Which broadband has the fastest upload speeds?

Broadband upload speed icon

Which broadband provider has the best upload speeds? I'm trying to choose a package and most providers only seem to mention download speeds!

Will T, via email

Yeah, broadband providers usually give less space to information about their packages' upload speeds than they do to download speeds. Luckily though, the majority do let you know what uploads you can expect. Here's what we found out.

What upload speed does each provider offer?

Provider Average download/upload speeds per package
BT

10Mb down, 1Mb up

50Mb down, 9Mb up

67Mb down, 18Mb up

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EE

10Mb down, 1Mb up

36Mb down, 9Mb up

67Mb down, 18Mb up

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First Utility

11Mb down, 1Mb up

35Mb down, 9Mb up

63Mb down, 17Mb up

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Gigaclear

50Mb down, 50Mb up

100Mb down, 100Mb up

200Mb down, 200Mb up

1000Mb down, 1000Mb up

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John Lewis

10Mb down, 1Mb up

36Mb down, 9Mb up

66Mb down, 17Mb up

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NOW Broadband

11Mb down, 0.7Mb up

36Mb down, 9Mb up

63Mb down, 18Mb up

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Post Office

11Mb down, 1Mb up

35Mb down, 9Mb up

63Mb down, 17Mb up

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Plusnet

10Mb down, 1Mb up

36Mb down, 9Mb up

66Mb down, 18Mb up

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Relish

20Mb down, 4Mb up

24Mb down, 4Mb up

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Sky

11Mb down, 0.8Mb up

36Mb down, 9Mb up

63Mb down, 18Mb up

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SSE

11Mb down, 1Mb up

35Mb down, 9Mb up

63Mb down, 17Mb up

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TalkTalk

11Mb down, 1Mb up

35Mb down, 9Mb up

63Mb down, 17Mb up

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Virgin Media

54Mb down, 3Mb up

108Mb down, 6Mb up

213Mb down, 12Mb up

362Mb down, 21Mb up

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Vodafone

35Mb down

63Mb down

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The above info is correct at the time of writing, but do be aware that providers' official upload speeds can change, even when download speeds don't.

So, the best upload speeds are, unsurprisingly, on the top-end packages. 21Mb is the maximum you can get for uploads from a major national provider (see Virgin Media), and that's more than plenty for most of us. If an average speed 63Mb fibre package is a bit too intensive for your downloads - or if it's a bit over your budget - your next best bets would be BT, EE, Sky, or TalkTalk for upload speed.

Virgin Media's upload speeds aren't bad on most of its packages either… but bear in mind they're subject to traffic management. Read more about traffic management here.

Some faster upload speeds may well be available from smaller or more local providers (Gigaclear, for example), including FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) ones that give you a fully fibre connection. You won't find them everywhere, however, and they can be pretty costly.

Fibre optic cables

It's worth mentioning that most of those above - with the exception of Virgin Media - all use the Openreach network to deliver their broadband. So if two providers say they offer similar but slightly different speeds (EE's package with an average download speed of 36Mb, and TalkTalk's package with an average speed of 35Mb, for instance), you'll probably get near enough identical speeds on either one, since they use the same lines. You won't find much difference in speed in your home on any of the average speed 63Mb packages, either.

Still, we'll tell you what the 'up to' upload and downloads speeds are when you click on a package with our comparison tool. And when you go through to sign up, the provider will give you a more accurate idea of what speeds to expect for your postcode - both upstream and downstream.

By the way, if you need fast uploads for your business, take a look at business broadband. You're more likely to find symmetrical up and down speeds there, or at least much speedier uploads - up to 1Gb on some packages, in fact.

Why is upload speed so much lower than download speed?

Well, the majority of what we do on the internet involves downloading information rather than uploading it.

You send information via the 'upstream' when you post photos and videos, connect to a remote network or VPN, host a stream, hold a video call, play games online, and generally just click on stuff - but you use the 'downstream' for… pretty much everything else.

That includes accessing websites, scrolling through social media, downloading files, watching videos, listening to music and podcasts, using games and apps, and so on. All those things require decently speedy and reliable download speeds, especially if lots of devices in your home are connected to the internet at once.

So, most of your broadband's bandwidth is allocated to the downstream, since it requires more data on the whole.

How can I improve my upload speed?

There are plenty of things you can do to improve your broadband speed - both upload and download. Take a look at our full guide:

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