Why is my download speed so slow but upload fast in speed test result?

Jul 04, 2022 - Views: 4226 - this post if you find it interesting!

As you probably know, download speed is typically higher than upload speed. Is it something unusual if download speed is so slow but upload speed is fast in speed test results? Oh, not really! So, “why is my download speed so slow but upload fast?” Check out this post to know why!

Slow internet connection

Slow internet connection

First of all, why don’t we spend a few minutes learning basic things about upload and download speeds? Let’s see what download and upload speeds are, the difference between them, why download speed is considered more important than upload speed, and more.

Download speed vs. upload speed

Both of them are essential metrics used to measure an internet connection. 

What is the difference?

While download speed is the rate at which data is transferred from the internet to your device, upload speed determines how fast the data moves from your device to the internet. That’s the most fundamental difference between download speeds and upload speeds that you should know. 

Good internet speeds

Good internet speeds

Why does download speed matter?

A vast majority of online activities that we often engage in involves downloading data. From basic things such as web surfing, email checking, social media scrolling, etc, to bandwidth-heavy activities like video streaming, downloading large files, playing FPS games, and more, they all mainly depend on download bandwidth.

Though we are also uploading while downloading, the amount of data involved is often so small. In other words, average internet users spend a lot more time downloading than uploading. That's why internet service providers tend to give more priority to download speeds.

But it doesn't mean that upload speeds are not essential. Whenever you do activities requiring uploading a lot of data (such as live streaming, sending emails with large attachments, etc), upload speed comes into play.

These days, along with asymmetrical internet connections (connections with different download and upload speeds), internet providers also offer symmetrical internet connections, providing equal download and upload speeds.

What is a good download speed for wifi?

Different factors determine "What is a good upload and download speed for wifi or your wired connection?". In which, the number of devices using the connection and types of online activities you and other people in your home network do are most important.

What's a good download speed for wifi if you have one device and only engage in basic activities like web browsing, email checking, Google searching, …, for example? Well, it doesn't need to be fast. 5 Mbps might seem enough.

But what is good download speed for wifi if you have multiple devices connected to the network or your home has some other people using the connection, and they often stream videos, play games, download files, ...? Surely, 5 Mbps is never enough. 

Fast internet

Fast internet

Why is my download speed so slow?

Running an internet speed test, and you find out your download speed is so slow while your upload speed is fast? You may ask yourself “Why is my download speed suddenly so slow?”!

Well, this is not something so unusual. So, why is download speed so slow but upload fast despite the fact that download speed is typically faster than upload speed? To be honest, there might be several reasons behind that type of speed test result. 

Multiple devices using the network at once, simultaneously downloading too many files, congestion taking place in the download bandwidth, technical problems with your ISP, … can be the cause.

Network congestion on the download bandwidth during internet peak hours

During internet peak hours, not only you, other people in your home and your neighbor also use the internet. Since a large portion of regular online activities depends on download bandwidth, congestion on the download bandwidth likely occurs, causing slower download speeds. 



Downloading too many files

Downloading files use download bandwidth. When you concurrently download many files, particularly large files, the system is likely bogged down, your device also runs slow and can't process the download process efficiently.

Multiple devices using the network at once

The more devices using your network, the more internet bandwidth and faster speeds are required. If these devices are using the network at the same time and require too much download bandwidth that exceeds what is available, slower speeds for all are to be expected.

Other factors

Things like issues with the wireless router, background programs, and more may also cause the problem. 

Well, when you speed check your internet connection and get fast upload but slow download speed results, conduct the test again and ensure that you run it properly (running multiple tests at different hours of the day; running the test using a wired connection; running the test using different devices; closing unnecessary programs running on the background; removing other devices from the network before starting the test; and so on).

If you run the test the right way but still notice an oddly slower-than-usual internet download speed, it appears that there might be a technical problem. If that's the case, call your internet service provider to report the issue.

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