What is akamaihd.net in a Facebook Link

By on January 3, 2013

Before we start, I would like you to perform this simple experiment.

Goto your facebook account, check for any picture like profile pic, image in a news feed or any thumbnail. Right click on the image and Click on ‘Open image in a new tab’ (I am assuming you are using Google Chrome).

Once you have opened the image in a new tab, check the address bar.

You will find something like this,

relation between akamaihd and facebookNotice the akamaihd.net domain in the URL. So the image which you found on facebook is actually hosted on akamaihd.net. Are you surprised? Maybe not, if you didn’t understand whats really going on.

Let me explain, The photos which you upload to facebook, are actually being uploaded to akamaihd.net. Now the question is, What is akamaihd.net and Why are your photos hosted on akamaihd.net?

What is akamaihd.net?

Akamai Technologies is actually a CDN, where CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. This answers almost everything if you know how CDN works. We’ll talk about CDN in this post, but first lets check out a fun fact about Akamai.

Akamai is pronounced as Acme. Does it sound familiar to you? Acme was a fictional corporation in Roadrunner Cartoons. It used to provide several products which would fail at the worst times.

acme-corporation-fictional

Image Source familyguy.wikia.com

What is a CDN ?

A CDN (content delivery network) will receive your data and place it on several different servers all over the world. This makes that particular content to load faster for anyone who wants to access it. This is because the content will be delivered to the end user from the nearest possible server holding the content.

Without CDN, the content will reside only on one server. And thus the users who are close to the server can access the content faster than the users who are away from it.

For example, If my content is located on a server in India. Then users in Asia will have better latency (less time delay) compared to users from America, Europe or Australia.

Why facebook photos are uploaded to Akamaihd.net ?

Akamai has several CDN networks, where akamaihd.net is one of the CDN. Facebook is a large network and it has to deliver data at faster speeds to each and every user. And to do so, it requires a CDN.

Facebook uses akamaihd.net as CDN. This is why your photos are uploaded to akamaihd and not to facebook. So whenever you request to view a photo on facebook, your request is actually sent to the nearest possible akamaihd server. This server returns the requested photo. And since its the nearest possible server, you will get the requested photo with a minimum time delay.

More Info

Previous year, Many people faced a problem in which the images on their facebook account were not loading. I don’t know if you witnessed this or not. But this might have happened because facebook blocked the akamaihd.net servers on a temporary basis, maybe for maintenance purposes or for pushing new updates.

Video - Why Facebook Photos Are Uploaded To Akamaihd.net ?

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About Omkar Bhagat

Omkar is the owner of Codefap.com. He writes blogs, makes video tutorials and love to learn new things about computers and programming.
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  • http://www.facebook.com/incrediblevish Vishal Patil

    hmmm !!

  • Nigel Dodds

    Great information, thanks.

  • somebody

    thank you very much

  • Joerabinson

    thank you

  • Erlinda Estrada

    Akamai also means “smart” in the Hawaiian language!

    • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

      Good to know !
      Thanks for adding more info to this thread. :-)

  • Wayne Dodd

    Great info!

  • Ik

    Pls how do I share a video in small sizes to mobile users for sharing especially via social networks

    • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

      I didn’t get your question completely but i’ll try to answer.
      If you are trying to share a video on social network, it will be automatically resized to any user including mobile user.
      If you are trying to share a video on your website, use the embed code to resize it.
      For eg: While sharing a youtube video, choose embed and select custom size.

      • Ik

        Tnx a lot. i’m not so geeky really. Take for instance, I upload a video on youtube and its size is say 15mb. I want to share it to mobile users for download and I’ want the file to be downloaded at 3-4mb size. what is the best way to achieve that? Thanx 4 ur help!

  • spanihati

    Thanks.

  • Safaey

    thanks alot

  • http://www.facebook.com/crazychrissy01 Christina Kostova

    Great info. My question is, can you track the user whose jpg link you have? Are the akamei links directly connected to a user, or are they random? Thanks!

    • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

      As far as i know, they’re randomly generated links and not connected to any specific user. :-)

  • Chantal

    Why is not my picture shown when I post the loink of my Twitteraccount on FB? But instead a small greenish thumbnail?

  • lady w

    is it possible discover a facebook profile knowing a link of a photo? If yes, how can I do it?

    • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

      I am sorry but it can’t be done.

    • http://twitter.com/sigvewinter siggvaldo

      It can be done if you are lucky. Use Google Image search (just type the URL in the search box) and click on the “search button.” Hopefully a text with “do you want to search with this image?” will show. Click on the link, and try. Google can search the web for that exact image if Google has some information about it. It’s not bullet proof indeed. It’s also normal that Facebook members use their profile picture with other services such as Twitter so that you can “investigate” and some-how find the specific user.

