Best Streaming Software in 2021

Want to launch the best live stream?

We reviewed the top streaming software picks for 2021.

Here’s how we ranked them:

  1. We researched the market.
  2. We tested the solutions firsthand.
  3. We evaluated the pricing plans and overall value for money.

Ready? Set? Roll!

Best Streaming Software of 2021

1. Wirecast

Wirecast puts a TV production studio inside your computer. This video broadcasting software allows you to capture, produce, and simultaneously stream high-quality audio and video from one interface to multiple platforms. It’s the ultimate tool for professional live broadcasting. FULL REVIEW

  • Simultaneous multi-service broadcast
  • Multi-broadcast support
  • Scene transitions
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Wirecast puts a TV production studio inside your computer. This video broadcasting software allows you to capture, produce, and simultaneously stream high-quality audio and video from one interface to multiple platforms. It’s the ultimate tool for professional live broadcasting. FULL REVIEW

Free Version

Yes

OS

Windows & macOS

Mobile App

iOS

Multistreaming

Yes

2. Streamlabs

OBS’s simplicity and the best streaming tools on offer make Streamlabs one of the best game streaming software. It’s simple, feature-rich, and packed with everything needed to stream to Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook in seconds. Streamlabs is both an on-stream notification suite and an all-in-one desktop streaming software, making it a potent asset for pro streamers. FULL REVIEW

  • Free
  • Excellent live features
  • Dynamic dashboard
Try Now

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OBS’s simplicity and the best streaming tools on offer make Streamlabs one of the best game streaming software. It’s simple, feature-rich, and packed with everything needed to stream to Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook in seconds. Streamlabs is both an on-stream notification suite and an all-in-one desktop streaming software, making it a potent asset for pro streamers. FULL REVIEW

Free version

Yes

OS

Windows & macOS (beta)

Mobile App

iOS and Android

Multistreaming

Yes

3. OBS Studio

Best described as the gold-standard in gaming stream software, OBS Studio is robust, open-source, and, most notably, free – making it universally accessible and the best Streamlabs alternative. OBS Studio is equipped with a powerful API, enabling plugins and scripts to provide customization and functionality unique to each user’s specific needs. FULL REVIEW

  • Free and open-source
  • Extremely customizable
  • Low CPU usage
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Best described as the gold-standard in gaming stream software, OBS Studio is robust, open-source, and, most notably, free – making it universally accessible and the best Streamlabs alternative. OBS Studio is equipped with a powerful API, enabling plugins and scripts to provide customization and functionality unique to each user’s specific needs. FULL REVIEW

Free version

Yes

OS

Windows, macOS, & Linux

Mobile App

Android

Multistreaming

Yes

4. StreamYard

StreamYard is one of the newer streaming tools on the scene, but it has quickly attracted a strong following. It has entry-level pricing for pro-level streaming and tons of options, including screen shares, multiple guests, custom overlays, and many others. FULL REVIEW

  • Runs from Chrome and Firefox
  • Works on mobile browsers
  • Call-to-action for viewers
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StreamYard is one of the newer streaming tools on the scene, but it has quickly attracted a strong following. It has entry-level pricing for pro-level streaming and tons of options, including screen shares, multiple guests, custom overlays, and many others. FULL REVIEW

Free version

Yes

OS

Android &iOS

Mobile App

No

Multistreaming

Yes

5. XSplit

Affordable and easy to use, XSplit is a good streaming software option for Windows users. It offers technical support, feature updates, and simple plugin customization. Both versions – XSplit Broadcaster and XSplit Gamecaster – have a clean, intuitive interface with all the essential live streaming and recording capabilities you’ll need to get ahead. FULL REVIEW

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable pricing
  • Stable and consistent
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Affordable and easy to use, XSplit is a good streaming software option for Windows users. It offers technical support, feature updates, and simple plugin customization. Both versions – XSplit Broadcaster and XSplit Gamecaster – have a clean, intuitive interface with all the essential live streaming and recording capabilities you’ll need to get ahead. FULL REVIEW

Free version

Yes

OS

Windows

Mobile App

No

Multistreaming

Yes

6. NVIDIA Share

NVIDIA ShadowPlay – or NVIDIA Share, as it was rebranded – is one of the easiest streaming software to use. It lets you record and share high-quality gameplay videos, GIFS, screenshots, and live streams. NVIDIA ShadowPlay encodes with the GPU rather than the CPU, so you can leave it on in the background without worrying about gameplay lag. FULL REVIEW

