The Best Streaming Hosting of 2020

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Compare Hosting For Video and Audio Streaming

Publishing audio and video content online requires significant resources. If you are publishing streaming media on your website, you need to select a web host that not only supports this type of content, but does it well.

Some key elements you should look for when choosing a streaming host are solid-state drives (SSD), content delivery networks (CDN), scalable architecture, and reliable uptime.

These are the criteria we used in developing our list of the best streaming hosts, in addition to expert and user reviews. Read on for an in-depth explanation of what you need to know about choosing a streaming host.

Here are our experts' and readers' top choices for streaming-ready web hosts:

Best Streaming Web Hosting of 2020

Best Streaming Host Badge

How Did We Pick the Best Streaming Hosts?

We analyzed hundreds of hosting companies and selected those with the required speed, performance, scalability, uptime, and overall value.

Then we factored in consumer ratings from our large database of user reviews.

Become an Internet Broadcaster With Streaming Hosting

Streaming hosting is probably the most demanding kind of hosting. As a result, getting the right kind of hosting can take a lot of work.

This article will explain what you need to look for in a streaming host. Hopefully, it will stop you from making one of the many common errors, and get you started with the right host that you can stick with for years.

Best Streaming Web Hosting Reviews

A2 Hosting

A2-Hosting-VPS Logo

A2 Hosting offers users a variety of options that are ideal for streaming, including managed and unmanaged VPS hosting, as well as dedicated hosting.

For users who need the support of managed hosting, but still want more control over their server, A2 Hosting's Core VPS plan might be an attractive option. Users can choose from three different plan tiers, and get up to 8 GB RAM, 150 GB SSD storage, and 4 TB data transfer.

If that doesn't meet your needs, A2 Hosting also offers both managed and unmanaged dedicated hosting, letting you scale your server to your exact specifications.

Certain plans are built on the Wowza streaming engine, which is a media server specifically designed for streaming services with ultra-low latency. Wowza comes with a lightweight HTML5 and Flash video player, but supports others as well. However, these plans do require that users have a bit more technical aptitude.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $5/month
Dedicated:
Starts at $99.59/month

Yes; anytime

>99.8% uptime
>Website builder
>Free domain included
>More features at A2 Hosting

Pros & Cons of A2 Hosting Streaming Hosting

A2 Hosting provides users with a lot of flexibility, including the option to choose between managed and unmanaged hosting. Their TurboBoost add-on feature lets users access speed-enhanced servers for even faster load times. Although A2 Hosting promises a 99.9% uptime, an independent audit found their actual uptime, 99.835%, falls slightly short of that.

Pros

Cons

>Managed and unmanaged hosting
>TurboBoost
>Anytime money-back guarantee

>Uptime concerns

What Customers Are Saying

A2 Hosting has built a loyal customer base thanks to their reliability, affordability, and customer service. "I have been with A2 Hosting for years now, and I will never leave," writes one customer. "They have the fastest servers, the best tech support, and excellent prices."

Bluehost

Bluehost-VPS-Logo

Bluehost uses world-class technology to give users the resources they need to stream audio and video. These include SSD hardware, dual quad processor performance servers and customized Apache web servers, and support for multiple databases.

Their three VPS plans let users quickly and easily scale up resources as necessary. Their base Standard plan starts with 30 GB SSD storage, 2 GB RAM, and 1 TB bandwidth, and VPS subscribers can go up to 120 GB SSD storage, 8 GB RAM, and 3 TB bandwidth.

The other option Bluehost provides is dedicated servers, which give users up to 1 TB mirrored storage, 16 GB RAM, and 15 TB bandwidth.

Regardless of which type of hosting you choose, Bluehost includes several key free perks, including a domain name for the first year, SSL certificate, world-wide CDN, and three different webmail solutions. Users who are not satisfied have 30 days to get a full refund.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $19.99/month
Dedicated:
Starts at $79.99/month

Yes; 30 days

>99.9% uptime
>24/7 customer support
>Database backup
>More features at Bluehost

Pros & Cons of Bluehost Streaming Hosting

One of Bluehost's primary perks is how easy they make it for customers to scale up resources as needed. Users can add more VPS, shared, or dedicated hosting services quickly, and continue to manage all their servers from one location. One thing customers should note is that an independent audit of web host speeds found that Bluehost came in at 1,176ms.

