Quick Summary- How To Bypass ISP Throttling?
No one likes to stream their favorite shows, movies, or sports at slow and sluggish speeds. But your ISP is the main culprit who throttles your connection and makes it difficult to surf the web at fast speeds. ISP throttling is a common practice in which service providers intentionally slow down your internet speed because of these reasons:
- Repeal of net neutrality
- Optimizing the network traffic
- Paid prioritization
- Excessive torrenting, gaming, and streaming
If you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, you’re likely a victim of ISP throttling. Using a VPN is the best method to prevent ISP throttling and enjoy fast connection speeds. Here’s how a VPN can help you:
- Subscribe to the fastest VPN provider like this.
- Create a user account.
- Sign into your account and connect to server nearby.
- Wait until the connection establishes, then browse the web at blazing-fast speeds.
Use a trusted VPN that ensures the fastest speeds and uses secure encryption to bypass ISP throttling.
It’s 2023, and many internet users are unaware of the fact that they are dealing with ISP throttling. If you are among those who need to learn what ISP throttling is, this guide will help you know everything about it, along with ways to avoid it.
Also known as bandwidth throttling, ISP throttling is a widespread activity in which the ISPs deliberately slow down internet speed for engaging in high-bandwidth activities like streaming, gaming, and torrenting. ISP throttling has always been a prime concern of privacy advocates. But the repeal of net neutrality has worsened the situation as it empowers ISPs to sneak into users’ activities and throttle their connection without informing them.
While ISP throttling is an unfair practice provoking incredible frustration among users, there is a way to get around it. A reliable VPN is an effective tool for bypassing ISP throttling and ensuring fast connection speeds over the web. There are other ways to get around throttling, so read along and learn everything.
- How To Bypass ISP Throttling? Four Easy Methods
- Why Do ISP Throttle Users’ Internet Bandwidth?
- How To Know If My ISP Is Throttling My Internet Connection?
- Which ISP Throttles The Internet The Most?
- Best VPNs To Bypass ISP Throttling
- How Do VPNs Help Bypass ISP Throttling?
- How to avoid ISP throttling while torrenting?
- How can I bypass AT&T throttling?
- How to bypass data throttling without a VPN?
- Will a VPN stop ISP throttling?
- Is ISP throttling illegal?
- Can you use a VPN to bypass throttling?
- Does bandwidth throttling affect mobile data?
- How to stop ISP throttling?
- How to bypass ISP throttling with a free VPN?
- Final Thoughts
How To Bypass ISP Throttling? Four Easy Methods
ISP throttling is like the worst nightmare, but the good news is that you can take action to prevent it. There are some reliable ways to get rid of ISP throttling. Below are the four easiest methods you can choose from to bypass ISP throttling:
- Use a VPN: A VPN can always help bypass ISP throttling. Its unlimited bandwidth, advanced security, privacy features, and vast server network stop the ISP from spying on your online activities and let you surf the web with fast connection speed while enjoying a greater anonymity level.
- Switch to a new service provider: If you’re unsatisfied with your ISP policy on throttling, you can change your ISP. Nearly all ISPs are involved in throttling, so it won’t save you completely, but you can somehow control things. Make sure to read the terms of service carefully and opt for a service provider with less strict policies.
- Increase your data plan: If you’re tired of experiencing slow and sluggish connection while streaming and torrenting, then increasing your monthly data plan can be a good option. Contact your ISP and inquire about a high bandwidth plan for specific activities. Remember, this will cost you more, so choose this option only if you have a budget.
- Use a proxy: A proxy acts as a middleman between the device and the internet that replaces your IP address with the IP address of the proxy server. This way, you can spoof your location and enjoy increased speed without the ISP knowing anything. However, since a proxy doesn’t encrypt the data traffic, you can only hide your identity for a short time from the ISPs.
All the above-described methods come with some cons. However, using a VPN doesn’t have such significant drawbacks, so it is better to stick to it.
Why Do ISP Throttle Users’ Internet Bandwidth?
ISP throttling is a planned activity that they do purposefully, but they won’t throttle everyone. Since they monitor whatever you do on the web, they decide whether to throttle your connection or not based on your activities.
Here are the common reasons why ISP throttles your connection:
- Blocking Illegal Activities: When the ISP recognizes any internet traffic as illegal, like downloading or sharing copyrighted content or any activity violating their service terms, they throttle the connection.
- Enforce Data Caps: ISPs also limit the high-speed data you can use each month. When your monthly data limit is near or if you notice slow connection speed toward the end of the month, it means you are over your data caps.
- Paid Prioritization: The service providers also throttle the bandwidth while you use specific websites or services like Netflix or Prime Video. They do so to push the customers to use the affiliated service or force the company to pay more for faster speeds.
- Net Neutrality: With the repeal of net neutrality, ISPs are no longer required to treat all internet traffic equally and monitor users’ online activities. If they notice anything against their policy, they start throttling the connection.
- Network Congestion: To decongest the network during peak hours when the network becomes overcrowded with people, the ISP intentionally throttles your connection.
