Upload speeds represent the amount of data sent from your device to the internet in a given second. This impacts simple tasks such as sending emails and accessing cloud-based applications.Upload bandwidth is also consumed with each item seen on a web page. To download a web page, the computer must first send a request to download. Since this process only equates to a fraction of the bandwidth necessary to browse the internet, many providers sell services with smaller upload speeds relative to download speeds.
Most users tend to be more interested in how quickly they can receive data as opposed to how long it takes to send data from their computer. However, it’s worth considering that a slow upload speed can delay the average browsing experience.
How Your Choice of Internet Service Makes a Difference
The internet services that are available today provide varied options to connectivity based on contrasting infrastructures, functions and capabilities:
- Satellite internet - due to the distance that the signal has to travel, lag is common with a satellite connection. Although satellite can stream a continuous amount of data, it struggles with interactive connections such as websites, gaming devices and music streaming. The major benefit of satellite is it’s available almost anywhere. Regardless of this, businesses should not consider satellite as their first choice due to expected struggles when uploading data to the internet.
- DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) - DSL relies on standard telephone lines to transfer data. This infrastructure is not designed to handle today’s internet. As a result, DSL capacity is reserved for downloading data as cloud-based applications were not considered by the engineers who originally invented DSL (because they didn’t exist yet!).
- Cable internet - coaxial cable internet was designed for broadcast video and was never intended to be used to upload data to the internet. Cable plans have very limited upstream capability due to this inherent restriction. Be wary of cable; upload speeds are often so poor that providers will tend to hide exact figures deep in the agreement.
- Fixed wireless - while not a household term just yet, fixed wireless internet is growing in popularity. Developed with upload needs in mind, fixed wireless is capable of symmetrical upload and download speeds making it a leading option for companies who transfer large data files on a regular basis.
Why Upload Speed Matters
Modern applications have placed a greater demand on upload bandwidth than ever before. Video conferencing, interactive learning, online gaming, high-definition live streaming and voice over IP (VoIP) calls require a constant two-way communication. Even simple tasks like email or word processing programs are becoming more reliant on the cloud.
These upload-intensive applications present a more significant issue when multiple users and devices share the same network. Having to accommodate simultaneous uploads should be considered when deciding which internet service plan to go with.
The recommended ratio for download to upload speeds should fall between 6 to 1 and 4 to 1. Lower-bandwidth connections require a lower ratio for applications to ensure applications with consistent demands such as VoIP can be managed. Even though going too low can cause problems, a higher data rate comes with a higher cost.
As users continue to send more data up through the internet and to the cloud, the need for faster upload speeds is greater than ever. Fixed wireless internet is capable of symmetrical download and upload speeds making it an excellent option for businesses transferring large data files, engaging in regular video conferences and using VoIP phone service.