Pros

Cons

>Dynamic resources
>Instant provisioning

>Slow server response speeds

What Customers Are Saying

Bluehost is a popular hosting choice for professionals. "I've been doing web design for years, and these guys are the best," writes one customer. "Absolutely the best product and service ever. They have a mindful, highly skilled staff whom you can talk to in person when any doubt or tech issue appears."

Dreamhost

DreamHost Logo

Dreamhost offers all three types of hosting that are most useful for streaming — VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting.

No matter which type of hosting you choose, all Dreamhost plans support HTTP media streaming, and their website includes easy instructions for how to set up streaming on your website.

If you want a scalable, managed hosting solution, you can choose from four VPS hosting plans, which give users up to 8 GB RAM and 240 GB SSD storage. Dreamhost's dedicated servers are also fully managed, and let users select the amount of RAM and SSD storage they need. Those who prefer root access can opt for one of Dreamhost's three cloud hosting plans.

As long as users comply with Dreamhost's unlimited policy, there are no caps on the amount of traffic your website can receive. Dreamhost also promises security features like 24/7 server monitoring and DDoS protection.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $10/month
Dedicated:
Starts at $149/month
Cloud:
Starts at $.0075/hour

Yes; 97 days

>99.9% uptime
>Unmetered bandwidth
>Website builder
>More features at Dreamhost

Pros & Cons of Dreamhost Streaming Hosting

Among the hosts we reviewed, Dreamhost's server response speeds are the fastest, based on an independent audit. Their 97-day trial period is also one of the longest among the companies on this list. One potential con of Dreamhost is that they use their own custom control panel, instead of cPanel.

Pros

Cons

>Fast server response speeds
>Cloud hosting available
>Long trial period

>Custom control panel

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praise Dreamhost for providing affordable hosting and good customer service. "DreamHost has been there for me whenever I have needed them," says one customer. "Nothing is too much hassle for them. They go above and beyond every single time. Their prices are the best and their plans are more than fair."

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks has staked their claim as a leader in the tech industry as the world's #1 green energy web hosting provider. Their server infrastructure is built on putting three times the power they consume back into the grid in the form of renewable energy. Combined with their reliable services and robust features, this makes them an attractive option for all types of web hosting.

Users who want to host streaming content on their site should take a look at GreenGeeks' VPS hosting plans. These plans give users up to 8 GB RAM, 150 GB SSD storage, and 10 TB data transfer.

All GreenGeeks VPS hosting plans are fully managed, and include cPanel, a free SSL certificate, and a free Softaculous license. Advanced security features include 24/7 server monitoring, custom security rules. and DDoS protection. GreenGeeks supports customers with 24/7/365 technical support.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $39.95/month

Yes; 30 days

>99.9% uptime
>SSL certificate included
>Website builder
>More features at GreenGeeks

Pros & Cons of GreenGeeks Streaming Hosting

Depending on the user, GreenGeeks biggest selling point may well be their eco-consciousness. However, this does come at a price, as their monthly costs are among the highest of the companies on our list. This also gets users an excellent 99.975% uptime, according to an independent audit, but GreenGeeks does not offer any dedicated hosting solutions.

Pros

Cons

>Environmentally friendly
>Good uptime

>High price point
>No dedicated hosting

What Customers Are Saying

Among web hosting providers, GreenGeeks has one of the highest overall customer ratings. "I am very satisfied with the service that this company offers," writes one customer. "The speed is super, and the supporting team is always online to solve customers' problems on the spot."

HostGator

HostGator logo

HostGator makes it easy to stream audio and video files with its HTTP streaming support, available via RealTime Player, QuickTime, and Windows Media Player.

For the most flexibility with resources, users can choose between HostGator's VPS or dedicated hosting plans. With VPS hosting, users can get up to 8 GB RAM and 240 GB disk space; all VPS plans include unmetered bandwidth. Those who need even more resources can select one of HostGator's three dedicated server options, for up to 30 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD storage. Dedicated server users can also choose between Linux and Windows operating systems.

Standard features include a RAID 10 disk configuration, DDoS protection, and a redundant network to provide maximum security; a full suite of web development tools, including website templates and a script installer, and 24/7/365 customer support via phone and live chat.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $19.95/month Dedicated:
Starts at $89.98/month

Yes; 45 days

>99.9% uptime
>24/7 customer support
>Database backups
>More features at HostGator

Pros & Cons of HostGator Streaming Hosting

Users who selected HostGator's dedicated hosting services get the flexibility to select either Windows or Linux OS. HostGator also gives users an extended 45-day period to try out their services, promising a full refund if you're not satisfied. One key thing to look for is server response times. An independent audit ranked their speeds at 1,158ms.

