best web server for live streaming

The best web server for live streaming needs to offer reliable and efficient performance, be easy to set up, support high-traffic sites, and allow for powerful customization. This article also discuss live streaming server free and streaming server hosting free

We recommend the Silex Web Server for your live streaming needs, due to its high performance scalability and reliability.

best web server for live streaming

This is a list of streaming media systems. A more detailed comparison of streaming media systems is also availabl


  • Ampache – GPL/LGPL Audio streaming
  • atmosph3re – responsive web-based streaming audio server for personal music collection
  • Darwin Streaming Server – Apple Public Source License
  • datarhei Restreamer— Apache licensed media server for RTMP, HLS, and SRT with flexible FFmpeg API and graphical user interface
  • dyne:bolic – Linux live CD ready for radio streaming
  • emby – a media server/client that runs on Linux/Mac/Windows/freeBSD/docker & NAS devices with clients on Android TV/fireTV/Apple TV/Roku/Windows/PlayStation/Xbox/iOS & HTML5 Capable devices
  • FFserver included in FFmpeg (discontinued)[1][2]
  • Firefly Media Server – GPL
  • Flash Media Server
  • FreeJ – video streamer for Icecast – GPL
  • Helix Universal Server – delivers MPEG-DASH, RTSP, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), RTMP; developed by RealNetworks, discontinued since October 2014[3][4]
  • HelixCommunity – RealNetworks Open Source development community
  • Jellyfin – GPL-licensed fully open-source fork of Emby
  • Icecast – GPL streaming media server
  • IIS Media Services – Extensions for the Windows IIS web server that deliver intelligent progressive downloads, Smooth Streaming, and HTTP Live Streaming
  • Kaltura – full-featured Affero GPL video platform running on your own servers or cloud
  • LIVE555 – a set of open source (LGPL) C++ libraries for multimedia streaming; its RTSP/RTP/RTCP client implementation is used by VLC media player and MPlayer
  • Logitech Media Server – open source music streaming server, backboned by a music database (formerly SlimServer, SqueezeCenter and Squeezebox Server)
  • Nimble Streamer – freeware server for live and VOD streaming (transcoding function is not free)
  • nginx with Nginx-rtmp-module (BSD 2-clause)
  • OpenBroadcaster – LPFM IPTV broadcast automation tools with AGPL Linux Python play out based on Gstreamer
  • Open Broadcaster Software – open source streaming and recording program for Windows, Linux and OS X, maintained by the OBS Project
  • PlayOn – a media server that runs on a PC and supports Netflix streaming
  • Plex – a media server/client that runs on Linux/Mac/Windows with clients on iOS/Android/Windows/Mac/Linux
  • PS3 Media Server – GPLv2e media server for streaming to a PlayStation 3
  • Red5 – Apache licensed media server for RTMP and HLS
  • Rocket Streaming Audio Server (RSAS) – Audio-focused live streaming server for Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD.
  • QuickTime Broadcaster – Free on OS X
  • Sirannon – a GPL, C++ media server and client
  • SHOUTcast – audio streaming (HTTP and/or multicast)
  • SoundBridge
  • Starlight Networks – StarWorks and StarLive, early commercial Streaming products
  • TVersity Media Server – partially open source, web-based media server
  • Unreal Media Server – multi-protocol media server for streaming any file format and real time live audio/video to WebRTC, Flash, Silverlight, iOS, STB, HTML5 viewers
  • VideoLAN – GPL
  • Vidiator – Xenon Streaming Server
  • VMix – a software switcher, recorder and live streaming program for Windows, developed by Studio Coast PTY LTD
  • WebORB Integration Server
  • Windows Media Encoder
  • Windows Media Services
  • Wowza Streaming Engine – a media server for Flash, Silverlight, Apple iOS (iPhone/iPad), QuickTime, 3GPP mobile, IPTV and game console video/audio streaming

live streaming server free

You can watch live news free if you have a high-speed internet connection. All the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) are currently offering free 24-hour news streams.

You can also watch the latest news on your local affiliate networks (including PBS) for free if you have an over-the-air (OTA) HD antenna, which gives you access to daily and Sunday morning national news as well as daily local coverage.

Can your internet speed keep up with breaking news?

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Live TV news with an HD antenna

An HD antenna can help you get local information that national news networks ignore.

During the initial weeks of the new coronavirus outbreak, for example, I used my HD antenna to get local news about a 5.7 earthquake in Utah (where I live) that didn’t make it into the national news cycle.

An HD antenna is easy to install and usually costs less than $50. We recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 as a reliable and affordable option.

Free streaming news channels

In addition to the Big Four networks, there are a ton of free streaming news channels (too many for one article, in fact). So we’ll just stick to a dozen or so popular and upstart news networks that folks typically turn to for national news.

ABC News

Unlike your local ABC TV channel, the ABC News live feed gives you 24-hour news coverage. You can stream David Muir and company on any web browser or by downloading the ABC News app for free on your devices.