  • Easy setup
  • Free with any NVIDIA GPU
  • Minimal performance impact
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NVIDIA ShadowPlay – or NVIDIA Share, as it was rebranded – is one of the easiest streaming software to use. It lets you record and share high-quality gameplay videos, GIFS, screenshots, and live streams. NVIDIA ShadowPlay encodes with the GPU rather than the CPU, so you can leave it on in the background without worrying about gameplay lag. FULL REVIEW

Free version

Yes

OS

Windows

Mobile App

No

Multistreaming

No

7. vMix

vMix is a powerful software solution that allows you to create professional live video production on your computer at a fraction of the cost. Whether you want to live stream from your garage or produce a multi-camera concert streamed to millions in 4K Ultra HD, vMix is the perfect solution. FULL REVIEW

  • Great high-end features
  • Infinitely customizable
  • Multicasting capability
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vMix is a powerful software solution that allows you to create professional live video production on your computer at a fraction of the cost. Whether you want to live stream from your garage or produce a multi-camera concert streamed to millions in 4K Ultra HD, vMix is the perfect solution. FULL REVIEW

Free version

Yes

OS

Windows

Mobile App

No

Multistreaming

Yes

Gone are the days of TV and cinema studios’ domination over visual content.

Captivating 4K live streaming is the new king, the attention-grabber supreme!

Thanks to interactive video streaming software, we can now watch our favorite artists perform live, get quality financial advice or in-depth cosmetics reviews, or enjoy professional gamers from all over the world play video games online.

With the advance of technology, new streaming programs appear on the market almost every day. There are now so many available that choosing the right one for you may seem daunting.

That’s why we did the legwork for you. We ranked and evaluated the best streaming software so you can have all the information for an informed decision in one place.

Best Streaming Software

  • Wirecast
  • NVIDIA Share (previously, ShadowPlay)
  • Streamlabs
  • OBS Studio
  • Streamyard
  • XSplit
  • vMix

Wirecast
Wirecast
Wirecast

BEST FOR PROFESSIONAL LIVE BROADCASTING

Starting at
$ 599 /yr
  • Free Version Yes
  • OS Windows & macOS
  • Mobile App iOS
  • Multistreaming Yes
  • Simultaneous multi-service broadcast
  • Multi-broadcast support
  • Scene transitions
  • Video mixer capabilities
  • Rendezvous videoconferencing
  • Resource-intensive
  • Expensive

What Is Wirecast?

Wirecast is a video streaming production tool created by the software company Telestream. The live stream apps for PC, Mac, and iPhone allow users to create high-quality live or on-demand broadcasts that are dynamic, polished, and professional.

Wirecast Pricing

Wirecast has two price plans: 

  • Wirecast Studio – $599/year – Includes unlimited inputs and output destinations and enhanced production features like integrated stock media and advanced audio mixing.
  • Wirecast Pro – $799/year – Includes every feature in the studio version, plus advanced unlimited capture, sports production value (scoreboard and instant replay), and multitrack audio recording.

Wirecast Best Features

  • Unlimited sources – You can use any kind of camera, microphone, webcam, and IP cam to stream, plus Wirecast’s free wireless camera app for iOS.
  • Stock media library – Access over 500,000 unique media assets directly in Wirecast, including videos, music, lower thirds, backgrounds, and more. 
  • Unlimited destinations – Use the streaming software for YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, Vimeo Live, or any other RTMP destination. 
  • Desktop, NDI & web capture – Capture various IP sources from your or other computers. You can automatically detect NDI sources and the built-in browser can display live web pages.
  • Social media integration – Equips you with built-in Twitter comment curation, integrated Facebook polling, and live viewer counts to stay engaged with your audience. This makes it perfect for Facebook gaming.
  • Multi-viewer – Supports up to a 17 slot output and allows you to send single sources out to each attached monitor.
  • Conferencing & remote production – Comes built-in and lets you send a link to guests to join your live broadcast.

What We Disliked About Wirecast

  • The software is rather expensive. 
  • Users are not able to view comments in the program.

Wirecast User Reviews

We read through some user reviews to get a sense of their experience with the broadcast software. Most opinions are positive; the consensus among users is that Wirecast is flexible, intuitive, easy to use, and has rock-solid stability.

The few complaints we came across were minor issues and aren’t a cause for concern.