Pros

Cons

>Long trial period
>Linux and Windows OS

>Slow server response speeds

What Customers Are Saying

Hostgator customers report being very pleased with the overall service and support they receive from this web hosting service provider. "Hostgator provides excellent service," says one customer. "Their speeds are great, as are their software offerings. Very easy domain transfers and renewals. Couldn't ask for more!"

HostPapa

HostPapa Logo

All HostPapa hosting plans include progressive streaming, giving users a lot of flexibility when it comes to uploading and sharing audio and video with their customers.

While HostPapa offers a selection of shared hosting plans, for users who plan to do a significant amount of streaming from their website, a VPS hosting plan might be the best bet. HostPapa has five different VPS hosting plans to choose from, offering up to 32 GB RAM, 1 TB of SSD storage, and 8 TB of data transfer.

Users get to select their level of control, with fully managed, managed, and self-managed options. They can also choose between CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian operating systems. Key features that come with all HostPapa VPS plans include two IP addresses, root level access, a Softaculous license and an SSL certificate. HostPapa protects customers with firewalls, brute force detection, regular security updates, and more.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $19.99/month

Yes; 30 days

>99.9% uptime
>24/7 customer support
>Website builder
>More features at HostPapa

Pros & Cons of HostPapa Streaming Hosting

HostPapa gives customers a lot of choices, although one key option they do not offer is dedicated hosting. However, their perks include two free domain name registrations with each hosting account, and one of the most reliable uptimes of all the companies we reviewed. An independent audit found that HostPapa has a 99.954% uptime.

Pros

Cons

>2 free domains
>Reliable uptime

>No dedicated hosting

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers have made the switch to HostPapa, and found higher rates of satisfaction. "I switched my website hosting service from another company to HostPapa, and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made!"says one customer."The customer support service from HostPapa is top rate, plus the price is right."

Hostwinds

Hostwinds Logo

Customers who want to stream audio through Shoutcast, Hostwinds may be an ideal hosting platform.

They offer three hosting plans specifically designed to integrate with Shoutcast. Depending on the plan users choose, they can have an unlimited number of listeners, and get up to 50 GB of storage and 384 KBPS bitrate space. All Hostwinds Shoutcast plans include unlimited bandwidth, performance tracking and analytical tools, and 24/7/365 customer support.

Hostwinds also offers a variety of other types of hosting, including managed and unmanaged VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting. They also give VPS hosting customers the choice between Linux or Windows operating systems.

Regardless of the type of hosting you choose, Hostwinds customers can count on real-time server monitoring; 24/6/365 technical and administrative support via live chat, phone, and tickets; nightly back-ups, and a state-of-the-art infrastructure for speed and reliability.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Shoutcast:
Starts at $6.56/month
Linux VPS:
Starts at $4.49/month
Windows VPS:
Starts at $9.89/month
Dedicated:
Starts at $90/month
Cloud:
Starts at $.006931/hour

Yes; 60 days

>99.7% uptime
>Free domain
>Free SSL certificate
>More features at Hostwinds

Pros & Cons of Hostwinds Streaming Hosting

One of Hostwinds' key pros is that they specifically offer plans for Shoutcast users, which is good news for anyone who wants to stream through that audio platform. They are also one of the most affordable web hosting providers on our list. Although Hostwinds' promotes a 99.9% uptime guarantee, an independent audit showed their uptime to be 99.722%.

Pros

Cons

>Shoutcast support
>Cloud hosting available
>Low price point

>Uptime concerns

What Customers Are Saying

Hostwinds is popular as a web hosting service provider, especially among users who are just starting out with web hosting. Says one customer, "It was easy to sign up, create a site and get up and running. As I move forward and progress, we may upgrade to take advantage of more features. Nice overall base plan though."

InMotion Hosting

InMotion logo

InMotion Hosting offers users several options for streaming audio and video, as well as hosting live streams through platforms like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS).

Users can stream through any of InMotion Hosting's web hosting plans, although their VPS or dedicated hosting plans may be the best bet for anyone who plans on streaming a lot of content.

InMotion Hosting VPS plans start with 4 GB of RAM, 75 GB of SSD storage, and 4 TB of bandwidth, and go up to 8 GB of RAM, 260 GB of SSD storage, and 6 TB of bandwidth. Users also get a free SSL certificate, multiple IP addresses, and cPanel with WHM.

