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download vs upload

Download vs Upload – How Are They Different in 2022

You have probably heard both terms many times before, but whats the main differences between Download vs Upload, and is there even a difference? We answer your question and more in this article.

Have you ever tried downloading a movie on Netflix or playing a song on Spotify, or even tried to watch a video on youtube?

Believe it or not, downloading and uploading content are the very mechanisms that make it possible for internet users to enjoy music streaming songs, loading a website, watching movies, online gaming and streaming services as convenient as they are now known to be.

Uploading a video to Facebook or Instagram requires an amazing amount of servers, bandwidth and architecture to make it happen, and this technology has grown over the 10 years to bring us a super-fast experience that could’ve taken 3 days to download a movie, it now only takes minutes.

However, with all these new tech and internet developments there is still such thing as slow internet however its more manageable than ever before, which brings us to our following topic about internet speed.

Why Is Internet Speed Important?

The speed of your internet is defined as the number of data your internet connection can transfer in a second (megabits per second (Mbps). Internet speed in Mbps is the rate at which a service provider delivers internet data to and from your device (commonly referred to as download speed).

Data on the internet is transferred through two means; download and upload, and so every internet connection has both upload and download speed.

Download speed

Download speed is the amount of data (videos, images, music, text and more) you can download in a minute. It could also be referred to as how fast it takes your internet connection to download a file from the internet.

If your download speed is slow, it will take a longer time to download anything from the internet, especially when downloading large files.

How fast should your download speed be to be considered good?

Great question, For your download speed to be considered rated thanks to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), a good internet speed consists of speeds of at least 25 Mbps.

You have to also note that this speed is dependent on your device, network, wifi and even the number of people using the internet the same time on a given network.

Upload speed

Upload speed can be said to be the amount of data you are able to send from your device to the Internet per minute.

Uploading is not something very common except if you are uploading images and videos to a server or social media networks like Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.

Uploading is different from downloading because instead of data to enter your device from the internet, you are instead sending data to the Internet. Posting pictures on Instagram, video chatting, posting a WhatsApp status are all examples of uploading processes.

What’s Considered as a Good Upload Speed

For your upload speed to be considered to be optimal, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has also included a benchmark to the rating, it must be at least 3 Mbps. And compared to download speeds, this is really poor but that’s because many internet plans do not serve fast upload speeds unless it’s for a business that needs it like social media platforms like Facebook who store many terabytes of user-generated video and images per day.

Internet bandwidth

Internet bandwidth can be compared to a highway with lots of cars. The more roads there are the more cars that can pass at the same time and the faster the cars will move.

The fewer roads there are the fewer cars that can pass and the slower their speed which can be seen most with satellite internet users where there are peak and off-peak times that have faster and slower download and upload times.

You can monitor network bandwidth your internet provider has by checking how fast your download speed is with a website like speedtest.net. Remember, the more the bandwidth, the faster and more reliable your internet will be.

What kind of bandwidth do you really need?

The bandwidth you need is dependent on the activities that you perform online there are many ways to answer this question.

If all you do is stay active on Social media and use it for a small amount of data-downloading and uploading viewing peoples profiles and upload images then you don’t need powerful bandwidth.

but if you are the kind of person who plays online games, streams video, does a lot of uploads and downloading then you will require higher bandwidth to help you get the quickest speed so you can safe as much time as possible.

Upload speed vs download speed

There are some providers that offer their users faster download speed than upload speed, in fact, most do. An example is the AT&T download and upload provider.

This provider provides a download speed that is 80Mbps faster than the upload speed it provides.

How much internet speed do you need?

How much internet speed you need is determined by your online activities and this speed is greatly altered by the number of internet users around you.

Weighing your online activities will help you determine if you should care about your upload speed more than you care about your download speed.

Why the difference between upload and download speeds

The reason is that over the years, since downloading is more common amongst internet users than uploading, internet providers have done all they can to improve their download speeds, leaving upload speeds in the dust

Also, because many activities that require you to upload data, still requires information to travel in both directions, the majority obviously needs a higher download speed than upload speed.

Technologies like the fiber optic tech has made the Internet world more fun, by increasing both upload and download speeds.

Applications of Uploading and downloading


  1. Watching  YouTube videos
  2. Watching a Netflix movie
  3. Reading online news
  4. Streaming music services
  5. Shopping online
  6. Scrolling through social media


Below are some uploading activities

  1. Conferences call or video call
  2. Online Backing of data and files
  3. Posting videos on social media
  4. Playing Live tournament-style gaming
  5. Sending emails with heavy files attached to them
  6. Editing live, cloud-hosted documents

How to know how fast your internet is

This is quite easy; all you need is a free internet speed test. This will calculate both your upload and download speeds. If you are to test your internet speeds, try checking it at different parts of the house or any location you find yourself in because some places will most likely be definitely faster than others.