Speed test: Is download speed always more important than upload speed?

Sep 28, 2021 - Views: 716 - this post if you find it interesting!

In speed test results, we often see that download speeds are higher than upload speeds. The main reason for that fact is that most internet users spend more time downloading than uploading. So, does that mean upload speed is not important? Absolutely not! To know how important upload speed is, please check out today's article of “Speed test: Is download speed always more important than upload speed?” right now.

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 download speed, upload speed in speed test, and the differences between them.


Speed test: Is download speed always more important than upload speed?

Speed test: Download speed vs upload speed

In internet speed tests, we can see that download speed and upload speed, both of them are measured in Mbps. While download speed determines how fast the data travels from a server to your devices, upload speed measures how fast you can send data from your devices to the internet. Generally speaking, the higher the download and upload speed, the faster the internet connection.

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 common 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.

How important upload speed is?

ISPs design their system to give priority to downloading rather than uploading, we know that, but upload speed is also an important part of our internet plan. One hand, 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 doesn’t require a high upload speed. But without sufficient upload speed, it might be so inconvenient for your devices to communicate with any online services.


Upload speed does matter when you need to upload something to the internet

On the other hand, upload speed does matter when you need to upload something to the internet, especially when it comes to large files. Imagine that you like to share a long video on Facebook or Youtube, for example, your high upload speed 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 speed also determines the quality of your online video calls via Skype or FaceTime. Without a good upload speed, 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, if you want to ensure the quality of your video calls, you need to perform speed tests to see whether your upload speed is fast enough for video calling.

Activities require high upload speed

There are a lot of online activities requiring a good upload speed. You will definitely benefit from high upload speeds when you perform these common online activities right below here.

  • Uploading data to cloud storage services like Dropbox

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

  • Using P2P file-sharing services

  • Making video calls over services such as Skype, FaceTime

  • Making video conferences over on applications like Zoom

  • Sending e-mails with large attachments

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

  •  …

Related: What is a good download speed, upload speed on speed test result?

Normally, we will want a download speed of 1-2 Mbps to transfer a file smoothly. For activities that need high upload speed like listed above, of course, it seems like we can do nothing with too low upload speed. Check out the next part of this writing to know quick ways to improve your upload speed in case it’s too low.


Upload speed is also important for your internet experience

Quick ways to improve your upload speed

When you need to upload something with large file sizes, you run a speed test (https://gospeedcheck.com/) then find that your upload speed is not enough for your usage, it’s time for you to try a few quick and easy tips on improving the upload speed. 

- Try using the wired connection. If you are currently connecting to your Wi-Fi network, then you should try switching it to a wired one, as the wired connection usually has a better internet speed.

- Upload at off-peak hours. This suggestion doesn’t seem helpful in case 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 internet. Many devices using your network at a time can slow down your connection speeds, so try disconnecting to see if your upload speed is 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.

- Stop 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. 


As a part of our internet plan, upload speed is also important for your online experience. That’s why upload speed is one of 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!