Everything you need to know about download speed

  • Post last modified:May 24, 2022
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Everything you need to know about download speed
Everything you need to know about download speed

Download speed is the most popular term when it comes to internet speed. It’s also the most significant consideration when choosing an internet service provider plan. 

In short, download speed refers to how fast you receive the information that you requested over the internet. In contrast, upload speed refers to how fast you can send information over the internet. 

Most of the time, the download speed is always higher than the upload speed cause people download more than they upload. 

When you want to watch a movie, you will need to download the data from a website or server so you can watch the movie. Upload speed is also needed, but just not as high as the download speed.

This article will explain everything about the download speed, why it’s needed, what a good download speed should look like, and the difference between the download speed and upload speed.

Everything you need to know about upload speed

“Download speed refers to how fast you receive the information that you requested over the internet, whereas upload speed refers to how fast you can send information over the internet.”

Sitting on a Swivel Chair Having a Discussion about download speed.

What is download speed?

Your download speed refers to how fast you can receive the information you requested, such as text, images, music, a video, or other data you can find online. Almost every online activity involves downloading. For example, viewing a web page, streaming a movie, or gaming online.

Your download speed is partially determined by the data plan you chose from your internet service provider (ISP). The higher the download speed, the more expensive the plan will be.

Other factors that determine the quality of your download speed are your electronic devices, such as your computer or laptop, your modem, or router.

Download speed can also be partially determined by the type of internet connection you have. The types of internet connections you can have are cable, fiber, satellite, DSL, or cellular connection.

Why does download speed matter?

Of course, we need to download and upload data online all the time, but in general, for most of us, we upload way less than we download. 

If you are looking for a new shirt online on Amazon, for example, your browser is constantly downloading images, text, and maybe also review videos as you are browsing through the site.

The only reason you need to upload data is so your browser knows what you are looking for. The data that needs to be uploaded are the search terms you are looking for and also the information from a link and buttons if you decide to click one of them.

For that reason, your upload speeds usually don’t need to be as fast as your download speed.

But if your download speed is low, the data you requested by a search term for example will load super slow. In contrast, if it’s fast, the content will load super fast, which everyone loves.

Most of the time people don’t really like waiting, this is the reason why people always go for a high download speed instead of a high upload speed. Even ISPs offer plans with a high download speed and a low upload speed.

“Download speed is generally more important than upload speed”

What is a good download speed?

A good download speed is at least 40 Mbps, and a good upload speed is at least 10 Mbps. 

With a download speed of 40 Mbps, you can watch videos on Youtube, watch a movie on Netflix, attend a zoom meeting, and play most online games such as Fortnite.

How to speed up video streaming

For most people, 40 Mbps might seem high, especially for people outside of the U.S. which is understandable but it is a good speed to aim for when choosing a plan.

Here’s a breakdown of common download speed ranges in Mbps and what they’re good for:

breakdown of common download speed ranges in Mbps | Source: highspeedinternet
breakdown of common download speed ranges in Mbps | Source: highspeedinternet

“A good download speed is at least 40 Mbps, and a good upload speed is at least 10 Mbps.”

The difference between download speed and upload speed

Download vs Upload speeds | Source: allconnect
Download vs Upload speeds | Source: allconnect

Your download speed refers to “how fast you can receive the information you requested, such as text, images, music, a video, or other data you can find online.” 

Almost every online activity involves downloading. For example, viewing a web page, streaming a movie, or gaming online.

Your download speed is partially determined by the data plan you chose from your internet service provider (ISP). The higher the download speed, the more expensive the plan will be.

Your upload speed refers to “how fast you are sending data from your browser to the internet.”

High upload speed is helpful when you want to send large files via email, for example, upload large videos to Youtube, or do a zoom call with someone else, since you have to send your video data to them so they can see your every move.

In general, ISP always offer plans with a slower upload speed than download speed. Most internet connection types are built or designed to maximize download speed, as this is what people ask/need most of the time when surfing the internet. 

This is why fiber internet connection is so popular and more expensive, because one of the advantages it has, is that download and upload speeds are about equally fast.

The reason why upload speed is slower than download speed.

“Download and upload speeds matter because they greatly affect the quality of your online experiences.”

Conclusion

Both download and upload speeds are important. In general, Download speed is higher than upload speed. ISP also supports this by offering plans with high download speeds and low upload speeds.

A good download speed starts at 40Mbps, and an upload speed starts at 10Mbps. People also get away with lower speeds, but you should always choose a plan which is needed for your situation.

If you are having problems with your internet for example slow loading webpages, you probably have a too low internet plan.

With new technology like Fiber, download and upload speeds are equally fast.

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Shawn Stolting

A web developer who is trying to get better with each day. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop...

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