Why Internet Speed Matters for Live Streaming?

  • Do you need to live stream content? Then you must pay special attention towards internet speed. Before you do that, it is also important to understand why you need to have a good internet speed for streaming as well. Continue to read, and we will share more details about it with you.

    "The internet live streaming sector grew 99 percent between April 2019 and April 2020," according to Tech Jury. "By 2022, 82 percent of internet consumption will be for streaming video," according to Cisco. It's time to put live video to work for your company. But first, what constitutes a sufficient internet connection for live streaming? And what difference does it make?

    Understanding the technical terms behind the streaming 
    What is the upload speed need for streaming? That is most likely your biggest concern. But, before we get into the nitty-gritty of internet speed, let's brush up on some online jargon.

    -    Bandwidth
    The maximum data transmission rate of an internet connection in a particular length of time is known as bandwidth. A 5GHz router, for example, has a maximum bandwidth of 1300 Mbps (megabits per second). It's worth noting that 1 megabit per second equals.125 megabytes. As a result, this router's maximum bandwidth is 162.5 megabytes per second in this situation. The terms "bandwidth" and "internet speed" are often interchanged. But they're not the same thing.

    The bandwidth provides an answer to the issue of how much data may be transmitted at a given time. The speed, on the other hand, addresses the issue of how quickly data can be downloaded or transferred. Basically, if you have limited bandwidth, you won't be able to stream a 4K movie since it consumes so much of it. Furthermore, if your internet connection is slow, you won't be able to broadcast in full HD, but you may be able to stream in a lesser quality.

    -    Download speed 
    The download and upload speeds are the two components of internet speed. The number of megabits of data sent from a server to your device is referred to as download speed. The quicker you can download a music, a document, or a movie, the greater the download speed.

    -    Upload speed 
    The upload speed, on the other hand, is the rate at which data is sent from your device to a server in megabits per second (Mbps). Uploading a document, audio, or video to a service like Google Drive becomes quicker as the upload speed increases.

    -    Bitrate
    The rate at which bits are transported from one place to another is referred to as bitrate. It is often measured in any of the following:
    o    Bps stands for bits per second.
    o    Kbps stands for kilobits per second.
    o    Mbps stands for megabits per second.
    In video streaming, bitrate is especially important since it indicates the quality of an audio or video file. The better the audio or video quality, the greater the bitrate.

    With resolution, it's the same premise. In comparison to a 360p resolution, a 4K resolution gives a crisper picture. Returning to our donut analogy, bitrate is the rate at which a doughnut may be consumed per second.

    Why Does Internet Speed Affect Live Streaming?
    When it comes to creating the finest and highest quality live broadcast, internet speed is crucial. For crystal-clear audio and video, you'll need it. In general, the faster the pace, the greater the quality. A fast internet connection improves your entire experience, particularly if you're utilizing a lot of assets on your live broadcast. Do you have a screen to share? Why not include a YouTube video into your stream?
    The live broadcast will get sluggish if your internet connection is slow. Your screen may even freeze at times. Low upload speeds result in sluggish streaming. Worse, you'll have choppy audio. Viewers will wait through a poor-quality video but will leave if the audio is poor.

    Factors that might slow down your streaming
    It is not easy to have a fast internet connection. Your internet speed for live streaming is affected by a number of things.

    -    Internet Connection Type
    Fiber-optic and regular DSL connections are the two most common forms of internet connections. High-speed connections are possible via fiber-optic connections, although DSL connections using telephone networks are slower. Fiber connections are ten times faster than xDSL connections, with theoretical speeds of up to 10000 Mbps (1Gpbs). The majority of ISPs advertise speeds of 100 to 400 Mbps.

    Fiber isn't widely accessible since it's a newer technology. In the United States, just 32% of people have access to fiber. The cities having the greatest Fiber coverage are Atlanta and Denver.

    Fast speed entails a high price. The cost of a Fiber connection on a monthly basis varies based on the package you choose. In 2019, the average cost of a Fiber connection in the United States is $57 per month. Previously, the average price was $79 per person. As the Fiber connection becomes more widely available, the cost will continue to fall.

    -    Distance between the router and the device 
    Once you've installed a Fiber connection, you'll want to make sure your router is in the best possible location to obtain the best speed. Internet speed might be hampered by thick walls and other technological gadgets.

