26 Jun 2016

Three Things that Define the Best SHOUTcast Host

Three Things that Define the Best SHOUTcast Host

Are you thinking of paying for a SHOUTcast host to make your broadcasting endeavor a lot more convenient and reliable? Surely, you’re not thinking of getting the cheapest offer – are you? It is very important to consider the things that separate the subpar from the superb. That is what we will go over in this article!SHOUTcast host

Sufficient Bandwidth

Streaming is synonymous with data usage and simultaneous connections. That’s why hosting-service companies usually categorize their packages according to bandwidth allocation. If you’re not that familiar with these terms or concepts yet, just think of it like this. The more bandwidth you have on your plan, the more listeners you’ll be able to accommodate at any given time. Bandwidth allocation may also define how long your station stays online.

There’s another thing that this particular aspect of hosting affects – quality. Given that top-quality music (typically those in lossless formats at high bitrates) use a lot of bandwidth, your chosen plan’s data limits may force you to go for lower-quality options. While it’s not bad at all to play tracks that sound like they’re actually being transmitted through radio, your listeners might prefer something that sounds flawless.

The most remarkable SHOUTcast host should be able to offer you a wide range of packages, from those inexpensive, low-bandwidth options to the ones that can handle tons of data, albeit for a premium.

Tailored to Your Needs

If you’re serious about having your own radio station online, you need to consider the possibility of expanding your pursuit. Well, top notch hosting solutions generally come with options that allow for easy upgrades. These let you increase your bandwidth allocation or maximum number of connections without much hassle. In most cases, getting in touch with the customer support staff should be all you need to do.

Let’s say that you consistently get thousands of listeners. Most of them stay connected around the clock. What should you do to keep up with the demand? A company that claims to be the finest SHOUTcast host must be able to offer one straightforward solution – dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting may cost a lot, but you are practically guaranteed of having a most of the server’s total capacity allocated to just your radio station. Many companies offer this, but do not publish it – such as us. Just ask about it and see if they do!

With all of that in mind, remember that unlimited is not real. Keep in mind that resources are always a finite amount, don’t be fooled by a marketing scheme of “unlimited” listeners. There surely are limits, and in most cases, those hosts are among the most limited (read their Terms of Service and you’ll see!)

Superb Uptime Rating

There’s one last thing that defines greatness in the world of hosting – an excellent uptime rating. While this might seem like a complicated word, it’s actually quite simple. The higher a host’s uptime rating, the more reliable it is. Don’t believe in claims about certain media-streaming servers having perfect uptimes though – everything fails eventually. What’s important is that the length of time between failures makes the overall risk somewhat negligible.

Champion in Hosting

All in all, if you’re searching for the right SHOUTcast host, you must keep these things in mind. By taking these factors into account, you’ll know what to look for in choosing a host. You’ll know that you want to be working with us, Stream101!

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01 May 2016

Discontinuance of PayPal Subscriptions

Beginning on May 1st, 2016, we are no longer allowing PayPal Subscriptions to be created. Instead, we have moved to using PayPal Billing Agreements. Additionally, all active subscriptions will need to be moved to a Billing Agreement prior to June 1st, 2016 – at which time, all remaining subscriptions will be terminated.

What is a PayPal Billing Agreement?

A PayPal Billing Agreement (also called a “Reference Transaction” by PayPal) is a way of authorizing Stream101 to charge you for your purchases, making it easier for you to pay us.

Why did you switch?

As we advance and offer more services, our customers are purchasing different packages, adding additional items, changing packages, etc. With a PayPal subscription, you are forced to pay a specific amount on a specific date. Therefore if you upgrade plans, you need to either cancel your current subscription and start a new one, or manually pay/subscribe a second time. It is more hassle for you and us!

How do I change to a Billing Agreement from a Subscription?

This part is very easy! You can do it one of two ways:

  1. Follow the steps outlined here.
  2. Pay your next invoice manually by logging in and choosing “Automatic PayPal” as your payment option. It will automatically cancel your subscription and get you setup.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this change, feel free to open up a ticket to the billing department!

