Streaming platforms like Restream and StreamYard allow streamers to broadcast live to multiple channels at once, including YouTube and Facebook. They also have useful features that can increase audience engagement and help you build your brand.
As a streamer, which platform is better for you? Is it Restream or StreamYard?
How do the two compare in terms of features, ease of use, supported platforms, pricing, and more?
That’s what we’re going to explore in this article. If you’ve been wondering whether Restream or StreamYard is better, read on.
Founded in 2014 and based in Austin, Texas, Restream is a popular tool for live streamers and online broadcasters. It’s particularly popular among Twitch streamers, as it allows them to stream not only to Twitch but to many other platforms at the same time.
Requiring no software downloads and integrating with a few dozen streaming platforms, Restream is a globally-used platform.
A bit late to the game, StreamYard was founded in 2018 by Dan Briggs and Geige Vandentop. StreamYard supports fewer platforms than Restream, but it is still highly popular.
Discover more platforms like StreamYard here.
Restream is a cloud-based service, so its streaming platform and studio works in your browser. You don’t have to download any additional software to use Restream.
Using the online streaming studio, you can stream simultaneously to over 30 channels. We’ll talk more about the exact channels each platform supports in a minute.
When you create your account, you’ll notice a few options. Besides streaming live via the Restream Studio, you can also upload an existing video file and stream that.
In other words, you can do your production beforehand, create a video file, and then broadcast it.
You don’t have to use the Restream Studio, either, even if you want to go live. Restream supports several third-party streaming software, including OBS, which is an open-source broadcasting software.
You’ll be able to use OBS as usual, but stream via Restream to multiple channels such as Twitch or Twitter.
Regardless of which channels you are broadcasting to, Restream lets you stop the broadcast to one channel while continuing to broadcast to another. So, even if you were streaming on both YouTube and LinkedIn, you can stop streaming on LinkedIn but continue streaming on YouTube.
You’ll be able to customize the stream, add your own branding and visual effects, and chat with your audience across all channels you are broadcasting to. More on that later.
Restream also allows you to download your live streams as video or audio files. One cool feature is the ability to split the audio of a recording and download the audio of different participants as separate audio tracks.
For example, if you were interviewing several people, you can split the audio and download a separate audio track for each one. This can be useful if you want to share the separate recordings later.
Another useful feature is Restream Proxy. The Restream Proxy is available on certain plans, and it has various use cases.
One of the main reasons people use it is to stream to platforms that are blocked from their region or that have servers that are located far away, which could otherwise make for a choppy and unreliable stream.
Restream also has a fallback feature that allows you to continue your stream by switching to a backup stream source if your primary source fails.
All in all, it’s safe to say that Restream is an excellent streaming platform with many advanced features.
The streaming dashboard on your end has a lot of features, settings, and controls. It may seem a bit confusing at first, but you will be greeted with a short tour, showing you the basics of getting started.
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In your dashboard, you’ll be able to hide or unhide yourself from the screen by clicking a simple toggle switch. Other things you can do include:
- Start a private chat
- See chats from multiple channels
- Choose overlays and add a logo
- Add captions
- Change the quality of your video
- Change your microphone input source
- And more
You can also invite guests to join you on the chat. There are different layouts available that allow you to split the screen in different ways, so you can invite multiple people while you host a broadcast, and they can broadcast their screens to your guests as well.
While broadcasting, you can insert videos from your Restream video library, or you can upload files that are stored on your computer. You can add multiple streaming destinations from the dashboard.
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StreamYard’s studio platform is also pretty easy to use. Head to the Broadcasts tab to start a new broadcast.
Like with Restream, you can broadcast live, upload an existing video, or only record a video. If you’d like to broadcast live, you’ll need to choose a destination first.
Before you start, you’ll get a chance to test your camera and microphone to ensure they are working properly.
Overall, the streaming dashboard is simpler and less overwhelming than Restream’s dashboard. With a simple white interface, you can adjust your settings and customize your stream without getting confused by various controls all over your screen.
Instead, most of the controls are located in menus at the bottom or side. Your live chat feed is conveniently displayed at the right.
You’ll be able to mute your microphone, stop the camera, invite guests to join you, or change the layout of your screen so more people can broadcast with you.
From the right menu, you’ll be able to customize your broadcast and start private chats.
Like Restream, StreamYard supports OBS. Similarly, it allows you to download videos, and you can even download separate audio files from different guests; HD streaming is also supported, depending on your plan.
I was impressed by both platforms, and Restream gives off the impression of giving you more options and flexibility. However, I definitely think that StreamYard is easier to use, especially if this is your first time streaming live using a platform like this.
