Ensuring your stream stays up – no matter what happens


Streaming is big business. According to steamscheme, the top 100 Twitch streamers make at least $32k a month. For the most part, things go smoothly for these people. Typically, they have been at it for a while, so know how to attract and build an audience and stay safe.

They also know how to handle trolls and bad actors. Sadly, where there is success online you will usually find people trying to put a spoke in the wheel. Why they do it is a mystery to most of us and the lengths they will go to are just breathtaking.

Handling swatting

Take for example swatting. Who would have thought someone would send armed police to someone´s house to stop them from streaming? Aside from the fact that it is against the law to make a false report and a waste of police resources, it is also highly dangerous. Yet, it happens more than you think. Recently, several streamers have spoken out about being victims of the practice.

They did so after Adin Ross got banned from Twitch when he was swatted during a live stream. You can read about it here. This prompted xQc to share his experience of having been swatted while streaming on numerous occasions.

Sadly, there is not a lot you can do to stop haters calling the police and saying that there is someone with a gun or in danger at the premises you are playing from. However, xQc has come up with a way to stop it from interfering with gameplay and streaming. People downstairs let the police in when asked to do so. The police then sweep each room to check nobody is in danger. Including the steaming room. But xQc´s streaming room enables an officer to see from the door that it is clear. Provided the cameras are at the right angles what is going on is not visible to viewers either. So, gameplay and streaming are not interrupted. So far, this solution has worked for xQc and while he continues to be swatted, the consequences of this action against him are minimal.

Guarding against equipment failure

The more successful your steam is the better the quality of your equipment can become. But it is important not to get complacent about the hardware and software you use. Just because your audio has never failed doesn´t mean it will never happen. In fact, the chances are that one day it will. Things break, it is as simple as that. Sometimes mid-stream, so it makes sense to have at least one backup for every piece of equipment that is used.

Making sure that it is easily to hand and can be set up quickly is essential. Nobody has signed in to watch you unravelling a cable and sticking your bum in the air while you grovel around on the floor trying to plug it in. If you stop playing, they will click away and do so in less than a minute.

Never skimp on your broadband

Even if you are just getting started with steaming, you really cannot afford to broadcast a stuttery stream. Any buffering is likely to see your few viewers leave in a high dudgeon. Worse, most of them will never come back and they certainly won´t be talking about you in glowing terms. So always be on the lookout for the fastest fibre broadband deals. If FTTH (fibre to the home) is available seriously consider signing up for it. Because this service runs on a network that is end-to-end fibre optic it is superfast. With FFTH it is possible to get a gig of upload speed and multiple gigs of download bandwidth. You can read more about how it works and the advantages of this type of network by clicking here.

Use a VPN

Wisely, most streamers use a VPN. It helps to protect your privacy and makes it far less likely that your ISP will throttle your connection. The right VPN can also contribute to the speed of your data exchange. But bear in mind that the wrong one can have the opposite effect. So regularly measure the performance of your VPN and switch if you need to.

Dead air will lose you your audience super fast

Research by TechRadar shows that 90 seconds is the max most viewers will hang around if a stream goes down. So, whether you are a seasoned steamer with a huge audience or just getting started make sure that you set yourself up so that you can broadcast live regardless of what happens around you.

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