 

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04 Apr 2016

Let’s Encrypt – Open Source SSL Certificates Now Available at Stream101!

Let's Encrypt LogoLaunched in December of 2015, a new certificate authority named Let’s Encrypt entered Public Beta. With the launch of Let’s Encrypt, any website publisher could now obtain an SSL certificate for their website at absolutely no cost to them! Instead of having to purchase a dedicated IP, purchase an SSL certificate, configure and then install the certificate, our clients can now obtain and install a certificate in 2 clicks! We’ve gotten a few requests from some of our more tech savvy users about when we would be supporting Let’s Encrypt. Some of you have already implemented this, as we have been silently testing this feature for about 1 month now. We’re happy to announce that it is being publicly launched today!

What is Let’s Encrypt?

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). The main goal of Let’s Encrypt is to enable every website to have encryption available, ultimately making web browsing much safer! Stream101 is a huge supporter of this and is very excited to be a part of it.

So…make it simple for me. What are the benefits?

  • Super Easy Installation
  • No Dedicated IP Needed
  • Automatically Renewing
  • 100% Free!

How do I install my Let’s Encrypt Certificate at Stream101?

Installing your free certificate is as easy as logging into your cPanel account and clicking Install! Full details on how to install it can be found in this Knowledgebase Article.

Thank-You for choosing Stream101 and allowing us to help better the internet with your help!

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22 Nov 2013

Stream101 Web Hosting is Now IPv6 Ready!

Stream101 is proud to announce that our network is IPv6 ready as of 11/21/2013. All of our corporate site is now IPv6 ready, so if you have IPv6 enabled by your ISP, you should now be able to get to our website via IPv6. In addition, Stream101 will now be adding IPv6 support for all of our web hosting clients too!

Stream101 is staying ahead of the curve compared to a lot of providers. From our quick research, most hosting companies do not offer IPv6 at this time. We’re proud to say that we are IPv6 ready!

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28 Jul 2013

What is overselling and why can it be bad?

What is overselling? Overselling is defined as “the sale of a good or service in excess of actual capacity.”
Lets use the following example:
A server with 1TB of storage space
Large Plan: 20GB of Storage Each = 50 Clients
50 Clients x $15/month = $750
$750 is about what it costs for collocation fees and a portion of the electricity. This does not cover staff, bandwidth, upgrades, hardware maintenance, or software licenses.

Why is it bad? Overselling itself is not inherently a bad thing. It is how many hosting businesses function successfully. A company is the bad part, not the overselling. Anyone can purchase a decent server for about $500/month and load 1000 clients on it. The server will be slow, space will eventually run out, and the business will fail.

How is Stream101 Different? We pride ourselves with providing our customers with the best hosting experience possible. While we allow overselling, we have a limit to what we do. We’re experts when it comes to hosting. Unlimited anything does not exist. We know there is no unlimited hard drive, unlimited processor, unlimited ram, or unlimited bandwidth. This is why we do not offer unlimited. We offer reasonable amounts of hosting for a reasonable price. Sure our space is oversold, however our clustering setup allows the migration of clients to additional servers with no downtime. In our 6 years of doing this, we have NEVER run out of space on a server and we have NEVER had to migrate clients to another server due to it filling up. We never load servers past 60% disk space capacity.

How do you limit resources? We limit resources by utilizing a specialized operating system called CloudLinux. This allows us to tweak each account and limit users to not utilize too much of the server. In traditional hosting environments, one account can slow the entire server down. In our Stream101’s environment, a single user will only max out their account and slow only their account down. We can allocate more resources to individual accounts on a per case/temporary basis if needed and it will NOT effect any other users! In the past a single site with poorly written software could crash an entire website. This no longer is the case!

In reality, 99.99% of hosts oversell, us included. Of those, about 99.95% do it the incorrect way. Stream101 belongs to the elite 0.04% that does it the right way. The way that is geared for the customer’s needs.

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