Downloading vs. Uploading
In 2020, upload speeds became more important than ever due to the coronavirus pandemic causing many people to work and learn from home. Understanding the speeds you need for your home is important, but majority of the focus of those speeds is on downloading speeds, or how many megabits of data per second it takes to download data from a remote or local server to the user’s device. Now, it’s time to focus on your uploading speeds, or how many megabits per second you can send information from your device to another device or server on the internet. You can think of these as the two requirements for your device to have a “conversation” with the internet!
You may have no issues when streaming Netflix or downloading music, but you might notice your Instagram posts take forever to upload. Or when video chats and Zoom meetings end up with a laggy connection. This happens because download speeds are typically always faster than upload speeds. This is because majority of the activities that users do online require more download bandwidth than upload bandwidth. But in today’s world of videoconferencing and online learning, uploading speeds are becoming just as important.
Cable vs. Fiber Upload Speeds
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines broadband as having a minimum upload speed of up to 3 Mbps. With today’s technological needs, this upload speed is hardly sufficient. Many cable companies provide only up to 1 Mbps upload speed. This can become problematic when video chatting can require anywhere from 1-4 Mbps for upload speeds (for one user) while gaming platforms such as Twitch recommends 3-6 Mbps. However, upload speeds differ between cable and fiber internet.
Cable internet uses a coaxial cable to transmit data, which has limitations on how much data that can be transmitted when compared with fiber optic. With cable, you can expect that during peak-use times, there will be up to a 25% reduction in both download and upload speeds. This is due to shared bandwidth with your neighbors. During peak usage, cable companies can throttle an entire area which results in slower speeds to your home.
Fiber internet provides much faster upload speeds, typically at minimum 20% of the download speed. This means a 1 Gig download connection would have a 200 Mbps upload speed. Cable cannot get anywhere near these upload speeds. This is because light can carry up to 100x more data over long distances compared to coaxial. No shared bandwidth with your neighbors, and no lags during peak-use times. Downloading and uploading will be easy and lightning-fast, literally.
Socket is continually looking to expand fiber throughout mid-Missouri. Check what services are available to your home.