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In computer networks, upstream refers to sending data from the client or local computer to the server or remote host. Upstream transmissions can take several forms, and the speed at which the data is transferred from the local machine to a server is known as the upstream rate.
Upstream is the opposite of downstream, which refers to data transferred from a server to a local machine.
When referring to Internet nodes, a node that is closer to the Internet backbone is said to be upstream of a node than that is farther away from the backbone.
Upstream traffic can be generated by uploading files or sending emails to a server. Upstream can also refer to signals transmitted from an end user’s computer to a cable service provider. Moreover, upstream speeds are extremely important for peer-to-peer software users.
Typically, downstream traffic is more voluminous than upstream traffic. Asymmetric DSL services render slower upstream speeds than downstream speeds. This is done by reserving less bandwidth for upstream traffic and providing more bandwidth for downstream traffic.