More often than not, the major culprit behind slow upload speed is your internet service provider. Gimmicks to sell costly packages, and capacity throttling to manage the overall load is more common than you think.
Other times it is more likely to be router capacity or an internet speed mismatch, which could cause a very slow upload speed. Fret not! There are a few exceptions that an internet plan upgrade will not fix. For other reasons, a router upgrade will do the trick.
But your solutions don’t always have to be expensive when the issue is just something minor. I’ll discuss all the details in the section below and mention how to get around them.
- Why Is My Upload Speed So Slow?
- How To Increase Upload Speed?
- What Does Low Upload Speed Affect?
- What is a Good Upload Speed?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Upload Speed So Slow?
Let’s look at all the likely reasons for low upload speeds:
1. Internet Package & Allotted Bandwidth
Look at the specifics of the internet plan you are subscribed to. Look for mentions of any data cap limitation which could slow down your internet, directly affecting your uploads. A call with a customer service executive can reveal the clauses and nuances in your internet plans.
I’ve tried and tested a couple of ISPs and shared my experiences through:
2. Too Many Devices Connected To The Network
If you are sharing the internet with too many devices, either your service package or internet equipment can’t handle it, and it can affect your upload speeds. Having a high-speed modem and internet plan doesn’t guarantee better performance. Your bandwidth capacity, the router’s device capacity and the number of connections make a lot of difference.
3. System Malware
If you download software, files, or games from unverified,non-official websites, you can expose your system to spyware and malware. This software can interfere with your internet connection, using up your capacity, and leading to slow upload speeds.
If you have multiple malware running in your system, you can very well say goodbye to the bandwidth available at your disposal.
4. Outdated Router Firmware and Drivers
Another major reason for a low or average upload speed is the device you are using to connect to your ISP. A router running on outdated firmware can slow down your internet, leading to slow WiFi upload speeds. Outdated drivers of laptop/PC network adapters can lead to their malfunction, interrupting your internet.
5. Security Firewall Settings
Beware of any additional firewalls installed in your device. They can be the culprits in slowing down your upload speeds. Firewalls inspect and verify packets attempting to enter/leave the device via specific ports. Few of these firewalls create bottlenecks unable to keep up with your internet speeds.
Note: If you’re using a Netgear router or mesh WiFi, you can use Netgear Armor for home network security and it won’t let down your uploads.
6. Bandwidth-Hungry Apps Running in Background
Most modern-day applications send data back and forth to your device. If you haven’t turned off background usage or restricted the application’s data usage, that’s going to use up your bandwidth operating from the background slowing down your upload and download speeds.
7. Company-Imposed Restrictions
If you are facing bad upload speeds, while you are on your office/work-provided devices. It could be a company firewall imposing restrictions on the usage of certain applications or types of media over the internet. If this persists with your work-related applications, contact the technical support from your work.
8. Faulty/Dated Router or Modem
Even if you have one of the high-speed internet packages at your disposal, there is no guarantee of good upload and download speeds unless you are using devices matching the specifications. If you are using an old routing device or an Intel Puma 6/7 powered modem, your download and upload speeds will never reach their full potential.
How To Increase Upload Speed?
Now that you know the potential reasons, it’s time to fix slow upload speed.
1. Upgrade The Internet Plan
Call your service provider and check the internet plan you’re subscribed to. If you’re stuck with the default/economic plan where the speed limits and data cap are the reason for your slow internet, give it an upgrade. Ensure the plan matches the capacity of your router.
Here’s a table that gives an overview of different internet speeds and their suitability. This should help you make a viable upgrade.
|Internet Plan||Download Speed*||Upload Speed||Summary||Ideal Users||Learn More|
|5 Mbps||0.625 MB/s||768 Kbps||Slow||1||5 Mbps Internet|
|10 Mbps||1.25 MB/s||1.7 Mbps||Basic||2||10 Mbps Internet|
|25 Mbps||3.125 MB/s||3 Mbps||Average||3||25 Mbps Internet|
|50 Mbps||6.25 MB/s||10 Mbps||Good||4||50 Mbps Internet|
|100 Mbps||12.5 MB/s||11 - 12 Mbps||Very Good||5||100 Mbps Internet|
|200 Mbps||25 MB/s||20 - 25 Mbps||Decent||10||200 Mbps Internet|
|300 Mbps||37.5 MB/s||32 Mbps||Better||15||300 Mbps Internet|
|400 Mbps||50 MB/s||35 Mbps||Fast||20||400 Mbps Internet|
|500 Mbps||62.5 MB/s||60 Mbps||Very fast||25||500 Mbps Internet|
|Gigabit||125 MB/s||100 - 120 Mbps||High-Speed||30||1000 Mbps Internet|
2. Power Cycle or Reset The Router
One of the most overlooked causes for poor upload speed can be an overworked router. Turn off the power, disconnect the wires and give it some rest. Restart the router and wait for the router lights to stabilize. Check if the performance shows any improvement.
If not, look for a tiny hole on the back of the router labelled reset. Insert a pin and hold on to it for 30 seconds. This will change the router back to default settings which can fix the slow upload speed.
3. Use a Wired Connection
If you are in limited bandwidth, it makes sense to use a wired connection for your essential gadgets. Wireless communication is prone to interference, physical and network. Connecting the laptop or desktop with an Ethernet cable will minimize the bandwidth loss occurring in communication.
4. Disconnect Unwanted Devices
If your router is overloaded with too many devices hogging the internet with data-intensive activities, you can limit the wireless connections and retest its performance.
- Login to the admin portal using 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 or the URL given by OEM.