  • tempsetrogue

    I have been having a huge issue with Adobe Flash blocking websites that have content on Akamaihd.net – it’s been a pain the ***

    • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

      Hello, Remove Adobe Flash and Uninstall the current browser. Get the latest version of adobe flash from http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
      and reinstall web browser.
      If it doesn’t work try and switch to other browser and see if it works !
      And if possible take a screenshot of the error msg and post a link to it in comments. I’ll try and see if i can find any solution.

  • jemoeder

    Nice one Omkar, thanks.

  • Leonardo

    Importante explicação, congratulations….

  • Alex Mensa deejay

    Great information, thanks you very much

  • Patres

    Thanks to facebook for doing this, all the photos very often start to get really slow in their load times, sometimes almost a half minute after the rest of the website is already loaded. Akamai’s servers don’t seem to be top notch

  • Océane

    thanks Omkar!

  • Ernst

    I noticed that the images hosted on akamai hd via FB due not add to the size of a page but images from flickr do (for me) via an img src tag. Does this have anything to do with akamia using https vd http as with flikr hosted images? I am looking for a cdn hosting solution or html embed code option where the image’s size is not counted when using a site tester like ready.mobi which would often identify any third party graphics (like flickr images) under their external resources detail. Any way to acheive my objective? Is there anything special about akamai in this respect over flickr or other commercial cdns? Any recommendations. My main questions is…there a way to embed images in my mobil pages without bloating the size of the page.

    • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

      If you want to embed images without bloating the size of the page, then you can optimize images first. You can use online optimizer like smush it. This makes the images light weight. I hope this helps.

  • Baby

    try block akamai, and see if it is still slow.

  • Anonym

    Agreed. this is kind of getting to the point to where, well, you know somethings happening with your information (cough, fbi privacy spying/CISPA). There should be no giant screen freeze on the whole computer like this, especially for one of the largest most successful websites in the entire world.

  • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

    I have no idea about the error message you are getting. I can help if you provide additional information. Which device are you using? Which browser? etc.

    • nilmani

      Since I also see this temporary halt of my computer when I start FB first time, let me explain this. In the morning first time I start FB, the browser bottom shows the address https://fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net and at this point everything gets halted. I can still move the mouse to anywhere including the taskbar but can’t click on anything, as if the the system has halted. After about 40-60 seconds, the FB window opens and then everything is normal. Subsequently, even if I close the browser and reloard it, the FB page loads without any delay. But if I shutdown the computer and restart, then again the FB delay happens first time I load FB. My system details are as below:

      Firefox 21.0
      Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit SP2
      Intel Core2 Duo CUP T6500 2.1Ghz 4.0GB RAM

  • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

    @Eric_Toad:disqus
    Can you post the specifications of your Computer?
    Also if you show me what’s really happening on screen, then i can help you.
    You can record the screen (its called screencasting) using a software called as Camtasia Studio. Google it, download, install. Record the screen and upload it on youtube and send me the link. I will try to understand whats the problem and will surely try to find a solution for the same.

    • Eric_Toad

      Thanks for the offer.
      There is nothing else of relevance on the screen. The problem is the same as others have been reporting. Ther is just the one Firefox window running and when I go to FB it just sits there locked up for ages (up to a minute) 2ith “transferring data from fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net” in bottom left before it gives up and starts working again.
      Theres nothing unusual about the spec either it’s just a dell latitude i7 with pretty standard adequate memory etc. running windows 7 (enterprise) and Firefox (was 17.0.1 just upgraded to 21 but that makes no difference.
      It’s just the same as others have reported about this intrusive akaaihd.net site.
      Perhaps I misunderstood your original reply. I was under the impression that you suggested that there was a reasonably standard way to just block that site? So I was asking what you were suggesting that I (or anyone else) does to implement your suggestion? I have no wish to get into any specifics of my particular laptop on this thread – which would be of no interest to anyone else. It is the general case about the problems with akamaidh that bother me.
      Thank You!

  • kRz

    I have been facing the same problem. It’s kinda worries me a bit. I hate the damn FB and the whole social media BS btw.

  • bond james bond

    its simply a spy or another attacker. i am a web developer and tried to check my work (run in my webserver) then it come..and when i unplugged my wifi, it always trying to get connect..hooray..gotcha..

  • Phil England

    Thanks for the info. Very helpful and clear.

  • Peter Verhey

    i have a question for you. a very bad person, we dont know who he or she is sent us pictures of my own daughter with very bad and sexual words, like, i rape you and i kill you, and more of this crap. All thats picture i still have on my laptop after he/she sent it. Is their a way to find out who this bad person is?

    • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

      Hello Peter, How did the person ‘send’ you the photo? via e-mail, facebook message? Share more details about the medium which he used to communicate with you. I can only help if i get more details.

      • Peter Verhey
        • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

          I would suggest you to report it to facebook and if needed report it to police as well. But first ask your daughter about who it might be. And if she had fights with someone in the past week or month.

          Also change privacy settings on your account as well as your daughter’s account. Change all privacy settings to ‘only friends’ from ‘public’. And if you have any strangers on your account then set their friendship to ‘restricted’, so they won’t be able to stalk you or your daughter.

