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  Why upload always slower than download? 
 
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Juan Pena Mar 03, 2013, 06:10pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Out of curiosity, I am asking myself why upload transfer is always so much slower compared to download. This is just one of those 'i just want to know why' questions.

Anybody knows?

thanks in advance,


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Joshua Marius, LeThe Mar 10, 2013, 08:14pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Why upload always slower than download?
For many users, uploading files is quite a bit slower than downloading files. This is usually normal, because most high-speed Internet connections, including cable modems and DSL, are asymmetric ó they are designed to provide much better speed for downloading than uploading. Since most users spend much more time downloading (which includes viewing web pages or multimedia files) than they do uploading, high speed Internet providers have designed their systems to give priority to downloading. So if your upload speed appears to be slower than your download speed, this is probably expected.


Upload speeds are generally slower than download speeds because of the fact that most internet connected equipment is asymmetric. Asymmetric means that any one packet of data can either go in, or out, but not both ways at the same time.
Since most internet users are receiving more data than sending, the internet connected equipment has shifted the higher majority of the signals to go toward downloading.
If an internet provider allows your connection to be 5Mb download and 1Mb upload, this same connection is capable of handling 3Mb upload and 3 Mb download. But this would then slow down the most important part of the internet, the receiving and downloading of requested data.

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Juan Pena Mar 10, 2013, 08:33pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Why upload always slower than download?
thanks for the reply; I had assumed so much but it is great to know for a fact.

again, thanks,

Joshua Marius, LeThe Mar 10, 2013, 08:37pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Why upload always slower than download?

You know what...I had actually never researched it myself. I just did to help ya out LOL and glad it did :)

Joshua Marius
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Dr. Peaceful Mar 10, 2013, 10:56pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Why upload always slower than download?
The primary reason is money. Most residential internet customers don't do much uploads, but mostly downloads. We consume the contents of the internet, rather than providing the contents. Unless you have your own file server at home and serving out files to the others, which is exactly what the ISP's want to prevent you to do without paying more.

Commercial internet customers on the other hand, it may be their business need for providing internet contents to their own customers, hence need more upload bandwidth, and of course paying a premium to the ISP for the commercial internet service.

ISP's love $$. Mo money, mo bandwidth. Get it? ;)

Gerritt Aug 06, 2013, 05:48pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Why upload always slower than download?
Joshua,
" Asymmetric means that any one packet of data can either go in, or out, but not both ways at the same time. "

Isn't technically correct, what you are describing is Half Duplex vs Full Duplex.

Asymmetric in this case is indicating that the Layer 2 protocol has been configured for different speeds for uplink vs downlink Data Link speeds.

Different technologies have different throughput/bandwidth and distance limitations and the skewing of bandwidth towards the downlink are for exactly the reasons you point out.
Some vendors do have symmetrical solutions, but these are usually marketed as T1, T3, Metro Ethernet, etc, and require special equipment to implement and are for business vs consumer and are much more expensive than the asymmetric offerings.

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Alex Brown Sep 04, 2013, 03:52am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Why upload always slower than download?
Joshua Marius, LeThe said:
For many users, uploading files is quite a bit slower than downloading files. This is usually normal, because most high-speed Internet connections, including cable modems and DSL, are asymmetric ó they are designed to provide much better speed for downloading than uploading. Since most users spend much more time downloading (which includes viewing web pages or multimedia files) than they do uploading, high speed Internet providers have designed their systems to give priority to downloading. So if your upload speed appears to be slower than your download speed, this is probably expected.


Upload speeds are generally slower than download speeds because of the fact that most internet connected equipment is asymmetric. Asymmetric means that any one packet of data can either go in, or out, but not both ways at the same time.
Since most internet users are receiving more data than sending, the internet connected equipment has shifted the higher majority of the signals to go toward downloading.
If an internet provider allows your connection to be 5Mb download and 1Mb upload, this same connection is capable of handling 3Mb upload and 3 Mb download. But this would then slow down the most important part of the internet, the receiving and downloading of requested data.


Thanks, i was also wandering for the same question.
Now i'm satisfied with the answer.

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Naveen Goud Sep 06, 2013, 02:16pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Why upload always slower than download?
Hi Juan Pena,

While I agree with some of the comments made on this thread (related to half vs. full duplex), I would also like to add that there is a lot of hardware difference on your side vs. the other server side. What I mean to say that factors like processing power of a server CPU, RAM impact can also show a reasonable difference in U/L speeds.

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john albrich Sep 07, 2013, 01:22am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Sep 07, 2013, 01:31am EDT

 
>> Re: Why upload always slower than download?
Naveen Goud said:
While I agree with some of the comments made on this thread (related to half vs. full duplex), I would also like to add that there is a lot of hardware difference on your side vs. the other server side. What I mean to say that factors like processing power of a server CPU, RAM impact can also show a reasonable difference in U/L speeds.

To some extent that may have some validity in some systems, however the modem will have the massively dominant effect in affecting not only speed but the ratio of Download/Upload speeds. DOCSIS3 v. DOCSIS2 and channel bonding will make a HUGE difference on many current cable ISPs (not evaluated on a DSL ISP).

For example, a DOCSIS2 modem (unbonded, like the Linksys CM100, @100mbps connection(1)) may have a:
13mbpsDownload/700kbpsUpload (ratio~19:1)
while a DOCSIS3 modem (4channel bonded like the Motorola SB6121, @100mbps connection) on the EXACT SAME connection may have a:
33mbpsDownload/21mbpsUpload (ratio~1.6:1)
between the user and the same test server. A major difference in Up/Download ratios of over 10 to 1.

The Motorola SB6121 achieved close to the maximum spec'd performance guaranteed for the subscribed class level by the ISP for both Download and Upload speeds. If that hadn't "maxed-out" the ISPs class level of performance, I would suspect a gigabit connection might also contribute to Download/Upload ratio differences (assuming the ISP's class level performance specification would make a difference).

Thus, The Down/Up rations can change very dramatically just by something as simple as changing modems.

(1)While a modem itself may be capable of a gigabit connection, the LED indicator on the ethernet connector of the computer will tell you what link speed is actually being used. In this case, the link speed was ID'd as 100mbps in both cases


edit: clarified ratio comparison
edit: replaced gpbs with mbps in Download figures...don't know where my mind was at when I originally typed those in


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