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What is Streaming?

by SW Team

The term "streaming" has undoubtedly gone from being a mere technological fad to a fundamental part of the way we consume content online. From music to video games, live lectures to movies, streaming has transformed the way we access and enjoy content on the internet. But what exactly is streaming and how does it work?


What is Streaming?

In simple terms, streaming refers to the continuous delivery of multimedia data over a network, allowing users to consume content without the need to fully download it before playing it. This is in contrast to traditional downloading, where you need to wait for a file to download completely before you can access it.

How does it work?

The streaming process involves several key components, one of the most important of which is the streaming server. This server is responsible for storing media content and distributing it to users as they request it. For a server to function properly for streaming, it needs a robust internet connection, sufficient storage capacity and adequate processing power to handle multiple streaming requests simultaneously.

In addition to the server, the streaming process requires a client, which is the device from which the content is accessed, such as a computer, smartphone or smart TV. The client connects to the server via the internet and receives the multimedia data that is played back in real time.

Examples of Streaming Application:

  1. Entertainment: Platforms such as Netflix, Spotify and Twitch are prominent examples of how streaming has revolutionised the way we consume media content, from movies and music to live broadcasts of video games.

  2. Education: In education, streaming is increasingly being used to deliver online classes, webinars and real-time interactive educational content.

  3. Live Events: From concerts to conferences, streaming allows people around the world to participate in events in real time, eliminating geographic barriers and improving accessibility.

Which is better for us: downloading or streaming?

Although downloading and streaming may seem similar in the sense that they both involve accessing digital content, there are fundamental differences that affect the user experience and the way in which content is consumed.


When we download content, we are transferring the entire file from a server to our local device before we can access it. This means that the file is physically stored on our device, allowing us to access it without the need for an internet connection once the download is complete. However, the download process can take time, especially for large files, and storage space on the device can become a limiting factor, especially for those with devices with limited capacity.


Watching a Streaming:

Streaming, on the other hand, involves the continuous delivery of multimedia data over an internet connection in real time. Instead of downloading the entire file before playing it, content is streamed in a progressive manner, allowing users to start watching or listening to the content almost instantly, without waiting for the download to complete. This offers a more immediate and convenient experience, as it requires no storage space on the device and allows access to a wide range of content without compromising storage capacity.

Main Differences:

  1. Access Time: Downloading content can take time, while streaming allows access to content almost immediately.

  2. Storage Space: Downloading requires storage space on the device, while streaming does not.

  3. Internet Connection: Streaming relies on a stable and fast internet connection for smooth playback, while downloading allows offline access to content once the download is complete.

The Future of Streaming:

The future of streaming looks promising and full of exciting innovations. With the continued advancement of technology, we can expect improvements in streaming quality, faster loading times and greater personalisation of content. In addition, virtual reality and augmented reality are emerging as new frontiers for streaming, which could radically change the way we interact with digital content.

In short, streaming is not just a passing trend, but a transformative technology that is here to stay. From its application in entertainment to education and beyond, streaming is redefining the way we connect with the digital world, and its future promises an even more exciting and exciting landscape of possibilities.