Al Jazeera

If you’re looking for international news coverage, Al Jazeera English is a solid option. Even though Al Jazeera US closed its doors last year, you can still livestream Al Jazeera in English using a web browser or a streaming device like Roku.


Curious how the stock market is (under)performing? Yeah, me neither. In all seriousness, though, Bloomberg delivers live financial news for free on any web browser and most streaming devices.

CBS News

Yes, the house that Cronkite built is available to stream for free online. You can watch CBS News on any web browser and your favorite devices by downloading the CBS News app—“And that’s the way it is.”

Cheddar News

Most folks will be unfamiliar with Cheddar News. That’s because Cheddar is a newcomer, billing itself as a leader in “post-cable” news. True to its brand, you can stream Cheddar from your web browser or a compatible device like Apple TV.


You can watch CNN for free on Pluto TV (Dr. Sanjay Gupta fans, rejoice!)—just download the Pluto TV app or watch from your web browser. Heads up, though, you’ll notice a difference from regular CNN programming because the stream consists of curated content broken up with ad blocks.

FOX News

Normally, FOX News requires a TV provider login to stream online. But FOX has stepped up to offer the FOX News live stream free on and the FOX News app, which you can download for free on your favorite device.

NBC News

It’s not as flashy as MSNBC or CNBC, but NBC News streams 24/7 for free online. You can watch live NBC News coverage using an internet browser window or your favorite device, such as a tablet or smartphone.


Want to watch your local news without having to hook up an HD antenna? NewsON features 200+ local channels nationwide streaming over the internet for free. In Salt Lake City, for example, I can stream my local CBS station using NewsON.


Familiar with the phrase “Okay, boomer”? Then you may have heard of Newsy—the millennial and Gen X–focused news network. Generational divides aside, you can stream Newsy for free using Sling Free and the Roku Channel.

PBS NewsHour

Currently, you can stream every PBS program for free, including PBS NewsHour, using your internet browser or streaming device. So if you’re down with arts reporting (even in heavy news times) from Jeffery Brown like we are, PBS NewsHour has got you—both live and on-demand.

Pro tip: The only live TV streaming services that carry PBS are YouTube TV (85+ channels for $64.99 per month) and DIRECTV STREAM (65–140+ channels for $69.99–$149.99 per month). Check out our comprehensive YouTube TV and DIRECTV STREAM reviews for more details.

Roku Channel

Less a channel and more an app on your Roku device, Roku Channel features dozens of free news and weather apps, including NewsON and USA Today. You won’t get cable news for free on Roku Channel, but chances are you’ll be able to find a local news station in its offerings.

streaming server hosting free

1. Youtube

YouTube is perfect if you want to host videos, create live video content, and share videos online to grow your subscribers. The best part? It’s also free!

With two billion users worldwide, YouTube is by far the most popular online video sharing platform in the world. It’s the second most visited social media site after Google and the second largest search engine. This makes it ideal for not only hosting but also reaching and building a massive audience online.

Video Upload Guidelines and Specifications for Youtube

  • Supported Video Formats: MPEG4, MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV, WMV, and WebM.
  • Supported aspect ratios: 16.9 and automatically adds frames for 4:3 videos.
  • Maximum resolution: 4K (3840×2160)
  • Maximum file size: 128GB
  • Maximum video length: 12 hours
  • Total file storage: Unlimited

Key Features:

  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world making it also a smart move for SEO to help you increase visibility online
  • You get a percentage of the ad revenue generated by your videos
  • Unlimited data storage and bandwidth
  • Includes privacy settings
  • Supports live streaming
  • Basic editing function
  • Embed videos easily
  • Basic analytics


  • Ads play automatically which can make videos seem unprofessional on a company website 
  • No video insights to see who watched your video
  • You have no control over the built-in player
  • Lacks more advanced editing capabilities
  • No download options

Pricing: Free

2. Facebook

If you’re looking for a platform to host your videos and distribute them across different markets, Facebook is your best bet. 

Facebook has the largest user population with 2.89 billion monthly active users, perfect for those looking for an audience. If you want an alternative to video hosting sites like Youtube, Facebook is a solid pick. Facebook is primarily a social media platform, it’s increasingly promoting video content through Facebook Watch, transforming the platform into one of the internet’s leading video distributors. 

While it has limitations since it’s a free platform, you can still find it helpful because it’s home to billions of users and is one of the best video-sharing platforms on the internet. Because groups are popular on Facebook, you can easily find targeted communities your audience might hang out in to share your videos with.

