5 Reasons Why Your Internet Upload Speed is Slow (& How to Fix It)
Is your internet upload speed slow? If you’ve noticed your speed is slow when you are uploading content, video conferencing, or more, then you might have a problem with your upload speed. In this blog, we’ll walk you through 5 reasons your internet upload speed is slow, plus how to fix it!
The Evolution of Internet Speed
Traditionally, download speed was much more important than upload speed. After all, most of our online activity was dedicated to browsing and watching content.
However, we’ve now entered the era of user-generated content, video calls, and cloud services. And most recently, a worldwide pandemic has shown us just how much a quality internet connection matters when we work from home and rely solely on the virtual world for entertainment. Because of this, upload speed has come to matter as much as your download speed.
However, despite growing demands for higher upload speeds, many internet service providers (ISPs) still don’t deliver. Today, we’ll explore what causes slow upload speed, plus offer solutions to fix it so you never have to worry about a choppy internet connection again.
Download & Upload Speed: What is the Difference?
Before we dive into the potential reasons why your internet upload speed might be slow, let’s learn the difference between the popular internet terms: download and upload speeds.
Customers often only care about broadband, which is your total data capacity. However, broadband is a two-way street, with download speed running one way and upload speed running the other.
Download speed tells us how fast we receive information from the internet. We use it when we:
- Use streaming services (Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.)
- Watch videos online
- Visit websites
- Download files
Upload speed determines how fast we can send and upload information from our device to the internet. We use it for:
- Uploading content online, for example, to our social media profiles
- Sending emails and attachments
- Video conferencing
- Uploading our data to cloud services
Because a typical internet user does far more downloading (streaming and browsing) than uploading (sharing content online), many ISPs have traditionally offered a higher download rate and a lower upload rate. This type of connection is known as an asymmetrical connection.
While download rates still take the cake, we’re increasingly relying on upload speeds. We use video conferencing apps daily, in our personal and professional lives if we work from home. We send videos and photos to our friends and family via messaging apps and share content on our social media profiles. ISPs, such as Race, now offer fiber internet packages with the same upload and download speed rates. They’re called symmetric internet connections, also known as symmetrical speeds.
Upload Speed: How Slow is Too Slow?
So, how slow is too slow when it comes to upload speeds? Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer. It depends on the number of devices connected to the internet, what you use it for, and the type of internet.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defined broadband as an internet service that delivers download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps.
Here is how much some of the most common online activities will require:
- Video conferencing apps, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Google Meet, require between 1 to 3 Mbps for quality group video calls
- Livestreaming on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Or Instagram Live needs between 3 Mbps for videos of lower quality, while 4k videos can require over 15 Mbps
- Online gaming demands at least 3 to 6 Mbps to avoid glitching
- Work from home requires approximately 10 Mbps, especially if you often send large files and you share the network with other people and devices
Why Your Internet Upload Speed is Too Slow
Now that we’ve covered the basics of upload speed let’s dive into potential reasons why your internet upload speed might be slow. You can fix some of these issues by yourself. If not, you can reach out to your ISP and ask them to walk you through troubleshooting.
1. Problems with Hardware (Router/Modem)
Outdated hardware equipment (routers and modems) is one of the most common issues affecting the overall internet speed. Routers vary in their specifications and capabilities. As a result, your internet connection can only be as strong as your router.
Routers have a life expectancy of five years. But before you throw it out if you suspect it’s too old, make sure its firmware has been updated to its latest version. And remember: wireless routers have a limited range. The further the devices are from the router, the weaker the signal. If you’ve noticed that the signal is only strong in one room while you barely get any speed in others, consider changing the location of the router to a more central place in your home.
- Reboot the router (turn it on and off)
- Reposition the router to a central location in your home
- Use a wired Ethernet connection to see whether it’s the router that’s causing slow upload speed or the problem lies elsewhere
- Buy a new, updated router
- Extend your WiFi signal with additional access points
2. Your Internet Provider is Restricting Your Upload Speed
One of the best things to do when your internet upload speed is too slow is to go to the source of the internet itself; your internet service provider.
It could be that your ISP is restricting your WiFi upload speeds or that you have reached your data limit. Perhaps you have signed up for a plan that does not meet your upload speed requirements. Asymmetric connections only allocate about 10% of the entire bandwidth to upload speeds.
- Reach out to your ISP to see if they can help
- Run an internet speed test
- If necessary, choose a plan with higher upload speeds or/and with a symmetrical connection
3. There are Too Many Devices Connected to Your Internet Network
Routers allocate your overall bandwidth to all your online devices and activities. If you use a lot of devices and share the network with several other people, you can quickly saturate the connection. Even if you’re not actively using devices, they still run in the background and use up your data if they’re connected to your WiFi.
Your signal might also be interfering with other devices, such as bluetooth speakers and household appliances if they use the same 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency.
- Disconnect devices you’re not currently using
- Change the WiFi channel number to bypass any interference from other household devices
- Unplug appliances from power and disconnect your Bluetooth devices
4. Your WiFi Adapter Driver is Not Updated
If your routers or ISPs aren’t behind your slow upload speed, then the problem could be your computer. Make sure your WiFi adapter is updated. Drivers are specific to an operating system of a computer and when they are corrupted or outdated, they can cause various problems, including network issues.
- Check if you have installed the WiFi adapter driver
- Update your WiFi adapter driver if necessary, using Driver Easy
5. Your Devices Have Been Infected with Malware
Another reason why your internet upload speed is too slow might be viruses and other malware installed on your computer, router, or modem. It is getting increasingly hard to detect malware; spotty internet is just one of the many symptoms.
- Regularly run antivirus programs and router virus scans,
- Check your DNS settings.
Final Thoughts: Why Your Internet Upload Speed Is Slow
There are many reasons why your upload speed is slow, but luckily, they can all be fixed! It can be as easy as resetting the router, or you might need to update your internet plan.
To avoid problems with upload speed, consider getting symmetrical fiber internet. It’s your best bet for securing optimal download and upload speeds.
Contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or send us an inquiry, and we’ll set you up with the internet upload speed you deserve.