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THE STARCHIVIST BLOG — Navigating the Digital Content Universe

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How long will it take to upload my media to the cloud?

by | Sep 18, 2019 | 0 comments

 One of the biggest challenges in getting your media off of your random storage devices and into a secure cloud storage environment is HOW DAMN LONG IT TAKES.

It doesn’t matter what platform you’re using to manage your digital media: uploading files to a server is a universal challenge. If you’re looking to move your media into the cloud, you might be wondering how long you’re going to have to babysit your upload. Three minutes? Three hours? Three years? To help you get a sense of how long it will take for your media to make the journey, here are five things you need to know about upload.

Size matters.
Well, file size matters, anyway. This is just basic math: bigger files mean longer upload times. And because uploads that take a really long time are more prone to errors due to dropped connections or other web traffic issues, we highly recommend that you break down large uploads into smaller chunks if you have a lot of large files..

That superfast broadband you just signed up for only advertised download speeds.
And here’s the catch: download speed and upload speed are almost never equal. Information about your upload speed is usually buried in the fine print of your contract…so while you may be enjoying that killer 75 mbps download for video streaming, your upload speed might be hovering somewhere around 2-5 mbps. Not sure what your upload speed is? Run a quick test here. 

Your server might be in Hong Kong
It might be faster to get to China via server connection than a regular economy class jet, but the information still has to travel a long, long way. If you’ve ever been on an international phone call where there’s a little delay and you keep talking over each other…transferring information to a far-away server is a similar experience. Longer distance = more time to communicate. So before you invest in a cloud storage solution, know where your server is physically located.

FYI, Starchive uses Amazon Web Services for all of its cloud storage, and our servers are located in northern Virginia.

Even file transfers have overhead costs
You can have the fastest connection speed available, but there’s a lot of overhead in the upload process of that’s just out of your control. Your files aren’t just being shipped — they’re being packaged, secured, addressed to the right place, bumped around on various networks to avoid traffic jams, and to be honest, sometimes the internet superhighway is just plain congested and inefficient. Plan to lose about 10% of your upload speed to navigating all these overhead costs.  

 So given these factors, what’s the bottom line? How long will it take to upload your media to the cloud? Well, you could thank your ninth grade math teacher and do the calculation yourself:

  • (Upload size in MB x 8) / Upload Speed in mbps = time in seconds
    (100 MB video file x 8) / 5 mbps upload speed = 160 seconds (about 2 minutes and 40 seconds)

Or, if you’re lazy or algebra challenged like me, you can use these handy calculators to do the math for you:

GoodCloudStorage.net File Transfer Calculator
Upload Time Calculator


Thinking about moving your media to the cloud? 

Try Starchive FREE for 14 days — no commitment or credit card required.

Anatomy of an Upload

Anatomy of an Upload

Why does it take so long to upload to the cloud? Upload is more than just sending information from one place to another, and there are numerous factors that play into upload time. Here’s a handy overview of what goes into an upload to help you estimate how long it might take to move your media into the cloud.

Starchive helps WFMT Relaunch a Radio Legend

Starchive helps WFMT Relaunch a Radio Legend

Dubbed “the voice of the working man,” Studs Terkel reached international acclaim as one of the most intellectually curious newscasters of the 20th century. His work included coverage of the civil rights movement and conversations with the power players of jazz, blues, and politics.

Anatomy of an Upload

Anatomy of an Upload

Why does it take so long to upload to the cloud? Upload is more than just sending information from one place to another, and there are numerous factors that play into upload time. Here’s a handy overview of what goes into an upload to help you estimate how long it might take to move your media into the cloud.

Starchive helps WFMT Relaunch a Radio Legend

Starchive helps WFMT Relaunch a Radio Legend

Dubbed “the voice of the working man,” Studs Terkel reached international acclaim as one of the most intellectually curious newscasters of the 20th century. His work included coverage of the civil rights movement and conversations with the power players of jazz, blues, and politics.