How to increase your upload speed

Slow upload speed getting you down? Read our tips on how to improve your service.

Your upload speed is the speed at which your broadband connection can send data over the Internet. Upload speed can lag behind download speed in the UK, and increased home-working means that having a decent upload speed is vital for anyone video-conferencing via platforms like Zoom, Teams and Skype. Your upload speed determines whether others can see and hear you properly during calls. The telecoms watchdog Ofcom says that the average upload speed in the UK is just under 10Mbps.

Check your download and upload speed with our broadband speed checker, then follow our tips for increasing your upload speed.

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Change your broadband provider

There are several causes of slow upload, but a common factor is that your broadband supplier isn’t able to offer decent upload speeds in your area. If your upload speed’s sluggishness is because of your provider and package, you may find that different providers perform better in certain areas of the country. So it could be worth switching.


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Why is my upload speed so slow?

Here are the typical factors that can affect your upload speeds:

  • Your connection bandwidth. This is a key factor in whether you can access decent upload speeds and is largely determined by your provider. So, as we’ve said above, if your uploads are slow, it may just be a case of switching providers. Even if your connection is generally quite good, your supplier may be doing something called “throttling”, which is when it deliberately reduces your available bandwidth in order to manage lots of users’ traffic.
  • Too many devices on a single network. As a general rule of thumb, the more devices logged in to the same broadband connection, the more of your connection’s bandwidth is being used up, slowing down both your download and upload speeds. So if 3 or 4 users in a single household all want to stream ultra-high definition movies or play bandwidth-heavy online games at the same time, this can slow down everyone’s connection.
  • Malware on your computer. This could also be slowing down your device’s ability to upload at a decent speed. You may have inadvertently downloaded malware, or malicious software, in an email attachment or when downloading a file from an untrustworthy website.
  • Outdated device drivers. Drivers are pieces of software that allow your computer to control hardware like network adapters, printers and keyboards. Outdated drivers can prevent your device from uploading data to its full potential.

How to increase your upload speed

  • Try using a wired connection. If you’re currently using a Wi-Fi connection, try connecting to the Internet with an ethernet cable to your computer. Wired connections can offer both faster upload and download speeds.
  • Clear your temporary files. Clearing your web history, caches and cookies can increase the overall speed of your computer, and this in turn will increase your upload speed.
  • Remove other devices from your network. Try removing any devices that you don’t immediately need connected to the Internet. This can include wireless printers and mobile phones too.
  • Remove malware. You should make sure you don’t have any computer viruses. You can do this by downloading antivirus software and by making sure that it’s working properly. There are a range of both free and paid-for antivirus software packages that can offer strong protection.
  • Change your DNS settings. Domain name servers (DNS) are computer programs or servers that help “point” your web browser to different websites. They have different speeds and you can change your DNS by finding the fastest ones and entering the codes manually in your Internet settings. You can also download tools to help get the fastest ones. Two reliable tools are Google DNS and OpenDNS, but there are also some professional level ones that you have to pay for.
  • Update device drivers. If your device drivers are outdated it can really slow you down. You can update them by clicking “update device drivers” in your network adapter’s options menu.
  • Upload at off-peak times. This one isn’t particularly helpful if you need to upload data quickly now, but off-peak times have much quicker speeds, and this is something to consider when choosing the time you upload something.

Bottom line

The checks we’ve mentioned should help you quickly work out whether the issue is your device, your network set-up or your broadband provider. If it’s the provider, you can compare other options through Finder.

Find a new broadband provider

If you’ve had enough of your current broadband provider, use a comparison to find a better one, based on what’s available in your postcode.

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Frequently asked questions

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Written by

Nick Renaud-Komiya

Nick Renaud-Komiya has been a writer and reporter for nine years, covering a range of consumer issues from energy suppliers to banking and mortgage issues. He enjoys helping people take control of their personal finances and better understand their consumer rights. Nick’s consumer writing and money journalism has been featured in a range of outlets including, The Sunday Mirror, The Independent and Outside of work Nick enjoys cooking and collecting old David Bowie merch. See full profile

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