    Where Should You Put Your Router?
    o    Open space or thin walls in the heart of your house
    o    Placed on a shelf away from other electrical gadgets.
    o    Because microwaves and other kitchen equipment might interfere with the signal, keep it away from the kitchen.

    -    Total number of devices connected to the router 
    The number of devices that can connect through Wi-Fi on most routers and internet services is limited. When a large number of devices are connected to the router at the same time, the speed is likely to deteriorate. It's the same when you're at a Starbucks that's filled with people utilizing public Wi-Fi. When everyone is on the same network, it becomes very sluggish.

    -    Internet activity 
    Internet activities are not all created equal. Browsing Google for fast answers does not use the same amount of bandwidth as watching a Netflix movie.

    What Is a Reasonable Upload Speed for Live Streaming?
    In general, a decent upload speed is 10 megabits per second. The quality of the upload speed is affected by the resolution and frame rate. If you're streaming in 4K quality, for example, you'll need a faster upload speed.

    Here's a brief guide to the required minimum upload speed:

    o    4-10 Mbps is the suggested minimum speed for live streaming on Facebook Live (recommended minimum)

    When live streaming on Facebook, you can use a resolution of up to 1080p. For a decent broadcast, a minimum speed of 4-10 Mbps is needed. However, if you want to stream in FULL HD, you'll need at least 10 Mbps. If you have visitors, ensure sure they have an upload speed in this range as well.

    o    LinkedIn Live: 3-10 Mbps
    Although a 10 Mbps upload speed is optimal, 3 Mbps is the suggested minimum. LinkedIn live, unlike Facebook, does not offer a built-in live video feature. And not everyone has the means to participate in live events. To get access to LinkedIn Live, you must first be authorized. Second, you must utilize a third-party program that has been authorized. 

    o    YouTube Live 
    Because it offers so many quality possibilities, YouTube's speed varies tremendously. You may stream in resolutions as little as 360p and as high as 4K. For a higher-resolution stream, the minimum suggested speed is 10 Mbps.

    o    4-6 Mbps on Twitch 
    Twitch recommends that you have a minimum upload speed of 4-6 Mbps. This, however, will depend on what you're streaming. Is the game you're broadcasting visually intensive (for example, Grand Theft Auto 5)? Then you'll almost certainly need a faster upload speed.
    How Do You Know If Your Upload Speed Is Fast Enough Before You Go Live?

    It's simple and quick to check your upload speed. There are other programs accessible online, but SpeedTest.net is the most popular.
    -    Go to Speedtest.net to do a speed test.
    -    "Go" should be selected.
    -    Keep an eye on the upload speed.
    -    Look into the server's location.
    -    speedtest.net is a website that allows you to test your upload speed.
    -    Speedtest.net will automatically choose the closest ISP server to your area. The faster you download and upload, the closer you are to the server.

    It's worth noting that Facebook, Twitch, and other services have servers in different places. The majority of Facebook's servers are based in the United States. Your internet speed may be affected by your distance from the servers.

    If you pick New York as the server location in SpeedTest.net, your upload speed will be slower if you live in the Philippines. When the server is near to you, for example, the upload speed is 30 Mbps. If you utilize a different server, however, the speed may decrease to 15 Mbps.

    How to Speed Up Uploading for Better Live Streaming
    Your live streaming experience may be made or broken by your upload speed. Don't be concerned. There are several things under your control that you can improve.
    -    If fiber is available in your location, go with it.
    -    If at all feasible, use a wired connection.
    -    Place your studio close to the router. Alternatively, you might keep the router in your studio.

    Before you go live, there are a few things you should do.
    -    Remind your family not to watch a movie or play an internet game while you're live.
    -    Close any applications that are continually downloading and uploading files, such as Google Photos, on your computer and phone.
    -    All other devices that are linked to the same router should be disconnected.
    -    Use a router that supports a 5GHz Wi-Fi signal to increase your bandwidth. Use Wi-Fi repeaters in two-story houses to make the signal stronger in all sections of the house and minimize "dead zones."

    Final Words 
    In conclusion, there are several aspects and figures that might influence internet speed. In general, a minimum speed of 4-10 Mbps is suggested, however FULL HD streaming requires a greater connection. The great thing about live broadcasting is that you can constantly try new things and improve your skills. In the meantime, you may think about using a third party video streaming panel such as VDO Panel to get a more efficient video streaming experience out of your bandwidth.