How to Upload a Video to the Internet

What to do before uploading a video

Man with headphones at computer
Cavan Images/Iconica/Getty Images

Video files are often large and take a while to upload to the internet, so it's important you pick the right place for your video to stay - one that's easy to use and has all the features you want with a video streaming service.

Use these tips below to learn more about sharing video files so that you can get the most out of the time it takes to wait for that upload to finish. Once you understand the process, it gets easier every time you need to share or upload videos.

Note: The time it takes to share a video online depends primarily on the bandwidth you pay for and have available at the time of the upload.

Choose a Website to Host Your Video

There are lots of websites that support video sharing, each with their own features that you might like. It's best to scope out the features of each website so that you can choose one that will suit you best.

To choose a video hosting site, you'll need to consider the technical features and social applications like sharing and commenting. The two biggest ones are clearly Facebook and YouTube, but you can pick any website you like.

Tip: See How to Upload Videos to YouTube if you decide to go that route.

Some website are built more for storage or private sharing, like Dropbox and Box. Use a cloud storage website like one of those if you don't intend to share your video with lots of people but still want to leave that option open should you need to give out the share link in the future.

If you want to upload a video to your own website, it's best to use a content delivery network, which hosts and streams your videos for a fee. Most CDNs also offer customized video players and content management systems for scheduling video publication.

Compress Your Video

Before you upload a video, you'll have to convert it to a format that's acceptable to the video hosting website you've chosen. Most only accept certain video formats that are under a particular file size, and some might even limit the length of the videos you upload.

Many video editing programs offer customizable export settings so you that you can control the size and format of the final video. Most websites support uploading MP4 videos, but check with your hosting site for particular details.

If you already have your video in a completed form but it's in the wrong video file format for the hosting website, just plug it into a free video converter program.

Do You Just Want to Share the Video?

If you don't need your video to be streamable like a YouTube video, consider sending the video directly to whoever needs it, without uploading it to the internet first. This is accomplished with a file transfer service.

What these websites do is let you send a large video file over email without having to store it online. The file is transferred from you to someone else and then usually deleted from the server soon after, unlike how YouTube and Facebook work.

File transfer websites are great for one-time sending of a video that's too large to deliver over email, and are often preferred if you're concerned that a website will invade your privacy (since the file is normally removed shortly after delivery).