Upload speed

Upload, abbreviated as UL, is a process of transferring files from one computer system to the memory of another device which has a larger system through an internet connection. This process is the most known and popular form of file-sharing technique.[1] Because of this, uploading becomes the most common trend in different social media web applications such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Myspace, Flickr, LinkedIn and many more.[2] On the other hand, speed refers to the overall time used in order to complete a certain task. It tells the user how fast the system can perform operations. Thus, Upload speed simply refers to the rate at which the file is transferred from the user’s computer or device to the internet.[3]

Table of contents

  1. Functionality


Typically, the process of uploading just involves sending the files from the user’s device to another local storage of a device system. From a user’s point of view, uploading a file is to send it to another device that is already set up to receive it. A file transfer protocol is needed in order to upload a file over the internet. In order for a file to be successfully uploaded, the process involves grabbing generic bits of data from the user of the computer and transferring it to the server. The data will be broken into data packets and is then transferred so the data retrieved is safe. FTP is considered as the internet facility for both the processes of uploading and downloading files.

Sometimes people get confused between upload and download, especially with the terms attach and save. When a person sends an email together with an attached file, the act of including an attachment is not considered as uploading because it simply involves attaching a file from a folder that already exists in a device. When an email is also sent with an attachment and the person saves the attached file to his or her computer in order to view it, the action of saving the attached file is not considered as downloading.

With this, referring to internet communication whether, through telephone lines or wireless connections, upload speed is normally slower than download speed.[4] Broadband upload speed is generally much slower than download speed because most of the users generally do far more downloading than uploading. Such a process of downloading is given more priority by the internet service provider than the process of uploading. The job of an ISP is to regulate how the networks deal with various traffic flows competing to be sent across the ether. Because of this, upload speed becomes more important to a user who needs to move large and big files from their own computer device to another computer device in a different geographic area.

There is another type of uploading which is known as remote uploading. This type involves data transfer from one remote server to another remote server and is generally used by file hosting services. This can also be used if the system from which the data needs to be shared is from a high-speed local area network. The file that is sent to a remote computer is saved and the user at the other end can locate the file.[5]

A site must have an upload utility that allows uploading a file and helps perform the file transfer. The following are business applications that require good upload speed:

  • Hard drive backups
  • In-house web hosting
  • Attachments on outgoing email
  • Cloud applications like google documents, Dropbox, and iCloud
  • Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone service
  • Skype and Facetime

A good broadband internet connection provides an upload speed of 50 Mbps or more. For low-end basic services, they provide a maximum upload speed as low as 256 Kbps. The upload speed performance is determined by the service provider’s technology.

Furthermore, if the connection has already been established, both parties can send and receive data from each other. Therefore, there is no need for a port in order to send and receive from a server because a server does not initiate any connections. In uploading a file to a server, the user initiates the connection to the server which transmits an HTTP GET request and contains the data to be uploaded.

According to an averaged speed test result, the average upload speed across all devices, including mobile, tablets, and desktops is 0.96Mbps.[6] It is also possible to upload and download at the same time, however it causes a slower transfer speed, especially if there is a low bandwidth connection.

The following are the different types of formats that can be uploaded in a computer system or any other devices.

File Type File Format
Images .jpg .jpeg .png .gif
Documents .pdf (Portable document format).doc .docx (Microsoft word document).ppt .pptx .pps .ppsx (Microsoft powerpoint presentation).odt (Open document text document).xls .xlsx (Microsoft excel document)
Audio .mp3 .m4a .ogg .wav
Video .mp4 .m4v (MPEG-4).mov (Quicktime).wmv (Windows media video).avi .mpg .ogv (ogg) .3gp (3GPP) .3g2(3GPP2)

The smaller the file size, the easier it will be to upload and view in the computer system. For video and upload tasks, the size of a file to be uploaded can be set or restricted. This ensures and secures that the user does not exceed the given limit. Files that are too large may have difficulties when being uploaded on the site.[6:1]

  1. https://www.techopedia.com/definition/1883/upload-ul ↩︎

  2. https://www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk/faq/what-does-download-and-upload-mean/ ↩︎

  3. https://www.bandwidthplace.com/download-speed-vs-upload-speed-whats-the-difference-article/ ↩︎

  4. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/upload.html ↩︎

  5. https://www.techopedia.com/definition/1883/upload-ul ↩︎

  6. https://help.fluidreview.com/hc/en-us/articles/236115967-Accepted-File-Formats-for-Uploads ↩︎ ↩︎