You might think upload speeds aren’t important, but now more than ever, it plays a major role in the quality of online communication. 

With Lockdown forcing most of us to work from home, we have become accustomed to a world of Zoom meetings, emailing and using cloud storage such as Google Drive / Dropbox. How does this affect our internet usage and speeds? What’s the dealio with download vs. upload speed? Here’s the just of it:

Download speeds are often what we look at first when we choose an internet package (myself included). It’s an important factor that influences how fast your connection can receive information. When you’re watching Netflix or YouTube and the image starts buffering – it means your download speed is low. Basically: 1 Mbps will download a 1MB file in 8 seconds, 6MB will take 48 seconds and a 5GB (5000MB) movie will take approximately 11 hours.

It’s usually the first number that appears on package descriptions, for example: if you see a package of 10/5 Mbps, it means your download speed will be 10 Mbps and your upload only 5 Mbps. It is in most cases (not all) higher than the upload speed because on a normal basis, we make use of downloads more than uploads. 

Lockdown is anything but normal though, so a lot of our usage habits have changed. 

You might not realise this, but when working from home, the upload speeds can play a big role.. Here’s how…

Video calls:

When doing an online call (such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Skype), your download speed and upload speed is equally important. You download when receiving the data on your end. This means when you do a video call, the image has to download on your side in order for you to see the person. The same goes for voice – you are hearing your colleagues because it is downloaded on your side. Your upload speed becomes relevant when your computer takes your video data (if it’s a video call) and audio information (when you talk), and uploads it, in order for others in your call to view/ hear you. If your upload speed is too slow, the image will lag on their side.

Sending documents & Using cloud storage:

When sending documents via email or uploading it to cloud storage (eg. Google Docs), your upload speed will influence the time it takes to upload those documents. The lower your speed, the longer it will take.

Suggested upload speeds:

Video calls (standard): 3 Mbps and up

Video calls (high-definition): Between 5-8 Mbps

Voice only: 3 Mbps 

VPN usage: 10-12 Mbps should be fine for normal internet usage, if you’re gaming or doing something that will need to download/upload faster more information, you might need around 20-30 Mbps.

Attachment downloads: depends on the size of the upload so make sure you compress big files or use ZIP files. 
Want to speed up your connection? Check what’s available to you on our website or if you’re a customer, go to your Customer Zone – My Services page to upgrade.

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