- Excessive Bandwidth Usage: ISPs also throttle the internet when they see you engaging in activities that take up much bandwidth, like excessive streaming, gaming, and downloading large files or torrents. The ISPs to optimize the network traffic restrict your bandwidth even if you’ve paid for a high bandwidth plan.
Beyond that, ISP can throttle your connection due to non-payment of bills. Regardless of the reason, bandwidth throttling is an unfair practice, and users need to take action to get rid of it.
How To Know If My ISP Is Throttling My Internet Connection?
If your internet speed drops suddenly, it’s mainly because of throttling. But many other factors contribute to slow internet speeds, and hence sometimes it becomes difficult to determine if ISP is throttling the connection. You can conduct various internet speed tests to confirm if your ISP is throttling your connection.
Below are the four common ways to know whether ISPs are throttling the connection:
Internet Health Test
If you notice sudden lagging or buffering while streaming and doubt your ISP for it, confirm it by performing an Internet Health test. It is a popular speed test method to confirm ISP throttling. It checks the access points’ speed and will detect unusual slowdowns on specific sites like Netflix.
To conduct a test, visit this site and tap on the Go button. The test results analyze both uploading and downloading speed. Record the speed and repeat the test at different times. If you notice a significant gap in the speed, then it means that your ISP is throttling your connection while using specific sites and services.
Internet Speed Test
Testing the internet speed tells if your broadband provides the speed promised in the agreement. Use tools like speedtest.net or testmy.net to perform the speed test. Click on the ‘Go’ button and wait for a few seconds till it analyzes the speed. As the internet speed fluctuates, perform multiple tests throughout the day for more authentic results. If the speed test results show significant variations, then it’s a sign that the ISP is throttling your connection.
Fast Speed Test
As mentioned earlier, ISP throttles your bandwidth while engaging in activities or using a service that consumes much bandwidth, like streaming on Netflix or Disney Plus. Being aware of this unfair practice, Netflix created a speed test tool for users; Fast.com. Users can perform a series of speed tests while connected to the Netflix servers and check if their ISPs are behind the slow speed.
After performing multiple speed tests, if the obtained speed is much slower than what the ISP advertises, it’s then the ISP throttling your bandwidth. You’ll likely experience frequent connection lags and buffering while using other streaming services or performing high-bandwidth activities.
YouTube Speed Test
You can conduct multiple speed tests connected to YouTube’s servers in the US or Canada. Google also offers a proprietary Video Quality Report that examines the ISPs’ performance against other ISPs in an area in this regard.
Google assigns a rating to your ISP depending on how it performs. In addition, the test results make it easy to compare how your ISP and other ISPs within your neighborhood perform. If the video quality rating is lower than the other service providers and what your ISP promises, it confirms that ISP limits your bandwidth.
Port Scanner Testing
Unfortunately, the service providers keep tabs on the port activity and even throttle the data if they notice high bandwidth consumption. If you use open ports while gaming, use a port scanner like WhatsMyIP.org to check specific ports for throttling.
To perform a scan, visit the site > click on port scanners > tap on Game ports. If you use these ports during gaming, but they show a REJECTED status, it indicates that your ISP is throttling the internet connection.
Wehe is an amazing tool developed by Northeastern University. Android and iOS users can check whether their ISPs are throttling the connection on popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify. To perform a test, you first need to download and install the Wehe app from the Google or Apple Store and then follow the steps below:
- Launch the app and accept the terms of service.
- Select Run Tests.
- Choose the apps by using the toggle button on which you want to run a test.
- Click on the Run Test option and wait for a few minutes till it analyzes the speed.
If the speeds drop considerably from what the ISPs advertised, it again means that the ISP is throttling your connection to optimize the network and prevent you from using excessive bandwidth.
Overall, Wehe is a good tool, but since it is still available as beta software, it has some limitations that some users won’t like.
Which ISP Throttles The Internet The Most?
Various internet service providers throttle users’ internet connection. Though there are legitimate reasons for throttling, it’s unacceptable from the users’ perspective. It is incredibly frustrating for anyone to experience sluggish connection speeds even though they bought a subscription plan with high bandwidth.
Since 2017 most ISPs across the USA have been named and shamed for throttling users’ connections. Below is a brief insight into the service providers that mostly throttle the internet:
CenturyLink ranks as a top ISP provider in the USA. The company, since 1968, has been providing various broadband subscription plans to users and promises fast connection speeds. However, CenturyLink throttles the internet connection during peak hours, i.e., from 7 pm onwards. It is when most users are browsing the web, either streaming or playing online games or downloading torrents which result in greater network congestion.
Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cables in 2016 and was named Spectrum Internet Service. It was the second largest service provider across the US, with over 30 million subscribers. Though the company promises to provide the fastest internet speed for all activities, the speed users get is extremely slow and ruins their experience.
Spectrum throttles the connection of all users involved in high-bandwidth consumption activities such as torrenting and streaming. Even users on Reddit complained about it. However, the ISP isn’t allowed to impose data caps because of the conditions applied to its 2016 purchase. Under these conditions, the FCC restricts Charter Communication for not imposing data caps.
