Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical Internet connectivity

The term symmetry used in relation to connectivity, simply refers to a system in which data speed is the same in both directions. This means having the same download and upload speeds concurrently.

Published on: 8 September 2016

With a symmetrical connection, you can upload data to the Internet, whilst downloading large files, without loss of bandwidth.

Symmetrical connections are ideal when using VoIP solutions, like hosted telephony. Being able to achieve consistent upload and download speeds prevents delays and provides excellent audio quality. Test your speed now!

Examples of symmetrical connections include leased lines, EFM (Ethernet in the First Mile) & EoFTTC (Ethernet over Fibre To The Cabinet). These dedicated, symmetrical connections will give you uncontended access to the Internet, enabling fast data streams at all times in both directions, regardless of usage.


  • Adopt cloud telephony
  • Transfer large amounts of data
  • Collaborate online
  • Access private connection
  • Excellent support options

What is asymmetrical connectivity?

If you test your Internet speed at home, you will more than likely notice that your upload speeds are only a fraction of the download speeds. This is what is known as an asymmetrical connection.

An asymmetrical connection usually works best in an office environment where you can be flexible with bandwidth. Surprisingly, symmetric connections are not necessarily the most efficient choice in any given situation. When a user is casually browsing the web, for example, they are generally doing a lot more downloading than uploading and do not need symmetrical connectivity.

Examples of asymmetrical connections include traditional ADSL and FTTC. With these types of connections, you can achieve high download speeds, however, upload speeds are limited.

Asymmetrical connections also have the disadvantage of being contended, meaning that your Internet performance is directly linked to the usage levels within your local area.


  • Cost effective solutions
  • Fast download speeds
  • Quick installation

Which is better?

It's not a question of which is better, but a question of which is right for your business. If a fast, steady and reliable Internet connection is central to your business success, then, of course, you may want to look into a leased line. Get your own instant leased line price now.

However, if you just need to surf the web, and do not need to transfer large files, or have a large hosted telephony system, then you could quite easily get away with investing in a fibre connection.

What's next?

If you are still unsure about which connection you should go for contact us and our experts will advise which is the best internet connection for your business.

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