If you need even more resources, you can opt for one of InMotion Hosting's three pre-made dedicated hosting plans, or customize your own dedicated server.

Security features include SSH and DDoS protection, server snapshots, and 24/7 customer support.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $5/month Dedicated:
Starts at $99.99/month

Yes; 90 days

>99.8% uptime
>Website builder
>Database backups
>More features at InMotion Hosting

Pros & Cons of InMotion Hosting Streaming Hosting

InMotion Hosting gives users three months to test out their services, offering a 90-day money-back customer satisfaction guarantee. This, combined with their relatively low costs, make InMotion Hosting an attractive option. Users may want to keep an eye on their website load speeds, as an independent audit found InMotion Hosting to have a server response speed of 1,168ms.

Pros

Cons

>Low price point
>Long trial period

>Slow server response speeds

What Customers Are Saying

InMotion Hosting has built a loyal customer base by delivering consistent, high-quality hosting services. "We have been clients of InMotion Hosting for several years," writes one user. "This has been one of the most correct decisions we made, since the servers have been online permanently. And when we ask for support, they have been extremely kind."

Ionos

Ionos logo

Customers who need a powerful platform from which to stream audio and video can choose between Ionos' dedicated or VPS hosting.

Ionos offers five tiers of VPS hosting plans, ranked Small through XXL, that offer a maximum of 12 GB of RAM, 240 GB of SSD storage, and unlimited traffic. Ionos makes it easy to start small and scale up resources as necessary directly from your control panel.

If dedicated hosting is better suited to your needs, Ionos offers four different dedicated hosting plans, with up to 64 GB of RAM and 800 GB of SSD storage.

Regardless of which type of hosting you choose, Ionos prioritizes customer support. VPS users get a Personal Consultant, who acts as a point-of-contact and server expert during regular business hours. They also offer 24/7 standard support to help with issues that occur outside of regular business hours.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $2/month Dedicated:
Starts at $45/month

Yes; 30 days

>99.9% uptime
>Free domain included
>Free SSL certificate
>More features at Ionos

Pros & Cons of Ionos Streaming Hosting

One of the biggest pros of choosing Ionos web hosting is that an independent audit found that they have both an extremely reliable uptime (99.991%) and a very fast server response time (444ms). This also comes for a relatively affordable price, although Ionos does charge customers extra for back-ups, unlike many other web hosting providers.

Pros

Cons

>Fast server response speeds
>Low price point

>Back-ups not included

What Customers Are Saying

Ionos users praise the web hosting company for having a user-friendly interface, as well as an excellent customer service team. "Ionos rocks!" writes one customer. "From quickly using click-to-build tools for creating sites to making sure everything looks great on every device, you can't do better than going with Ionos."

iPage

iPage logo

iPage focuses on providing web hosting solutions that are fast and easy to implement, so those who are new to web hosting can get online as quickly and painlessly as possible.

For customers who want to host streaming media on their site, there are two options available from iPage - VPS or dedicated hosting.

VPS hosting starts with iPage's Basic package, which includes 1 GB of RAM, 40 GB of disk space, and 1 TB of bandwidth. Users can increase their resources up to 8 GB of RAM, 120 GB of disk space, and 4 TB of bandwidth, available with the Optimum plan. Meanwhile, iPage's dedicated hosting plans offer up to 16 GB of RAM, 1,000 GB of disk space, and 15 TB of bandwidth.

Standard features with iPage hosting include managed support, a free domain name registration for one year, and cPanel with root access.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $19.99/month Dedicated:
Starts at $119.99/month

Yes; 30 days

>99.9% uptime
>24/7 customer support
>Database backups
>More features at iPage

Pros & Cons of iPage Streaming Hosting

Of all the web hosting companies we reviewed, iPage is one of the most reliable, with an uptime of 99.951%, according to an independent audit. It also includes many e-commerce optimization features. A key drawback, however, is that they do not yet offer SSD storage, despite this quickly becoming an industry standard.

Pros

Cons

>Reliable uptime
>Optimized for e-commerce

>No SSD storage
>No unmanaged hosting

What Customers Are Saying

Fans of iPage like this web hosting provider for its stability and value. "I love iPage," writes one user. "Their support is great, and I love them to bits for the simplicity of it all." Adds another customer, "I have been with them for a number of years, and they have always been outstanding."

JustHost

justhost logo

JustHost is an affordable, scalable hosting solution, particularly for streaming users. They offer a variety of multimedia features, including support for streaming audio and video, MIDI files, and real audio and video.

