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radio.net - Your free internet radio
radio.net is your free online radio on the internet. Stream the radio station of your choice with us via web radio. It’s live and for free.
At radio.net you will find over 30,000 radio stations from all over the world. Sit back and enjoy our wide range of radio programs, music and podcasts. Listening to radio online has never been easier. Use radio.net easily in your browser or download our free radio app on your smartphone.
Your benefits at a glance:
- Listen to your favorite stations live and for free
- Station lists from your region
- A wide variety with over 30,000 radio stations
- A free radio app
Download our free radio.net app
What you should know about radio
The term radio comes from the Latin radius that means stream. We use this term as a shortcut for radio receiver or broadcast receiver, which makes it possible to receive radio broadcasts. You can receive radio through terrestrial broadcasting - this works through electromagnetic waves - or through broadband cable as high-frequency electrical signals. It is a similar principle to antenna and cable television. Both transmitted signals are converted into sound, which gives us our daily information. However, the term radio does not only refer to the device itself but also to radio stations such as Metro FM, Thobela FM and many others. Invented at the beginning of the 20th century, radio represents the oldest digital mass media and has developed in an extraordinary way to the present. Not only the technical progress is visible, but also the variety of online offers available has increased. The classic range of FM stations has been joined by an extensive array of web radio. Nowadays, almost every FM station offers an online radio stream as well, so it can be heard everywhere and independent of conventional frequencies. Furthermore, there are web-only stations that are devoted to a very specific genre or topic. They offer their listeners a very specific program, perfectly matched to their musical tastes. Radio is no longer just the pure transmission of information paired with musical entertainment today – but is a true experience!
The term internet radio is used for different things. Internet radio or web radio can be used to describe a station that broadcasts via streaming over the web instead of using the conventional FM frequencies. However, the word internet radio also refers to the device that is capable of receiving and playing radio streams. Another common name for these devices is WiFi radio. The internet radio can replace the traditional radio device in the kitchen. Most devices have an integrated database that contains the stream URLs of radio stations. Some models also have additional built in FM and DAB+ transmitters. The device has to be connected to the internet and then offers a large selection of programs. It can become problematic when the integrated database is no longer supplied with updates. Therefore, it can happen that stations are no longer available. For receiving radio stations over the internet, you do not necessarily need an internet radio device. The same variety can also be accessed easily and is free of charge via an app or directly in the browser. Apps and websites usually offer a better overview when it comes to searching and more information about the stations.
Web radio or internet radio is a radio program that offers you an internet-based service. You can listen to this service online via a stream, for example on your computer or smartphone. In contrast to a conventional FM station, you receive a web radio station online. Therefore, an internet connection is indispensable. In addition to their FM offerings, most radio stations also have a web stream so that they can be reached beyond their frequency-bound broadcast area. In the last few years, the online programs have grown enormously and offer a whole new radio experience. Many web-only radios, which can only be received online, are devoted to a very specific music genre and do not interrupt their programs with advertising or entertainment content. The variety of web radios is almost infinite and offers an extraordinarily varied selection of the most diverse genres, programs and international stations. All accessible with just a single click.
DAB+ is a bridging technology designed to replace traditional FM transmission. Instead of radio waves, a digital signal is transmitted which is received by DAB+ receivers and converted into sound. Many DAB+ radios are also capable of FM reception in addition to the DAB+ standard. These devices are also referred to as hybrid radios. The variety of stations for DAB+ is somewhat greater than via FM. FM frequencies on which the stations are transmitted must be far enough apart from each other. And since only a limited frequency spectrum is available, the number of potential stations in any given broadcasting area is limited. The transmission of DAB+ signals has far fewer restrictions here, which is why more stations can be broadcast in a DAB+ transmission area. The choice is even greater with web radios and internet radios, as each radio station here has unique stream URLs and there can be no overlaps.
Basically, a distinction is made between DAB+ and internet radio even though both convert digital information back into sound. For DAB+, the stations need special transmitters to broadcast the signal. This signal has a geographical range depending on the transmission power. There is also no two-way connection between the transmitters and the receivers. This is also referred to as one-to-many broadcasting. A transmitter can be received by any number of devices within its transmission area. But the transmission areas are limited in the radius around the transmitter. The receiving devices do not communicate back to the transmitter. For internet radio, an internet connection between the transmitter and the receiver, is actually necessary. So-called streaming servers are used for this purpose. The receivers or listeners connect directly to these servers via the streaming URL. The capacity of a server always has a technical limit, called slots, so the number of simultaneous listeners is limited. The large web radios do not only use one streaming server, but have flexible networks that can also serve many simultaneous listeners. There is actually a two-way connection between the sender and the receiver. The streaming server can technically count how many devices are currently connected. There is no classic broadcasting area, either. Internet radio can be received around the globe as long as an internet connection can be established.