On the other hand, Restream has a built-in proxy, while StreamYard doesn’t seem to have one. Nevertheless, that probably won’t be an issue for most users.
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This is one of the major differences between the two platforms. It’s a significant one for your “StreamYard or Restream” decision, being that Restream supports many more destinations and social media channels than StreamYard.
Currently, Restream supports 35 destinations. Those include popular platforms such as:
- Facebook Live (on your personal profile)
- Facebook groups (for premium users)
- Facebook pages (for premium years)
There are also many other supported platforms, which may only be popular in specific niches, countries, or regions. They include:
- And many others
You can see a full list of all the currently supported destinations, including all the free ones, here.
In addition to all the native integrations, you can stream to any destination, including Instagram, using custom RTMP.
With such a wide range of platforms and destinations supported, it’s easy to see how Restream is the multistreaming tool of choice for streamers all over the world, in many industries.
At the same time, it’s crucial to note that you can’t stream to all 35 platforms at once. The number of platforms you can stream to simultaneously depends on your plan; furthermore, not all destinations are available to free users.
You can learn more about that in the pricing section towards the end of this article.
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SteramYard, on the other hand, only supports five platforms natively. Those channels include:
Also, with the acquisition of StreamYard by Hopin, a live virtual event technology platform, you can stream from StreamYard to Hopin. In addition, StreamYard supports any custom RTMP server.
Furthermore, you can set up your own private server instead of using a platform like YouTube, allowing users to view the stream from a video player. However, that requires advanced skills – you can see a tutorial here.
The fact that StreamYard supports custom RTMP setups definitely broadens the horizons and allows for more streaming possibilities. Nevertheless, if you want to stream to a popular platform other than the above five, chances are that Restream is better for you.
Twitch users, YouTubers, and others can still use StreamYard, as it does support the main platforms.
As I mentioned, Restream allows you to customize the stream. You can set up different brand folders and customize the stream settings for each brand, making Restream perfect if you have different classes, for example, and you teach a different subject in each one.
You can choose from different themes and change the default brand color. To spice things up a bit, you can add overlays and select or upload a custom background.
Users can upload their own logos or watermarks, as well as add panels, alerts, and banners. Broadcasters can add a chat overlay to the screen, so viewers can see other people’s messages in real time – it’s a great way to increase engagement.
You can also add captions.
While all of those options are available in the Restream broadcasting dashboard, you’ll need to create your custom graphics, logos, panels, banners, and more beforehand. I recommend using a tool like Canva, which is free and provides templates, so you don’t have to start from scratch.
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StreamYard also allows you to customize the broadcast.
On the right side of your screen, you can click on the Banners tab to add a banner to your broadcast. These banners can include announcements, calls to action, or anything else you want your audience to know.
Like Restream, StreamYard allows you to add multiple brand profiles for your different broadcasts. For each brand profile, you can select a default brand color, choose between different themes, upload a logo, and add overlays.
While StreamYard doesn’t seem to have many built-in backgrounds like Restream does, you can still upload a custom background from your gallery. You can add video clips, like countdown videos, or select background music from the music library.
As before, I found StreamYard more intuitive and easy to use. While Restream wins slightly when it comes to the customization possibilities you have, it loses to StreamYard when it comes to the user experience and user-friendliness; StreamYard is just simpler and less confusing.
Restream allows you to invite up to 9 guests to share the screen with you (10 participants in total). If you’re on the free plan, you can invite up to five guests (six total participants).
The guests don’t have to be logged in – you can just send them an invitation link. As the host, you can control a guest’s audio and video or remove them from the broadcast completely.
While interviewing guests, you can continue streaming to multiple platforms. And, as mentioned, you can change the layout of your broadcast screen to include room for your guests.
If your guests are also streamers, you can pair your broadcasts together.
StreamYard offers similar guest interviewing functionalities as Restream. You can have six or 10 people on a broadcast, depending on your plan, and you have full control as a host.
You can also change the layout and remove or mute guests.
One of the best parts about using a multi-stream platform like Restream is that you can see and manage all your incoming chats – from all channels you are broadcasting to – from a single dashboard.
Not only that, but you can use relay bots to allow fans who are viewing from different channels, such as Discord and Twitch, to chat with each other.
As you already know, you can add a chat overlay to the broadcast screen. What I didn’t mention is that Restream provides over 20 chat templates to customize the look of your chat overlay.
Hosts also have a lot of control over the chat. They can hide messages that contain rude, offensive, or spammy language.
You can even set up new message notifications and text to speech alerts to make your broadcasts more engaging and exciting.
StreamYard also helps you drive engagement by allowing you to display your chats on the screen and highlight comments. Like Restream, comments from all supported platforms (Twitch, YouTube, etc.) will show up in the chat box.
