In addition to their speed, broadband connections have a multi-channel capacity that dial-up connections lack. This means that you can use the Internet without occupying your phone line or adding a new one devoted just to online use. The speed and convenience of broadband has made it easier for people to get more done on the Internet.
Streaming technology allows video or audio files to be played while they are being downloaded to your computer. Streaming is a convenient way for playing video and audio files because those types of files can be so large that it takes some time to download them even on fast Internet connections. Streaming gets its name from the fact that data is delivered to your computer in a steady stream so that it can be viewed or heard at the proper pacing.
Streaming’s Use of Broadband
Video and audio streaming needs a broadband Internet connection in order to work at its best because streaming requires a fast connection that can carry large amounts of data. Video files, in particular, are very large and demanding on an Internet connection. If the streaming data does not stream to the recipient quickly enough, then the video or song being streamed will stutter or freeze altogether. If your broadband connection is fast enough, you also can enjoy live audio or video.
Streaming’s Effect on Broadband
Video and audio streaming consumes a great deal of the existing bandwidth in North America. According to a survey by Sandvine, video and audio streaming accounted for 49 percent of all downstream Internet traffic (traffic directed into users’ computers) in North America in March 2011. Video files, in particular, require a great deal of bandwidth, and Sandvine’s statistics indicated that Netflix, which streams videos from its website, represented 29.7 percent of all downstream traffic during peak time periods.