What is the Difference Between Download and Upload Speed

When browsing through Facebook, you are amazed at how blazing fast your internet is. You go to other social media sites, and the speed is still the same. However, when you start uploading your video on Youtube, you start to notice how slow the internet speed is. This scenario is common among internet users across the world.

Regardless of your internet service provider, the scenario mentioned above can be observed. With this, you start to wonder the reason behind the difference in internet speeds. This is brought about by varying disputes when it comes to the download and upload speed from your internet service provider.

Laptop user upload download

In this article, we aim to shed light on the question, “What is the difference between download and upload speed?” Aside from this, we will also give you some background information regarding internet speeds as well as the reason behind the jarring difference when it comes to the download and upload speeds. So without further ado, let’ start.

How Internet Speed Works

The speed of the internet connection is measured by the amount of data that is being transferred per second. This is usually designated by the unit Megabits of data per second or Mbps. The internet speed is an essential and relevant measurement of the rate at which you can download data from the internet and in turn, how fast you can put up data on the internet. Moreover, it is also essential to know this information because it signifies whether your internet service provider is keen on providing the service they offer and if you can receive the speed that is promised to you.

We hear a lot of reports about internet subscribers that complain about how their ISP’s were not able to deliver on their promise. Internet users across the world complain about slower download and upload speeds than what they expect. As we all know, data moves to on and from the internet. This is the basis for the distinction of download and upload speeds.

Download Speed vs. Upload Speed

Download Speeds and Upload Speeds vary from each in a lot of aspects. As we all know, some online tasks require you to get data from the internet. With this, you might need to download different types of content, ranging from texts to videos. Activities such as streaming videos or listening to music on Spotify even consume some data. To achieve all these with ease and without any hassle, you need to have fast download speeds.

On the other side of the spectrum, some activities also entail you to send data to the internet. A few examples of these include sending emails, video calling, and uploading data on streaming platforms. To accomplish all of these with ease, you need to have fast upload speeds.

What is Internet Bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the term used to describe the amount of data reserved for your connection. You can liken this to a highway. If there are more lanes present on the road, there will be more room to accommodate moving cars.

The Mbps is an excellent measurement of the amount of bandwidth your home internet connection has. If you have more Mbps, you can expect a higher amount of data that can be consumed at faster speeds. With this, you can also increase the Mbps or speed from your connection because you are equipped with higher bandwidth allocation.

With this at hand, you need to be informed about the download and upload speeds as you go through the different activities you do online. You can also use this information to prioritize and set your browsing activity.

Inconsistencies with Download and Upload Speed

We often hear a lot of reports from people who complain about average or fast download speeds but fare poorer when it comes to a task that entails uploading. However, it is worth noting that upload speeds aren’t as important as download speed when it comes to most online activities. Nevertheless, most tasks that require faster upload speeds need to have at least good download speeds. This is because data is being sent to and from both directions in this case.

Most internet users do not frequently do tasks that require faster upload speeds. Moreover, casual internet users do not upload huge files or other media. Because of this, Internet Service Providers do not usually bundle their internet packages with fast upload speeds. With this, more and more ISPs provide their users with fiber internet connections. With this type of relationship, you get the same amount and acceleration for upload as what you get for download. With Fiber connection, you can rest assured that you get the same speed for browsing through social media as to when you might upload a video on Youtube.

These are some of the online activities that require faster download speeds:

  • Streaming movies or TV shows
  • Online shopping
  • Browsing through social media sites
  • Streaming Youtube videos
  • Scanning through online articles
  • Listening through music streaming platforms such as Spotify

As mentioned above, most internet service providers do not bundle their internet packages with faster upload speeds. But if you are doing some of these activities that we will outline, you might need to make sure that you have better upload speeds:

  • Conference calls
  • Live stream gaming
  • Sending large attachments on emails
  • Syncing data and other content on cloud storage platforms
  • Uploading the video on Youtube or Social Media sites
  • Working with Cloud service platforms such as Dropbox or Google Docs

How to Check Your Internet Speed

Now that you already have some background information about the difference between download and upload speed, you now need to be informed on how to determine such rates. You can do this by using free internet speed tests. There are also third-party applications that will be able to reveal information such as download and upload speeds. You also need to do a simple internet speed test check to check whether your ISP was able to provide you the rate they promised.

One of the most popular Speed testing sites includes Speedtest.Net. The site allows you to connect to a server and then reveal the download and upload speeds in a matter of seconds. Other notable speed testing sites include SpeedSmart and Speedof.Me.