Why Is My Upload Speed So Slow? (Reasons & Fixes)

Why Is My Upload Speed So Slow

A common question among most internet users is ‘Why is my upload speed so slow?’.

Before getting into the reasons why your upload speed is slow and how to fix it, you need to understand its meaning first.

Upload speed refers to the speed in which data is transferred from your device to the internet.

Having decent upload speed is essential for online activities such as video streaming, uploading large files, and video chatting.

Generally, your uploading speed will depend on the subscription plan you have selected from your ISP.

However, there are some causes for a slow upload speed including internet outage, faulty device, improper router configuration, or even a mismatch in the speed capability of your router and the speed you are subscribed to.

Knowing the exact reason will help you fix the slow upload speeds more confidently and efficiently.

This article provides you with a list of other causes of slow upload speeds and possible solutions that you can implement to eliminate this issue.

What Causes Slow Upload Speeds?

Slow Upload Speed Causes

Most of the time, your internet service provider is the reason behind your slow upload speeds.

This is because sometimes the ISP reduces your upload speed and redirects it to other users. Therefore, the best solution for this is to speak to your ISP.

However, if your ISP is not the cause of this issue, one of the following could be the reason why you are experiencing slow upload speeds:

1. Internet plan restrictions

One of the main reasons why your upload speed is so slow could be due to restrictions on your internet plan.

You should check the specifics of your internet plan subscription and see whether you can find any data cap limitation mentioned.

This could be why your internet is slow, directly affecting the uploads. Therefore, you should call your ISP’s customer service personnel as they can help reveal the nuances and clauses in your internet plan.

2. Lots of devices on the network

Having too many devices connected to your internet can slow down your upload speeds. Sometimes your device or router cannot handle a high volume of simultaneous usage, leading to slow upload speeds.

A good lesson to learn is that a high-speed internet plan and modem/router does not guarantee better performance if many devices are connected at the same time.

The number of connections, the router’s capacity, and bandwidth capacity collectively affect the speed of your uploads.

You can upgrade your subscription to a faster plan or get a device that can handle several devices.

3. Malware on your system

When you download files, software, or games from unverified websites, your system is exposed to malware and spyware.

This software uses up your capacity which interferes with the internet connection and slows down your internet speed.

If your system has multiple malwares running, you will have less bandwidth available for your devices.

4. Outdated firmware

Your router may be the cause of slow upload speeds if it is operating on outdated firmware as this slows down the internet connection.

Outdated drivers on your PC/laptop network adapters may interrupt the internet connection.

5. Security firewall settings

You may experience slow upload speeds if you have extra firewalls installed on your device.

The main purpose of a firewall is to check and verify packets that are attempting to leave or enter your router through specific ports.

Some of these firewalls create bottlenecks that are not able to keep up with the internet speeds.

6. Apps consuming lots of bandwidth running in the background

Most apps on your devices send data back and forth, and if the background data usage is not turned off or the app’s data usage is not restricted, your bandwidth will be used which leads to slow download and upload speeds.

7. Restrictions imposed by your Organization

If you are experiencing slow upload speeds while on your devices provided by your work or office, a company firewall may have been imposed which restricts the usage of some applications or media on the internet.

If this continues with the work-related applications, you should speak to your work’s technical support.

8. Problems with hardware (modem/router)

The most common problem that affects the overall internet speed is outdated modems or routers.

Routers vary in their capabilities and specifications, and as a result, you can only have a strong internet connection if you have a decent quality device.

9. Faulty modem or router

Using a high-speed internet package alone does not guarantee optimal upload and download speeds. To achieve the best performance, it is essential to utilize devices that meet the required specifications.

Outdated routing devices or modems will hinder your speeds, preventing them from reaching their maximum potential.

Solutions for Slow Upload Speeds

Once you have identified the potential causes of slow upload speeds and ruled out any issues from your internet service provider (ISP), it’s time to resolve the problem.

The following are some of the solutions:

1. Upgrade your internet plan

To address the problem of slow internet speeds, it is advisable to contact your service provider and verify the details of your current internet plan.

If you are using a default or economical plan that has speed limits or a data cap, upgrading to a higher-tier plan may be necessary.

