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What is the Difference Between Upload Speeds and Download Speeds?

Daniel Hill |

March 2021

Download Speed

Download speed enables you to receive data from the internet. Upload speed allows data to be sent from your devices to the internet. The quicker the speeds, the faster data can transfer using your internet connection.

Are broadband speeds important?

Download speed is much more important than upload speed. When browsing broadband deals, download speed is advertised more prominently.

The importance of broadband speeds depends on how you’re using your broadband. If you have a lot of people using the internet at once, or you spend a lot of time streaming and gaming, speed is important.

How do I measure internet speed?

Internet speed can be measured using Broadband Speed Checker. You should take note of both your download and upload speeds.

Both of these measurements are recorded in Megabits per second ((Mb/s). Files on your computer, for instance, PDF documents, are measured in Megabytes (MB). This may seem confusing. There are 8 Megabits (with a small b) in a Megabyte (with a big B). This means that the measurement you see broadband packages in is not necessarily the measurement you think of file sizes in.

For example, if you have a broadband package with a download speed of 20 Mb/s (Megabits), you can download 2.5 MB (Megabytes) in a second.

The two speeds that your internet package provides mean different things. The different figures for upload and download speeds show the different ways that you are interacting with the internet.

What is download speed?

Download speed refers to how your computer takes things from the internet. In practice, this means things like downloading files, streaming content, or hosting video calls. The higher the download speed, the quicker you can download things from the internet. Many businesses only really use this metric, so should pay more attention to the download speed number.

What is upload speed?

Upload speed refers to how your computer puts things on the internet. This measure can be more important to some businesses than the download speed, yet it is often the download speed that is advertised. You use upload speed to attach files to emails, put content on a webpage or post videos to a channel.

What matters more?

Download speeds matter more for almost every internet user.

The upload and download speeds that you need depend on what you use the internet for. Home broadband users mostly do not need to stress about upload speed unless they’re uploading large amounts of data to the internet.

Many businesses only use their internet for day-to-day work. For example, sending emails. In this case, it is not worth splashing out on a broadband package with larger upload speeds. However, if you have to send files to customers, or post a lot of video content to your website and social media channels, then a higher upload speed is likely to be more important to you.

How to switch broadband providers

If you aren’t happy with your internet speeds – either upload or download – then it might be time to switch your internet service provider. However, comparing all of the options and prices available to you can seem tedious.

You can quickly compare the latest broadband deals here and switch within minutes.

We show you both the upload and download speeds – along with clear pricing information. This way you can see what you’re really paying for and decide what is right for you.

Compare Business Broadband

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About the author

Daniel has been writing for over 10 years and has a passion for helping businesses and households reduce their utility bills. He has a wealth of experience in professional services, so he knows the importance of business efficiency.

In his spare time, Daniel can be found catching touchdowns playing American Football and spending his Sundays watching the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL. 

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