The Definitive Guide to Browser-Based Live Streaming Technology in 2022

By Fanny Elise Lagarde

28 Min Read

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Fanny Elise Lagarde

Fanny Elise was a part of the Dacast engineering team, and with her technical knowledge, helped the marketing team to engage readers with streaming content.

    Browser-based streaming is becoming popular as broadcasters are looking for platforms that don’t require any sort of download to use. Thanks to emerging protocols and standards, web-based live streaming is more accessible than ever.

    In this post, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about browser-based streaming. We are going to discuss what it is and how it works before we dive into 10 of the top browser-based live streaming platforms.

    To wrap things up, we will take a look at how Dacast could serve as an alternative to browser-based streaming.

    Table of Contents

    • What is Browser-Based Streaming?
    • Benefits of Browser-Based Streaming
    • Best Browser to Stream Video
    • How to Live Stream From Your Browser
    • Comparing the Top 10 Browser Streaming Platforms in 2022
    • Dacast: An Alternative Browser-Based Streaming 
    • Final Thoughts

    What is Browser-Based Streaming?

    Browser-based streaming
    Browser-based streaming is becoming more popular.

    Browser-based live streaming, which is also called “web-based streaming,” is a type of live streaming that is hosted through a web-based portal rather than through a downloaded app. The advance towards this technology has been the natural progression from the development of browser-supported video players, like the HTML5 video player.

    This is different from streaming through a platform that requires you to download an app. Typically, downloadable streaming solutions use a combination of RTMP and HLS to transport and deliver their live streams. Since RTMP streaming isn’t compatible with most browsers, web-based streaming requires a different setup.

    Two notable streaming technologies that support browser-based streaming are WebRTC and SRT. Both are universal in terms of browser compatibility, but neither is widely supported by streaming apps. Each gives access to secure, low latency streaming which is certainly attractive to broadcasters  who are looking to live stream from their browser.

    Benefits of Browser-Based Streaming

    In addition to the ability to tap into the benefits of SRT and WebRTC technology, browser-based streaming is known for its simplicity. These platforms typically have slightly different functionality than streaming apps.

    Many in-browser streaming platforms mesh in with live streaming software for production or simulcasting, but they are generally less powerful than dedicated apps.

    Since it doesn’t require a download, streaming with a browser-based platform is typically as simple as signing into the site, setting up sources, and starting the stream. This is a great way to go if you are looking to quickly start a live stream. 

    Web-based streaming solutions are also generally more affordable than apps, which is another obvious plus. If you want to live stream without a big investment, web browser live streaming is a great choice.

    Best Browser to Stream Video

    After choosing a browser-based platform to live stream with, you need to access to choose what browser to use to access the platform. Most browser-based platforms support live streaming through the major browser used on Windows and Mac computers, such as:

    • Google Chrome
    • Safari 
    • Edge 
    • Firefox

    When choosing a web-based streaming platform to work with, check and see what browsers their platform works well with in order to ensure you have the right browser downloaded on your computer. The best browser to stream live video from is one that works with your web-based streaming platform.

    How to Live Stream From Your Browser

    In order to stream from your browser, you’re going to need the support of a browser streaming platform. There are quite a few of these on the market that is geared towards different use cases. Many of them support live event streaming, webinar hosting, communication, and collaboration. The key is to choose one with the features that your business needs for web-based streaming.

    Comparing the Top 10 Browser Streaming Platforms in 2022

    Now that you understand what web-based streaming is and how it works, let’s take a look at the top 10 browser streaming platforms on the market.

    1. StreamYard

    streamyard live streaming platform
    StreamYard is one of the top browser-based streaming platforms available. Source: Streamyard.com

    StreamYard is a relatively basic browser-based streaming platform. It is well-suited for broadcasters with minimal needs that just need something to get the job done.

    This dedicated streaming platform is primarily designed for increasing audience reach and engagement. One of the most valuable features of StreamYard is brand customization.

    Key Features:

    • Cinematic and design elements
    • Simulcasting support
    • Multiple presenters at once
    • Screen presenting
    • Basic platform

    Pros:

    • Very easy to use
    • Designed for improving engagement
    • Suitable for collaborative streaming

    Cons:

    • No monetization
    • Does not support VOD hosting
    • Reports of browser incompatibility 

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    StreamYard upload guidelines and specs are not available.