- Use the credentials given on the label
- Go to the basic settings page and specify a number against the box mentioning Max WiFi.
- Save the settings and restart.
If your router was overloaded, this could help manage the load and fix slow upload speeds.
5. Update Router’s Drivers & Firmware
If your router is not running on the latest firmware, that is going to affect the internet performance.
- Go to the OEM website, download the latest available firmware for your model
- Login to the routers admin portal
- Go to the advanced settings page
- Click on update firmware
- Select the downloaded file through the menu and wait until the installation is complete
The router will restart. Wait until the lights stabilize and check the differences in your internet performance and upload speeds.
6. Clear Cache or Temporary Files
Your browser stores a lot of information in its cache and files temporarily when you visit portals. Clearing the cookies and cache in your browser can at times remove some unnecessary files being loaded into its memory, thus affecting the performance of your internet.
- Open the browser and go to settings
- Click on the advanced tab
- You’ll find a list including passwords, browsing history, download history, cookies, other site data, cached images, and files.
- Check the boxes of cookies and cache and click on clear data.
You can observe a solid improvement in your browsing and internet speeds.
7. Change DNS Settings
Devices access the internet via the DNS server. The location of your DNS server determines the distance your data travels. Changing the DNS servers with less traffic will improve your internet performance and increase the upload speeds.
- Press Win +X and select Network connections
- Choose advanced network settings
- In settings, click on network adapter settings
- Click on your WiFi connection and click properties
- Move the selection to Ipv4, and click on the properties button on the bottom right
- Here you’ll be able to change the enter the new DNS by choosing the Use the following DNS server button.
8. Scan for Malware/Viruses
Get the latest antivirus package and scan for any malware and viruses. Antivirus software like Norton & McAfee offers antivirus subscriptions that can be installed on multiple systems.
Periodically checking your system for malware, spyware, trojans, and viruses will negate security threats and improve your internet performance.
9. Check your Devices’ Firewall
Check the devices you are using, for any default firewall settings limiting the download and upload speeds. Disable any firewalls installed on your device. If you see a performance improvement, look for a firewall solution which doesn’t affect internet throughput without compromising your security.
10. Upgrade your router or modem
Using an outdated modem or router can severely affect your upload and download speeds even if you have a super-fast internet package. If none of the steps helps in improving upload speed, it’s time to think about an upgrade.
What Does Low Upload Speed Affect?
Now, we have seen the reasons why your internet upload speeds are low. We’ll discuss how an upload far slower than a download will reflect in the performance.
Sharing content on Social Media
You can notice a vast difference while using social media. Your media, pages, and feeds will download quickly, but when you try to upload high-resolution photos and video files, you’ll notice the process takes unusually long times or only gets uploaded after multiple unsuccessful attempts.
Video Conferencing or Virtual Meetings
The quality of your video calls in the conference and virtual meetups would be a dead giveaway if your upload speeds are bad. You’ll find no trouble with the video quality of the other participants, but they will complain and endure viewing a highly pixelated video of yours. The a-synchronicity in audio and video output is a major cue.
Gaming and Live Streaming
Poor upload speeds will ruin your gaming experience. Disproportionate upload speeds will disrupt/bottleneck the communication between the player and the game server. This will reflect delays in positional movement, quick reflex reactions, etc. These lags can be infuriating for any avid gamer, taking away the fun involved.
Large File Uploads
With bad upload speeds, moving files to cloud storage can turn into a loathsome process. Particularly if those files are large, high res photographs and HD videos. You’ll end up spending a long time only to discover upload has been disrupted and the uploaded files are unusable.
If you notice any these of performance issues, you should take a good look into the bandwidth and figure out ways to improve your upload speeds.
What is a Good Upload Speed?
Depending on the technology used by your ISP, the upload speeds at your disposal can vary. Even a 1 Gbps package with an ISP using coaxial cable will cap upload speeds at 35 Mbps. Unless you are a twitch streamer, the upload speed will be sufficient for you.
If the upload speed available to you is between 5-10 Mbps, you’ll still be able to do video calls, stream, upload large files, and play online games.
|Purpose||Minimum Upload Speed Required||Recommended Upload Speed|
|Sharing Files on Email |
|1 Mbps||1-2 Mbps|
|Live Streaming||1-3 Mbps||5-7.5 Mbps|
|Social Media Sharing||0.5-1 Mbps||1-2 Mbps|
|Zoom/Skype Call in HD||2-3 Mbps||3-4 Mbps|
|PS4||1 Mbps||3 Mbps|
|Nintendo Switch||1 Mbps||3 Mbps|
|Xbox One||0.5-1 Mbps||4.5 Mbps|
Frequently Asked Questions
Go to websites like fast.com or speedtest.net. There you’ll be able to test both the upload and download speeds.
Yes, it is. You’ll be able to perform most of the activities on the internet. But doing all of them at the same time will get challenging with limited 10 Mbps speeds.
Unless you are on fiber optic connections, you will not have equal speeds. The ISP has limited bandwidth which has to share among thousands of users. So the upload capacity is more likely to be capped depending on the users and ISP.
Yes. Upload speeds affect your gaming experience. If you expect a decent gaming experience, you should be able to dedicate up to 1-2 Mbps solely to your gaming device.
Using a wired connection between your router and PS4 will minimize the loss of bandwidth because of communication mode and interference.
If you started the article wondering why your upload speeds are slow, this article would have cleared most of your doubts regarding internet speeds. The solutions presented in the article will probably help you fix the issue by yourself. If the performance remains underwhelming, seek the help of a networking professional.