Listening to the radio has become very easy on the Internet. You can listen to your favorite radio stations from all over the world directly in your browser. With radio.net, everyone has a free radio search engine and the right receiver at the same time. Simply enter the name of the radio station in the search and start the station. You can also search for specific music genres, topics or cities. The free service from radio.de always offers the right program. Of course, the whole thing also works with the smartphone, either in the browser or with the practical app, which is available for download free of charge.
You can listen to online radio with any smartphone. The program is then received not via FM or DAB+, but via the Internet, which is why this reception channel is also called Internet radio or web radio. The selection of radio stations is therefore much greater than with classic radio. The easiest way to listen to the radio on your mobile phone is via a radio app. Most radio apps are free and easily available in the respective app stores for iOS and Android.
With an FM or DAB+ radio, you can listen to the radio even without an Internet connection. Online radio or web radio always requires a data connection for the transmission of the current radio program. The selection of programs is then limited to the radio stations in the respective broadcast area. This means that offline radio does not offer the same huge variety of stations as web radio.
The program of the vast majority of broadcasters is offered free of charge. However, an internet connection is necessary for the transmission and data is also transferred. If you have a data flat rate with your internet provider, as is common nowadays, then internet radio does not incur any additional costs. There are also a few internet radio stations for which premium access to the radio station is required. However, these stations are not integrated into the free service of radio.net.
There are programs for PC and Mac that you can download and install to listen to web radio. However, it is even easier to listen to your favorite station directly in the browser. All you need is an internet connection, a browser, a free service like radio.net and headphones or speakers connected to your computer.
For many years, there has been a discussion whether the old FM technology should be switched off. This is about the spread of DAB+ receivers compared to the classic FM radios and the online use for radio reception. Each technology offers advantages and disadvantages. For radio operators it is also a question of cost if all three transmission paths are to be financed simultaneously.
There is still no clear answer to this question for South Africa. The old FM receivers are still more widespread than DAB+ radios. Devices you can receive online radio with are now very widespread thanks to smartphones and tablets. The question is: are enough people willing to buy a DAB+ radio? Or wouldn’t it be easier for most people to receive online radio, with either a smartphone app or directly in the browser?
What you should know about radio stations
The choice of radio stations is huge. There are the classic radio stations we know from FM radio, which focus on pop and charts, rock, oldies or news and reports. In addition, there are also online radios that specialize in very different types of music and genres. The spectrum ranges from music from the Middle Ages to all types of electronic music to K-pop and English rap. You can also enjoy Latin, classical and jazz with the right radio stations.
You can receive almost any radio station from all over the world online. While only a very small selection of stations can be heard via FM, the internet allows you to go on a worldwide journey of discovery. The possible selection of stations depends on the transmission path.
The radio.net database contains more than 97 radio stations and web radios from South Africa. Most stations provide regular news and popular pop music. However, there are also FM stations that play oldies or rock music, ignoring the current charts.
That depends entirely on your personal taste. Let yourself drift a little in the radio database of radio.net and discover your favorite radio station.
DAB distribution and marketing has just taken on some speed, so there is no serious discussion yet to shut down the old FM technology. The main question is about the spread of DAB+ receivers compared to classic FM radios and the use of the internet for radio reception. Each technology offers advantages and disadvantages - and for radio operators it is also a question of costs whether all three transmission paths can be financed simultaneously.
Classic FM and private stations operate on a commercial basis, so they depend on advertising. Whereas the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) gives funding supports, there are likely no stations completely without any commercials.
Only a few classic FM stations play gospel music on the radio. Via digital radio there is already more choice of radio stations that play this popular type of music, whether classical or modern. However, the greatest variety for gospel fans is clearly to be found on web radio. Here there are many stations that have the right songs for every lover: from the gospel classics to current sounds. A list of the best radio stations can be found here: Listen to Gospel Radio online now
The best songs have no expiration date. But even the oldies have their differences. Basically, songs that are older than 25 years are called oldies. So every year many songs are added to this category. That's why there are many oldie stations on web radio that specialize in popular eras and decades. So everyone can find exactly the right oldie radio. Listen to Oldies radio stations online