Why is my upload speed slower than my download speed?

Article author
Cogeco Support
  • Updated

Most of the ways we commonly use the Internet are for downloading rather than uploading, so this is where most of our bandwidth is used.

  • Downloading is the transfer of information to you, such as streaming a program on a service like Netflix, watching content online such as YouTube, or downloading a file such as a video game.
  • Uploading is the transfer of information from you, such as broadcasting yourself on a service like Twitch, or uploading your own content to a platform like YouTube or TikTok.
  • Video conferencing such as Zoom or Google Meets, or video chatting such as FaceTime or Skype, use both downloading and uploading together.

While it's becoming more common for people to broadcast themselves, and video conferencing has become a big part of our daily lives, these use relatively low bandwidth. It's also more common for multiple downloading streams to happen simultaneously, such as streaming a program on TV while also downloading something on your computer and browsing on your phone.

See below for recommended upload speeds from some major users (for comparison, the recommended download speed for HD video is 5 Mbps).

Service Recommended Upload Speed


Source: help.twitch.tv

3 to 6 Mbps


Source: support.skype.com

1.2 to 4 Mbps


Source: support.zoom.us

2.5 to 4 Mbps

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