    Pricing:

    StreamYard offers four different pricing plans. These include:

    • Free: Access StreamYard on a limited basis for free.
    • Basic: $20/month; access some advanced streaming features, including unlimited streaming, brand customization, graphic overlays, simulcasting, and stream recording.
    • Professional: $39/month;
    • Enterprise: StreamYard also offers enterprise plans that are priced on a case-by-case basis.

    These reflect the monthly pricing when billed annually. Paying month-to-month is a bit more expensive.

    If you need browser streaming software that allows you to go live with more than one presenter but doesn’t have any built-in monetization options, StreamYard could be the right solution for you. 

    2. Restream

    Restream Broadcasting Software
    Restream Studio supports browser-based live streaming. Source: restream.io

    Restream is an in-browser streaming platform that is popular in the gaming, tech, government, sports, media, and music industries. The platform specializes in multistreaming but offers some other streaming products.

    Restream Studio is a specific offering that is geared towards live streaming. This solution is specifically designed to help broadcasters extend their reach and build an engaging audience.

    Key Features:

    • Web-based live streaming
    • Supports simulcasting
    • Designed to boost engagement and promote interactions
    • Offers support for peer-to-peer streaming
    • Brand and aesthetic customization
    • Scheduled streaming for pre-recorded content

    Pros:

    • Simple platform
    • Suitable for collaborative streaming
    • Brand customization 
    • Tools for increasing engagement 

    Cons:

    • In-browser streaming is a secondary feature

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Recommended dimension: 1920×1080
    • Aspect ratio: Unavailable
    • Max file size: 2GB (for pre-recorded streams)
    • Max video length: 1-4 hours (depends on plan)
    • Total file storage: 10 videos
    • Compatible video formats: MP4, MKV, M4V, MOV

    Pricing:

    Restream has several pricing plans for both individuals and businesses. These include the following plans:

    Individuals:

    • Free: $0/months (for individuals)
    • Standard: $19/month (for individuals)
    • Professional: $49/month (for individuals)

    Companies:

    • Premium: $99/month (for businesses)
    • Business: $299/month (for businesses)

    These prices reflect monthly rates when paid monthly, and offer discounts when paid for a full year in advance.

    Restream is a simple browser streaming software that allows you to stream live and pre-recorded content using a simple interface with straightforward pricing. 

    3. Wowza

    cloud streaming platform wowza
    Wowza is an app that also supports in-browser streaming. Source: Wowza.com

    Wowza is an online video platform that is dedicated to both live and on-demand streaming. Wowza’s main purpose is to help developers, event producers, and technical entrepreneurs deliver live streams to their audiences. It is known for its compatibility, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

    Wowza is a bit different than the other platforms that we are discussing here. Its primary offering is a downloadable streaming app, but it is also capable of in-browser streaming via WebRTC technology.

    This platform is capable of 4K streaming, live stream recording, and customization via APIs.

    Key Features:

    Pros:

    • Tools for engagement
    • Video analytics
    • All-device streaming
    • China video delivery

    Cons:

    • No monetization support
    • Single-camera feed only
    • No event scheduling

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 240p (320 x 240)
    • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
    • Max file size: Not available
    • Max video length: Not available
    • Total file storage: 250 GB (depends on the plan)
    • Compatible video formats: MP4, FLV, MP3, SMIL, AMLST, ID3, NGRP

    Pricing:

    Wowza recently overhauled its pricing plans and added several options. These are split into 2 main tiers: Streaming Cloud and Streaming Engine.

    Wowza Streaming Cloud:

    Wowza Streaming Cloud offers 3 distinct pricing plans and services.

    Live Event Pricing, monthly plans include:

    • Pay As You Go: $29/month, with a 3-month minimum; flexible streaming with low startup costs
    • Basic: $99/month; includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1000 viewing hours based on video resolution of 720p
    • One Month Event: $149 one-time purchase; includes 20 hours of live streaming and 1000 viewing hours also at 720p
    • Plus: $499/month; includes 150 hours of live streaming and 7000 viewing hours based on video resolution of 720p

    All the Live Event plans reflect rates when paid monthly and include full brand control, adaptive-bitrate streaming, and HD and UHD streaming.

    Wowza Streaming Engine:

    The Wowza Streaming Engine has its own pricing plans. These professional-grade streaming plans are billed annually and include:

    • Basic: $175/month + $195/month for each additional instance and $125/month for each additional prepaid instance
    • One Month Event: $295/month + $295month for each additional instance and $95/month for each additional prepaid instance
    • Enterprise: Please contact Wowza directly for access to their custom-tailored high volume enterprise solutions

    Wowza is a complete video hosting platform, with an option for web browser live streaming as one of the many features they offer. 

