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There are two ways to view videos online – downloading or streaming – two words you’ve probably heard before. But do you know the difference between the two?
Downloading is just that, downloading a video file to your computer in its entirety. Once it’s saved, you can hit play and enjoy. Streaming works kind of like a streaming river – the data is hosted on another server that streams or transmits the information to you over a computer network in a continuous flow of data. YouTube is a form of video streaming.
So what’s the better format to use when producing your own videos? Let’s look at some pros and cons for you to consider:
- Streaming can be a faster overall process since the video can play right then and there without having to go through the download process, however;
- High-resolution videos (meaning larger files) may require more bandwidth or internet speed for streaming or else they won’t play as smoothly as they would if they were downloaded first.
- When streaming, viewers must be online, whereas once a video is downloaded, viewers can watch it offline.
- To stream, videos must be played via servers such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
- Viewers will not be able to save streamed videos on their devices.
If you wish to prevent users from saving your video files, don’t give them a download option. To maintain control of the video, you should consider using a media server like YouTube to distribute your video and stream to viewers. There are pros and cons to using YouTube you should know as well, but we will cover those in one of our next articles.