This is a bit of a rant— mostly cos in the past few weeks we’ve seen some of the streamers we follow get hit with Internet issues and they’ll usually blame their ISP. Yeah comcast and charter/spectrum fucken suck but the vast majority of the time they’re not going to be the entity at fault. If you are a “professional” streamer, i.e. you have income from your streams, you owe it to yourself to ensure your Internet connection is actually functional at all times. So this here is for you. Why? Cos all the time we see people spend thousands of dollars on computer hardware (their gaming/streaming rig plus accessories, monitors, lighting, camera, microphone/headset, etc etc) and yet… they still connect their computer to the Internet via wifi.
Then they wonder why they’re lagging in fucken fortnite or why the audio is running half a second behind video on twitch. Bitch pls.
Particularly egregious when it’s people who know better but they just choose not to do it for whatever reason, chief among them that “landlord won’t allow it”. Run that Ethernet cable with command hooks if your have to, gawdamn, but do something.
We’re not a streamer but we do work in IT. A proper, trouble-free setup would replicate what we have right now here at home.
- Get a power-efficient computer. Doesn’t have to be expensive, we’re using one of these we bought for $30 USD.
- Install an extra network card on that computer (another $10 USD). If you get something like this it already has an extra LAN interface and they even throw in one year of tech support. If you’re cheap just go download pfsense and install it yourself, it’s free.
- Get a decent switch like this one with built-in PoE and gigabit ports all around.
- Get one or two wifi access points like these to handle phones, tablets and streaming boxes.
You plug the wifi access points into the switch (they get power via Ethernet), then the switch into the “router”. Turn everything on, then follow the instructions for setting up pfsense. If you’ve ever installed Windows on a computer this all works at the same level of tech skill.
With everything set up (and it isn’t that hard if you’re even somewhat technically inclined and you follow a youtube tutorial like this one) you now have a better network setup that most small businesses out there. Speaking of business… most places do know they need constant Internet connectivity to actually stay open and yet they still choose to have a $25 USD wifi router that reached end-of-life back in 2016 run their stuff, and then they wonder why their Internet fucken sucks.
Feeling fancy and want to take it easy? Go with a Ubiquiti Unifi setup. It’s nice and slick and they also have decent tech support if you have no idea what you’re fucken doing. It will cost you a pretty penny… but their setup is basically flawless and will last you a long time without having issues. If and when you have issues the system itself will tell you what’s wrong. Slick, like we said.
Once all of the things are connected and working, then you connect your computers and phones and streaming boxes and tables to that new network equipment. If you’re a streamer it is very likely there are one or two technically-inclined people who watch your streams and would help out if you ask. But that’s the thing, you have to ask.
If you’re making more than $1000 USD a month from streaming you can certainly afford to pay someone to do this for you. Hire someone, get them on retainer, and now when somethin breaks right before an important stream they’ll be able to help you figure out what the fuck is going on.