We Recommend Wirecast For

Wirecast’s advanced features and high-quality streaming make it ideal for professional broadcasting like live event production. It might take a more knowledgeable user to set it up and use it properly, but once it’s up and running, there’s no better way to produce live video. Wirecast Studio is the perfect all-around streaming tool for online church services, live events, and corporate communication. Wirecast Pro is a little more advanced with enough high-tech tools to stream live sports games and even full production broadcasts like news telecasts.

Streamlabs
Streamlabs
Streamlabs

BEST TWITCH PRO STREAMING

Starting at
$ 19 /mo
  • Free Version Yes
  • OS Windows & macOS (beta)
  • Mobile App iOS & Android
  • Multistreaming Yes
  • Free
  • Excellent live features
  • Dynamic dashboard
  • CPU-friendly
  • Strong customizations
  • No Studio Mode
  • Occasionally buggy

What Is Streamlabs?

Streamlabs is one of the best live streaming software on the market that offers a more simplified, user-friendly version of the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). It is built on the same principles as OBS, and it integrates its core functionality with high-quality features to provide a more holistic platform for streamers.

Streamlabs Pricing

Streamlabs uses a Freemium model where all the essential features are free; however, its advanced features and tools can only be accessed by paying for an upgrade.

  • Streamlabs Prime – $19 a month (or $149 a year) – Gain access to useful tools like pro themes to customize your stream, multistreaming on several platforms, paid sponsorships, an alert box including donation alerts, and merchandise.

Streamlabs Best Features

  • Layout editor – Personalize your live stream with drag-and-drop elements to create your own unique UI.
  • Selective recording – Choose the sources that appear in your live stream or recorded video.
  • Replay buffer – Effortlessly save clips of your live stream as replays for your viewers. 
  • Multistreaming- Stream to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch without downloading third-party streaming apps.
  • Monetization tools – Make money from your streams through a custom tip page and paid sponsorship opportunities.
  • Merchandise – An added benefit of the platform that lets your community buy merch directly from your website – Streamlabs takes care of the printing, shipping, and support.

What We Disliked About Streamlabs

  • Some useful like Studio Mode are only available with a Prime subscription.
  • Only one webcam per session.

Streamlabs User Reviews

Streamlabs is one of the most popular Twitch streaming programs, so as you might imagine, it has some glowing reviews from users. It also shows up quite frequently as one of the best streaming software for YouTube in user reviews. Its slick and easy-to-use interface is a huge draw, as are its numerous customization options and the fact that it’s free. We also read through several OBS vs SLOBS discussions on Reddit, and OBS products always win.

The only negative reviews about this software critique its strict one-hour refund policy.

We Recommend Streamlabs For

Although Twitch Studio seems like the logical choice for the best Twitch streaming software, Streamlabs could do just as well; more experienced users might even prefer it.

Considering the relative ease-of-use of Streamlabs combined with the advanced features of OBS, we at HostingTribunal recommend this product for veteran gamers looking for the best broadcasting software for Twitch and Facebook. It will allow you to build an audience on these platforms, and if you want to go a step further, Streamlabs Prime would be the perfect way to go pro.

OBS Studio
OBS Studio
OBS Studio

BEST FOR BEGINNER STREAMERS

Starting at
Free
  • Free Version Yes
  • OS Windows, macOS, & Linux
  • Mobile App Android
  • Multistreaming Yes
  • Free and open-source
  • Extremely customizable
  • Low CPU usage
  • Available on Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Multi-platform support
  • No centralized support
  • Difficult to configure

What Is OBS Studio?

OBS Studio is a free, open-source, cross-platform streaming and recording software. It is one of the best Twitch stream apps on the market and it’s extremely popular among gamers. Plus, it’s one of the few solutions that work on Linux operating systems.

OBS Studio Pricing

OBS Studio is a free live streaming software. It is developed and supported by volunteers and none of its features require payment.

OBS Studio Best Features

  • Video/Audio capturing and mixing – Create scenes made up of multiple sources, including windows capture, images, text, browser windows, webcams, capture cards, and more. 
  • Intuitive audio mixer – Get per-source filters, such as noise gate, noise suppression, and gain, at your fingertips and lets you take control with VTS plugin support. 
  • Unlimited scenes – Set up and seamlessly switch between scenes via custom transitions. 
  • Studio Mode – Preview your scenes and sources before pushing them live. You can adjust them or create new ones and ensure they’re perfect before your viewers see them.
  • Multiview – Get a high-level view of your production; it lets you monitor eight different scenes and easily cue or transition to any of them with a single click. 
  • Robust configuration options – Add new Sources, duplicate existing ones, and adjust their properties effortlessly. 

