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Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Hunter M.2
Helpful | Level 5

I too came here disappointed with my dropbox upload speeds. Only getting 100kb/s up, even after changing settings to "don't limit". Can any software engineers out there lend credence to the theory that the problem is on the server side vs client side?

Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Jeff N.3
Helpful | Level 5

I have an MS in Electrical Engineering, and a BS in computer science, and a BS in mathematics (Pretty much for free once you have MSEE) and work as a software engineer as my day job, but not for Dropbox.

However, since I have always hated the "argument from authority" and the "argument from credential" -- just assume I am the pixie dust spreader on the tilt-a-whirl, and take my arguments on their own merits, not mine 🙂


1. The problem is very LIKELY to be one or more of the following:

A. Software Issue on the Server Side, either at the AWS abstraction layer or the Dropbox abstraction layer. This could include how Dropbox has their AWS services configured.

B. Hardware Issue on the Dropbox side. (AWS) This could be, but not limited to, the following:

*Bandwidth Issues between S3 and EC2.

*Not enough CPU/MEM (not using enough EC2 instances, or not having large enough EC2 instances) to support ENCDEC and crypt/decrypt, web serving, authentication, indexing and other operations performed on the EC2 servers.

*Bandwidth Issues between EC2 and Amazon's backhaul to the internet. (This is unlikely, because I can get WAY faster speeds between my own EC2 instance in the same region)


2. The problem is very UNLIKELY to be one or more of the following:

A. Software Issues with the Client (Problem is present in Mac, Windows, and Linux Versions, and also presents itself using a browser)

B. Hardare Issue Client Side. (I have tested this with multiple pieces of my own hardware, and dropbox utilizes only modest percentages of system resources while uploading and downloading at full speed, indexing, etc)

C. Bandwidth Issue Client Side. (Have tested this with multiple ISPs, in different cities, and have verified the bandwidth to my own EC2 instance in the same AWS region as Dropboxes)

D. Bandwidth Issue on intermediary routes between ISP and AWS (See C)



That said, if you were hoping for a Dropbox software engineer to comment on this thread, prepare to be unsurprised and unimpressed. 🙂



UPDATE: A final note: This issue is happening with multiple people, using multiple devices, in multiple cities, on multiple operating systems, on multiple ISPs, uploading files of various sizes. It isn't GUARANTEED to be server side, but in terms of everyday language, it is very LIKELY on the server side.


Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Claire G.10
New member | Level 1
Hi everyone,
We're really sorry to hear about these issues 😞
We did have connection issues with some recent builds on Windows that could explained part of your issues.
If you are on Windows, please make sure you are on build 3.8.8 or upgrade here
For those of you who only noticed the difference recently on 3.8.8, the best place to comment would be:
This can help us determine if the change is related to this update 🙂
For those who have seen this issue longer, I'll try my best to answer your questions and concerns.
It's a bit tricky to diagnose speed issues as there are lots of different components, including:
- the desktop application's bandwidth settings (what speed you choose for the upload/download limits)
- your geographic location, particular ISP, and service plan
- the route your ISP provides between your computer and Dropbox servers.
It's also important to distinguish between the speed your ISP advertises (typically the maximum possible, not an in-practice average) and the speed "speed tests" report (usually calculated using the speed test server located closest to your geographic location) from the actual speed of the ISP-provided route between your computer and Dropbox servers. If you are far away from the Dropbox servers, if the route of the connection to the server suffers from congestion, if you're using wi-fi or ethernet cables, there's a lot of things that could explain why you experience slow speed.
Additionally, most consumer ISPs provide 1/10th the upload speed compared to advertised download speed and some ISPs may throttle sustained connections.
A very simple potential fix is to restart your internet connection, typically by rebooting your modem. Depending on your ISP, this might switch the route between you and Dropbox' servers and result in faster syncing. It may seem too simple to be true, but it has worked in the past 🙂
Two things that could be relevant as well:
- The speed the Dropbox app is showing is an aggregated speed of hashing, indexing and uploading so it also depends on your computer performances for example.
- The speed the client is displaying is in KBps (kilo bytes per sec) while ISPs (and speed tests) often display speed in Mbps (Mega bits per sec) it means that you have to multiply Dropbox' speed by  125 to compare it with the ISP's/speed tests.
Unfortunately, we cannot diagnose speed issues based on speedtests such as the ones you can find on the internet, but a good thing to check to dive deeper, would be to try to upload two files of the same size; one via the website and one via the desktop application (one at a time).
If the upload via the website is way faster than via the desktop application, I'd definitely recommend writing in to support at and let us know the exact name of the files you tested.
Our support team would be happy to analyze your logs (this is PII that can't be shared on the forum, that's why you'll have to write into support) and see if there's something wrong.
If you write into support, please include the following information 🙂
- Go there and tell us which computer you are using 
- Tell us who is your ISP
- Tell us about any anti-virus you might have
- Finally, tell us about your connection. Via wi-fi or via a cable?
I hope this helps.

Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Paul H.118
New member | Level 1

Perhaps it's just they were once able to offer a great product....
Then the realisation that they couldn't actually offer the quality product at the price originally quoted.

I am so masively F**ked OFF with DropBox
The upload speeds have become ludicrously SLOW.

Clearly it's a 'failing business'.
A criminal exchange is occuring right now & we are all being ripped off.
One hopes the originators are ashamed.

These days, no corporation seems to have any honour and usually don't seem to actually give a f**k about their fellow man.

Sad & extremely self destructive.

Good luck.






Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Dean W.7
New member | Level 1


Right so I've been trying to upload about 25 videos for professional needs to get to others re a project. It has taken 3 days!! to upload 4!!

I'm on Pro so have 1T space...paying for it. Like, really...the stress is building, the knuckles sprouting on my back...muzzle extending...

I've experienced some slowness at times b4 but nothing like this.

They're basically just not loading.

I've refreshed my Firefox.

I've off loaded my internal hard drive by 250 gigs. Nothing different...

I really need to send these files ASAP to meet a deadline.

Please can someone give me some insight into what might be going on?

tops, thanks

please save me from the full moon!




Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Hi Dean,
Videos naturally take longer to upload. What you can do is to send a shared link to the folder with the videos even if the videos didn't sync yet - they'll appear on the shared link once they are synched 🙂
An alternative is also to use different computers to maximise the upload time, try the web interface if they're small enough, also use selective sync to reduce number of files that are synched locally if needed. 
Hope this helps. Thanks,


Ed G
Community Manager @ Dropbox

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Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Dave V.6
New member | Level 1

I just added another 30GB (roughly 400,000 files) to my 1TB account which is about 70% used.  I am on day 3 of the sync and from the looks of it, it will take another 7+ days.  Sorry, but this is ridiculous.  Two years ago, this would have taken about 12 hours.

I can upload 30 GB from my computer to my office in a few hours, so no, it's not me.  I have no throttle set either.

Does anyone else have an alternative that works better? I can't live with this....

Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Bill A.1
Helpful | Level 7

Dave V. if you have more than 300,000 files synced, it can slow down syncing considerably depending on your hardware. In my case on a late 2009 iMac 21" Dropbox became completely unusable after hitting the 300k+ file mark. I ended up selective syncing and zipping a bunch of folders to get around this. 

See this help article for more details.

Although I do agree, about 2 years ago Dropbox synced a hell of a lot faster than it does now. Even with the technical explanations from Dropbox I'm not convinced. 

In terms of alternatives, there are tonnes out there. For me, Egnyte and Box were probably the top two contenders with Box probably being the best, but it's a bit more expensive and I still prefer Dropbox's interface and overall usability. I wouldn't depend on Google Drive for anything critical. This was the least dependable. I didn't test Microsoft's OneDrive.

Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Dave V.6
New member | Level 1

Bill A. -- I hadn't heard of Box looks pretty good.  Pricing is similar to Dropbox.  All in, I've got 700,000+ file occupying about 750GB of space on Dropbox -- will test Box for speed.

Re: Slow Upload Speeds. Why?

Bert B.10
New member | Level 1

Have been using dropbox for a while now as I sync multiple folders at the office which mainly contain small .pdf files.  It works very well, so I thought this would be a good reliable alternative to back up my Mac at home.  I decided to purchase the pro plan for $99.  What a mistake that was.  File uploads remain consistent around 140kbps or less.  I had a folder of short videos which contained about 7GB of data.  I'm now on my 3rd day of uploading.  Thought it was an issue with my ISP.  They came out today and changed out the router and modem and confirmed everything okay.  Speed is still the same.  Then I read this and multiple forums (There are a lot out there).  Now, feeling ripped off.  Would love to get my money back on this one, but hey, I paid for a year, so if I start now, maybe by the time that year is up, I will have uploaded all my files.  

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