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How to fix slow upload speeds (common causes and solutions)

You may not need it as often, but having a decent upload speed is just as important as having a lightning-fast download speed. And in situations like uploading files or being on a video call, it can be particularly annoying to experience slower than normal upload speeds. If you're struggling with slow upload speeds, you're reading the right guide.

Here, we'll go over a variety of options you have for speeding up your upload speeds, so you can choose the solution that's right for your situation. Let's take a look at some of the best ways to fix slow upload speeds for your home internet.




10 minutes

What You Need

  • A laptop or desktop PC

  • A router

how to fix slow upload speeds a wi fi router next laptop
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Updating your Wi-Fi router’s firmware

While we all update firmware for our essential devices like our phones and computers, upgrading the firmware associated with your Wi-Fi router is often an afterthought. If the Wi-Fi is working, why bother messing around with the settings?

But keeping your broadband hardware up to date is pivotal in ensuring any software-related issues are not holding your upload speed back from reaching its full capacity.

It’s not the be-all and end-all solution to slow upload speeds, but if your Wi-Fi router is running outdated firmware, it may negatively affect a connection when it comes to uploading. Just a simple update can remove any remaining technical issues and boost the overall health of your internet connection. It can improve security on your router, too.

In terms of actually performing the update, this will vary from router to router. Not every piece of hardware in this space functions the same way. For example, your own broadband hub may update the firmware automatically. However, for others, you’ll need to manually update it via an in-built option or by downloading a file from the manufacturer’s website.

One thing’s for sure, though: You can find out about your firmware status on the admin page of your router. Access it via its own unique URL (normally some sort of IP-based address), enter the relevant credentials (if you don’t know them, they’re usually found on a sticker on the actual router itself), and navigate toward the necessary settings.

For more tips, check out our guide on how to update your router.

Upgrading your router

If your firmware for the router is up to date, then it may be that upload speeds are being affected by the age of the hardware. Your internet provider may send some sort of message regarding a new, upgraded hub every year or so that improves the technology and such.

If your router is more than a few years old, then it might be time to start thinking about buying a newer, more capable version. If you haven't heard from your ISP, give them a call and ask if there are any upgrades they're offering. If you've been a customer for a while, they should upgrade it for you for free.

A Wi-Fi router with an ethernet cable plugged in.
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Range of Wi-Fi connection/wired connection

If your upload speed is slow and you're using Wi-Fi, then you may be affected by how close you are to the router. If you’re in, say, the garden or on the second floor of your home, then some routers won’t provide the same speeds you would receive compared to when you’re near the hardware itself.

Getting a Wi-Fi booster that plugs into the room where your system is can go a long way in improving connection speeds for both uploading and downloading.

Similarly, although it’s not an ideal scenario, you could use a wired connection in the meanwhile if you need a more immediate solution that will guarantee results.

A Wi-Fi router's admin page detailing the amount of connections.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Amount of connections

If you have several devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and more connected to one Wi-Fi router, then this can impact your upload speed.

In your router’s admin hub, it may give an overview of what devices are connected within the network, how much they’ve downloaded or uploaded, an option to disconnect them completely, and other relevant settings. There may be some devices that you don't even recognize, which could be using your Wi-Fi (or have used it in the past).

As such, it’s a good idea to limit the amount of connections that has access to your router, as it can ultimately overload it to the detriment of your upload speed. If you think there might be some people using your Wi-Fi without your knowledge, here's how to deal with it.

Changing ISPs

If none of the above has fixed slow upload speeds, then the answer may lie within the ISP itself. Ultimately, you will only receive what you're paying for from the broadband provider. If the upload speed maxes out at an unacceptable level, then you should consider changing to another ISP.

Why? Well, depending on if your area has the necessary cables and technology in place, you could be enjoying a much higher upload speed with a different company. You may even be able to do so with your current internet provider — simply call them and see if there’s anything you can do about upgrading your plan.

If that doesn’t bear fruit, then you can always call other services and see what kind of speeds they can offer. By telling them your exact area, they can normally determine the highest speeds possible in that specific region over the phone.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my upload speed so slow?

It depends on the unique setup of your home internet. It can vary from household to household. That said, here are some possible, common reasons for why the upload speed is slow:

  • You're too far away from the router.
  • Your router is too old.
  • You have too many devices connected to a single router.
  • You may need to change internet service providers or you need to ask your ISP about switching to a different, better plan.

What is a good upload speed?

The general consensus is that a good upload speed is around 10Mbps.

Do upload speeds matter?

Yes. Upload speeds are all about the speed at which you can send information. So if you plan on doing things like video conferencing, live streaming, or even posting to various social media platforms, you need a decent upload speed to do those things well.

For some helpful tips on how to increase your download speed, be sure to check out our guide on how to boost your internet speed.

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Zak Islam
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Zak Islam was a freelance writer at Digital Trends covering the latest news in the technology world, particularly the…
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