    4. Lightstream

    Lightstream browser streaming platform
    Lightstream is a cloud-based platform that supports in-browser streaming. Source: golightstream.com

    Lightstream is a cloud-based in-browser streaming platform that is designed for live streaming at the professional level. It has features that make it suitable for podcasting, gaming, music streaming, and more. This is platform is particularly useful for broadcasters that are looking to expand their audiences and extend their reach.

    Lightstream supports simulcasting to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.

    Key Features:

    • Simulcasting support
    • Cinematic and aesthetic effects
    • Tools for audience engagement
    • Remote stream control
    • Customization through integrations
    • Customer support

    Pros:

    • Plans for different budgets
    • Wide range of professional streaming features
    • Live chat support

    Cons:

    • Some complaints about sound issues

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 720p
    • Maximum dimension: 1080p
    • Aspect ratio: Unavailable
    • Max file size: 500MB
    • Max video length: Unavailable
    • Total file storage: Unavailable
    • Compatible video formats: Unavailable

    Pricing:

    Lightstream splits its pricing into “Gamer” and “Creator” categories. Here’s how they are broken down:

    Gamer:

    Gamer plans are very basic and they only support streaming from an Xbox or PlayStation to Twitch. The following pricing is based on per month billing:

    • $8/month: 720p 30FPS max resolution
    • $12/month: 720p 60FPS max resolution
    • $16/month: 1080p 30FPS max resolution

    Creator:

    Creator plans (pricing is based on monthly billing) come with access to more advanced features, including remote guest support, multiple RTMP sources, custom RTMP destinations, and screen sharing.

    • $25/month: 720p 30FPS max resolution
    • $28/month: 720p 60FPS max resolution
    • $50/month: 1080p 30FPS max resolution

    Livestream targets gamers and creators who are looking to offer a professional experience through a web browser live streaming platform. 

    5. Brandlive

    Brandlive browser streaming platform
    Brandlive offers several in-browser streaming solutions. Source: brandlive.com

    Brandlive is an in-browser streaming platform that offers a few different solutions. Brandlive sets out to help companies “create magic” to connect with their audiences through virtual events.

    The platform’s Event solution allows users to access web-based live streaming tools. Their other plans include Greenroom, Showrooms, and Allhands which use web-based streaming technology but serve different purposes. 

    Key Features:

    • Design customization for branded streaming
    • Engagement tools to enhance the viewers’ experience 
    • Users report that it is best suited for Mac 
    • Event registration management
    • Integrations with other tools to improve workflows

    Pros:

    • The supportive customer service team
    • Professional streaming experience
    • Wide range of features

    Cons:

    • Requires some video production experience for best results
    • Some complaints of glitchiness

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    Brandlive does not publish its upload guidelines and specs.

    Pricing:

    Brandlive does not publish pricing information. 

    Brandlive is built around supporting the streaming of live events through web browser live streaming, with professional tools included. It is for people with video production experience who want to live stream from a browser. 

    6. BlueJeans

    bluejeans platform
    BlueJeans is a live streaming and web conferencing software. Source: bluejeans.com

    BlueJeans, which is powered by Verizon, is a web-conferencing and live streaming platform that is well-suited for streaming at the professional level. It offers plans for Meetings, Events, and Gateway for Teams (which hooks up a video chat portal in conference rooms).

    The majority of the offerings from BlueJeans are geared towards clients with larger streaming needs.

    Key Features:

    • Video conferencing 
    • Event streaming
    • Uses WebRTC
    • Real-time analytics 
    • Event scheduling
    • Free trial available
    • Tools for streamlining internal communication

    Pros:

    • Suited for professionals
    • Wide-range of functionality
    • Supports scalable streaming
    • Great for keeping teams connected

    Cons:

    • Some plans lack essential features 
    • Required equipment for in-office streaming is a bit pricey

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 90p (160×90)
    • Maximum dimension: 720p HD (1280×720 at 30 FPS)
    • Aspect ratio: N/A
    • Max file size: N/A
    • Max video length: 2 hours
    • Total file storage: N/A
    • Compatible video formats: .AVI, .F4V, .FLV, .M4V, .MOV, .MP4, .MPEG, .MPG, .OGG, .OGV, .WEBM, AND .WMV

    Pricing:

    BlueJeans breaks its streaming pricing down into three main categories: Meetings, Events, and Gateways for Teams. Let’s take a look at how each of these categories is laid out.

