What You Need for IRL Live Streaming
To answer the question above: all you basically need is a smartphone for IRL streaming. But then, the video quality will not be as high as if you would be using a dedicated video camera. Plus – have you considered what happens when the Internet doesn’t work? Remember those choppy videos, buffering screens or even disconnects when you’re live streaming?
If you want your IRL stream to be full-proof, you need more than just a smartphone. And we’re here to tell you how to stream IRL – more precisely: the shopping list for IRL live streaming!
How to IRL Stream – The Equipment You Need
The smartphone will be needed for its camera and live streaming apps / capabilities. But, along with that, you also need to have fast and stable Internet, so you don't get stuttering video, buffering or disconnects.
Here's a sample list of components we used in our IRL streaming gear budget alternative. As long as you find similar hardware with the same functionalities, you should be good to go.
Sample components and costs
- Smartphone: iPhone 11 Pro or newer / equivalent to that in terms of video – $0 if you already have that.
- Computer: Raspberry Pi 4 – $55
- Computer accessories: GeeekPi Acrylic Case with Fan RPi 4 – $10
- Battery pack: $38.
- Organizer: Cocoon GRID IT! Accessory Organizer – $11
- Camera support: Smatree telescoping selfie stick – $23
- Backpack: Jansport backpack – $30
- Mobile connections: USB cellular dongles, tethered smartphones
- Speedify channel bonding VPN – $4.99 / month
- [Optional] Dedicated streaming solution, if you want to multistream. You can also just live stream directly from the platform's app - YouTube, Facebook Live, Instagram, etc.
The total budget for this IRL streaming gear is about $200 plus the cost of the smartphone, if you don't have one that will be adequate. This is still significantly cheaper than the Gunrun backpack. Plus – you may not need to purchase all of this equipment if you already have similar items available.
Why Do I Need Channel Bonding for My IRL Stream?
Because you want to stream from anywhere and you’ll surely experience unreliable Internet at some point. The most common situations where you might encounter these type of connectivity issues live streams include:
- When traveling / on the go – on the street, bus, train. You may be connected to a bad / spotty WiFi hotspot.
- In crowded areas – the available bandwidth for both WiFi and cellular data connections may not be sufficient to serve everyone on a stadium, at a concert or at a frat house party.
- At home – if your ISP is doing maintenance work right when you’re broadcasting live streams. Or if they’re throttling your connection.
Here’s what happens: if the connection is unreliable, you may not be live streaming at a high resolution due to limited available bandwidth, so your videos may appear jittery or choppy. Plus – if your Internet connection is spotty and disconnects for some reason – you will lose many of your viewers at least for that specific stream.
So – your IRL streaming equipment has to be able to handle unfriendly Internet conditions while streaming live.
Essential and Decent IRL Streaming Item for Your Backpack: Speedify App!
Speedify is the perfect IRL streaming backpack companion. It’s a powerful software app that gets you faster, more reliable and secure Internet. Speedify allows you to use multiple Internet connections at the same time. Speedify runs on computers, smartphones, tablets and various devices that run Linux, including Raspberry Pi. Depending on the device, you can combine any mix of two or more WiFi networks, cellular networks and wired networks. By doing that, you’re not only solving the reliability aspect of live streaming through the automatic Internet failover mechanism, but also the bandwidth and latency issues.
In order to combine 2 or more Internet connections at once, Speedify uses channel bonding technology. It’s the only standalone software service that does that. See below how we managed to combine 10 connections at the same time.
If one of your connections fails, Speedify automatically reroutes all the traffic through your other available connection(s). This happens in the background without you having to do anything. When the dropped connection is back online, Speedify will pick it up and start using it again.
Speedify Fast Bonding VPN vs Other Channel Bonding Services: Which is Best for Your IRL Streaming Backpack?
Channel bonding technology is key to a fast and reliable Internet connection when live streaming. It is not restricted to a single implementation architecture. You can choose a mixed hardware-software solution from companies like Peplink and Mushroom Networks. Or just go with the software-only implementation by Speedify, which you can also deploy on a hardware device of your choice running Linux.
Many people choose broadband bonding solutions that include dedicated bonding hardware pieces, such as bonding routers or multi-wan (SD-WAN) networking devices. If you’re planning to adopt a hybrid hardware-software solution, here are some things you should consider.
- Performance – You will be limited by the performance of your bonding hardware and sometimes even by the software. You may have smartphones or computers that can go faster, but it won’t make any difference.
- Flexibility – Will this solution still be usable if you change something in your current setup?
- Scalability – Hardware gets old quickly. Does the solution include free upgrades for hardware?
- Cost of implementation – Hardware adds a cost to the final solution.
On the other hand, if you choose a software-only bonding VPN solution like Speedify, the benefits are straightforward. The only limitations you’ll have are related to:
- the devices you’re using and what type of network connections they support.
- the speeds of the Internet connections you’re planning to combine.
There are no flexibility or scalability issues. When it comes to cost, Speedify is only a fraction the price of mixed hardware-software solutions for bonding Internet connections! Make sure you get that for your IRL stream setup!