If you’ve use the internet for any period of time, there’s a very good chance you’ve streamed something. Whether it be through YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, or a hundred other apps, streaming makes up some of the internet’s most popular apps. But with how widespread streaming is, it’s easy to take it for granted.
Watch movies and listen to music faster
You’re probably familiar with the concept of downloading a file, in which you find and save an image, video, or program to your device from the internet. In most cases, you’ll need to wait until that file is completely downloaded and processed before you can open it.
Streaming, on the other hand, lets you interact with the file as its downloading. This means that you won’t have to wait very long at all to start watching your movie or show.
Here are the main advantages of streaming:
- Streaming is immediate – streaming content starts to play more or less instantly, regardless of how large the audio or video file is. There’s no need to wait for it to download in its entirety.
- Streaming doesn’t require storage space. You don’t need a large hard drive to hold content you want to watch or listen to, unlike the way you need to download apps and have sufficient space to store them.
- Most streaming apps let you choose what you want to watch or listen to freely, meaning that you don’t have to abide by a cable or radio schedule.
Disadvantages of Streaming
- You need an active internet connection. You can only stream if you’re connected to the internet, so you can’t use streaming services without cellular data, Wi-Fi, or an Ethernet connection.
- Streaming is a real-time activity; if you want to watch the same movie again later, for instance, you’ll need to have an internet connection every time you play it. A download file, in contrast, only needs to be download once for indefinite playback.
- You might be limited by your internet connection speed. Your connection must be fast (and reliable) enough or streaming playback will fail, with audio or video playback that starts, stops, stutters, and buffers.
Buffering is when the video or song you’re streaming stops for an extended period, so it can download more data. If you’ve got a slow internet connection, you’ll probably experience a lot of buffering.
Basic Requirements for Streaming
However, being so beneficial, for it you need some essential things.
- Audio: To stream audio content like music and podcasts, your speed should be no less than 1.5 Megabits per second, or Mbps.
- HD video: To stream high-definition video, you should have at least 3Mbps.
- 4K video: To stream 4K UHD video, you should have 25Mbps.
- Gaming: There are some relatively new cloud-base gaming services. That let you stream games without downloading, installing, or storing games on your computer. Broadband requirements vary dramatically depending on the screen resolution and game complexity, but in general you need at least 10Mbps for games in HD and 35Mbps for games in 4K.