The reason why upload speed is slower than download speed

  • Post last modified:May 13, 2022
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Most of the time when we do a speed test we find out that the download speed is greater than the upload speed and of course, curiosity kicks in and now we want to know why.

No worries at all because in today’s blog we will go through it and explain why this behavior is common.

We will first give an in-depth overview of what download and upload speeds are and we will share some ways to improve our upload speed so we can use it as efficiently as possible.

Are you excited about this journey to maximize the usage of your upload speed?

We will not keep your curiosity any longer and hop right in.

What is download speed?

The shortest way to explain download speed: is the amount of data that you can receive through your network.

This has everything to do with how many megabytes can you obtain in a second.

An alternative measurement to download speed is Mbps which stands for Megabits per second.

Download speed is commonly used to download music, and videos, stream movies and also load webpages.

These are common tasks we do daily without even knowing how we make use of our download speed.

What is upload speed?

Upload speed is what we use to send data over the network and just like download speed, upload speed is how much data you can send over the network.

This is also measured in Mbps or Mb/s.

A real-life example of when we use our upload speed is when we want to post that photo we just took on our social media platform.

Or the nice video about what our hilarious cat did a few moments ago.
This data needs to be uploaded to the servers of our social media platforms and that is where our upload speed kicks in.

Another example of when we use our upload speed is when we are making cloud backups of our devices.

This is a big collection of data that needs to be uploaded to the backup servers and your upload speed is there to take care of it.

Because this process happens in the background we don’t even know that it’s happening and that our upload speed plays a big role in this part.

Why download speed is usually faster than Upload speed

To help us understand why we need to first explain how the internet works in general from that point of view.

Keep in mind that there are far more complicated processes happening but this is just to give you a brief overview.

When we are using the internet, we basically request for certain information to be loaded or downloaded.

This request needs to be sent to the server where the information needs to be downloaded otherwise the server will not know that you need that information.

This request is sent to the server using your upload speed.

If for example, you want to see a youtube video, you will browse to youtube.com and that is how YouTube knows that you want to look for something on their platform.

Youtube will now react to this request by sending you information so their page can be loaded on your browser.

This goes on and on and creates a constant flow of data through your network.

This loading process is taken care of by your download speed.
The higher your download speed, the faster the page is being loaded to your browser.

Because it’s very frustrating to wait forever for your page to be loaded, internet service providers saw a clean opportunity to market internet packages to their customers where they offer more download speed than upload speed and have their customers think that upload speed does not matter that much.

Another reason that encourages this behavior is that the things we do with upload speed are mostly happening in the background and don’t happen as frequently as the things we do with our download speed.

They do provide packages with a high upload speed but these are less advertised because they are more expensive and people usually do not go for those plans.

In some cases, these plans are only limited to businesses.

Ways to improve our upload speed

The only way to improve your upload speed is to use packages that your ISP provides that have higher upload speeds than your current package and upgrade.

There are ways to maximize the usage of your upload speed and here is a list of what you can do:

  • Using a wired connection over a wifi connection can make a great difference
  • Malware can slow down processes or activate other processes to consume resources that you need. Getting rid of them may not be such a bad idea
  • Too many users on a network may also be a reason why your upload speed is lower than it should be. Removing some users that make use of most of the resources can help you maximize the usage of your upload speed.
  • Uploading when there are no peak times on your network also helps to maximize the usage of your upload speed.
  • Outdated drivers, software, or hardware, may also be the reason why you are suffering from a low upload speed. Updating these can bring you victory and a higher upload speed. 
  • Security Camera Systems can stress your upload speed because they constantly upload footage to be available for people looking at this remotely. Using a different network for this system can solve the mystery of your upload speed being low.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we have learned today that the download speed is almost always greater than the upload speed. 

This is because people do not see the importance of the upload speed while doing their day-to-day tasks and internet service providers took advantage of their impatience to promote packages with a higher download speed. 

Most of these internet providers provide packages with a high upload speed so if you have used tips to maximize the usage of your upload speed and still don’t feel like it’s enough you can always check for an upgrade on your current internet package and upgrade if possible.

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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