How important is upload speed? When does a good upload rate matter?

Sep 25, 2020 - Views: 2725

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If you think that just a good download speed matters to your internet experiences, then this blog post is something that you should check out right now! 

Right below here, we are going to find out “is upload speed important”, why it matters, and when good upload speeds matter.



Some first words

Together with ping rate and download speed, upload speed is a primary measurement of the internet connection. While the ping rate measures how responsive the connection is, download speed and upload speed directly reflect how fast the internet is. 

Download speed, in fact, is often prioritized to have more Mbps than the upload speed. But it doesn’t mean that upload speed is not important for our online activities. 

Keep reading on to know why upload speed matters and which activities require higher upload speed than download speed. But first, we should learn a little bit about what download speed, upload speed is and the differences between them.

Upload bandwidth

Upload bandwidth

Download speed vs. upload speed

Both download speed and upload speed are measured in Mbps (megabits per second). Despite that fact, they are, of course, not the same thing.

While download speeds determine how fast the data travels from a server on the internet to your devices, upload speeds measure how fast you can send data from your devices to the internet. Generally speaking, the higher the download and upload speeds, the faster the internet connection.

In fact, most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer internet plans with higher download speeds than upload speeds. This is because the large number of online activities require more download bandwidth than upload bandwidth. From streaming videos to loading webpages, most regular online activities these days rely heavily on fast download speeds. That’s why it’s said that the average person frequently needs higher download speeds than upload. 

However, that never means upload speed is not important. Sometimes, upload speed is even more important than download speed. Keep reading on to find out “how important is upload speed” and when a good speed for uploading data is crucial for our internet experiences.

Download vs upload

Download vs upload

Importance of upload speed

ISPs design their system to give priority to downloading data rather than uploading it, we know that, but upload speed is also an important part of our internet plan. 

You are uploading all the time

While you are engaging in online activities that heavily rely on downloading such as opening a webpage or streaming a video, you are uploading too. Every time you access a webpage, log in an email account, or communicate with any other online service, your device also uploads or sends out packets of data to the internet. 

However, the amount of data sent out is so small that it doesn't require a high upload speed. But without sufficient upload speeds, it might be impossible for your devices to communicate smoothly with any online services.

Upload information

Upload information

High upload speeds can make a massive difference in many cases

Upload speeds do matter when it comes to activities involving sending large amounts of data to the internet.

Imagine that you want to share a long video on Facebook or Youtube, for example, your high upload speeds can make a massive difference. Uploading 1G of images would take around 2.5 hours at the upload speed of 1 Mbps, or just about 14 minutes at 10 Mbps. Well, do you see how a high upload speed matters here? 

Besides, fast upload speeds also determine the quality of your online video calls via Skype or FaceTime. Without a good upload rate, you are likely to have low-res video images. In fact, Skype needs an upload speed of 1.5 Mbps for full HD video calls.

So, is download or upload speed more important? Well, there is no 100% accurate answer to this question. Many times, download speed is more important. But in some cases, a good upload speed is all that we want. 

Home internet

Home internet

Activities require high upload speeds

There are a lot of online activities requiring a good upload speed. You will definitely benefit from high upload speeds when you engage in the following common online activities:

  • Uploading data to cloud storage services like Dropbox

  • Sharing photos, videos online to social media like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, …

  • Live-streaming

  • Using P2P file-sharing services

  • Making video calls over services such as Skype, FaceTime

  • Making video conferences over on applications like Zoom

  • Sending emails with large attachments

  • Using live, cloud-hosted documents applications like Google Sheets or Google Docs

  •  …

Also, is upload speed important for gaming? Yep, it also matters for online gaming through the speeds required are not necessarily so fast. For example, for Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, gamers will need at least 0.5 Mbps and 1.0 Mbps upload speed, respectively. But for PlayStation 4, the minimum upload speed required is 2 Mbps. Without a sufficient upload speed, you can play the games smoothly. That’s “how important is upload speed for gaming”!

Fast upload speeds

Fast upload speeds

See also: Is upload speed important for streaming?

Quick ways to improve your upload speeds

An upload rate of 1-2 Mbps seems adequate for many regular online activities. However, speaking of ones that need high upload rates like mentioned above, it appears that we can do nothing with too poor upload speeds. 

But, don’t worry if you run a speed test and find your current upload rate is too bad. There are always solutions for better upload speeds. Following are some of them; let’s take a look.

Try using a wired connection

If you are currently connecting to your Wi-Fi network, then you should try switching it to a wired one (Ethernet cable). As compared to WiFi internet, which is transmitted through the air, the wired connection usually has a better internet speed.

Upload at off-peak hours

This suggestion seems unhelpful when you want to upload something immediately. But if you are not urgent, you can choose to upload files at off-peak times when the internet speed is often much quicker than peak-hours.

Try disconnecting other devices from your network

Multiple devices using your network simultaneously can slow down your connection speeds. If possible, try removing them from your network to see if your upload speed gets faster. 

Clear temporary files on your devices

Clearing history, cookies, and cake can help increase your computer’s overall speed, in that way your upload speed will be also improved as well.

Close unnecessary programs or applications

Turning off unnecessary programs running on your computer, especially the ones using your upload bandwidth can help increase the upload speed. 

Fix slow upload speeds

Fix slow upload speeds

Some ending words

Now you know “why is upload speed important”, right? As a part of our internet plan, upload speed does matter to our online experience. That’s why upload speed is one of the primary measurements in a speed test. Even though download speed is considered more important than upload speed in most cases, high upload speed, sometimes, is everything we need when it comes to certain online activities. Finally, we hope that you enjoyed this article and found it interesting!



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