Fast Internet Download Speeds Aren’t the Only Thing That Matters. Here’s Why

This story is part of Home TipsCNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

Everyone wants fast internet speeds. That often means fast internet Download speeds, but your upload speeds also deserve some love and credit. After all, you probably rely on them every day.

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The information highway is not a one-way street. It’s more like a four-lane, busy freeway on one side (downloads) and a two-lane, light-traffic road on the other (uploads). While this road is certainly less traveled, you would have a hard time getting around online if it were to close.

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What are you using these upload speeds for? and What is a good upload speed for your home? You’ll find the answers below, but I’ll keep saying that you want faster upload speeds than what the FCC calls “broadband.” (For more WiFi tips, see the best place to put your router to speed up your internetand our picks for the The best wireless routersthe The best mesh routers and the The Best WiFi Extenders.

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Continue reading: Best Internet Providers 2022

Yes, download speeds dominate our internet usage

Almost everything we use the internet for depends on download speeds. You probably don’t think about it when you’re streaming the latest house of the dragon Follow or online shopping for a new iPhone case, but this activity involves downloading data from the internet.

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What determines how quickly and easily you can download that data – e.g. B. how good the stream Quality is how fast the web page and images load – is your download speed.

The higher your speed, the better your experience is likely to be. Speeds of 100 Mbit/s and more are often sufficient download speeds, but what constitutes a “good” download speed varies for each household and the number of connected devices.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

You can download a lot when using the new iPhone 14, but uploading is important too.

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But fast internet upload speeds will come in handy any day

Well I’d bet you Yes, really Don’t think about it when you’re posting your cat’s seventh video on Instagram today (keep it up!) or when you’re logged in zoom for a meeting, but both everyday activities involve uploading data to the internet.

Also note the following: if you are looking for House of the Dragon, keep going HBO Max, you enter data and send it to the internet – that is an upload. When typing “new iphone case” in the search bar and press enter, you are uploading data. When someone “likes” your cat video (it’s possible it was me), they upload data. Granted, you don’t need super-fast upload speeds for this, but you’re still using your connection’s upload side.

Here are some other ways we use upload speeds:

  • Video chats on Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc.
  • Online games
  • Submitting assignments or homework, and working and studying from home in general
  • Voice over IP calls
  • post on social media

What determines how quickly and easily you can complete these tasks? You guessed it: your upload speeds. When it comes to your upload speeds, faster is better, but you can get by with upload speeds that are slower than your download speed.

The FCC says upload speeds of 3 Mbps are “broadband” internet

The FCC considers any upload speed of 3 Mbps or greater to be “broadband.” However, the FCC set that speed threshold (with its broadband download speed of 25 Mbps) back in 2015 and has since received bipartisan pressure from Congress are raising the bar for what officially counts as broadband.

Still, on paper, the FCC standard of 3 Mbps is enough, though not by much, to meet most minimum requirements for applications like Skype and Zoom. Skype recommends at least 100 Kbps for calls and 512 Kbps for group video chats of seven or more people. Zoom is a bit more demanding and requires a minimum upload speed of 600kbps for 1:1 video calls and 3.8Mbps for 1080p HD video group calls.

Keep in mind that these are minimum speed requirements for a single device. Therefore, you are likely to benefit from much faster speeds.

Aim for upload speeds of 10 Mbps or higher

For average home internet usage over a Wi-Fi connection and around 10 devices – computers, phones, game consoles, smart cameraseven Smart TVs will tap into your upload speeds – I would recommend upload speeds of at least 10Mbps. Faster would be ideal, but upload speeds of 10Mbps should easily support most tasks that require data uploading, including HD quality video calls and online gaming.

How to find out your internet upload speed

A good speed test gives you an idea of ​​what your upload speeds are. Run a few speed tests with different devices in different locations around your home to get a general idea of ​​your connection’s upload speeds.

If your upload speeds are slower than you think, check out our list of common upload speed issues and how to fix them. And for more tips on not only improving your internet connection, but everything that keeps your home running, be sure to browse our CNET Home Tips section.

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