your end users, you’ll need to right tools to fine-tune three critical features of your workflow—the speed at which you deliver your files, the availability of your downloads, and the security of your file-based content. Limelight’s solutions ensure that your files are delivered quickly to your users regardless of where they are, so that you can focus on product development.