What We Disliked About OBS Studio

  • Because the software is open-source, it was developed by a group of volunteer contributors, which means there is no centralized team to go to for support.
  • Alerts are not included in the software; you will have to download third-party apps to set them up. 

OBS Studio User Reviews

As expected, OBS Studio has near-universal acclaim from users; it’s even deemed the best streaming software on Reddit. Users love that it’s open-source and that it can easily be configured to their needs.

The complaints are few and mostly about minor issues and bugs that are no dealbreakers.

We Recommend OBS Studio For

OBS Studios is a great software to use whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been a streaming veteran, but we especially recommend it for beginners.

It has high-performance streaming quality, it is open-source, and many users consider it the best Twitch streaming software. You can configure it to your heart’s desire if you don’t mind getting your hands, figuratively, dirty.

StreamYard
StreamYard
StreamYard

BEST FOR SOCIAL BROADCASTING

Starting at
$ 20 /mo
  • Free Version Yes
  • OS Android & iOS
  • Mobile App No
  • Multistreaming Yes
  • Runs from Chrome and Firefox
  • Works on mobile browsers
  • Call-to-actions for viewers
  • Multistreaming capability
  • Customizable branding
  • Free plan is restricted
  • Limited customization
  • Lack of audio controls

What Is StreamYard?

StreamYard is a browser-based live stream program that lets you broadcast live videos directly to Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Periscope, and a ton of other social media platforms. With StreamYard, you can share your screen while gaming, interview guests with video conferencing, interact with viewers, and more. You can check out even more details in our dedicated StreamYard review.

StreamYard Pricing

In addition to the Free plan, Streamyard has two paid plans: 

  • Basic – $20/month billed annually – Get unlimited streaming with up to 10 people in the stream, custom backgrounds, overlays, and multistreaming to up to three destinations.
  • Professional – $39 a month billed annually – This plan includes everything in the Basic plan, plus multistreaming to up to eight destinations and streaming in full 1080p HD.

StreamYard Best Features

  • Live chat allows you to connect and chat with your viewers and followers instantly.
  • Multistreaming lets you broadcast video on multiple streaming platforms simultaneously.
  • Broadcasting recording enables you to record the live stream for easy sharing.
  • Customizable branding facilitates brand marketing as per your requirements and preferences.
  • Video monetization helps you monetize your streams on multiple online platforms. 
  • Audience engagement shows real-time metrics like watch time, frequency, audience retention, and other insights on a dashboard.

What We Disliked About StreamYard

  • It doesn’t allow the same level of customization as some of the other streaming programs.
  • Streaming in 1080p full HD is only available with the Professional plan. 

StreamYard User Reviews

StreamYard isn’t the most popular streaming and live stream screen recorder software, but it still has favorable reviews online. Most users enjoy how straightforward and effortless it is to use, but it falls short on functionality compared to other live webcasting software.

We Recommend StreamYard For

StreamYard has excellent live broadcasting capabilities that don’t require users to break the bank on production quality. You don’t need special streaming gear or intense technical knowledge – you can start broadcasting directly from your browser and figure out the rest as you go. But most importantly, you don’t have to set up anything – the streaming software works for PC, Mac, and mobile devices so long as you have Chrome, Firefox, or Opera installed.

StreamYard is excellent for live broadcasting to social media; some users have even adopted it as a podcasting tool. What’s more, it works as an alternative to Zoom. 

XSplit
XSplit
XSplit

BEST FOR LIVE INTERNET BROADCASTING

Starting at
$ 8.32 /mo
  • Free Version Yes
  • OS Windows
  • Mobile App No
  • Multistreaming Yes
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable pricing
  • Stable and consistent
  • Simultaneous broadcast
  • 24/7 support
  • Automatic stream settings
  • Available for Windows only
  • Limited recording formats
  • Requires some encoding knowledge

What Is XSplit?

XSplit is a trusted live streaming, recording, and video-mixing software made for gaming, presentations, and live events.

It comes in two versions, XSplit Broadcaster and XSplit Gamecaster. The fact that the two versions come separately allowed developers to include more advanced features and produce some of the best gaming and broadcasting streaming software on the market.