    Virtual Meetings:

    Meetings plans are designed for internal communication among professional teams and pricing is based on annual billing.

    • Standard: $9.99/month
    • Pro: $13.99/month
    • Enterprise: $16.66/month
    • Enterprise Plus: Custom-priced based on each company’s needs

    Webinars/Events:

    Events plans are built to host webinars and other interactive events.

    • Webinars: $50/month billed monthly or $500/year billed annually
    • Large-Scale Video Events: Custom-priced

    Gateway for Microsoft Teams:

    This type of plan is used to hook up video calls in conference rooms.

    • Per Room Plan: $45/month billed monthly or $468/year billed annually. Customers are able to purchase up to 19 rooms.
    • Large-Scale Deployment Plans: Custom-priced

    BlueJeans charges you based on the type of web browser live streaming you want to conduct – virtual meetings, webinars, or events. They are geared towards more professional customers. 

    7. Melon

    melonapp web-based streaming platform
    Melon is a browser-based streaming and simulcasting tool. Source: melonapp.com

    Melon is an in-browser streaming platform that is designed to help broadcasters stream to multiple of the top social streaming platforms at once. These include Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more. 

    Key Features:

    • Streaming in “5 clicks”
    • White-label streaming (on paid plans)
    • Simulcasting support
    • Audio-only recording 
    • Media upload

    Pros:

    • Free plan available for testing the features
    • Reliable platform
    • Customizable experience
    • Feature-rich platform

    Cons:

    • No mobile app for convenience
    • Single source streaming only
    • Not suitable for large scale events

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: N/A
    • Maximum dimension: 1080p
    • Aspect ratio: N/A
    • Max file size: 300MB
    • Max video length: 4 or 10 hours (depends on plan)
    • Total file storage: 30 days recording storage
    • Compatible video formats: N/A

    Pricing:

    Melon offers three pricing plans, including:

    • Free: limited live streaming with up to two participants
    • Standard: $12.50; white-label streaming with up to 6 participants; unlocks simulcasting
    • Pro: $37.50/month; unlimited simulcasting destinations; 9 participants

    These prices reflect Melon’s rates when paid annually. Paying monthly costs up to $125 more per year.

    If you are looking for web browser live streaming and simulcasting all in one place, Melon could be a good choice for your live streaming needs. 

    8. YouTube

    youtube live streaming app
    YouTube is a very popular consumer-grade streaming site. Source: youtube.com

    YouTube is a Google-owned website that supports web-based streaming. This platform is not suitable for streaming at the professional level. It has strict limitations on monetization and does not really offer access to professional tools.

    Aside from the limited feature support, YouTube requires that broadcasters give up partial ownership of their content when they upload it to the platform. This alone turns many professional broadcasters off from the social video platform.

    Key Features:

    • Ad-based monetization (with restrictions)
    • No real privacy or security features
    • Popular among consumers
    • Easy to use
    • Videos can be embedded in other websites
    • No white-label capabilities

    Pros:

    • Free to use
    • YouTube is a household name, so viewers are comfortable using it
    • Easy to use (for both viewers and broadcasters)
    • Easy to embed video player
    • Live and VOD hosting

    Cons:

    • No white-label streaming
    • Limitations on live streaming
    • Strict content restrictions
    • YouTube owns rights to content
    • Distracting third party ads and branding

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 240p (426 x 240)
    • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (adds padding to videos with other aspect ratios)
    • Max file size: 128 GB
    • Max video length: 12 hours
    • Total file storage: No storage limit
    • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MPEG4, FLV, AVI, Web M, WMV, MPEG-PS, 3GPP

    Pricing:

    Youtube is free to use.

    If you need something that is quick and easy to use for web browser live streaming, you can always turn to YouTube. Keep in mind that although this platform is free, there are trade-offs you have to make when using YouTube. YouTube owns the rights to your content and includes distracting third-party advertising and branding. 

    9. Twitch

    Twitch Live Streaming Platform
    Twitch is a popular social streaming platform that uses in-browser streaming. Source: twitch.tv

    Twitch is a live streaming site that has functionality similar to a social media platform. It is very popular among niche streamers, particularly gamers.

    It is free to stream on Twitch since it is a consumer-grade platform. Viewers can subscribe to their favorite streamers so that they are alerted when they go live, which helps if you are looking to build an online community.