One thing I liked about StreamYard is that it allows you to encourage more comments by running giveaways. The giveaway tool will run through all comments and select one randomly; that commenter will win the giveaway prize.
Restream is a cloud-based platform, and you can use it from your browser. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t offer desktop apps.
There are apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
There are no mobile apps. However, you can stream from your phone using Chrome or Safari, although screen sharing won’t be available; you can also use an app like Streamlabs or any app that supports RTMP streaming.
StreamYard, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have any downloadable apps for Windows, Mac, or Linux. It is only accessible via the web app.
There is a Chrome extension for StreamYard, which allows you to share your desktop screen with your viewers.
Unfortunately, StreamYard doesn’t work on Safari. It does work on Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, but if you are a Mac user, this may be a bit of a downside.
Restream will give you detailed reports about your broadcasts and viewers. You’ll see data such as your average number of viewers, peak viewing time in your broadcasts, and a breakdown of where your viewers are watching from (Facebook, YouTube, etc.).
Furthermore, Restream gives you chat analytics, including data such as the most active commenters and the most used phrases.
Unfortunately, StraemYard does not provide broadcast analytics, according to this help article. The only analytics you’ll get is how many viewers are watching a broadcast at any given time.
However, you can go to each platform you’re streaming to and see analytics there.
- Supports over 30 destinations
- Has downloadable desktop apps.
- Supports Safari
- Allows for customization
- Has analytics
- Doesn’t seem to be a built-in giveaway option to encourage comments
- The interface can be a bit overwhelming at first
- Not all destinations are available to free users
- Easy to use interface
- Easy customization options
- Giveaway feature to encourage commenting
- Only a few platforms are supported
- No built-in music background library like Restream
- Doesn’t work on Safari
- No downloadable apps
- No analytics
Restream has a free plan. Free users can enjoy most of the platform’s features, but they will still face some limitations.
For example, free users can only stream to two platforms at once, like Twitch and YouTube. Some platforms, like Facebook groups or Facebook pages (as opposed to personal profiles) are not available to free users.
Furthermore, free users have no way of removing the Restream watermark in their videos.
Also, free users can’t use the RTMP stream feature, nor can they stream prerecorded videos or store videos online. They can add music, but they can’t add custom overlays.
Only six participants are allowed on a broadcast at once if the host is a free user.
Premium plans start at $19/month ($16/month if billed annually) and go up to $299/month ($249/month if billed annually). Let me go over some of the top features of each plan:
- Standard ($19/month): Stream to five platforms at once. Stream recordings of up to six hours, and store recordings for 15 days. Ten participants can join each chat. Remove Restream branding.
- Professional ($49/month): Stream to seven platforms at once. Stream recordings of up to 10 hours, and store them for 15 days. Store 10 videos.
- Premium ($99/month): Designed for small businesses. Stream to 10 platforms. Stream recordings of up to 20 hours, and store them for 30 days. Enjoy HD video and priority customer support. Store 25 videos.
- Business ($299/month): Stream to 15 platforms. Store 50 videos. Enjoy premium features like the fallback system.
To see updated pricing details, check the pricing page.
StreamYard has simpler pricing: one free plan and two paid ones.
The free plan is more restricted than Restream’s free plan. For example, it doesn’t support multistream; you can only stream to one destination.
Furthermore, you will be limited to 20 streaming hours per month. That’s quite a significant restriction if you stream several hours each day.
The Basic plan costs more than Restream’s Standard plan. It’s $25/month ($20/month if billed annually).
It allows you to remove StreamYard branding, include 10 participants in each broadcast, broadcast pre-recorded streams (up to six hours), add your own logos and overlays, and stream to three destinations.
The most expensive (Professional) plan is cheaper than Restream’s most expensive plan. It costs $49/month ($39/month if billed annually).
It allows you to stream to up to eight destinations, play recordings of up to 10 hours, download separate audio recordings, and more.
In short, Restream wins when it comes to pricing. The free plan is more permissive, and the paid plans (the individual ones, not the business plans) are cheaper or around the same as StreamYard’s paid plans.
See updated pricing here.
|Number of Social/Streaming Platforms Supported||35||6|
|Unlimited Free Streaming||✓||✗|
|Stream Prerecorded Broadcasts||✓||✓|
|Downloadable Desktop Apps||✓||✗|
|Live Chat Customer Support||✓||✓|
Just by looking at the comparison chart above, you’ll be able to tell that Restream is the superior choice.
It supports free multistream and free unlimited streaming, and it offers analytics, downloadable desktop apps, and Safari support.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.