If you’ve ever been curious enough to test out your home internet connection’s speed, you’ve probably noticed that your benchmarking software measures 3 different things: download speed, upload speed, and the ping rate. What you might not realize is what those three things mean.
Definitions and Explanations
So, the biggest thing to realize is that download rate means the speed at which your computer can receive and process signals. It affects your ability to do the following kinds of things:
- Online streaming
- Surfing the internet
- Downloading content like ebooks or software
Upload speed, on the other hand, is the speed at which you are able to transfer information from your computer to a remote computer or server. It is needed if you are sending files or information, such as when professionals submit their work product in creative industries. It also has uses for everyday applications like:
- Video conferencing and VOIP services
- Online gaming
- Running cloud applications from your home computer
Lastly, the ping rate tells you how long it takes to send a signal to a remote computer and get a response.
Choosing your broadband internet service should be a matter of assessing your upload and download needs. For most home users, a much larger down speed is needed than up speed, because it is rare for large numbers of simultaneous upload applications to be going at once. Working from home changes that, as do other factors.
Knowing how you will use your internet is the best way to get the package that works for you.