SHOUTcast from Nullsoft is a great way of running your very own radio station on the internet. Are you an aspiring musician who wants to stream newly created music over the internet? Or do you simply wish to host your own talk show to share your opinion on popular matters with the rest of the world? Whatever be the reason, if you wish to have your radio station online 24/7 with little hassle, you should definitely opt for a reliable SHOUTcast hosting service.

However, there are so many SHOUTcast hosting services out there that it can be a little overwhelming to shortlist one service provider from all those names. Here are some quick pointers that should help with that: :

Ask for service on a trial basis

Most reliable SHOUTcast hosts offer services for a few days on a trial basis, asking for a small, one-time payable fee. This option will allow you to test out the service and find out whether there are any glitches in the system. Test out the service properly in this phase. Check the connection speed and ensure it is optimum for smooth streaming of audio. One or two momentary stutters at times can be attributed to unavoidable buffering delay, but constant hitches in audio are signs of poor connectivity. If this occurs, see if they can get it fixed by calling up their tech support. Otherwise, move on, since you will only be wasting your hard-earned cash here.

Ensure that the host supports both FTP and SSH protocols

You cannot always predict that the connection speed will remain constant when you are uploading files on the server. So, make sure that the SHOUTcast hosting service has support for both major protocols used in uploading files, i.e., SSH and FTP. That way, you will be able to switch protocols as per the connection speed, when you are uploading files to the SHOUTcast server.

Ask about dedicated hosting options

Find out whether the host offers dedicated SHOUTcast hosting. If they have it on offer, try to opt for this service. Opting for dedicated SHOUTcast hosting service will ensure that an experienced tech support engineer is always assigned to your radio station, fixing up any glitches before those can affect smooth transmission. Also, in case of a serious technical problem, your station will be fixed up on a priority basis, bringing it back online as quickly as possible.

There are a number of good SHOUTcast hosting service providers out there. However, 24shells.net is an excellent option, thanks to their dedicated service personnel and excellent servers. Check out their website for their latest offers, and you are pretty likely to love what you see.

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