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What is Symmetrical Internet and How Do You Get It?

Fiber internet gives your uploads a gigatastic boost

  • Fastest tested speeds
    • Fastest fiber-optic speeds according to our speed test
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    • Prices: $70.00–$100.00/mo.*
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    • Speeds: 300–2,300 Mbps
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    • Speeds: 940 Mbps
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  • Fast advertised speeds
    • Multi-gigabit internet plans
    • Unnecessarily fast speeds on fastest plans
    • Speeds: 25–5,000 Mbps
    • Prices: $55.00–$180.00/mo.§

Symmetrical internet is the great equalizer. On a symmetrical internet plan, your upload speeds are just as fast as your download speeds.

Most internet connections have much faster download speeds than upload speeds. Let’s say your cable internet plan gives you 100Mbps download speeds. In that case, your upload speeds would be just 10Mbps—or even less.

A symmetrical plan gives you a big upload boost. So if your download speeds are 100Mbps, your upload speeds are also 100Mbps.

Wait, what are upload and download speeds again?

Download speeds measure how long it takes to pull stuff from the internet. Whether you’re opening an email, streaming a movie on Netflix, or updating your favorite video game, you’re downloading content—it’s what we spend most of our time doing online.

Upload speeds measure how long it takes to send stuff to the internet. It means sending an email, posting to social media, or making a video call with a coworker. Uploading also includes bigger undertakings like livestreaming and playing around in the metaverse, which require a lot more bandwidth.

Symmetrical internet sounds awesome. So how can I get it?

You can get symmetrical speeds with fiber internet, which is mostly available in urban areas but also some rural communities.

Fiber’s fast speeds and symmetrical uploads make it the most efficient and reliable internet type, giving you a crucial leg up for remote work and online entertainment.

Want to know more? Here’s a quick breakdown of what symmetrical internet is, why it’s good, and how to get it.

Find symmetrical speeds

Run a search below with your zip code to see if fiber internet service is available in your area.

Best symmetrical internet plans

PlanDownload / upload speedPricesOrder online
Google Fiber 1 Gig1,000 Mbps / 1,000 Mbps$70.00/mo.**
Verizon Fios Gigabit ConnectionUp to 940 Mbps / Up to 880 Mbps$64.99/mo.*
CenturyLink Fiber Internet940 Mbps / 940 Mbps$75.00/mo.
AT&T Internet 50005,000 Mbps / 5,000 Mbps$180.00/mo.***

The best symmetrical internet plans come from fiber internet providers—which makes sense, considering that fiber is the only way you can get symmetrical internet.

These plans give you incredibly fast upload speeds, ensuring that you have all the bandwidth you could ever want to attend Zoom meetings, post content online, and host livestreams. The plans will also make it possible for you to share your Wi-Fi with a large number of other users without worries over a slow connection or long buffering times.

Pro tip:

Fiber internet is the best internet, in our opinion. Figure out why by looking at fiber internet speeds, prices, and plans.

Why is symmetrical internet important?

Symmetrical internet is important because it gives you the fastest speeds possible to do upload-heavy tasks.

It’s also important because it gives you a huge amount of upload bandwidth to support a large number of users who are all sharing the same Wi-Fi connection. If you live with a lot of roommates or family members, a symmetrical connection ensures fast speeds and top performance even when a bunch of people are streaming, gaming, and Zooming on multiple devices at the same time.

Activities that benefit from symmetrical internet:

  • Livestreaming
  • Posting frequently to TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube
  • Frequently attending Zoom or other video conference meetings
  • VR and AR gaming and activities

Why does fiber internet have symmetrical speeds?

Fiber has symmetrical speeds because it has a much larger capacity to deliver data compared to other internet types.

Fiber provides a connection using bundled strands of fiber-optic cable. Photon signals bounce through the cables at the speed of light (or at least something close), carrying vast amounts of data. Fiber-optic cable is often newer than the copper wiring of cable and DSL internet, and it isn’t susceptible to electromagnetic interference, adding to its capabilities.

Fiber is the only type of internet that gives you symmetrical speeds right now. Cable internet may catch up in a few years as tech standards evolve, but right now, fiber is really the way to go.

Do you need symmetrical internet speeds?

Most people don’t need symmetrical internet speeds. But they’re nice to have, and those speeds will especially make your life a lot easier if you have any job or passion that requires extensive time on the internet.

Jobs that benefit from symmetrical internet:

  • Social media influencer
  • Content creator
  • Professional gamer
  • Filmmaker who frequently posts content online

See if you can get symmetrical internet with a fiber connection in your area.

Of course, the majority of people in the United States don’t have symmetrical internet speeds and many are doing just fine.1 Most of what we do online involves downloading data rather than uploading it, so internet providers haven’t felt a great demand to up their uploads—but times may be changing.

There’s a rising demand for fast uploads, thanks to the drastic rise of remote working, increasingly ubiquitous internet connectivity, and a greater push for video content on social media (shoutouts to Instagram Reels and TikTok). And while you don’t need speedy uploads, you greatly benefit from having them.

Not sure if you have fast uploads?

Take our speed test to see what kind of internet firepower you get at your house.




Long story short—Get fiber internet for symmetrical speeds (and for lots of other great reasons too)

Fiber internet is the only internet that gets you symmetrical speeds. So if you want symmetrical internet, then get a fiber plan if it’s available in your area.

But also, it just so happens that fiber is the best type of internet you can get, and not just because of the upload speeds. Compared to cable or DSL internet, fiber gives you an incredibly fast and reliable connection, packs in more Mbps for your dollar, and often comes with extra perks like free equipment and unlimited data.

If you can get fiber internet, we say go for it.

Run a search with your zip code below to see if you can get symmetrical internet in your area.

FAQ about symmetrical internet

Why don’t other internet connection types have symmetrical internet?

Most internet providers don’t offer symmetrical internet because technical limitations and user demands make it more efficient to devote most of their bandwidth to downloads.2

Cable, DSL, and other internet connections are divided into separate streams for uploads and downloads—much in the same way a city street has right and left lanes to manage traffic. And like any city street during rush hour, internet providers have limits on the amount of information they can carry over these streams.


Author -

Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.

Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong

Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.

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