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Understanding upload speeds is pivotal before you choose a plan from the National Broadband Network, or nbn®, as it can dictate what activities you can do online. In this guide, we at Skymesh will talk about internet speeds as a whole, the importance of upload speeds, how to choose the right speed tier for your individual needs, and much more.

Internet speed and our daily life

Imagine preparing for a significant online business meeting only to find that you can’t upload your presentation in time. Or perhaps you’re a content creator attempting to share your latest updates with your followers, but the slow uploads become an unexpected barrier.

These scenarios underline the growing importance of upload speeds, particularly when we need to share information quickly on the web.

When it comes to internet plans, understanding speed is more than just comparing numbers. It’s about ensuring smooth communication, sharing memories effortlessly, and maintaining an active online presence.

But what exactly does upload speed mean, and how does it differ from its counterpart, download speed?

Understanding internet speeds

The two types of speeds

  • Download speed. This shows how quickly you can retrieve files, content, and overall data from the internet. Whether you’re streaming your favourite show or downloading an important document, download speeds are at play.
  • Upload speed. This gives you an idea of how fast you can push data over the internet. From sending an email with a hefty attachment to posting a simple picture on a social media platform, it’s the upload speed that determines the time it takes to do it.

Download speeds are usually showcased in plan names, but if you’re looking for reliability in terms of sending information online, you should take upload speeds into consideration.

Checking your upload speed

Not sure about your current upload speed?

Several internet speed test tools available online can give you some insight. Within a few seconds, you’ll have clarity on both your upload (and even your download) speeds.

Just keep in mind that they’re measured in Mbps or megabits per second. The higher the Mbps, the speedier ‘ but what speed do you actually need?

Different upload speeds for different tasks

Every online activity has its own unique requirements. For instance, sending emails or updating social media might not demand ultra-high speeds. On the other hand, live-streaming, video conferencing, or online gaming will generally necessitate more robust upload speeds.

For example, here are some nbn speed tiers for fixed line plans and some of the activities you can comfortably experience with them:

  • nbn 25. nbn 25 plans provide typical evening speeds of up to 4 Mbps upload and up to 25 Mbps download between 7.00 p.m. and 11.00 p.m., which is generally ideal for around one to two users sending online messages, engaging in everyday web browsing, and more.
  • nbn 50. nbn 50 plans provide typical evening speeds of up to 16 Mbps upload and up to 49 Mbps download between 7.00 p.m. and 11.00 p.m., which is generally suitable for about three to four users playing online games, backing up data like pictures, updating their social media, and more.
  • nbn 100. nbn 100 plans provide typical evening speeds of up to 16 Mbps upload and up to 96 Mbps download between 7.00 p.m. and 11.00 p.m., which generally covers around four or more users sending large files, broadcasting live streams, and more.

By understanding your primary online activities, you can better gauge the speed tier that would serve you best. This way, you’ll know what nbn upload speed to opt for when you’re applying for internet plans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do different activities require different upload speeds?

Different online activities have different upload speed requirements because they involve varying amounts of data being sent.

For instance, while sending an email or online messaging, the upload speeds you’d generally need might not be particularly high. This is because you’re intermittently, rather than consistently, uploading small-sized documents, photos, or occasionally short videos.

In contrast, activities like online gaming, video conferencing, or cloud-based data backups entail a continuous, steady, and prolonged upload of large amounts of data. For these uses, higher upload speeds are crucial to maintaining a smooth experience.

How often should I check my internet speed?

It’s best practice to check your internet speed regularly ‘ at least every month or more frequently if you prefer. This can help ensure that your connection remains stable and that issues don’t arise.

Here are some points when it would be good to check your internet speed:

  • Consistent sluggishness. If your internet has felt slow for a while now, a speed test can help decipher whether the issue stems from your provider, internal network, or personal devices.
  • Pre- and post-upgrade. Perhaps you’ve recently upgraded your internet plan to access faster speeds. If that’s the case, compare internet speeds before and after to make sure that the promised speeds are delivered.
  • Inclusion of devices or users. With the addition of new devices or members to your internal network, a speed test can help you see if your current plan can cater to the increased demands.

How can I increase my upload speed?

Generally, the simplest and most clear-cut way to increase your upload speed is to upgrade your plan, but you can also consider the following:

  • Hardware maintenance. Periodic router and modem resets and regular firmware updates could help boost your speed.
  • Strategic placement. To avoid interference and strengthen the signal, ensure that modems and routers are not positioned near other electronics or structures like thick walls.
  • Opt for wired over wireless. Using Ethernet cables over a wireless signal can drastically improve upload speeds, as a direct wired connection generally provides more stability.

Key Points to Remember

  1. Download speed helps you retrieve data, while upload speed helps you send data.
  2. You can use an internet speed test tool or website to check your upload and download speed.
  3. Different online activities require different speeds, so you don’t necessarily need the fastest rate.
  4. Check your internet speed regularly to see if your internet is stable or if there are any issues.
  5. Upgrading your plan can bring higher speeds, but you can also try other optimisation solutions.

Your digital journey, your needs

Your internet plan is what allows you to experience the online world effectively, whether you’re a remote worker collaborating across time zones or a family seeking entertainment at the end of a long day.

At the end of the day, it’s not just about choosing the cheapest offer or the most convenient option; it’s about choosing an internet plan tailored to your unique needs.

As the nbns leading specialised regional internet provider with over twenty years of experience, we at Skymesh have helped thousands of households secure a reliable connection. From excellent plans to exceptional customer service, we’re here to connect, inform, and empower Australians.

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