Why are upload speeds so much slower than download speeds?

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Factory Reset Your Router

Outdated or faulty routers are a leading cause of

Outdated or faulty routers are a leading cause of poor upload speeds. However, before you splurge on a brand new high-end router, you can try rebooting your current one to factory defaults to restore its performance.

I’d suggest you start with turning the router off and waiting for some time. Then, let it cool down and clear its flash memory before turning it on again.

Remember to run speed tests to notice any improvement. Otherwise, you may proceed to restore the router to factory default settings –

  1. Find the Reset button on your router. Usually, it’s on the back panel.
  2. Press it down for about 10 to 15 seconds to reset the router. You may need a pin or paperclip to do it.
  3. The router will reset and reboot.

Reverting to the factory settings means you will lose your personalized network settings, including the credentials.

However, you can again configure the router to your preferences.

What the hell is WMM?

WMM is apparently an 802.11e feature that provides higher priority for “time-dependent” traffic, such as video or voice. In theory, this should make things like VoIP calls and video chat (e.g. Skype) perform better. In practice, having it enabled destroyed my Wi-Fi download speeds. Since I disabled it, my Wi-Fi is blazing fast and I’ve seen no negative side-effects.

If anyone has more information as to why this would be the case, please share it here.

Failed attempts

After googling for solutions, I tried a number of tweaks commonly suggested around the web:

  1. Change DNS hosts
  2. Change wireless channel
  3. Change the wireless channel width
  4. Use a different security mode (WPA2 personal)
  5. Shut off firewalls
  6. Enable or disable IPv6 settings
  7. Reboot the router

None of these worked.

List Of Fast Speed Tests

Are you tired of using a slow internet speed? Or curious to check your internet connection’s efficiency? A precise and accurate internet speed test is all you need. We have listed five top-rated and precise internet speed testing websites to help you check your download and upload speeds.

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SpeedOf.I am a speed test based on HTML5. The test can replicate real-world downloading and browsing situations. It measures internet speed by requesting several files of variable sizes. Then it records their download speed without placing a burden on your system resources. The test takes into account uploads, downloads, latency, server location, IP address, server location, and many other essential readings. The history section compares the test results to chart changes. Then they can be shared on FaceBook or Twitter.

Instead of choosing a location, in particular, this testing website measures the fastest and most reliable server from all 127 servers.  It downloads and uploads files to simulate real internet browsing conditions. Therefore, the results are almost accurate. It is certainly one of the best non-ISP internet speed testing websites. The downside is that it requires you to accept cookies.  This website is available for use on smartphones and tablets.

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picks any nearby server to run a full test using its smart technology. The result is updated with download and upload speed, latency, and packet loss. You are asked to fill out a survey at the end of the test. helps you evaluate your ISP’s claimed speed and the cost of monthly connections. is fast and reliable, and it covers most of the worldwide test locations. It works by identifying the nearest internet testing server through your IP address.

This survey helps Ookla to gather a massive database of region-based consumer connection information. It produces more accurate results and creates a log of your internet speed tests. Creating an attractive graphic presentation of the results is the distinctive feature of this website. also has its mobile apps for Windows, iPhone, and Android to test the phones’ internet speed. Similarly, Speedtest apps are also available for Apple TV and Chrome.

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Netflix’s Fast.com is the only service-specific test. It measures the download speed by connecting your device to Netflix’s servers. Netflix’s content delivery systems use these servers, which are known as Open Connect.

Fast.com helps Netflix users identify the actual speed of their internet connection. Consequently, they do not blame Netflix for its slow speed. Therefore they will ask the ISP about slow results. The Fast.com download speed tests are often similar to that of a speed test taken directly from the ISP.

Bandwidth Place Speed Test:

Bandwidth place speed test provides a quick internet speed testing at one click. It accurately measures your download speed, upload speed, and ping. The test works by analyzing your service’s features. The website also guides you about the most suitable speed required for your specific internet needs. It has access to 20 servers worldwide and works via HTML5. You can use it for testing internet speed on your mobile.

