When it comes to streaming video over the internet, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with a vast array of choices. Most bog-standard cloud backup and sync services are capable of streaming video over their servers, but they’re not really optimised for the task. You could make use of a locally stored solution such as XBMC or Plex, which lets you stream over the internet, but only within certain strict parameters.

The third way is to invest in a cloud-based service that’s geared specifically towards the sharing and streaming of video. That’s the thinking behind RealPlayer Cloud. It’s designed to work on a wide array of devices, allowing you to back up your videos to the cloud and access them from anywhere through a user-friendly interface and without having to worry about whether or not your video will play on the device in question.

The mobile app is primarily designed to let you stream content from your RealPlayer Cloud account, and although a little "soft" when rendering HD movies, is fast and responsive across the board. However, it also gives you access to locally stored video, both on your mobile and any PCs running RealPlayer Cloud too. Not only can you stream from your PC, you can transfer video via Wi-Fi for offline access later for good measure.

Online video can be further organised into handy collections, and you can also share video with others as well as access videos shared in return from the app. A Web videos button also lets you watch web-hosted video as well as access video shared by your Facebook friends (you’ll obviously need to connect to Facebook to use this feature if you’re not already logging into your Real account via the social service).

There’s a lot to like about RealPlayer Cloud except for one thing: its pricing. Only 2GB is offered for free, although you can up this to as much as 3.5GB in total by jumping through various hoops. Sadly, the actual pricing model, starting from $4.99 a month for just 25GB storage, makes it hard to recommend for those with a lot of video they wish to share. If that’s a deal-breaker, then try Streamnation instead.

Verdict

While it’s expensive as a cloud-storage tool, RealPlayer Cloud is far more than a simple cloud-streaming service. Well worth a look, particularly for streaming content directly from your PC to other mobile devices.