The chosen plan must align with the capabilities of your router to make the most of the upgraded internet service.

2. Reset or power cycle the router

An often-overlooked factor contributing to poor upload speeds is an overburdened router. To address this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Power off the router by disconnecting the power supply.
  2. Unplug all the wires connected to the router and allow it to rest for a few minutes.
  3. Restart the router.
  4. Check for improvement.

3. Test on an Ethernet/wired connection

When dealing with limited bandwidth, it is advisable to prioritize using a wired connection for essential devices.

By connecting your laptop or desktop directly to the router using an Ethernet cable, you can minimize the loss of bandwidth that occurs during wireless communication.

This ensures a more stable and reliable connection, optimizing your available bandwidth for essential tasks.

4. Disconnect unwanted devices

If your router is struggling due to multiple devices engaging in data-intensive activities, you can alleviate the issue by limiting the number of wireless connections and retesting its performance. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Access the admin portal: Open a web browser and enter one of the following URLs:,, or the URL provided by the router’s manufacturer.
  2. Login with credentials:
  3. Navigate to basic settings.
  4. Set maximum WIFI connections: Look for a box labeled “Max WIFI” and specify the desired number of wireless connections you want to allow.
  5. Save settings and restart: After entering the desired maximum number of WIFI connections, save the settings and restart the router to apply the changes.

By limiting the number of wireless connections, you can effectively manage the load on your router and potentially improve upload speeds.

5. Update the Router’s firmware

If your router is operating on outdated firmware, it can impact your internet performance. Follow these steps to update the firmware and potentially improve upload speeds:

  1. Visit the OEM website.
  2. Download the firmware.
  3. Access the admin portal: Log in to the router’s admin portal using your credentials. You can typically access it by entering the router’s IP address (such as or in a web browser.
  4. Navigate to advanced settings.
  5. Update firmware: Look for an option like “Update Firmware” or similar. Click on it to initiate the firmware update process.
  6. Select the downloaded file: Choose the firmware file you downloaded earlier by browsing through the menu or using a file upload feature provided in the admin portal.
  7. Wait for installation.
  8. Check for stability.

By updating the router’s firmware, you ensure that it benefits from the latest bug fixes, performance enhancements, and compatibility improvements provided by the manufacturer.

6. Clear temporary files or cache

When you browse the internet, your browser accumulates a significant amount of temporary data in its cache and files, which can impact your internet performance.

To address this, follow these steps to clear the cookies and cache in your browser:

  1. Launch your browser and access the settings menu.
  2. Look for the advanced tab or similar option within the settings menu.
  3. Locate the browsing data options.
  4. Select cookies and cache: Check the boxes next to cookies and cached images and files. These are the items that you want to clear.
  5. Clear the data.

After clearing the data, you may observe a noticeable improvement in your browsing and internet speeds.

7. Change DNS settings

Devices access the internet through DNS (Domain Name System) servers, and the location of your DNS server can impact the distance your data travels, which in turn affects internet performance and upload speeds.

Follow these steps to change your DNS servers to potentially improve performance:

  1. Press Win + X: On your computer, press the Win key and the X key simultaneously to open the Quick Link menu.
  2. Select Network connections: From the Quick Link menu, choose “Network connections” to access network settings.
  3. Advanced network settings: In the network settings, look for an option called “Advanced network settings” and select it.
  4. Network adapter settings: Within the advanced network settings, locate and click on “Network adapter settings” to access the properties of your network adapter.
  5. WiFi connection properties: Identify your WiFi connection from the list of network adapters and right-click on it. Choose “Properties” from the context menu that appears.
  6. In the IPv4 properties, you will find an option to manually enter the DNS server. Choose the “Use the following DNS server addresses” option and enter the new DNS server addresses you want to use.
  7. Save and apply changes:

By changing your DNS servers to ones with less traffic or faster response times, you can potentially improve internet performance and increase upload speeds.

8. Scan for viruses/malware

To enhance your internet performance and mitigate security threats, it is advisable to obtain the most up-to-date antivirus package and conduct regular scans for malware and viruses.

