If you have made the transition from in-the-office to work-from-home, regularly livestream on social media, or game a lot — then you should find upload speeds important. And the more people you have in your home doing these types of things, the more important it becomes. Your Internet's upload speed determines how fast you can send content to the Internet, and you'd be surprised how quickly it adds up.
What's the difference between download and upload speeds?
If the difference between download and upload speeds seem a little confusing, think of it this way: download speed is how quickly you can get something from the Internet, like scrolling your social media feeds, reading emails, or watching a show on Netflix. Upload speed is how quickly you can get something to the Internet, like posting a TikTok or having your video on and presenting to an audience during a teleconference meeting.
Why should I care about upload speeds?
Internet usage has skyrocketed in homes. In fact, the Q1 2022 Open Vault Broadband Insights Report states each U.S. broadband household has an average of 9 streaming services and 25 connected devices. 25?! That's a lot of devices that all need Internet to function. This increase in home internet usage continues to make the biggest case for the importance of higher upload speeds, especially with the increase in homeschooling and hybrid/remote work. According to Remote Work in 2022: Seven Statistics You Need to Know, nearly 25% of U.S. jobs will be remote by 2023. In fact, research shows 97.6% of remote workers would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers. Companies and employees have seen the advantages of WFH and this data shows it won't be ending anytime soon.
Plus, faster upload speeds are critical when uploading video content and streaming via apps like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. This is helpful because social media usage continues to quickly grow and put an additional strain on home Internet upload bandwidth.
Alone these activities may not seem like such a burden on your home network; however, the need for faster upload speed adds up when multiple people engage in similar activities at the same time on the same network. Gaming on Twitch may only require about 6Mbps alone, but if your livestreaming a 1080p video to Twitch and a 4K video to YouTube at the same time, about 36 Mbps is needed to ensure both streams remain stable (HighSpeedInternet). Add on a parent who is remotely working and a sibling or roommate who is on Google Classroom, and you will soon need closer to at least 50 Mbps of upload bandwidth.
Cable Internet connections, which do not use fiber all the way to the home, typically offer upload speeds from about 10 Mbps to 35 Mbps. Fiber networks currently offer upload speeds from 100 to 1000 Mbps, more than ten times faster than cable. Fiber also provides a much more stable connection. Learn more about these statistics on our Why Fiber page.
The COVID-19 pandemic was just the beginning to a trend that will continue for years to come: Internet usage and bandwidth consumption is growing exponentially. Just in the last four years, the average downstream data usage has more than doubled and the upstream usage has tripled (OVBI Report). Higher resolution and 4K will become more standard, and the need for fast Internet will only go up from here. To stay on top of this trend, consider altafiber for a lag-free Internet experience. If you have a house or apartment full of remote workers, learners, gamers, or TikTokers- we recommend our plan with 1 Gig download and 250Mbps upload. Click below to shop all of our options.