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David Andres is a senior writer for broadband providers, smart home devices and security products. Before joining David, he developed his expertise writing for the Allconnect broadband market. In over 5 years of broadband coverage, David’s work has been referenced by a variety of sources including ArcGIS, DIRECTV, and more. David is from the Charlotte area and currently resides with his wife, son and two cats.
How To Make Your Upload Speed Faster
This story is part of a series of practical tips for home use, indoors and outdoors.
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The information highway is not a one-way street. Download and upload speeds both play a role in our home internet usage, but most ISPs promote application download speeds while treating upload speeds as an afterthought.
There is a reason for that. Downloading dominates what we use the Internet for, from streaming TV and music to viewing this web page, and download speed determines how quickly and easily we can perform these activities.
So what about the upload speed? Are they as insignificant as some providers suggest, or do they play a bigger role in our connected lives than they’re being given credit for? I’ll explain the difference between download and upload speeds, why your upload speed matters, why your speeds are slow, and how you can improve them.
Let’s start with the basics of how your internet connection works. All internet activity involves sending data through your modem or ONT if you’re using a fiber connection. When you receive data — watching a TV stream, viewing a web page, scrolling through your social media feed, etc. — you’re downloading from the Internet. When you send data – eg. Your face and voice via video call – you upload to the Internet.
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Download and upload speeds determine how fast you can do such things and how many devices can reasonably use the Internet at the same time.
Download speed shows your ability to download data and upload speed does the same for uploading data. Both speeds are usually advertised and tested in megabits per second or megabits per second. The higher your Mbps, the faster your connection.
Almost everything Streaming TV, browsing social media, connecting to Wi-Fi security cameras, and reading online news are just a few examples of downloading data over the Internet. Even when you’re streaming TV or music, you’re downloading data, even if no files are saved on your hard drive, such as when you download a song instead of streaming it.
Any data you send or upload to the Internet. This includes typing something into the search box and pressing “Enter” or uploading files such as homework or pictures and videos to social media. Upload speed is also important when hosting live broadcasts, video conferencing, VOIP calls, and online gaming.
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Just as the download speed affects the quality of the picture and sound when you broadcast a program on TV, the speed of your upload also affects how others see and hear on the other side of the live broadcast, video conference or online game. Slow or unstable upload speeds are often the cause of frozen screens and broken audio when using apps like Skype or Zoom.
For average home internet use over a Wi-Fi connection and on four to five devices, I recommend an upload speed of at least 5 Mbps. It should easily support most tasks that require uploading data, including HD video calls and online gaming. Of course, as with download speeds, a higher speed probably provides a better experience.
The FCC considers any upload speed of 3 Mbps or higher to be “broadband”. However, the FCC set this speed threshold (along with a broadband download speed of 25 Mbps) in 2015 and has since received bipartisan pressure from Congress to set a cap for what is officially considered broadband. , Increase.
However, the FCC standard of 3 Mbps is enough on paper, if not by much, to meet most of the minimum requirements for apps like Skype and Zoom. Skype recommends at least 100 kbps for calls and 512 kbps for group video chats with seven or more people. Zoom is a bit more demanding, requiring at least 600 kbps for a 1:1 video call and 3.8 Mbps for a 1080p HD group video call.
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Keep in mind that these are minimum requirements and you’ll probably enjoy much faster speeds, so it’s a good idea to know what your speeds are and what might affect them.
A good speed test will give you an idea of what your upload speed is. Of course, if you’re experiencing excessive lag and stuttering during video calls, you may not need a speed test to know your upload speed isn’t up to par.
If your upload speed is below your needs or expectations, a number of factors can contribute to the slowdown. As a bonus, some of these tips can also improve your download speed in the process.
The main culprit for slow upload speeds, especially compared to your download speeds, is the internet plan itself. Most ISPs’ plans, with the exception of fiber internet service, typically come with a maximum upload speed of about one-tenth or less of the advertised download speed. If you sign up for an internet plan with a maximum download speed of 50 Mbps, you can probably expect a maximum upload speed of 5 Mbps or less.
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Most cable ISPs, including Cox, Spectrum, and Xfinity, have maximum upload speeds of 30 to 35 Mbps, although gigabit download speeds are often available. The same is true for most DSL and satellite Internet services. The upload speed is much lower than the advertised download speed.
How to fix it: It’s best to find out what the maximum upload speed available with a particular provider or plan is before you sign up. Most providers list the upload speed on their website, but you may have to look at the fine print or plan the details to find it.
If you already have Internet service, upgrade to a faster plan. Not only are you likely to get faster upload speeds, but you’ll also get faster download speeds. Switching providers is another option, especially if fiber service is available from providers like AT&T, CenturyLink, Google Fiber, or Verizon Fios. Fiber technology supports the bandwidth required for symmetrical or nearly symmetrical download and upload speeds. So if you sign up for a 300 Mbps plan, you can expect download and upload speeds of around 300 Mbps over a wired connection.
Wi-Fi is an alternative to a wired connection, not its own separate Internet service. If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection, expect download and upload speeds to be slower than what your provider actually sends to your home.
How Many Mbps Do I Need
Blockage of range and signal can also be a problem when using Wi-Fi. The further you get from your router or move to a different room or floor, the slower your upload speed will likely be.
How to fix it: Using a wired Ethernet connection will almost always give you a faster and more reliable connection. If you need fast and stable upload speeds for an important meeting or school project, use a wired connection.
A wired connection is not always convenient and Wi-Fi is much more convenient, so there are often times when Wi-Fi is your only option. There are several ways to improve your Wi-Fi connection, such as elevating your router or moving antennas.
Upgrading equipment is also an effective way to improve your Wi-Fi speed. If you’re not sure where to start when shopping for a new router, check out our list of the best Wi-Fi routers. And for better whole-home Wi-Fi connectivity, consider upgrading to a dual-band mesh router system.
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There is only so much bandwidth available. When you have multiple video conferences going on at the same time, they can all compete with each other and slow down the upload speeds available to everyone. While simultaneous meetings or class participation may be unavoidable, try to stagger meetings and limit the number of connected devices if possible.
How to fix it: Aside from strategically planning meeting times to accommodate everyone in the family, make sure your router is set to broadcast on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. There is likely to be less congestion on your 5GHz band, allowing you to have better connection quality and faster upload speeds.
Additionally, upgrading your internet plan or provider to one with a faster maximum upload speed will help ensure you have enough to go around.
Believe it or not, uploading files and participating in video calls like downloading files or streaming TV will add to your monthly data usage. Depending on your provider, exceeding your data limit may result in limited speed for the rest of your billing cycle.
What Internet Speed Do I Need?
This will probably only be a problem if you have satellite internet. HughesNet and Viasat drastically reduce speeds when a customer has exceeded their monthly data allowance. Choose cable and DSL Internet providers
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