By periodically checking your system for malware, spyware, trojans, and viruses, you can ensure a safer online experience and potentially improve your internet performance.

9. Check the firewall setting

Inspect your devices to determine if the default settings of the firewall are restricting your upload and download speeds.

If there are firewalls that are currently active on your device, you should disable them.

If you observe an improvement in performance after disabling the firewall, seek out a firewall solution that maintains security without negatively impacting internet throughput.

10. Upgrade your internet equipment

Even with a high-speed internet package, outdated modems or routers can significantly impact upload and download speeds.

If none of the mentioned steps have resulted in an improvement, it is advisable to consider upgrading your equipment.

What Is the Impact of Slow Upload Speeds?

Slow Upload Speed Impact

Below we outline the impact of slow upload speeds on your online activities:

  • Sharing content on social media

You will notice a huge difference with slow upload speeds when using social media.

Your pages, media, and feeds will download faster but when you try to upload high-resolution video and photo files, the process will take a longer time, or the files are only uploaded after several attempts.

  • Virtual meetings or video conferencing

If your upload speeds are bad, you will have low-quality video calls in virtual meetups and conferences.

The video quality of the other participants will not have issues but your videos will be highly pixelated. The video and audio output will also not be in sync.

  • Live streaming and gaming

Your gaming experience will be ruined by slower upload speeds as they will bottleneck or disrupt the communication between the game server and the player. This will reflect delays in quick reflex reactions as well as positional movement.  

  • Large file uploads

Transferring files to cloud storage can become stressful when you have bad upload speeds especially if the files are high resolution and large HD videos and photographs.

What Is a Good Upload Speed?

The upload speeds that you get depends on the technology used by your internet service provider.

For instance, a 1 Gbps internet plan by an ISP that uses a coaxial cable will have upload speeds of 35 Mbps, which is sufficient.

You can still stream, play online games, do video calls, and upload large files if the upload speeds provided to you are between 5 Mbps and 10 Mbps.

How to Increase Upload Speed?

  • Move your device to a better location

WiFi signals can only travel over a limited distance, and they can be blocked or interrupted by floors, walls, appliances, ceilings, and any big physical objects.

Additionally, they can be interrupted by radio waves from devices such as microwaves, cordless phones, and Bluetooth speakers.

If your router is located at the corner of one of the rooms in your house, you will have problems with your upload speeds in other parts of your home.

Therefore, you should put your router at the center of your home to get enough internet speed.

  • Adjust your router’s antennas

If your router comes with adjustable antennas and you are experiencing slow upload speeds, you should re-adjust them. Normally, antennas send out WiFi signals perpendicularly in all directions.

For instance, a horizontal antenna sends out the signals vertically and vice versa. Therefore, if you want to send WiFi signals to several floors, the antenna should be adjusted horizontally so that the signals move up and down.

  • Get a WiFi Mesh system

A Mesh WiFi system uses advanced technologies to provide your home with full coverage and strong signals.

Once you get your Mesh system, connect it to your router and put the rest of the nodes in different places in your home. It takes a few minutes to set it up and get the system activated.

  • Use a Fast VPN or Remove It

Installing a good VPN which can easily bypass your internet service provider and can help in avoid restrictions and minimize speed loss. It enables you to avoid video buffering and helps in protecting your privacy.

However, your internet connection may be slowed down by having a VPN. If it is necessary for you to have a VPN, you should select a fast, good-quality one.

  • Change Your Provider

If you have tried all the above solutions and nothing has worked, you should consider replacing your internet service provider and finding one that provides you with high-speed internet connections.

Final Words

Hopefully, this article has cleared your doubts about why your upload speeds are so slow.

Some of the reasons for slow internet include outdated equipment, outdated firmware, malware on your system, lots of devices connected, or poor internet service.

The solutions provided in this guide will help you solve this problem. If the upload speeds remain slow, you should contact a networking professional for assistance.

Daniele Besana

Daniele Besana

Daniele is a freelancer consultant with 15 years of experience in network security, customer support, Linux and Salsa. He worked for Juniper Networks in Netherlands, providing support and consultancy on security projects across Europe and Middle-East.

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