XSplit Gamecaster is mainly for gameplay streaming and is considered one of the best Twitch streaming software on the market because of its simple setup and easy integration with Twitch.

The in-game HUD lets you control your streams and recordings without leaving the game, which might seem like a small thing but, in the long-run, will prove to be a better experience for your viewing audience.

XSplit Broadcaster is used primarily for live internet streaming and is consistently listed among the best streaming programs for professional broadcasting. XSplit Broadcaster is a great way to get creative with your streams and videos – its awesome features make producing and delivering rich video content easy.

XSplit Pricing

On top of the free plans, XSplit has four premium price plans to choose from. Each one removes the XSplit watermark from your stream and unlocks a ton of great features:

  • 3 Month License – $24.95 (only $8.32 a month)
  • 12 Month License – $59.95 (only $5 a month)
  • 36 Month License – $149.95 (only $4.17 a month)
  • Lifetime License – $199 once-off

XSplit Best Features

  • High-quality video – Stream and record in 4k60fps and beyond.
  • Stream management – Use tools like scene and source transitions, scene preview editor, macro extensions, rich text source, and NVIDIA encoder NVENC.
  • Video production – Drop various media files directly into the mixer and edit multiple videos together.
  • Engagement tools – Support for all web-based alerts and widgets like YouTube Super Chat and Twitch Cheers Alert. Although there might be better-suited streaming software for YouTube, XSplit lets you upload directly to the platform.
  • Preloaded overlays – Enjoy alerts, trains, goals, and all the widgets you can imagine for ultimate viewer engagement.
  • Projector mode – Stream is visible on other screens connected to your laptop or computer.
  • Monetization – Level up your stream with specialized end-game content and earn money.

What We Disliked About XSplit

  • XSplit doesn’t include configuration presets for some of the more popular streaming platforms. If you’re somewhat tech-savvy, this won’t be an issue – you can use your encoding knowledge to set them up. But if you’re a beginner, you might have to use another stream software for Twitch and YouTube.
  • Some of the paid features are available for free on other streaming software.

XSplit User Reviews

XSplit is one of the top streaming encoder software, and the user reviews online concur with our assessment. Both versions have been praised for providing professional-level features at an affordable cost and for their simple and easy workflow, making them incredibly intuitive and easy to use. 

Complaints are few and far between. They’re mainly about the minor things that we pointed out in our XSplit review, like how it might be inaccessible to new streamers with no prior encoding knowledge.

We Recommend XSplit For

XSplit is one of the most robust products on the market. XSplit Gamecaster is one of the best streaming apps for Twitch and is consistently giving the other game streaming apps a run for their money.

We recommend XSplit Broadcaster for non-professional internet live streaming.

NVIDIA Share
NVIDIA Share
NVIDIA Share

BEST GAMEPLAY RECORDING & SCREEN GRABBING

Starting at
Free
  • Free Version Yes
  • OS Windows
  • Mobile App No
  • Multistreaming No
  • Easy setup
  • Free with any NVIDIA GPU
  • Minimal performance impact
  • Great recording tools
  • DVR-style instant replay
  • Only compatible with NVIDIA GPUs
  • Lack of customization
  • Requires high bitrate

What Is NVIDIA ShadowPlay?

NVIDIA ShadowPlay is built-in software that allows gamers to record and stream their gameplay straight from the GPU. If you have a GeForce graphics card, NVIDIA ShadowPlay is bundled in with the other drivers for free.

NVIDIA ShadowPlay Pricing

NVIDIA ShadowPlay is entirely free.

NVIDIA ShadowPlay Best Features

  • Instant replay – Records 30-second clips of gameplay to your hard drive and lets you either rewatch it or share it. With this feature, Facebook and YouTube gaming will be even more fun.
  • Highlights – Automatically capture critical instances, clutch kills, and game-winning plays, ensuring that your best gameplay moments are saved. 
  • GeForce Experience – Broadcast your favorite games fast and easy. With just a few clicks, you can use the live streaming software on YouTube, Facebook Live, or Twitch. You can also create 15-second GIFs and 8K-quality screenshots. 
  • NVIDIA Ansel – Take super-resolution, 360, HDR, or stereo photographs of your games and share them instantly.
  • Freestyle game filters – Apply post-processing filters to your game while you play.