          I’ll try to find more info about it and help you in whatever possible way i can.

          Check this link – http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/06/21/what-happens-report-abuse-facebook/

          • Peter Verhey

            all this things we did. to report it to facebook is to much work. there is no simple way to contact them. i was just hoping that you can find something out with the link.

          • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

            i’ll surely try to find things in that link if its possible. Meanwhile you should read that article. They do read reports.

          • Peter Verhey

            thank you very much. all the pictures are from the same map ajax/mercury …… But i was reading it, but where can i send them the information

          • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

            you can report directly in the facebook message which you received. Click actions > report spam or abuse > Report conversation participant(s) for harassing or threatening me.

          • Peter Verhey

            i know, and then they block him/her. but the person was there with a fake account and i want to know who this person is. we have some ideas, but no evidence

          • Peter Verhey

            he was hacking our facebook, hotmail. he knows our ip, he knows a lot of passwords of my daughter. now the police says that my daughter is her own stalker. we know thats crazy, so we try to find out what bad and sick person did this shit things

          • Peter Verhey

            i think when the bad guy uploaded his pictures. facebook can check from what ip this came

  • http://codefap.com/ Omkar Bhagat

    Many facebook users have mailed me about the same problem. I am trying to figure it out but still didn’t find any proper solution. If you did find, please share it here. :-)

  • Peter Verhey

    he/she sent it to me , on private facebook. with a fake account

  • Mathilda

    WTF!!!! Since I have been on FB yesterday, several webpages opens up with this in the www. line but no content:

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/hellocdn.html?v=1

    https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-prn1/hellocdn.html?v=1

    https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-ash3/hellocdn.html?v=1

    No use closing them as they just keep coming back up again!!

    • Charles Kafka

      same problem,
      usually i couldn’t care less who handles facebook’s (or my)pictures.
      but this page crops, up, from time to time. and my browser does freeze.
      nortons (god bless them) blocks what acme is trying to show me. and since im running with a faulty video card sometimes i have to collapse the page, as either chrome stops, or norton’s tells me identity blocks is crashing.
      this sucks..
      so are we just supposed to accept that facebook sucks? and be looking for alternatives?
      so out there among the It people… who want’s to be the next trillianaire?

  • Shane Freemantle

    This is a photo in a facebook album which has privacy set to only me. Facebook is not secure. This is how they harvest photos from it.
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/250793_10151293262883310_163972692_n.jpg

  • Anna Ganga Gregorutti Jermann

    Good! Many Thanks and Best Regards. Go Go Go AGGJJ

  • Josh

    Akamai is pronounced as Acme? I’ve never hear that.

  • Elsie Soriano

    Can I get rid of that akamai thing? Every time I access a new page it popups on my screen. Thank you!

  • Justy

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I FINALLY understand someone and know what akamaihd.net is!
    Unfortunately, I still have a problem with facebook not loading thumb images. Sometimes it doesn’t load the page at all (cannot find the server) or displays it in a very basic form (text only). (Youtube also cannot find the server way too often as well – same cause?).
    I had that problem for good few months now and since I couldn’t find a solution I learnt to live with it – but it’s been way too long now and I’m very frustrated. Tried to find a solution on different forums as many people reported similar issues, however I was never able to find the fix :( …some mentioned a virus, others complicated changes in system preferences – all in all I didn’t want to risk causing more damage that I wouldn’t be able to fix later.
    I read your post thinking that, at last here it is, someone who knows his stuff. I know there might not be an easy fix but I’d be grateful for any piece of advise, if you find some time :)
    I am a mac user MacOSX 10.5.8/ browser Safari Version 5.0.6 (could the ‘elderly’ system be the cause?).

    Many thanks!

    • http://thecuriousengineer.org/ Omkar Bhagat

      I can’t say what is the exact cause here. My actual article didn’t address this problem in the first place but I noticed many people are talking about it. I need to see it for myself before i can find out a solution. Please record a video of your screen using a screencasting software like camtasia studio. And send it to me. I’ll surely look into it.

  • adil

    is there a way to get the profile link of the person of the image ??
    please share your information

  • adil

    if i have an image can i get to the user ? means can i get the profile of the user ?

  • Charles Kafka

    why does a blank acme <– cute :-) page pop up, when ever …
    haven't quite figured out why this page pops up at the weirdest times.

  • http://www.allencraigphotography.com/ allencraig

    This whole article was about three sentences written over and over. WHAT akamaihd is requires one sentence to answer, the bigger question is since akamaihd is supposed to speed up load times, why are SO MANY people experiencing rediculously slow page load times when their browsers are trying to connect through akamaihd? THAT’S what we’d like to see an article on.

    • http://thecuriousengineer.org/ Omkar Bhagat

      I would like to see a video of that happening. Use camtasia studio to record your screen. Then try and connect and go through all the problems you are facing. Save the video and email it to me. Or upload on youtube and give me a link here. I’ll be glad to help :)