There are four VPS plans to choose from with JustHost. Most plans offer unmetered website space and bandwidth, and the ability to host unlimited websites. For the best performance, users can choose JustHost's Pro plan, which comes with a high-performance server, a dedicated IP address, a free SSL certificate, site back-ups, and more.

All plans include cPanel, one free domain registration, multiple subdomains, and email accounts and storage.

JustHost also focuses on simplicity, offering features that are tightly integrated with the control panel, like template designs, application installation, and advertising tools, so creating and launching your website only requires a few clicks. Customer support from JustHost is available 24/7 through phone, live chat, and email.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $3.95/month

Yes; 30 days

>99.8% uptime
>Website builder
>Database backups
>More features at JustHost

Pros & Cons of JustHost Streaming Hosting

With unmetered bandwidth and website space available with most of their hosting plans, JustHost gives users an exceptional amount of freedom, especially considering their relatively low price point. However, they only offer VPS hosting, which may not work for all users. Also, an independent audit found their uptime to be 99.775%.

Pros

Cons

>Low price point
>Unmetered bandwidth and website space

>Uptime concerns
>Limited hosting options

What Customers Are Saying

JustHost customers report being fans of the web hosting company for their attentive customer service and reliability. "I have been with them nearly 4 years and they have been fantastic," says one user. "Always someone at the end of the phone to resolve problems and never any major issues with service."

LiquidWeb

LiquidWeb logo

The backbone of LiquidWeb's customer base is small and medium-sized businesses, so they are an ideal choice if you plan on streaming a lot of content from your business's website.

They have several hosting choices, allowing your resources to expand as your business grows. Customers can choose from a variety of VPS, dedicated, or cloud hosting plans.

LiquidWeb's VPS hosting bundles are a good value, combining 10 TB of bandwidth, SSD disk space, and RAM with site remediation and protection; premium business email, and free daily back-ups.

For those who need more resources or want more control over their servers, LiquidWeb also offers dedicated and cloud hosting services. With these types of hosting, users also have the option to choose a Linux or Windows operating system.

All of LiquidWeb's servers are high-quality, designed for speed with built-in SSD disks and CDNs. Support is available 24/7/365 via phone, chat and email.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $59/month Dedicated:
Starts at $199/month Cloud:
Starts at $169/month

Yes; 30 days

>99.9% uptime
>Free SSL certificate
>Website builder
>More features at LiquidWeb

Pros & Cons of LiquidWeb Streaming Hosting

One of LiquidWeb's key selling points is that customers are allowed to register up to 30 domain names for free. They also let users choose between Windows and Linux operating systems, as well as several control panel options. However, customers should be aware that all of this comes with a higher price tag.

Pros

Cons

>30 free domains
>Windows hosting available
>Multiple control panel options

>High price point

What Customers Are Saying

LiquidWeb customers praise this hosting company for being an excellent value, especially for the high level of service they receive. "The most significant factor that makes LiquidWeb a great hosting company is the tech support staff," says one user. "Considering the support and the servers they provide, the pricing is good."

MochaHost

mochahost logo

Whatever your web hosting needs are, there are more than enough options to choose from with MochaHost, including Linux and Windows VPS and dedicated hosting.

Furthermore, there are several available plans for each type of hosting. Common features among all hosting plans include unlimited free SSL certificates, SSD storage, a 100% uptime guarantee, and a price guarantee for future account renewals. All MochaHost servers are protected by Cloudflare CDN.

MochaHost servers support multiple databases and control panels, based on the operating system users choose. They also offer a geo-optimized network, with servers in more than 50 countries on six continents, guaranteeing fast speeds and low latency regardless of where you and your website visitors are located. Customers who already have a website on another hosting platform can take advantage of MochaHost's free migration services to make transferring their site quick and easy.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Linux VPS:
Starts at $7.98/month Windows VPS:
Starts at $11.68/month Linux Dedicated:
Starts at $19/month Windows Dedicated:
Starts at $24/month

Yes; 30 days

>99.9% uptime
>24/7 customer support
>Website builder
>More features at MochaHost

Pros & Cons of MochaHost Streaming Hosting

Customers who like many options will be pleased with MochaHosts wide variety of hosting plans, although some users may feel overwhelmed by the choices. One plus is that MochaHost offers Windows hosting, and for an affordable price. A key thing that is missing from MochaHost is automatic back-ups, which customers are responsible for themselves.