What We Disliked About NVIDIA ShadowPlay

  • The software is only compatible with NVIDIA GPUs. 
  • NVIDIA Share doesn’t have a live broadcast capability. 
  • There are fewer customizations available than with other stream software

NVIDIA ShadowPlay User Reviews

NVIDIA ShadowPlay has a good reputation with users online. Most streamers agree that it is relatively reliable and easy-to-use streaming software for a lower-to-mid range PC.

The most common complaints were that it only works with NVIDIA GPUs and that it’s only available for Windows (unless you can find a back way to install Windows on your Mac).

We Recommend NVIDIA ShadowPlay For

Because of its excellent gameplay recording and screenshotting capabilities, NVIDIA ShadowPlay works best as a side tool for gamers using an NVIDIA GPU and running another more efficient game streaming software.

vMix
vMix
vMix

BEST FOR LIVE PRODUCTIONS

Starting at
$ 60
  • Free Version: Yes
  • OS: Windows
  • Mobile App: No
  • Multistreaming: Yes
  • Great high-end features
  • Infinitely customizable
  • Multicasting capability
  • Remote guests
  • Overlay for social comments
  • Windows only
  • Steep learning curve
  • Taxing on CPU

What Is vMix?

vMix is a complete live video production software that lets you create dynamic content. vMix also serves as video switcher software that utilizes the latest computer hardware advances to provide high-quality video mixing. The livestream software also allows you to publish your productions instantly!

vMix Pricing

vMix is available in six editions. They are lifetime subscriptions and include Free Version updates for one year from the date of purchase.

  • Basic HD – $60 – This version allows four total inputs and three camera/NDI inputs. Its maximum resolution is 1920×1080 and it includes one overlay channel. 
  • HD – $350 – This version takes streaming to the next level. It allows 1000 total inputs and 1000 camera/NDI inputs and adds three more overlay channels and the videoconferencing tool vMix Call.
  • 4K – $700 – This version allows your stream to have a maximum resolution of 4096×2160. It also adds a recorder, custom animated titles, import PSDs, and Instant Replay.
  • Pro – $1,200 – The Pro version is mostly similar to the 4K version, except that it adds up to eight callers on vMix Call and four cameras for Instant Replay.

vMix Best Features

  • Simultaneous streaming, output, and recording software –  Broadcast to Twitch, Facebook Live, YouTube, and UStream.
  • 13 Transition effects – Create your favorite camera movements – from Cut, Fade, and Zoom to FlyRotate, CubeZoom, and Vertical wipe.
  • Professional HD production – Stream with multiple HD sources without breaking the bank (or your CPU).
  • vMix Call – Anyone with a browser and a webcam can become an instant guest on your live show.
  • Video delay/Instant replay – Saves multiple clips of notable events in the stream for playback at a later stage.
  • Built-in audio mixer – Keep track of all audio sources easily and gives you the Mute, Follow (Auto Mixing), and Delay options.
  • Live video effects – Color correct, deinterlace, sharpen, zoom, rotate, pan, and crop any input in real-time.

What We Disliked About vMix

  • It’s only available for Windows.
  • Features like multicasting and ISO recording are taxing on your CPU, so it’s not the best streaming software for a low-end PC.
  • The Pro version isn’t very different from the 4K version, yet it costs nearly twice as much.

vMix User Reviews

Judging by online reviews, vMix is received pretty well by users. The most positive reviews mention its features and functionality, which is its biggest draw. In particular, vMix is praised for its fantastic set tutorial videos, which are updated regularly to help users keep up with the latest changes and trends.

Additionally, vMix has a few handy integrations that users value. For example, with just a few clicks, the streaming software can calculate the best Twitch server so you can broadcast directly into the platform effortlessly.

We Recommend vMix For

Because of the high-end features and top-quality functionality, we recommend vMix for live productions.

Whether you want to produce big-budget live events or create a small webcast, vMix can do pretty well. But keep in mind that it’s not a lightweight streaming software, so you’ll need a relatively powerful PC to use it.

Great Video Streaming Services That Didn’t Make the Cut 

  • Lightstream – Lightstream is a powerful and intuitive web-based live stream software that lets you bring on guests, mix live video feeds, and capture console gameplay all through your web browser.
  • Switcher Studio – Switcher Studio lets you capture videos from multiple angles and edit them in real-time to create dynamic livestreams.
  • Cameleon – Although it didn’t make the cut among the best, Cameleon is an excellent streaming software for Mac, iPhone, and PC. It is free and allows you to broadcast live video content on several social media platforms.
  • Mirillis Action! – Mirillis Action! is a screen recorder software that allows live streaming and real-time recording of Windows desktops in high-quality HD.

