Download speed and upload speed: What are they

When we talk about the Internet and networks there are two very important concepts to which we do not always pay the attention we should, the download speed and the upload speed. I am sure that our more advanced readers will be clear about the meaning of both types of speeds, but do you really know its implications and its impact when performing different tasks?

From the moment we connect to the Internet it is established a two-way communication between our equipment and the server, or servers, of the service or services to which we are accessing. Many elements come into play, such as the router and the network card, and the speed at which this communication is carried out will depend both on these and on the rate we have contracted, and also on the status of the service and the servers.

In this article we are going to delve into both concepts to help you solve all your doubts, and we will see both the definition of download speed and upload speed as their efects when browsing the Internet, downloading files, playing streaming multimedia content and enjoying our favorite games. Make yourself comfortable, let’s get started.

Lowering speed

In this bidirectional communication, the download speed refers to how quickly data is downloaded and received from the server or service to which we have connected. We will understand it better with an example.

Think about what happens when you download a game on Steam. A two-way communication occurs, in which the Steam server authenticates you, validates you to allow the download, and once that step is completed, it begins to send you game files and data you want to download.

This download process depends on the download speed you have, and the speed that your computer is capable of maintaining, but also on the status of the server, since if it is saturated or has problems, it will not matter if you have a very high descent speed.

The higher the download speed you can achieve, faster that game will download. The download speed also influences many other tasks, such as when playing streaming content, since these they are downloaded in real time, and a high download speed will avoid stops or cuts.

Upload speed

Upload speed is the opposite of download speed. In those two-way communications, we will also send data and files to servers, and services, to which we connect, and the speed with which these will arrive will depend on our upload speed, and also on the state of said servers and services.

Continuing with the previous example, in the authentication process performed by Steam the upload speed is used. If our upload speed has problems, this process may not complete, or it may take a long time to finish. The same applies when accessing other services.

Although it seems that the upload speed is less important than the download speed, the truth is that it is essential when browsing the Internet, since as we have said, bidirectional communication always occurs, to a greater or lesser extent. It is true that we can achieve an optimal experience with an upload speed lower than the download speed, but this depends on the needs of each user.

So, for example, a user that you are going to upload large files frequently, or working collaboratively every day and making video calls, sharing large files and having to upload content to the cloud will need a high upload speed to enjoy an optimal experience.

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