This story is part ofCNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.
Is there anything more embarrassing than realizing you spoke to a Frozen?screen for an unknown number of seconds? “Sorry, my internet is acting up” or something like that is the usual response, but it’s probably more than your internet “acting up”. It’s probably due to slow and fluctuating upload speeds.
we. Along with , Post on social media and are just some of the ways we use the upload side of our internet connection. If your upload speeds aren’t up to par, these tasks can be frustrating or downright impossible.
So what should you do? Run a fewto see what kind of upload speeds you’re getting. If it is less than 10Mbps, your connection may not be able to keep up with your needs. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to improve your upload speed. As a bonus, these tips can also improve your download speed for a better all-round connection. (For more information, see and our picks for the the and the .)
You’ve signed up for slow upload speeds
Unless you have, your upload speeds are significantly slower than your download speeds. Most , and Some providers don’t even advertise upload speeds alongside download speeds because they’re so much slower.
For example,Internet speeds are advertised as up to 300Mbps, 500Mbps and 940Mbps. These speeds are assumed to be download speeds, but what about your upload speeds? You’ll have to dig a little deeper — like checking the fine print or calling customer service — to find out that the upload speeds for these plans are 10Mbps, 20Mbps, and 35Mbps, respectively.
That’s nothing against Spectrum like most cable ISPs, below, and , have similar upload speeds and don’t display them nearly as clearly as download speeds. The same goes for DSL and satellite internet, which can come with upload speeds so slow that they don’t even qualify as broadband (less than 3 Mbps).
How to fix an internet plan with slow upload speeds
The best thing you can do is know the maximum upload speeds of any given provider or plan before signing up. As mentioned above, you may need to sift through the fine print or plan for details to find them. Don’t sign up for a plan with upload speeds that don’t meet your needs when other options are available.
If you already have internet service with slower upload speeds than you want or need, you might want to consider upgrading to a faster plan. It’ll likely cost a little more each month, but you’ll find that the improvement in upload speeds — and the boost it gives to your download speeds — is well worth the extra cost. Again, be aware of what your new upload speeds will be before upgrading to a new plan.
is another option, especially when fiber optic services are purchased from providers such as , , or is available. Fiber optic technology supports the bandwidth required for symmetric or near-symmetric download and upload speeds. So if you sign up for one you can expect download and upload speeds of around 300 Mbit/s over a wired connection.
They use WiFi and accept reduced speeds
, no own separate internet service. When using a Wi-Fi connection, expect download and upload speeds to be slower than what your provider sends to your home.
Range and signal limitations can also be issues when using Wi-Fi. Your upload speed may suffer as you move further away from your router or move to a different room or floor.
Depending on the quality of your equipment and how far away you are from your router, using Wi-Fi can reduce your speed by 50% or more.
How to fix slow upload speeds over Wi-Fi
A wired Ethernet connection almost always gives you a faster, more reliable connection. If you need fast, stable upload speeds for an important meeting or school project, try a wired connection.
Obviously, a wired connection isn’t always practical and Wi-Fi is far more convenient, so Wi-Fi is often your only option. Some ways to improve your Wi-Fi connection are:, reposition the antennas (if applicable) or move them closer to the router.
A device upgrade is also an effective way to improve your WiFi speed. If you’re not sure where to start when shopping for a new router, check out our. And for better Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the home, consider upgrading to a .
You are running multiple upload tasks at the same time
Just as too many connected devices can slow down your download speed, too many devices uploading at the same time can slow down your upload speed.
There is only so much bandwidth available. When you do multiple uploads at the same time, they compete with each other. In the case of upload speeds that are often significantly slower than download speeds, it may only take a few devices to break the upload speeds.
For example, Zoom may require upload speeds of 3 Mbps or more for a clear, reliable connection. If you’re running multiple video calls simultaneously across the entire WiFi network, your upload speed may not be able to keep up with demand.
How to fix upload bandwidth congestion
While concurrent meetings or class attendance may be unavoidable, try to stagger meetings and limit the number of connected devices whenever possible.
Along with strategically planning meeting times, make sure there is room for everyone in your household. Your 5GHz band is likely to have less cable clutter, allowing for better connection quality and faster upload speeds.
Additionally, upgrading your internet plan or provider to one with faster maximum upload speeds will help ensure you have enough.
You’ve reached your monthly data limit
Believe it or not, uploading files and participating in video calls contribute to your monthly data usage just like downloading files or streaming TV shows. Depending on your provider, your data limit may be exceededfor the remainder of your billing cycle.
This is probably only an issue if you have satellite internet.and will drastically reduce speed once customers exceed their monthly data allowance. Select DSL and cable ISPs may also have data caps, but most charge an overage fee rather than throttling your speed.
How to fix throttled upload speeds
If you have a monthly data cap, it’s best to monitor your activity throughout your billing cycle to avoid exceeding it. Most providers have an app and/or website that allows you to track your data usage.
HughesNet allows customers to purchase additional data “tokens” or blocks of data that will normalize their upload and download speeds until the end of the billing period or the added data is used up. Viasat doesn’t offer this option, but most can come with higher data allowances than HughesNet depending on the plan you choose.
The best thing to do, of course, is to choose oneor at least one that doesn’t throttle your speed if you exceed your limit. However, you should keep an eye on your data usage, as excessive data usage could violate your service term agreement, which may result in a service interruption.
Looking for more ways to improve your internet connection? Visit thefor more articles about your Internet service at home. You can find more tips and tricks around the house in our .