Why Does it Take So Long to Upload Data to the Cloud?

Nov 10


Rossy Guide

Rossy Guide

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When you first upload to iCloud it can potentially take a long time. Like any cloud-based service, iCloud is reliant on your Internet connection speed. Internet speed is probably something your really haven’t thought a lot about. You may have to now, as it is now going to be an important factor if you use cloud backup services such as iCloud. Specifically it is your upload speed that is now important.


Check your Internet and Upload Speeds?

Most home Internet connections have a much faster download speed than upload speed. This is the current standard for consumer-based connections.

Upload speed is very important. It has a noticeable affect on overall speed,Why Does it Take So Long to Upload Data to the Cloud? Articles and if you’re trying to upload a bunch of stuff to your cloud folders, it can really bog your connection down. And you’re probably well aware of your download speed because your ISP boldly advertises it, usually leaving your upload speed to the finer print.

OR, they might not make upload speeds immediately apparent at all.

By contrast, fiber ISPs doesn’t have this problem. Verizon FIOS for example, advertises their upload speeds alongside download speeds.

So unfortunately, fiber isn’t widespread or available in many places; most Internet customers are going to have to rely on the big, more notorious ISPs: Comcast, Time Warner, and AT&T.

How Fast is Your Connection?

If you’re unsure what your connection speed is, you should test it.

So results are displayed according to three metrics, Latency (ping), download throughput and upload, which is the number we’re most interested in.

What is Latency?

Aside from the obvious download/upload numbers, there’s latency, which is measured in milliseconds (ms). Latency should be lower than higher. And it might be easier to think of latency as response time, but the determining factor with regard to latency is length.

In the following screenshot, we see the server we’ve pinged is about 100 miles away or 161 kilometers, which is a 362 km roundtrip. Light travels at 200,000 km per second and obviously, it isn’t a perfect connection, and it takes quite a bit longer.

Thus, latency is going to affect the overall speed of your connection. High latency simply means that it will take longer for a packet of data to make a round trip from your computer to the remote server and then return to you.

What is overhead?

It’s kind of complicated, but basically, you never get all the bandwidth available because a portion of it is lost for things like turning your data into packets, addressing it, dealing with collisions, basic inefficiencies in networking technologies, and other factors.

How to calculate how long it will take?

Many cloud services now offer a terabyte or more of storage – Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and so on. Thus, we calculated the time it would take to upload 1GB, 100GB, and 1000GB  of data using common upload speeds: 1Mbps, 2Mbps, 5Mbps, 10Mbps, 20Mbps, and finally, just for kicks 1000Mbps, which are the speeds Google Fiber advertises.


1 GB

100 GB

1000 GB


2.5 hrs

10 days

99 days


1.25 hrs

5 days

50 days


28 min

2 days

20.3 days


14 min

1 day

10.2 days


7 min

12 hrs

5.1 days


8 sec

15 min

2.5 hrs


Our calculations are rounded to the nearest minute and include 10 percent connection overhead. Keep in mind that if your overhead is more than 10 percent, then your transmission times will be even greater than the data presented in our table.