We know how frustrating it can be waiting for a large file to download or being immersed in a video game when suddenly everything freezes. The culprit is likely your internet connection.

Depending on the type of internet service and package you have, your internet connection is limited to a certain upload and download speed that affects your online experience. These speeds refer to how much data your internet connection can transfer, measured in megabits per second (Mbps). 

Activities that require a lot of upload and download speed, such as video streaming, online multiplayer gaming and video conferencing, may cause your internet connection to lag on other connected devices. Read on to learn how much speed and bandwidth your home or business needs.

What is a Fast Download Speed?

When most people think of internet speed, they typically only consider download speed. Download speed measures how quickly it takes to retrieve information from the internet. You may remember the days of dial-up internet when it took minutes or even hours to download files to your computer. Now, with high-performance gaming consoles, smart home devices like doorbell cameras and connected thermostats, and a seemingly endless amount of streaming services, download speeds are more important than ever. 

High-speed internet used to refer to download speeds over 100 Mbps. However, today’s more connected homes may require 1 gigabit per second (equal to 1,000 Mbps) or more to keep all devices connected simultaneously. With many internet providers now offering plans up to 5 gigabits of download speed, you’ll have instant access to all your favorite online content.

What is a Fast Upload Speed?

While not discussed as often, upload speed is important to consider when choosing an internet provider. Upload speed refers to how quickly you can transfer data from your device to the internet. 

Upload and download speeds are equally important in a world where working, learning and gaming at home (often at the same time) are prevalent. Video conferencing, live streaming multiplayer games, uploading to social media and working on cloud-based documents all need faster upload speeds for an uninterrupted online experience. Fast download speeds alone often aren’t enough to keep multiple devices and activities connected.

The FCC recommends at least 25 Mbps for each connected device, but more may be needed depending on your typical activities and devices. This is where your type of internet really matters. Each type of internet connection offers a different level of upload speeds, but fiber internet is the only connection that offers upload speeds just as fast as download speeds.

What is a good speed for my connection type?

ConnectionDownload speedsUpload speeds
Digital subscriber line (DSL)1-150 Mbps1-8 Mbps
Satellite20-90 Mbps3-10 Mbps
Fixed Wireless20-300 Mbps10-50 Mbps
Cable25-1,000 Mbps5-50 Mbps
Fiber200-5,000 Mbps200-5,000 Mbps

How does bandwidth work?

Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data transmitted over an internet connection at a time. Upload and download speeds are a good indicator of how much bandwidth your network has. If you notice a slowdown in your devices, consider upgrading to an internet service with a higher bandwidth that can handle the load.

What can influence upload and download speed?

To better understand why you may not be getting the speeds you need for your digital life, it’s important to know what factors impact your upload and download speeds.

  • Location: The further away you are from your router, the harder it is for data to transfer to and from your device. Speeds will be the fastest right next to your router and gradually slow as you move away.
  • Activity: Different activities use up different amounts of bandwidth. Streaming video requires the most bandwidth and takes away speed from other connected devices. Other activities that need more speed are multiplayer gaming and live video conferencing.
  • Number of devices: Having multiple phones, computers, TVs and smart home features all connected at once causes the devices to share a limited amount of bandwidth and impacts performance. To ensure a seamless online experience for the whole family, an internet package with faster speeds may be required.
  • Your device: The hardware you use, the age of your device, your device’s operating system, browser, system processor and any extra adware or spyware installed all affect internet speeds. 

How to Test Your Upload and Download Speed

You can measure your upload and download speed using our free internet speed test. We recommend testing your speed in different areas of your home. If you notice inconsistencies, it may be time for an internet upgrade. 

Get Lightning-Fast Upload and Download Speeds with Lumos

Say goodbye to buffering, lagging or glitching with equally fast upload and download speeds from Lumos. Our 100% Fiber Optic Internet2 with packages up to 5 Gigs ensures your digital life is never interrupted. Check availability in your area and connect with us today to experience the internet of the future.