Pros

Cons

>Windows hosting available
>Low price point

>Back-ups not included
>Number of options may be overwhelming

What Customers Are Saying

MochHost has established a loyal customer following based on its speed, stability, and service. "As a longtime user of MochaHost, I can say honestly it's fast and stable," writes one customer. "If I mess up, there's a 24-hour chat line that solves my problem faster than anyone else."

Namecheap

Namecheap Logo

Namecheap encourages users who want to stream media on their websites to consider their VPS or dedicated hosting. These types of hosting offer users the resources to host small media libraries within Namecheap's secure and flexible platform.

There are two VPS hosting plans available through Namecheap - Pulsar, which includes 2 GB of RAM, 40 GB of SSD storage, and 1,000 GB of bandwidth, and Quasar, which offers 6 GB of RAM, 120 GB of SSD storage, and 3,000 GB of bandwidth. Users can also choose dedicated hosting, for up to 32 GB of DDR4 SDRAM, and 480 GB of SSD storage.

Namecheap offers both managed and unmanaged hosting with VPS and dedicated hosting. Other key features of Namecheap hosting include free site migration for existing websites; free SSL certificates; routine server back-ups, and firewalls; extra-fast SSD disks, and the ability to customize your server however you want.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

VPS:
Starts at $11.88/month Dedicated:
Starts at $48.88/month

Yes; 30 days

>99.9% uptime
>Free SSL certificate
>Database backups
>More features at Namecheap

Pros & Cons of Namecheap Streaming Hosting

Since Namecheap started out as a domain name registrar, it's not surprising that they are generous with domains, letting users register up to three for free. Namecheap also has an overall low price point, compared to many of the hosting companies we reviewed, but beware - certain services, like bringing your server back online in the event of a failure, cost extra.

Pros

Cons

>3 free domains
>Low price point

>Certain services cost extra

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praise Namecheap for providing affordable yet reliable web hosting services. "What I like about Namecheap is that the prices are the fairest on the market, and it's a simple and easy to use platform," says one user. "My websites are never down or delayed, and their support is the best."

SiteGround

SiteGround Logo

While video and audio streaming is not supported on SiteGround, if users want to host their website on this popular hosting platform, they can opt for one of SiteGround's four managed cloud hosting plans.

SiteGround's basic Entry plan gives users 6 GB of RAM, and 40 GB of SSD storage. As needed, users can scale up to 12 GB of RAM, and 120 GB of SSD storage. All cloud hosting plans include 5 TB of data transfer.

Managed hosting means that SiteGround's experienced team handles all of the configuring and maintenance on your servers. Their cloud hosting also comes with a unique auto-scale option, which will automatically increase resources in the event of traffic spikes, to prevent traffic loss and downtime.

Security is also a priority at SiteGround. They offer Cloudflare CDN, SSL certificates, and daily back-ups at no extra charge, and support is available 24/7 via live chat and ticket.

Price

Money-Back Guarantee

Features

Cloud:
Starts at $80/month

Yes; 30 days

>99.9% uptime
>Free SSL certificate
>Free domain included
>More features at SiteGround

Pros & Cons of SiteGround Streaming Hosting

Among all of the web hosting companies we reviewed, SiteGround ranked highly for server response speeds, with a time of 534ms, according to an independent audit. Their inclusion of Cloudflare CDN is also a nice perk. On the downside, their hosting options are limited, and their starting price is among the highest on our list.

Pros

Cons

>Fast server response speeds
>Cloudflare included

>No dedicated hosting
>High price point

What Customers Are Saying

Users are effusive in their praise for SiteGround as an all-around industry-leading web hosting provider. "Coming from a different hosting company, the difference in customer service is huge," writes one customer. "Much warmer and more willing to help. Also, finally my website was loading faster than ever."

What Is Streaming Hosting?

If you produce audio and video content, you may need a web host that supports streaming media. Not all of them do.

In addition, you'll need a host that can cope with potential traffic spikes without downtime, and it'll need to support the type of content that you intend to publish or distribute.

Is your website the next YouTube? Pandora? Spotify? If your goal is to provide video or audio-on-demand to your site's users, you need streaming hosting.

Okay, so maybe your site's not quite that big yet. Regardless, if you plan to stream movies, music, or video or audio files of any kind, streaming hosting is what will keep that media running smoothly with fewer snags and interruptions.

Why Streaming Needs Special Hosting

Not all hosting plans can accommodate the resources it takes to stream audio or video files.

Streaming hosting is specialized for media sharing. Imagine how frustrating it would be for your users to sit through a video that constantly stops and starts.

