Is upload speed important? WHEN & HOW it matters? Let’s see!

Nov 04, 2021 - Views: 0 - this post if you find it interesting!

Along with ping time (latency) and download speed, upload speed is one of the primary metrics used to measure internet performance. However, in fact, download speed, not download speed, is often mentioned when it comes to how fast a connection is.

So, does it mean upload speed is unimportant to our internet experiences? Well, not at all! Want to know why upload speed matters? Keep reading on to find out. Lots of interesting information is here for you to explore.

First of all, let’s spend a minute learning what upload speed is.

Uploading

Uploading

What is upload speed?

Here are basic things to know about upload speed.

What does upload speed mean?

Upload speed simply refers to the rate at which data moves from your devices to the internet. In other words, it determines how quickly you can send data to the internet from your PC, smartphone, or any other device. The data to upload can be in the form of files, photos, videos, audio, and more. 

Download vs. upload: Basic differences

As you may notice, upload is the opposite of download, isn't it? While upload speed refers to how long it takes to send data from your device to the internet, download speed determines how fast the data moves from a server on the internet to your device. It is the fundamental difference between the download speed and upload speed. 

In actuality, a very high percentage of online activities that internet users engage in involves downloading data. As a result, many ISPs (Internet Service Providers) give their priority to download speeds. 

Download vs upload speed

Download vs upload speed

However, that doesn’t mean upload speed is inessential for your internet experiences. 

Though most online activities that average internet users do depend on downloading data, we’re uploading, too (but the amount of data needed is often so small). Notably, there are many cases where all you need is just good upload speeds. 

Yep, that’s definitely true when it comes to activities mainly involving sending large amounts of data from your device to the internet, such as live streaming, uploading videos, or large files, etc.

Besides, upload speeds are essential to things like video conferencing, VOIP calling, and even online gaming. More details on the importance of upload speed will be revealed in the next section of this post. Keep reading to know “is upload or download speed more important for gaming and other activities?”

Why does upload speed matter?

Why does upload speed matter?

Mbps upload 

Similar to download speed, upload speed is also measured in Mbps (Megabit per second). And, of course, the faster the upload speeds, the better. When you run speed tests and receive high numbers of upload Mbps in the results, it means your connection is fast and it allows you to upload things quickly.

As per broadband.co.uk, uploading 1 gigabyte of images at a 1 Mbps speed would take around 2.5 hours, but at 10Mbps speed, it just takes about 14 minutes. What a surprise!

When is upload speed important?

When is upload speed important?

Is upload speed important?

As stated previously, upload speed does matter. In some cases, it’s even much more important than download speed. 

Well, for those using the internet mainly for surfing the internet, watching online videos, or things like these, the upload rate won’t matter a lot. But when you have to do activities like live streaming, sharing photos online, posting videos on YouTube, making video calls, etc, you will realize the importance of this rate. 

That’s why it’s hard to tell exactly “which is more important download or upload speed?” It depends on the activities that you are engaging in. 

Following are details on how important is upload speed; let’s see!

Live streaming

Live streaming

Is upload speed important for streaming?

Speaking of streaming video content on platforms like Netflix, Disney+, or any other streaming services, upload rate might not be important. But when it comes to live-streaming on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, ..., then good upload speeds mean a lot for sure. 

Live streaming is simply the process that lets a streamed video be sent over the Internet in real-time. In creating great live videos, the role of a fast upload rate is critical. It allows you to deliver your live content without any significant issues.

Now you know “is upload or download speed more important for streaming,” right?

Streaming on Twitch

Streaming on Twitch

How important is upload speed for gaming?

When gaming, gamers need to continually send data and information from their gaming devices to the server. Besides, in multiplayer games, it’s also needed to send messages to other players, right?

So, an adequate upload speed is a part of smooth gaming experiences. However, we don’t need to have a particularly fast upload rate to play online games. 1 Mbps seems to be enough for most online gaming sessions. So, is upload speed important for gaming? Yep, it is, right?  

But in fact, ping rate plays a more crucial role in fluid gaming experience than download and upload speed. 

Good internet for gaming

Good internet for gaming

Is upload or download speed more important for Zoom?

To make a call on Zoom, you need to both download and upload data. 

Watching other participants on Zoom uses download speed, but sending and sharing your own video or screen on a Zoom call, of course, uses upload speed.

As you can see, both download and upload speeds are important for Zoom, right? So, what is a good internet download and upload speed for zoom? 

You’ll need at least 600kbps (upload/download) for 1:1 video call in 480p (high quality video). For making calls in higher quality and group calls, higher download and upload speeds are required.

Similarly, when you make video calls using FaceTime or Skype, you also need good upload speed since it dictates if you can broadcast yourself in good image quality or not. 

Video conferencing

Video conferencing

When is upload speed important: Other activities

Upload speed matters whenever you need to send a large amount of data from your PC or other devices to the internet. So, along with things mentioned above like live streaming, video conferencing, making video calls, …, there are still a bunch of other activities largely involving uploading. They include:

  • Sending emails with large attachments

  • Working on Google Sheets, Google Docs, …

  • Uploading photos, videos to social media

  • Uploading YouTube content

  • ...

Some ending words

Recently, we’ve learned what upload speed is and how it matters to our internet experiences. As you can see, without a sufficient upload speed, it’s hard for us to enjoy our favorite online activities, especially ones involving uploading large amounts of data, right? Whenever you want to determine if your connection is fast enough for any activity, it’s good to run a download and upload speed test to find out.