Why is my upload speed so slow: Simple Causes and Effective Solutions

Have you ever wondered why your upload speed is slow when you are trying to send a large file, upload a video, or stream a game online? You are not alone. Many internet users face this frustrating problem and wonder how to fix it. In this article, we will explain what upload speed is, why it matters, what causes it to be slow, and how to improve it.

What is Upload Speed?

Upload speed measures how fast your device can send data to the internet. It is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). Upload speed is important for activities that require sending data to the internet, such as:

  • Uploading files to cloud storage or email
  • Posting photos or videos on social media
  • Streaming live video or audio
  • Video conferencing or online gaming
  • Backing up data online

Upload speed is different from download speed, which is the rate at which data is transferred from the internet to your device. Download speed is important for activities that require receiving data from the internet, such as:

  • Browsing web pages or watching online videos
  • Downloading files or apps
  • Streaming music or podcasts
  • Updating software or firmware

O₂ broadband speeds: 8 Mbps download, 1 Mbps upload at 10.… | Flickr

Why Does Upload Speed Matter?

Upload speed matters because it affects the quality and performance of your online activities. A slow upload speed can cause:

  • Long waiting times for uploading files or posting content
  • Poor video or audio quality for streaming or conferencing
  • Lagging or buffering for online gaming
  • Failed backups or syncs for cloud storage
  • Higher data usage and costs for mobile devices

According to a report by Ookla, the global average upload speed in 2023 was 35.96 Mbps, while the global average download speed was 96.98 Mbps. This means that upload speed is typically much slower than download speed for most internet users.

Read: Why does your computer get slower over time

Upload speed for gaming

Upload speed is often overlooked by gamers who focus more on download speed. However, having a bad upload speed can cause problems such as lag, latency, packet loss, and disconnection. These issues can ruin your gameplay and frustrate you and your teammates. Therefore, it is recommended to have a Good internet speed for gaming (both Upload and Download), especially if you play online games that require real-time interaction and coordination. According to some experts, the minimum good upload speed for gaming should be at least 3 Mbps, but some games may require more depending on the number of players, the game mode, and the quality of the audio and video.

What Causes Slow Upload Speed?

There are many factors that can cause your upload speed to be slow. Some of the most common ones are:

Poor Internet Service

One of the main reasons for slow upload speed is having a poor internet service provider (ISP) or plan. Some ISPs may offer low upload speeds compared to download speeds, especially for cable or DSL connections. Some plans may also have data caps or throttling policies that limit your upload speed after a certain amount of usage. To check your upload speed, you can use an online tool such as Speedtest.

Speed Test with AT&T 300/300 Fiber | Wesley Fryer | Flickr

Too Many Devices on The Network

Another reason for slow upload speed is having too many devices connected to the same network. Each device that uses the internet consumes some bandwidth, which reduces the amount available for other devices. This can create congestion and interference on the network, especially if some devices are uploading large amounts of data. To see how many devices are connected to your network, you can use an app such as Fing or WiFi Analyzer.

There’s a Malware on your System

A malware infection on your device can also cause slow upload speed. Malware is malicious software that can harm your device or steal your data. Some malware may use your device as a botnet, which means that it can send spam emails, launch cyberattacks, or mine cryptocurrencies without your knowledge. This can consume a lot of bandwidth and slow down your upload speed. To scan your device for malware, you can use antivirus software such as Malwarebytes or Norton.

Read: How to protect your Windows PC against malware

Outdated Router Firmware

The internet can be accessed by your home network through a device called a router. It has firmware, which is software that controls its functions and settings. If your router firmware is outdated, it may not be able to handle the latest internet protocols or security standards. This can affect your upload speed and cause other issues such as connection drops, signal loss, or compatibility problems. To update your router firmware, you can visit the manufacturer’s website and follow their instructions.

Security Firewall Settings

Your firewall is software or hardware that protects your device or network from unauthorized access or malicious traffic. It can block or filter incoming and outgoing data based on certain rules or criteria. However, sometimes your firewall settings may be too strict or incorrect, which can prevent some legitimate data from being uploaded. This can reduce your upload speed and cause errors or failures for some online activities. To check your firewall settings, you can go to your device’s security settings or your router’s configuration page.

Slow Upload Speed fixes

If you are experiencing slow upload speed, there are some steps you can take to fix it. Here are some of the most effective ones:

Upgrade The Internet Plan

The simplest way to improve your upload speed is to upgrade your internet plan with your ISP. You can choose a plan that offers higher upload speeds, more bandwidth, or unlimited data. This can cost you more money, but it can also save you time and frustration. You can compare different plans and prices from various ISPs using a website such as BroadbandNow or WhistleOut.

Power Cycle or Reset The Router

Another way to improve your upload speed is to power cycle or reset your router. Power cycling means turning off your router, waiting for a few seconds, and turning it back on. This can refresh your router’s settings and clear any temporary issues or glitches. Resetting means restoring your router to its factory default settings. This can solve any configuration or compatibility problems that may affect your upload speed. However, resetting will also erase any custom settings or preferences that you have made on your router, so you may need to reconfigure them later.

