What's the best all-round US location?

Hi guys,

I have a primary Linode in the UK, but am using a secondary one in the US (and in Asia) with Nginx acting as a cache. It's a ghetto CDN for sure, but there are application-related reasons for this rather than using an off-the-shelf CDN.

While the project is still warming up, I don't want to go too crazy and put a Linode in each US location. So I'm wondering, is there a US location that's considered the best for all-round latency across the country?

On a purely geographical level, the Dallax, TX location would appear to be best as it's the most central thus would theoretically cover most of the country pretty well. However, I'm aware that in the real world there can be many peering/routing considerations that make it less clear. It's difficult to test this really exhaustively so just wondering if anyone here has some hands-on experience/tips.

8 Replies

Unless you're running something that's very sensitive to latency it doesn't matter. Personally I like Dallas, I've been using it for years it's been fast and reliable.

As of 2010, the mean center of US population is in south central Missouri, and the median center of US population is in southwestern Indiana.

Distance from mean:

Dallas (DFW): 421 miles

Atlanta (ATL): 511 miles

Newark (EWR): 990 miles

Distance from median:

Dallas (DFW): 663 miles

Atlanta (ATL): 373 miles

Newark (EWR): 723 miles

So Atlanta wins if you're targeting the median, and Dallas wins if you're targeting the mean.

Both centers of population are moving west over time.

When you convert the miles to milliseconds you see it really just doesn't matter (unless you're doing something with two-way av).

Thanks everyone. The idea of using the population average to choose the location appeals to my mind's demand for logic and order, so that's very useful. :D

I came across a tool for pinging servers from various worldwide locations this morning, has also been helpful in case anyone else might want to use something like this.

You can also checkout http://linode.com/speedtest

Dallas. I migrated a couple of months back. No regrets.

Fremont because most of my visitors are in Cali

I've been happy in Newark, but then, it's the closest by far to Montreal (370 miles).


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