Or for them to try to listen to music only to have their favorite songs cut off. How many of those visitors do you think would return to your site? Right.

Streaming hosting alleviates those kinds of issues. Some hosts that offer streaming plans are making them available via cloud hosting, which takes much of the burden of streaming off the local computer, speeding things up and increasing fidelity and reliability.

More Than Just Streaming: Other Hosting Features

Many streaming audio/video hosting providers also offer managed hosting, removing much of the day-to-day management and maintenance from your plate. This allows you to do more with your media-streaming site.

If what you plan to stream is anything along the lines of webinars, tutorials, or industry leader interviews, you may want to look for a host that archives your streaming media.

This way, should anything happen to your site, you'll be able to recover that data, and continue to provide service to your customers and listeners.

A2 Hosting Softaculous Video Software

Why Do Your Own Streaming?

Over the last decade, streaming sites have sprung up all over the web. YouTube is perhaps the most famous, but there are thousands (many with a high Quantcast rank).

In some cases, it really is best to use one of these sites to upload content and simply paste an embed code on your website.

But, there are some reasons to bypass these established services. So why should you set up your own streaming service?

  • Streaming gives you more control over the way content is distributed to viewers
  • You can host content for other users using a membership system, possibly charging a fee
  • Your content doesn't need to be associated with anyone else's brand or website
  • It's easier (though not hassle-free) to host content that other sites may not publish
  • You can create your own niche.

Make Sure You Follow the Law

Note that publishing your own content isn't going to protect you from the law.

If a site like YouTube won't allow something because it's copyrighted (or controversial), your web host will probably have the same opinion.

However, some hosts do have more relaxed rules about what's allowed to be streamed.

Features to Look for in Streaming Hosting

Selecting the right streaming host is vitally important. The five critical features are: reliability, bandwidth, storage, speed, and server power.

Before we get to the details, here is a list of the features, what they mean for the website owner, and what your goal is for the website visitor.

What Streaming Features Mean for You and Your Visitors
FeatureOwner's AttributeVisitor's Attribute
ReliabilityMaximum UptimeMedia Always Available
BandwidthLarge Streaming AbilityUninterrupted Playback
StorageLarge Disk Space AmtAvailability of Content
SpeedSSDs and CDNsInstant Access to Content
Server PowerVPS, Dedicate, CloudDependable Streaming

Reliability

If your goal is to provide streaming media, your server needs to be constantly online. If media disappears halfway through streaming, it's going to frustrate people, and users are unlikely to revisit the site.

100% uptime is not common in the web hosting industry, and when you find it, it's not cheap.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the amount of data that you can stream to your customers. If every show you need to stream is a gigabyte, you will need a lot of bandwidth, if you have a reasonable number of site visitors.

While a typical shared hosting plan may be marketed as "unlimited," you'll run into problems fairly quickly, since your usage is going to be disproportionate and could cause issues for other users.

You need sufficient bandwidth to handle massive amounts of data flowing from your host to your users, and the flexibility to cope with spikes in demand.

Storage

Before audio or video can be streamed, it must be read from a file on disk. Although you won't need as much storage as you do bandwidth, you still will need a fairly large allotment.

Once you have a lot of content, you might want to put your older or less popular content on a different server. Google and Dropbox both offer very good deals for this.

But you will still want to have a large storage capacity on your main server.

Speed

There's nothing more frustrating than a video or audio track that continually stops and starts. Make sure you have speed on your side. Choose a server location close to your main users.

For the fastest disk speed, make sure that your host uses State Drives (SSDs).

Many hosts now only use SSDs, and many others offer it for a relatively small extra charge. It is seriously worth considering.

What should you do if your user are spread out all over the world, or if you just want to provide the best service to the minority of your users who are located farther away?

In these cases, you should seriously consider a content delivery network (CDN).

Server

Streaming audio and video requires much more from a web server than just sending text a few small images. So if you want to stream well, you will need a powerful server.

Kind of Server: VPS, Dedicated, or Cloud

A VPS is the minimum you should buy for a streaming site. But serious sites use dedicated servers so that they run a completely isolated environment.

The other main option is cloud hosting, since your site will be run from multiple servers in a cluster, which should help it cope with peak demand and downtime.

Streaming Technologies: HTTP and Beyond

Additionally, your server must specifically support the streaming technology that you want to use.

Many hosts offer HTTP streaming on entry-level or mid-cost hosting plans, but this limits you to older technologies like RealPlayer and Windows Media Player.

