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All about online streaming

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Nowadays everyone is talking about streaming. But do you know what streaming is exactly? And which streaming services are safe to use and which are illegal? What content can you actually view via online streaming on your mobile devices? We’ll give you the needed answers below.

Streaming has become more and more popular in recent years. Until a few years ago, the main focus lay on watching football matches live over the Internet, whereas today the main focus is on streaming series and films. However, many users have questions on this topic and are unsure which services are technically and legally safe to use. We have compiled all important information on the subject of stream services for you below.

What is streaming?

“Streaming" refers to playing online content on a PC, laptop, mobile phone or tablet, basically distinguishing between the terms live stream and stream. When following shows or broadcasts in real time, i.e. a European Championship game or the Eurovision Song Contest, this is called a live stream. However, streaming movies or series has nothing to do with real time. You can start, pause and continue viewing this content at any time, which makes it a stream. To guarantee a stream in high quality, a stable and fast Internet connection is required. Otherwise, the image on your monitor or display may freeze, stutter or jerk. You need a fast Internet line because data packets are transmitted and processed from the network at all times whilst streaming content. Unlike downloading files, however, the data is not permanently stored on your device, but only temporarily saved during the streaming time. By the way: Even watching a single video on YouTube is a stream, as there are data packets transferred during the process.

Internet connection too bad for streaming?

As described above, your Internet connection needs to be stable and fast for a smooth stream without interruptions. One major factor influencing this is the Internet speed available with your provider, which depends on your place of residence. In rural areas, the Internet connection may only allow a moderate speed. The second factor however is at least as important and can fortunately be optimized quickly: The strength of your wireless network. If your router, for example, is installed using the telephone jack in the corridor, but you are trying to watch a Eurocup game in the garden, you may need to amplify your WiFi. Your local TrustATec partner will be happy to advise you on the appropriate products, as the choice for the right repeater is an individual decision. Of course, our technicians will also help you with the installation and set-up of WLAN amplifiers. Further information on this topic can also be found in our expert advice "Expand your WiFi range - WiFi signal as far as your garden".

Settings and Internet Security

In general, wireless networks are encrypted with the highest possible security level. Depending on the brand you use, you can access these settings directly in your Internet browser via a web interface. The login details and the needed web address can be found on the back of your device. Connected WiFi repeaters automatically dial into the router network as an external device and usually adapt their security settings. Depending on the brand, however, this can differ: After connecting the amplifier, the device can be selected via mobile phone or tablet PC in its WiFi settings. It is then freely configurable. The security settings and encryption level can also be individualised here. As soon as the repeater is connected to the standard router, the wireless network is amplified in a certain radius. If you’d like support with this often complicated setup, do not hesitate to make use of our WiFi set-up service. Our trusted TrustAtec partners comes to your home and offers individual, competent help. They can also assist in case you need a hotel or a company wireless network set-up to guarantee a strong WiFi for your guests and customers. We will check your wireless network illumination and set up access points where necessary.

Streaming services - which are legal, which aren’t?

In the media it is often said that online streaming is a legal grey area and many users have already been fined or given warnings. But don't despair: This only applies to websites that stream sports broadcasts, films or series, although they do not own any rights to them. Well-known examples are "burningseri.es" and "kinox.to". These platforms show sport events even though, for example, Sky owns the rights to broadcast these and hence no other provider may broadcast them on the Internet free of charge. The same applies to most series or films whilst they are still running at the cinema. Although, as described above, the data packets are not permanently stored on your computer, in contrast to downloading, temporary buffering during consumption is already sufficient for rights owners and streaming providers to fight in court for years. By the way: Consumption - even of illegally made available content such as the latest cinema movies - is not punishable by law for end users. However, the mere fact of this movie being temporarily stored in your interim storage whilst watching it is a violation from a legal point of view and can be punished accordingly.

Netflix, Amazon Prime and the BBC Store

There are several different streaming services, like Netflix or Amazon Prime, offering a total and unlimited streaming offer at a fixed cost. All of these streaming services hold the rights to every movie or TV show shown, which means that you are neither in illegality nor in a grey area when using these. We recommend finding out which streaming service you should choose and subscribe to the streaming service of your choice.

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