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Download vs Upload – What’s the difference?

At Zzoomm, our download and upload speeds are gigafast. In fact, they are up to 44x faster than the average home broadband speed, with a 2000Mbps download speed and 2000Mbps upload speed. This means that our download and upload speeds are not only fast, but symmetrically fast, something which can only be achieved by Full Fibre broadband. When your download speed is just as fast as your upload speed, that’s when the magic happens.

The power of Fibre also means it maintains speed over long distances, so you’re guaranteed to get the speed you sign up for with no nasty surprises. As a result, with Zzoomm you can expect gigafast, reliable broadband at all times –  when watching Netflix with the kids and when taking video meetings with your boss.

We’re sure you will have heard the terms ‘upload’ and ‘download’ before – whether when troubleshooting, browsing the web, or when choosing a broadband provider. But what does download speed and upload speed actually mean? What is the difference? And what does this mean for you? We’re on hand to share our knowledge, and this week we are giving you the lowdown on download vs upload speed.

What is download speed?

Both uploading and downloading are states of transferring. You can think of downloading as ‘saving’ or ‘receiving’. Download speed refers to the rate in which digital data is transferred from the Internet to your device – whether that’s a computer, a phone, a tablet or smartwatch. Activities which involve the action of downloading include watching Netflix, receiving an email, purchasing music and browsing the web to name a few.

What are the benefits of a fast download speed?

A fast download speed means that you are just a few clicks away from watching your favourite series on Netflix, without the buffering time. It also means that your web pages open seamlessly and instantly, music is downloaded effortlessly, and YouTube videos don’t pause halfway through while the video is still loading. Doesn’t that sound nice?

What is upload speed?

To put it in simple terms, whilst downloading is a state of ‘receiving’, you can think of uploading as a state of ‘sending’. Upload speed is the rate that online data is transferred from your device to the Internet. The more data you can send in a given second, the smoother and faster your experience will be.

One example of when there is a clear instance of uploading taking place is when you’re using your webcam for video calls. With the introduction of flexible and remote working, upload speeds really do matter when using software like Microsoft teams or Zoom or working with cloud based services such as WeTransfer and Dropbox. The good thing about symmetrical download and upload speeds offered by Full Fibre mean you’ll be able to video conference without fear of freezing and share your data filled work in seconds instead of hours.

And if you’re a gamer, we probably don’t need to tell you that upload speed is important! But a quick connection reduces lag while playing games online and means guaranteed super-smooth streaming on services like Twitch and fast video uploads of your Fortnite footage to your YouTube channel.

How do I find out what download and upload speeds I am getting now?

It might have been a while since you’ve last looked at the details of the service you’re paying for, we know it can be easy to forget and simply pay the bill. But now we’re on the topic, one of the best ways to find out what speeds you are really getting is through a speed tester. It’s super simple to use and you may be surprised to learn that the broadband you have is being shared with the whole street, which can really impact your speeds! Check out the speed test here.

The benefits of both a fast upload and fast download speed are pretty clear, and with many broadband providers prioritising download speed over upload speed, Zzoomm is really a cut above the rest in that it is fast both ways. A real-life superpower if you ask us!

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