    Key Features:

    • Viewers can “Tip” streamers
    • Geared towards gamer streaming
    • Built-in chat tools
    • Helps streamers reach a niche audience

    Pros:

    • Free to use
    • Pretty easy for beginners
    • Designed to promote community engagement 

    Cons:

    • Not suited for corporate use
    • Encoding tools may be required
    • Limited monetization support
    • Strict community guidelines

    Upload Guidelines and Specs:

    • Minimum dimension: 720p (1280 x 720)
    • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
    • Max file size: Not available
    • Max video length: 48 hours
    • Total file storage: Not available
    • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV

    Pricing:

    Twitch is free for content creators, but the platform allows them to make money from their viewers. This program is called Twitch Subscriptions, and it includes 3 tiers:

    • Tier 1 subscription: $4.99/month
    • Tier 2 subscription: $9.99/month
    • Tier 3 subscription: $24.99/month

    Twitch is a popular web browser live streaming solution geared towards gamers and creators. You can make money through subscription fees once you meet Twitch’s qualifications requirements. 

    10. Facebook Live

    facebook live streaming app
    Facebook is another consumer-grade site that supports web-based streaming. Source: Facebook.com

    Facebook is a very popular social media platform that supports in-browser live streaming. Its popularity makes it very valuable for connecting with existing audiences and followings.

    Facebook is commonly used by businesses and organizations that just getting started with video hosting and live streaming. Since the platform is free, Facebook poses challenges related to video ownership, time constraints on videos, monetization, and more.

    Although Facebook fully supports in-browser streaming, the Facebook app can also be downloaded for streaming from mobile devices.

    Key Features:

    Pros:

    • Free to use
    • The platform is popular and familiar among viewers
    • Built-in chat promotes interactions and engagement
    • Connect with an existing audience 

    Cons:

    • Limited monetization support
    • Videos are capped at 90 minutes
    • No white-label streaming

    Upload Guidelines and Specs: 

    • Minimum dimension: 720p (1280×720) 
    • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920×1080)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 9:16, 2:3, 4:5, 1:1
    • Max file size: 4 GB
    • Max video length: 90 minutes
    • Total file storage: No storage limit
    • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MPEG4, AVI, 3GPP, WMV, FLV, MKV

    Pricing:

    Facebook is free to use.

    For web-based live streaming that allows for access to a larger audience, Facebook is always a top choice. 

    Dacast: An Alternative to Browser-Based Streaming

    browser-based streaming alternative
    Some broadcasters may require the support of a downloadable program.

    While browser-based streaming might be a good option for some broadcasters, it is not the only option. A downloadable streaming solution may be a better choice for broadcasters with more advanced streaming and professional video hosting needs.

    Dacast is a unified streaming solution that offers a wide range of professional broadcasting features. These features include API access for customization, white-label streaming, HTML5 video player, easy embedding, video monetization, video privacy and security, privacy tools, an OTT Platform for VOD hosting, and more.

    Dacast has multiple live streaming pricing plans for organizations of all sizes and budgets. Here is a quick summary of all plans:

    • Starter Plan: $39/month (includes 1,000 GB of bandwidth & 50 GB of storage)
    • Event Plan: $63/month (includes 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage)
    • Scale Plan: $188/month (includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage)
    • Custom planContact us for custom pricing plans

    To learn more about advanced video hosting, video transcoding, unlimited live channels, and other custom options, please reach out to Dacast’s support.

    Dacast recently released a new feature offering browser-based streaming. This functionality is a great addition to our current streaming live streaming offerings.

    Final Thoughts

    Browser-based streaming is growing in popularity due to its simplicity and ease of access. Many of the browser streaming platforms we discussed in this post are merged with either simulcasting or web conferencing technology to create a unique streaming experience.

    Some web-based streaming solutions are suitable for larger companies, but many are far too simple for broadcasting at an advanced level.

    Looking for a streaming solution that is a bit more powerful than the web-based streaming platforms we’ve discussed above? Why not give Dacast a try? Take advantage of our 14-day risk-free trial to see how our features can help you reach your streaming goals.

    Create a Dacast account today to get started. No credit card is required.

    Get Started For Free

    For exclusive offers and regular tips on live streaming, you can also join our LinkedIn group.

    author avatar

    Fanny Elise Lagarde

    Fanny Elise was a part of the Dacast engineering team, and with her technical knowledge, helped the marketing team to engage readers with streaming content.

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