Read: How to speed up your laptop: Here are 10 tips

Test on a Wired/Ethernet Connection

A wired or Ethernet connection is a physical cable that connects your device to your router or modem. A wired connection can offer faster and more stable upload speeds than a wireless or WiFi connection, which can be affected by distance, interference, or congestion. To test your Wifi upload speed on a wired connection, you can use an Ethernet cable to connect your device to your router or modem, and then run an online speed test tool such as Speedtest.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 Review: Entry-level 6GHz

Disconnect Unwanted Devices

As mentioned earlier, having too many devices connected to the same network can reduce your upload speed. To avoid this, you can disconnect any unwanted devices from your network, especially those that are uploading large amounts of data. You can also turn off any background apps or services that may use the internet on your device, such as cloud syncs, automatic updates, or downloads. This can free up some bandwidth and improve your upload speed.

Update WiFi Router’s Drivers & Firmware

If you are using a wireless or WiFi connection, you can improve your upload speed by updating your WiFi router’s drivers and firmware. Drivers are software that enable your router to communicate with your device’s operating system. Firmware is software that controls your router’s functions and settings. Updating your drivers and firmware can enhance your router’s performance, security, and compatibility with the latest internet protocols and standards. To update your drivers and firmware, you can visit the manufacturer’s website and follow their instructions.

Clear Cache or Temporary Files

Your cache is a storage area on your device that saves copies of web pages, images, or other data that you have accessed online. This can help you load web pages faster and save data usage. However, sometimes your cache can become too large or corrupted, which can slow down your upload speed and cause other problems such as errors or crashes. To clear your cache, you can go to your device’s browser settings and select the option to delete cache or temporary files.

Read: Can’t connect to WiFi on Windows 10, here is what to do

Change DNS Settings

Your DNS (Domain Name System) is a service that translates domain names (such as www.bing.com) into IP addresses (such as that computers can understand. Your DNS settings determine which DNS server your device uses to perform this translation. Sometimes, your default DNS server may be slow, overloaded, or blocked by your ISP or government. This can affect your upload speed and cause other issues such as web page loading failures or censorship. To change your DNS settings, you can use a different DNS server that is faster, more reliable, or more secure. Some of the most popular ones are Google Public DNS, Cloudflare DNS and OpenDNS.

Check Firewall Settings

As mentioned earlier, your firewall settings can affect your upload speed by blocking or filtering some data. To fix this, you should check your firewall settings and make sure they are not too strict or incorrect. You should also allow any legitimate apps or services that require uploading data to the internet through your firewall. You should also update your firewall software regularly to keep up with the latest security standards.

Upgrade Your Internet Equipment

The last way to improve your upload speed is to upgrade your internet equipment such as your router, modem, cable, or adapter. Your internet equipment may be outdated, damaged, or incompatible with the latest internet technologies or standards. This can affect your upload speed and cause other problems such as connection drops, signal loss, or compatibility issues. To upgrade your internet equipment, you can buy new ones from reputable brands or models that offer higher speeds.

Use a VPN or a proxy

A VPN or a proxy can help you bypass any ISP or government restrictions or throttling that may affect your upload speed. A VPN or a proxy can also protect your privacy and security online by encrypting your data and hiding your IP address. However, some VPNs or proxies may also slow down your upload speed due to their own servers or protocols. You can try different VPNs or proxies and see which one works best for you. Some of the most popular ones are ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Tor Browser.

Read: What Does a Proxy Hide : a Complete Guide

Optimize your upload settings and preferences

Depending on what you are uploading, you may be able to optimize your upload settings and preferences to increase your upload speed. For example, you can compress your files before uploading them to reduce their size and save bandwidth. You can also adjust the quality or resolution of your videos or images to lower their file size and upload time. You can also use a dedicated app or software for uploading instead of a web browser, which may have more features and options for uploading.


Upload speed is an important factor that affects the quality and performance of your online activities. However, there are many reasons why your upload speed may be slow, such as poor internet service, too many devices on the network, malware infection, outdated router firmware, firewall settings, and more. Fortunately, there are also many ways to fix your poor upload speed, such as upgrading your internet plan, power cycling or resetting your router, testing on a wired connection, disconnecting unwanted devices, updating your router drivers and firmware, clearing your cache, changing your DNS settings, scanning for malware, checking your firewall settings, and upgrading your internet equipment.

You can also check your internet plan and usage, use a VPN or a proxy, and optimize your upload settings and preferences to improve your upload speed. By following these tips and tricks, you can enjoy faster and smoother uploads and enhance your online experience.


If you like the content, we would appreciate your support by buying us a coffee. Thank you so much for your visit and support.


Nikolaus Oosterhof

Nikolaus holds a degree in software development and has a strong passion for all things tech-related, especially gadgets with screens. Though he is nostalgic for older phone models, he's a retired gamer and continues to enjoy programming in open-source environments. Additionally, Nikolaus enjoys writing about Linux, macOS and Windows and has experience designing web pages.

Leave a Reply