How We Ranked the Best Streaming Software

The review process of ranking the best live streaming software follows the thorough and in-depth analysis of all of our reviews:

  1. Market research – The first and most crucial step was reading up on as many video streaming software as possible and narrowing them down according to their pricing, features, and functionality.
  2. Evaluation – We visited each software’s website and checked its most essential and distinguishing aspects to break them down – price, features, capability, and compatibility.
  3. Testing and demonstrations – Due to technical limitations, we couldn’t test every single piece of software. Instead, we watched demos online to gauge performance, usability, and functionality.
  4. User feedback – We also read through tons of user reviews to get a sense of how customers felt about each software. This was a key component of our best live streaming software ranking.

What Is Video Streaming?

You’ve probably heard of video streaming, but you might still be wondering how it works. To help you select the best video streaming software for your content, we’ll explain the main things you should know and consider when choosing the right option for you.

But first, let’s see how it works.

Video streaming enables data from video files to be continuously delivered via the internet to a remote user. The software provides that data in small compressed chunks, the user’s player then decompresses the data and displays it on their screen.

That’s basically it.

Things to Consider for Quality Streaming Software

If you’re adamant about finding the best streaming software, here are a few things to consider:

  • Compatibility – Live streaming software comes in different tiers, with varying levels of functionality and configuration. You might love a software only to learn that it runs on Windows, while you want to use it on Mac, so it’s best to check the specifications beforehand. 
  • Features – Does the software have the right kind of features to support your streaming needs? Does it provide multistreaming? Or social media integration? If you know what you need, you can easily check that.
  • Support – Some software might have a steep learning curve and require basic encoding knowledge. A good quality solution will offer 24/7 on-hand technical support to help you with that.

Looking at these three things might help you narrow down your choices; if it doesn’t run on your OS, doesn’t have the right features, or doesn’t offer the proper support, it’s can’t be the best streaming software for 2021.

At least not for you.

How to Choose the Best Streaming Software

Most streaming software has intuitive and user-friendly interfaces and tons of features, but there’s an awful lot that sets these products apart.

  • Functionality – Different streaming solutions serve different functions; using Wirecast for gaming would be like chopping an onion with a chainsaw. It’s important to figure out what you want to do first and then find software with the function you need.
  • Infrastructure – Streaming software must have a developer-friendly, mobile SDK and API infrastructure. That lets you integrate your streams into services, cloud video applications, and digital media workflows.
  • Pricing – You don’t necessarily have to pay to be able to use the most popular streaming software. Some use a freemium model with paid upgrades – you can try them for free and pay if you want to improve your stream’s quality.

Wrap Up

Streaming software can serve many different functions, and finding the right one for you means figuring out what you want to do first. 

If you work in production and have to put on big shows, then Wirecast or vMix might be your best bet; if you’re a gamer looking for easy-to-use streaming apps for PC or Mac, the right choice for you will be OBS Studio or Streamlabs. Whatever your needs might be, we hope this review of the best stream software helped you make your decision.

FAQ

How to use StreamPro with OBS?

Unfortunately, StreamPro shut down in 2018. But Streamlabs OBS is a good alternative to this tool – it has free designs and overlays for live streamers on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Live.

What is the best Twitch streaming software?

If you’re a beginner, your best bet is Twitch Studio – free streaming software designed to help newcomers get started. More experienced users might enjoy Streamlabs OBS; it has high-performance game streaming quality and is trusted by some of the top Twitch broadcasters.

What is the best free streaming software?

OBS Studio is users’ top pick for free streaming software. It’s a cross-platform application that is powerful, flexible, and open-source.

Is OBS better than Streamlabs?

Streamlabs is essentially the Super Saiyan to OBS’ regular Saiyan; it has improved functionality and more built-in features.

What is the best streaming program?

It depends on what you want to use it for because each one has slightly different features. For instance, OBS Studio is the best free streaming program, Streamlabs is considered the best streaming software for Twitch, and so forth.

What streaming software do streamers use?

The best streaming software for both novices and pros is OBS, according to most users. It’s free, open-sourced, and has cross-platform compatibility. The Streamlabs version of OBS has some great features that might help monetize your stream