For anything more complex, such as streaming Flash video, you'll need something like FFMpeg instead.

Let's Talk About Scale

If you plan to host videos that may get popular or go viral, you'll need to be able to scale quickly, especially if you're hosting HD video files that require a lot of bandwidth.

When you choose a host, make sure that it's one that lets you scale up your resources as you need. Most hosts that offer VPSs will be able to accommodate your viewers.

"Unlimited" Bandwidth and Disk Space

Be careful with plans that offer "unlimited" bandwidth and disk space on shared hosting plans.

They only offer unlimited resources until it affects other customers.

Streaming video, and even audio to a lesser extent, will almost certainly cause your content to slow down to an unusable speed.

With this in mind, here is a comparison between the resources of a shared hosting plan and dedicated server plan between our editor's choice hosts:

HostPlan TypeStorageBandwidthStarting PriceUser Rating
SiteGroundShared10 GB SSDUnlimited*$3.95/mo4.8 / 5.0
SiteGroundCloud40 GB SSD5 TB$80.00/mo4.8 / 5.0
A2 HostingSharedUnlimited SSD*Unlimited*$3.92/mo4.7 / 5.0
A2 HostingManaged VPS45 GB SSD2 TB$25.00/mo4.7 / 5.0
Liquid WebManaged VPS40 GB SSD10 TB$29.00/mo4.8 / 5.0
*"Unlimited" is subject to the host's definition of reasonable resource consumption on shared servers.

What About a CDN?

On our blog, we've referred to the CDN as a game-changing technology for hosting.

Since web hosting customers are producing more content, the CDN is really coming into its own, and streaming media is one of its many specialties.

With a CDN, your streaming content is hosted in multiple locations (in your area and around the world), so it's served more quickly no matter where the user is based.

The technology is ideal for any website that needs very high uptime and good speeds. It is why it is used by gaming giant Steam.

A2 Hosting Softaculous Video Software

Should You Get a Third-Party CDN?

If your hosting provider doesn't offer media streaming, you could use a third party CDN to bridge the gap.

However, this means you have to deal with two providers just to publish your posts or content.

Watch Out for CDN Limits

Additionally, not all CDN providers will allow you to stream media, so check the specs carefully. You'll also need to weigh up the pros and cons of push vs. pull CDNs.

Is a CDN Right for You?

CDNs are very powerful, but they add a layer of complexity and a secondary cost. To conclude: keep it simple, if you can.

Choose a host that offers a robust streaming service. If you have the perfect host but no streaming support, a CDN could be the answer.

Pros and Cons of Hosting Your Own Audio and Video

Streaming audio and video is a serious endeavor. So it isn't a surprise that there are some major pros and cons of doing it yourself.

Great reasons to use streaming hosting to stream your own media:

  • You have complete control of your content
  • It's easier to edit content
  • You can customize media options

Important considerations that might cause you to avoid doing your own streaming:

  • It's expensive
  • You're responsible for all formatting and optimization
  • Not all hosts can scale with traffic.

More About the Pros of Streaming Your Own Media

Having complete control of content is helpful. When you upload content to a third-party site like YouTube or Vimeo, you waive some rights.

Additionally, you can't control who sees it, and have little control over other aspects (e.g., you can't choose specific pre-roll ad).

One of the best features of streaming your own content is your ability to control that content.

If you make changes to a video, you can simply replace it on your site if you're hosting it yourself. If you were on YouTube, your video rankings, comments, and stats would be wiped out.

Customization is also really important. You get to choose the exact formats to offer to visitors. For example, you can offer downloads or even live streaming.

More About the Cons of Streaming Your Own Media

Cost is probably the biggest thing that stops people from doing their own streaming. Video, and (to a lesser extent) audio, require a lot of storage space and bandwidth. And hosting that provides that does not come cheap.

Cost may seem like the biggest issue with streaming, but more important is your responsibility to make sure everything runs correctly — especially if you are selling streaming resources.

If you upload a video to YouTube (and then embed it), YouTube takes care of all that automatically. That is convenience that is hard to put a price on.

More than with most kinds of hosting, streaming is a place where you really have to be careful.

The more traffic you need, the more data you need to transfer. Some hosts scale better than others. You need to do your homework and pick the right host.

Final Thoughts

Streaming media is the future, and that future is now.

More and more, site visitors expect video and audio as part of your site. So don't get left behind.

Provide video or audio to your audience by getting a reliable streaming host today.



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