Video Upload Guidelines and Specifications of Facebook

  • Supported video formats: MP4, MPEG4, MOV, AVI, FLV, WMV, MKV, 3GPP, and more
  • Supported aspect ratios: square (1:1) or vertical (4:5, 9:16 and 16:9) aspect ratios
  • Maximum resolution: 1080p 
  • Maximum file size: 10GB
  • Maximum video length: 4 hours 
  • Total file storage: Unlimited

Key Features:

  • Great for brands with an ad budget who are looking to grow their audience
  • Free video sharing online using the embed feature.
  • Free unlimited video hosting online 
  • No file storage limit.
  • Live streaming


  • Organic reach on Facebook is terrible so you’ll most likely need an ad budget if you want to host videos and grow your audience
  • Videos are compressed to a lower resolution
  • Doesn’t have customizable players
  • Ads automatically play on videos

Pricing: Free

3. Google Drive

Google Drive is ideal if you prefer more private video hosting platforms and don’t care for using a platforms that doubles as a social network. With G-Drive you can host videos and collaborate with your team and stakeholders. 

Because it’s designed for cloud storage, Google Drive lacks the community-building aspect of social media platforms. However, you can still upload videos for free online (with limits), share video links with privacy settings, and watch your videos online.

Video Upload Guidelines and Specifications of Google Drive

  • Supported video formats: MPEG4, 3GPP, MOV, AVI, MPEG PS, WMV, FLV, MTS, WebM, and OGG
  • Maximum video resolution: 1920×1080
  • Maximum file size: 750GB each day 
  • Total file storage: Free Google accounts come with 15GB storage, but you can have as much as 5 TB if you have purchased that much storage

Key Features:

  • Free video content hosting of up to 15 GB
  • Supports caption tracks for videos
  • Paid video hosting up to 5 TB
  • Easy to access
  • Embed videos


  • Has limits on file size, playback resolution, and total storage space
  • You can expect technical difficulties during large video uploads
  • Video and digital file management is not the most user-friendly
  • Not all video types may work on all devices
  • No video analytics
  • No video editing

Pricing: Free and Paid Plans


Need an all-in-one video hosting site with a user-friendly interface? With VEED, you can record, edit, share, collaborate, and host videos all in one place! 

Content creators, entrepreneurs, coaches, and musicians love it because they don’t have to deal with the hassle of complex and time-consuming video editing. 

Companies and their teams love VEED because it makes creating onboarding videos, training videos, presentation videos, talking head videos, and sales videos easy even if you’ve never made a video in your life.

So if you’re looking for a YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo alternative that can do more in a single tool then VEED is for you.

Because VEED is cloud-based, it’s ideal for project-based teams. It also keeps all of your video projects online, so you don’t have to worry about limited storage space or slow file transfers. 

Video upload guidelines and specifications of VEED:

  • Supported Video Formats: VEED supports all popular video file formats including MP4, MKV, MOV, FLV, and AVI.
  • Maximum file size: up to 50MB for free and unlimited file size for premium plan holders but recommends keeping it under 2GB
  • Maximum video length: Unlimited but recommends keeping it less than 2 hours long
  • Total file storage: 2GB for free plans, 20 GB for Basic plan, 100 GB for Pro plan, and 1 TB+ for Enterprise plans.

Key Features:

  • Collaborative workspace with fast and secure video hosting where professionals can share, comment feedback, and download the finished video
  • Save videos with preset settings for social media like Instagram and YouTube
  • Use export presets to share videos in low or even 4K resolution
  • Brand kit to make videos that are always on brand 
  • Includes a webcam, screen, and voice recorder
  • Add up to two hours of automatic subtitles
  • Translate and transcribe audio files
  • Convert and compress videos


  • Not mobile-optimized (only usable on larger iPads)
  • No analytics 


  • Free 
  • Premium plan: $12/month per user
  • Pro plan: $24/ month
  • Enterprise plan: Contact for custom pricing

5. SproutVideo

SproutVideo is best for companies and experienced digital marketers who rely on video analytics to qualify leads. 

SproutVideo provides marketing teams collaboration and sharing tools, lead capture forms, audience building, and advanced video analytics to track engagement and grow their customer base. You can customize the player with ease and it’s also one of the best on-demand and video hosting platforms for businesses and marketers.

Video upload guidelines and specifications of SproutVideo

  • Supported Video Formats: All popular video formats including MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV, WMV, MKV, 3GPP, and more.
  • Supported resolution: HD, ultra-HD, 4K, and 8K resolutions
  • Supported aspect ratios: Landscape (16:9)
  • Maximum video length: Unlimited
  • Maximum file size: Up to 100GB
  • Total file storage: 500GB with 500GB of bandwidth

Key features:

  • Works with all major content management platforms, making it simple to embed videos on your website
  • Provides security features such as password protection, login security, and single sign-on
  • Has automatic bandwidth detection and quality adjustment features for smooth video playback
  • Offers social sharing buttons, lead capture forms, and CTA placements within the video
  • You can integrate with Mailchimp, Zapier, HubSpot, and other third-party tools
  • Lets you build a video website if you need it
  • Lets you create custom playlists
  • Provides video analytics
  • Supports live streaming


  • It’s a complex video hosting platform that can be challenging for inexperienced users 


  • Seed: $24.99/month 
  • Sprout: $59.99/month 
  • Tree: $199.99/month
  • Forest: $499.99/month

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