Someone holding a phone with a radio app open

Online radio means listening to radio via the internet.

The radio signal is not transmitted via AM or FM, but streamed via the internet. This means that your device needs to be connected to the internet to receive the radio station. The internet connection can be Wi-Fi or mobile data.

These services are accessible via the internet on lots of devices, including smart TVs, tablets, computers, laptops and smart phones.

Streaming means the content that you are listening to is brought to you directly from the internet. If your internet is not fast enough then the radio station will start and stop playing. This is called buffering. 

Features and benefits

The advantage of listing to online radio is that you have many more channels to listen to. For example, you receive all the Digital DAB radio stations as well as RNIB Connect Radio. You can also listen to radio stations from other countries.

You can also listen to online radio on your smartphone while out and about and even have the option to pause and then continue from where you left off. Listening to online radio is usually free, but you do need to put up with the usual radio adverts.

Anything else?

There are lots of different apps to choose from, but the most popular ones are:

  • TuneIn Radio
  • RadioPlayer
  • BBC iPlayer Radio
  • RTÉ Radio Player (to receive the Irish radio stations in Northern Ireland)

Other regional apps may also be available for local radio stations.

In addition, any radio station will usually have their own app, so open the app store on your device and search for the radio station name.

Before considering any of these streaming services, you need to make sure your internet connection is fast enough and that your package allows you a suitable download limit. Check with your service provider to find out if you have a suitable package.

Find out more about online radio.