How to maximize your internet for live streaming
Written by Paul Richards on October 26, 2020
How to maximize your internet for live streaming
When you’re live streaming, a lot of data is being sent over your internet connection at the same time. Audio and video each take up a lot of bandwidth. Not to mention anything else that may be going through your connection like downloads, other people’s app usage, etc. If you’re alone at home and have a perfect internet connection where your gear is set up, live streaming can work flawlessly with minimal issues.
But the reality is you may not always want to stream from home. Or you could have Wi-Fi dead spots and don’t want to be tethered to a wired connection. Your internet provider could also become unreliable.
Just a few of the potential issues you may run into:
- There’s not enough bandwidth available for your live stream so either the quality drops leading to jittery or choppy video, or you see disconnects
- Wi-Fi coverage is spotty, leading to disconnects
- Your Wi-Fi hotspot goes offline, but your device connects and clings to it instead of switching back to 4G or another connection
A lot can go wrong when you’re live streaming. So how do you make sure your internet can handle it?
Test your Internet speed as a first step
The first step to truly get a handle on how your internet is performing is to test your speeds. You can use tools like Speedtest by Ookla or M-Lab to see how fast your connection is right now. Connectivity tools like Speedify or Pingify also provide handy stats about each of your connections in real-time.
Test your speeds from your Ethernet or as close to your router as you can as your baseline. Then go further out and explore your house or workspace to see where the speeds start to drop off.
Check out upload speed, download speed, and ping to see how much latency you have in your connection. Set up a test stream and see what impact that has. You’ll quickly be able to tell whether you’re not getting speeds near what you’ve been promised. Plus having all of the information will help you diagnose any root causes, either working with your provider or troubleshooting on your own.
Use all your Internet connections at once
When a connection drops out, wouldn’t it be great to have another connection step in instantly to save your live stream?
Speedify is a connectivity tool and VPN that does just that to make your internet more reliable. It’s the only tool that lets you use Wi-Fi, Ethernet, a public hotspot, mobile data and more all at once.
By combining all of your connections, you can have faster speeds and a steadier connection, which leads to clearer video and audio for your live stream. Under-the-hood, it recognizes and prioritizes live streams to ensure that whatever bandwidth you have to work with is going to the right place.
It’s easy to set up, with apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux. Even Raspberry Pi, for streamers who are considering building their own rigs using it. All you need to do is register an account, download the app, set up your connections and their priority levels within it, and you’re ready to stream. It costs as low as $2.99/mo. with a 3-year plan.
Make sure you have the best provider and latest hardware
If you’re worried that your connections combined may still not meet your needs, it may be time to investigate changing providers or hardware. Not all internet service providers are built the same and there’s a huge amount of variability in last mile connections.
If your speeds are as expected but not delivering what you need, then you need to consider upgrading a tier or two to gain extra speed and performance. It may be more costly but could be worthwhile if it saves you the time and energy you would spend dealing with a slow connection while trying to set up a live stream.
If your speeds are consistently worse than expected, talk to your provider to see if there’s an unknown issue that may be slowing down your connection. And try out a competing provider if your speed tests are disappointing.
Additionally, a newer router can make a big difference, not just by ensuring that you can take advantage of all of the speed available to you, but they typically have settings older routers might not have. For example, the ability to operate on separate frequency bands, creating guest networks, and Quality of Service are three features that combine to enable you to designate the amount of traffic each person using your network can use as well as individual apps. And adding a range extender can improve your Wi-Fi signal the further you are from your router.
If you set yourself up with fast internet speeds, combine all of your connections for extra stability, and have the right hardware to support your internet, you’ll never have to worry about live stream fails again.