How to Make Upload Speed Faster
By Dan Stone
Internet service providers generally dedicate more bandwidth for downloads than uploads, so any little bit of effort you put in to improve upload speeds can go a long way. Upload speeds are either artificially capped or limited by the technology used in the connection. Speed limitations mean you may have to make the most of what you have. According to PC World, Internet accelerator programs work by caching visited sites and preloading links, neither of which contributes to upload speed improvement.
Stop Other Uploads
Although you might be able to have three people downloading content and streaming video at the same time without interrupting each other on a high-speed connection, the same is not true for uploading content. ISPs generally emphasize download bandwidth over upload bandwidth because customers download more content than they upload. This means it's easy to max out your upload bandwidth. You can make the most of the upload bandwidth available by making sure no one else on the network is uploading content at the same time or performing cloud backups, P2P file transfers and large file transfers.
If your ISP has a low upload speed cap, you can improve your upload speed by either upgrading to a higher speed tier or switching to another service provider with a more liberal upload bandwidth allocation. It's common practice to offer several speed tiers over the same network and charge customers more for faster speeds. If you're running a dial-up connection, the upgrade to any broadband provider will dramatically improve upload and download speeds. Additionally, some ISPs offer specialized plans, such as business class programs, that allow for upload speeds closer to download speeds -- these plans are intended for clients that have substantial, regular upload needs.
If you have an Internet connection that has high upload speed and a network that's running an older Wi-Fi or Ethernet standard, your local network can be hindering your upload speed. For example, a wireless-B Wi-Fi network or a 10-base Ethernet network would at best only be able to use half of the bandwidth on a 20Mbps upload connection. The only way to overcome this limitation is to replace the aging network technology. Additionally, devices uploading via Wi-Fi that are located at the edge of the router's range may experience a much weaker connection that will have to resend data frequently because of packet loss (data that didn't make it to the router). Moving the router and uploading device closer together can improve upload speed when there's a weak signal.
Other Network Traffic
Even on a switched network, where each device has dedicated bandwidth, it's possible to interfere with upload speeds by having too much network traffic running through a device. Upload speeds may be affected if other network users are copying large files across the network that originate from the uploading computer. Uploading from a server can be slow because of file requests.
- GigaOM: The Ugly Truth About Broadband -- Upload Speeds
- PC Magazine Encyclopedia: Definition of Packet Loss
- Wi-Fi Alliance: FAQ
- IT World: 10 Reasons Your Wi-Fi Speed Stinks (and What You Can Do About It)
- CNN Money: Much Faster Wi-Fi Coming Soon
- PC Magazine Encyclopedia: Definition of Broadband
- Computer Hope: Broadband
- Computer Hope: Bandwidth
- PC World: Do Web Accelerators Work?
Dan Stone started writing professionally in 2006, specializing in education, technology and music. He is a web developer for a communications company and previously worked in television. Stone received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in communication studies from Northern Illinois University.