Why is My Upload Speed So Slow?

Published: October 5, 2021 / Article by: Siarhei Kulich

Life in the modern world has completely migrated to the online space. Your productivity and comfort in transferring information depend on the Internet speed. Recent Google research shows that 50% of Internet users consider 2 seconds a normal website load time. However, if it takes minutes or even hours to upload a file from your computer, then you should check your upload speed.

As suggested by the name, upload speeds determine how fast the server responds to the client’s request. Thus, any file or data that you send through the Internet needs good upload speeds.

Reasons and Tips to Increase Upload Speed

There are many factors that affect your upload speeds. The reason may lie both in the quality of the ISP services and in the network devices connected to the Internet. 

Please consider the main factors that can slow down your upload speed:

  1. It may be the fault of the device you use to access the Internet. 
  • If your internet speed is 20 Mbps or less, the data plan might be the limiting factor. Check what your ISP has to offer – does it provide faster and cheaper rates? 
  • If it exceeds 20 Mbps, the server may hamper upload speeds. An endless number of users visit servers simultaneously. Thus, upload and download speeds are usually limited by the server itself. 

  1. The difference can occur because of your ISP. They control traffic flow to serve their entire customer base. If you signed for the non-symmetric data plan, you will have high-speed downloading but uploading will take time. 
  2. Try uploading with Firefox or Chrome. Superior to Internet Explorer in their capabilities, these browsers resolve most Java issues and provide a first-rate experience. In addition, if you have a lot of apps, disable unnecessary ones, turn off notifications from websites, and update your browser to the latest version. 
  3. Restart your device, router, and modem. Sometimes, exceptional issues may impede the correct functioning of the equipment. Resetting will give a break to your network devices and help to troubleshoot the issue.
  4. Outdated drivers can prevent your device from uploading data to its full potential. Check your version of Java and update to the latest release to help your device run smoothly.
  5. Your ISP can also be the reason. Don’t be afraid to change your ISP if the new one offers higher Internet speed (often with Cable or DSL) and, thus, high upload speed. DSL and cable internet are different in how they transmit the internet to your home. Cable internet, although fast and reliable, is vulnerable to poor performance during peak usage times. There is more bandwidth with cable, so its upload speeds are twice as high as DSL speeds. 
  6. Another important factor to consider is how many users and devices are on your network. If you use multiple computers, smartphones, and smart TVs on the same network, this can lead to a significant decrease in speed. 
  7. It’s better not to run several programs that require quality Internet. The solution is to disable the ones you don’t need at startup (except antivirus). Pay attention that you may also overload the channel with many open tabs in the browser and the torrent tracker.
  8. Remember to clear cookies and cache regularly not to overload your PC as it can slow down the upload speed as well.
  9. Check your device for viruses or malware as they can hog the bandwidth. So, it’s best to ensure your PC firewall and antivirus are up to date.

Download Speed VS Upload Speed 

Not sure how upload and download speeds differ? 

The idea is that data goes in two directions – you download and upload information, so each internet connection will respectively have download speeds and upload speeds.

Note: Most people spend most of the time surfing the Internet and downloading information, that’s why download speeds that most ISPs offer are greater than upload speeds. That is what A means in ADSL – asymmetric. Still, some ISPs offer data plans with nearly the same upload and download speed.

In spite of that, you shouldn’t neglect your upload speed. It serves to send emails, uploading media on social media, playing live video games, and calling on video conference services – all require fast upload speeds.

Internet Service Plans and Their Features 

Providers offer a variety of different packages of speeds and features designed to fit your needs. Although there is an endless number of data plans, the following information describes the general ones.

Data plans and prices vary depending on the download speed first. It ranges from 25 to 940 Mbps. The upload speed may vary from 3 up to 940 Mbps if the plan presupposes the same speed for both and if the network architecture serving your physical address allows you to do so. Besides, there are data caps (monthly limits) in each package that are pretty much the same.

While download and upload speeds determine the overall Internet speed, bandwidth defines the quantity of data transmitted over a network connection in a given amount of time. Providers offer both symmetrical and asymmetrical bandwidth connections depending on the difference between download and upload speeds.

You can calculate your bandwidth capacity if you compute your megabits per second. For instance, if you have a gigabit network, 1000 Mbps will correspond to the total network bandwidth. And the higher the bandwidth is, the more it costs.

How to Measure Internet Speed Correctly? 

The Internet offers numerous services that allow you to test your Internet speed. These programs measure the ping – the speed of the signal response from the server (that is, how many milliseconds it takes a person’s request from the phone or computer to reach the server). 

 To provide an objective value and understand how to improve the upload speed, a number of actions must be taken before testing: 

  1. Connect the PC directly to the network using the ISP’s cable. In this way, you will get a better picture of how to increase the upload speed. 
  2. Choose an accurate and high-quality online program. The most popular service today is SpeedTest
  3. Disable programs that use traffic (downloads, updates, etc.). Ideally, only the tab with the testing website should be open in the browser. 
  4. Deactivate antivirus software and firewall. 
  5. Disable proxy. 

Note: if the server through which you access the Internet is located on the territory of another state, the upload and download speeds will be notably reduced.

About Siarhei Kulich
Co-founder and CTO of HRank.com - a hosting uptime monitoring website. Siarhei has more than 20 years experience in web developing and web hosting.
Connect: Website, LinkedIn
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