Bandwidth Place Speed Test helps you select the best internet provider by comparing various providers and internet plans. It also connects you with the most suitable service providers. This process is simple and only requires a few clicks or a phone call.

is offering internet speed test services for over 20 years. The website has an easy-to-use interface and can be used on all web browsers without additional plug-ins. This test produces real stats for your capacity.

tests for download and upload speed separately. An Automatic Speed Test compiles the results of upload and download tests into a meaningful result. You have to create an account to save all your test results for further reference and comparison. It also enables you to set a custom size of the files to test their upload and download bandwidths.

Why are uploads so much slower?

The main reason for persisting with asymmetric connections involves our limited telecommunications infrastructure.

Given infinite bandwidth, there’d be no need to prioritise traffic in one direction.

But bandwidth isn’t infinite. In many households, it’s barely capable of supporting streaming media services and internet-enabled smart devices.

The difference between download vs. upload speeds

Download speed refers to how many megabits of data per second it takes to download data from a server in the form of images, videos, text, files and audio to your device. Activities such as listening to music on Spotify, downloading large files or streaming videos on Netflix all require you to download data.

Upload speed refers to how fast you can send information from your computer to another device or server on the internet. While downloading information is more common, some online activities need data to travel in the opposite direction. Sending emails, playing live tournament-style video games and video calling on Zoom require fast upload speeds for you to send data to someone else’s server.

What is a good download speed?

In general, speeds of at least 25 Mbps are considered good download speeds since they meet the minimum broadband threshold set by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Keep in mind though that the number of devices, internet users and their online activities in your home can change what’s considered a good download speed for your household.

What is a good upload speed?

In general, upload speeds of 3 Mbps are considered good because they meet the FCC’s minimum standard. If you or anyone in your household regularly uploads videos to YouTube or works from home, though, you may need a plan with higher upload speeds.

Conclusion

Overall, although our upload speeds are always going to be behind the rate we can download at, it shouldn’t be so far behind that it’s a hindrance on your internet usage. In some cases, your internet provider might be able to help you resolve the issue.

Generally, many of the causes of a slow upload speed can also be applied to a slow download speed too. These potential causes can affect both, and they’re very common too. But if the problem is affecting your upload speed specifically and not your overall internet speed, then getting in touch with your ISP is a good idea.

Make sure that your internet service provider is aware of exactly what your problem is, and that you’ve done a speed test and checked your internet connection beforehand. The more you know, the more chance they have of helping. A data increase in your internet plan can help, but it’s not the first thing you should try.

Before you do this, you should probably run through our checklist to see if there’s a way you can fix the problem yourself. From your router to its firmware, there are other potential causes of a problem, and it’s just working out where the actual issue lies.

Try Uploading at Different Times of the Day

Millennials and older generations may talk about using the internet late at night for higher speeds and avoid the risk of disconnection every time someone decides to call the house.

While dial-up connections are in the past, uploading during particular times of the day still helps.

Daytime hours observe lower upload speeds due to higher traffic on the channels.

You can try connecting during the night after business hours or early morning for better transfer rates.  

However, it usually depends on the Internet Service Providers and their capability to handle a significant load.

What’s a good upload speed?

When using a wired connection on a single device, upload speeds of 5Mbps or higher are generally considered “good” as they will support most activities that require uploading data, including video calls in HD quality and gaming online. If you primarily use Wi-Fi or foresee using upload bandwidth on multiple devices at once, aim for upload speeds of 10Mbps or higher.

Minimum requirements for calling and video conferencing

The FCC considers any upload speed of 3Mbps or higher as “broadband.” However, the FCC set this speed threshold (along with its broadband download speed of 25Mbps) back in 2015 and has since received bipartisan congressional pressure to raise the bar on what is officially considered broadband

Still, the FCC standard of 3Mbps is enough on paper, albeit not by much, to meet most of the minimum requirements for applications such as Skype and Zoom. Skype recommends a minimum of 100Kbps for calling and 512Kbps for group video chats of seven or more people. Zoom is a bit more demanding, requiring a minimum of 600Kbps for 1:1 video calling and 3.8Mbps for 1080p HD video group calling.

Keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements and you’re likely to benefit from much faster speeds, so it’s a good idea to know what your speeds are and what can affect them.

Malte Mueller/Corbis

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