Why are download speeds higher than upload speeds?

Internet speed has two components: download and upload. Both are part of the data package, but the data plans offered by most Internet service providers refer only to download speeds. let’s find out why

Ookla’s test

The Speedtest Global Index published by network intelligence and connectivity provider Ookla showed that average global download and upload speeds on mobile networks in August ranged from 30.79 Mbps and 8.62 Mbps, respectively.

India’s median download and upload speeds in the same period were 13.52 Mbps and 3.28 Mbps, respectively.

Fixed broadband connection

The disparity between upload and download speeds extends to fixed broadband connections. According to Ookla’s Speedtest global index, the average global fixed broadband upload and download speed in August was 69.14 Mbps and 29.02 Mbps, respectively.

Surprisingly, the gap between upload and download speeds in India is not that obvious. Upload and download speeds on fixed wireless broadband in India were 48.29 Mbps and 47.52 Mbps, respectively.

Why is your upload speed slower than download speed?

One of the factors responsible for the difference in upload and download speeds is the network interface. By design, most network interfaces support higher download speeds than upload speeds. So no matter what device you use for internet services, there is always a gap in upload and download speeds. This is because download speed makes up the Internet experience for most users. In any Internet activity, downloading consumes much more data than uploading.

Why does loading speed matter?

The upload establishes the connection to access the web services, and the download is the subsequent result. To access any service available on the web, you first send the query to the web. This process consists of uploading information.

For example, you are opening the commercial standardwebsite of Enter the domain name in the browser and press ‘Enter’. In this stage, the Internet uses upstream to establish a connection with the website host on the web. Once the connection is established, the host sends data to display the website and its content on the user’s screen. This downward flow of information is called downloading.

From watching movies available on over-the-top (OTT) platforms to scrolling through images and videos posted on social media, the size of downloaded information is always on the higher side compared to uploads. Therefore, it is the download speeds that make up the Internet experience for most users. But this doesn’t mean loading speeds are inconsequential, especially nowadays.

New age web services such as Internet calls, video conferences, online gaming, cloud data storage, and remote access require healthy upload speeds to deliver an optimal experience. Lack of this results in choppy video during video conferences, broken audio during Internet calls, and slow image uploads on Instagram, etc.

Leave a Comment