14th Jan 2021Guides

Download Speed Vs Upload Speed: Knowing the Difference

Maria Gatt

CompareSpeedTest Team

Slow internet in 2021 is as useful as snow gear on a tropical island.

Internet speed is probably one of the key criteria (if not the key criteria) that we look for when it comes to selecting a broadband package. However, did you know that internet speed is not one generic and encompassing component of broadband provision? So, what are the ins and outs of internet speed? What are the things that you need to keep in mind?

Internet speed can be predominantly divided into two main components – upload and download speed. Let’s have a closer look at both.

Speedtest upload vs download.jpg

All About Download Speed

Download speed is the pace at which your internet connection can access and fetch data. In more technical terms, download speed is how many megabits per second (Mbps) it takes to download data from a server. This data could be in the form of images, videos, audio, or files.

What Is Upload Speed?

Upload speed can be defined as the speed at which your devices can send data to the internet. Truth be told, your upload speed is less important than your download speed. Indeed, the large majority of typical users do not need to upload large amounts of data. Doubtlessly, we all upload photos on social media or perhaps even the odd video or two. However, this is largely outweighed by the amount of data that we download.

That is why the upload speed is typically much lower than the download speed and it is usually the download speed that providers advertise.

Why Is Speed Important?

We can all agree that slow internet is incredibly frustrating. Who has the time (or the patience) to wait for a buffering video? We all want to have instant access to online content and being able to consume it without having to wait.

If you’re a gamer or have an avid gamer in your household, your internet speed can make the difference between winning and losing in an exhilarating first-person shooter game that you’re playing online. So, you are probably very selective about the internet package that you go for.

Furthermore, as more of us are now working or studying from home, a strong internet speed has become essential. Being that colleague that’s constantly frozen on zoom calls is definitely not something that we aspire to, nor is being the classmate that misses out on all the important parts of lectures.

What Constitutes a Good Upload and Download Speed?

This is a very common question but also a very subjective one since everyone’s connectivity needs vary. However, as a rule of thumb; it can be said that at least 12 Mbps is necessary for normal internet browsing and standard provision usually ranges between 12 Mbps and 25 Mbps. Typical upload speed can be anything from just 1 Mbps to 15 Mbps.

In times where we are very often separated by distance, connectivity becomes a more and more important element that links us with our family, friends, and colleagues. Good and consistent internet speed ensures that you are never far away from what’s important to you.

Curious to see how your internet speed fares? Take our free speed test now.

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