Currently, Spectrum doesn’t enforce data caps, but it’s more likely to change its terms of service in the future. The agreement clause will end in May 2023, so the company might again start imposing data caps.
Despite promising fast speeds, Comcast is among the top internet service providers that throttle the connection on various occasions. In 2007, Comcast violated the net neutrality rules and throttled users’ connection to the popular BitTorrent file-sharing software. But, in 2009, Comcast faced a $160 million fine for throttling the users’ traffic on BitTorrent. Soon after this incident, the service provider announced they would use a congestion management system to stop people from engaging in high bandwidth activities.
In addition, Comcast introduced paid prioritization charges under which they throttle users’ bandwidth on Netflix. But what was more concerning was that the company decided to impose access charges of $10 or more each month if Netflix disagreed with its terms. Besides this, Comcast announced the network optimization practice that will affect the 3G and 4G LTE users by throttling their connections.
Verizon is famous for providing 4G internet coverage to 70% of US citizens but still throttles their connection. The telecom provider has a long history of throttling users’ connections and stopping them from doing what they want. In 2012, it was the first occasion when the FCC caught the ISP for blocking users from using tethering apps.
Later after five years, in 2017, Verizon accepted that they throttle the data on YouTube as part of their video optimization program. After this incident, though the company promised not to be involved in any unfair practice, users still complained about slow speeds while streaming. Additionally, a report finds that Verizon throttles 66% of users while streaming on Netflix, 49% on YouTube, and 38% on Amazon Prime.
Apart from this, in 2018, the most shameful incident was of the Santa Clara Fire Department incident. Verizon throttled the connection of the fire department by enforcing data caps when it exceeds over 25GB of bandwidth while combating a wildfire. It was a highly unethical act, and the fire department filed a complaint against Verizon.
Despite being a top internet service provider, AT&T follows a shady practice of throttling users’ internet connection without their consent. The telecom provider on its website justified its act of limiting internet speed. Besides this, in 2014, they breached the net neutrality laws and throttled users’ bandwidth. However, in response to this, the FCC filed a penalty against them.
Later, in July 2021, AT&T announced not to throttle data on an unlimited plan. Also, they introduced a Sponsored Data Program that rewards the users for using the third-party service without throttling the bandwidth. In other words, it won’t benefit the non-sponsored companies, which was another occasion when AT&T violated net neutrality.
Cox Communications is the third largest broadband provider in the USA. In June 2020, users complained that Cox was reducing internet speed throughout the USA. Like other ISPs, Comcast also throttles the connection. The company took this initiative to keep a balance between the average and heavy bandwidth users. In this regard, the ISP also sends warning letters to the users who use a lot of bandwidth and warns them to control their data usage.
Best VPNs To Bypass ISP Throttling
With a reliable VPN provider, it’s easy to prevent ISP from detecting internet traffic and surf the web with the fastest connection speed. Here’s an insight into the six best VPNs that help users bypass ISP throttling:
CyberGhost is among the best VPN for bypassing throttling issues. The VPN offers blazing-fast speed and the highest level of security to protect online activities from ISPs. The best thing about CyberGhost VPN is that it provides dedicated servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming respectively. All these servers offer unlimited bandwidth and a vast server network of 6000+ servers in 88 countries that help ensure that the users don’t face connection lags.
The VPN provider offers NoSpy servers, which is a great feature that helps ensure reliable streaming. Besides this, CyberGhost offers impressive features that grant anonymity on the web and make it nearly impossible for the ISP to detect your network traffic. Some of these features include:
- Dedicated IP address
- Kill switch
- IP and DNS leak protection
Above all, CyberGhost is a secure VPN provider that uses the industry’s highest encryption and security protocols to prevent ISPs from monitoring online activity. In addition, it is a no-log VPN provider that ensures not to log your data or activities that can expose your identity. Therefore, do try out CyberGhost VPN for maximum speed and security while surfing the web.
The Panama-based NordVPN is an excellent option to use for bypassing ISP throttling. It offers top-notch security and uses obfuscated technology that disguises the VPN traffic as regular internet traffic and escapes quickly from the eyes of the service providers. Besides this, the VPN provider has special features that hide the IP address and guarantees maximum protection from the ISPs like:
- Kill switch
- DNS and IP leak protection
- Double VPN
Another thing that makes NordVPN stand out as the best VPN to bypass bandwidth throttling is its extensive server network. It offers over 5000 servers in 59+ countries, ensuring a fast connection with less ping time. In addition, the VPN uses the NordLynx protocol, enhancing speed while browsing, streaming, and downloading.
The service provider follows a strict no-log policy and frowns upon collecting and sharing of users’ information. Also, it has undergone a log audit process to prove that it’s honest with its claims and that people can trust them for its digital privacy. For all these reasons, NordVPN is the perfect choice for preventing throttling.
Surfshark VPN is another reliable VPN to use for bypassing bandwidth throttling. It is feature-packed with various impressive features for keeping your identity hidden from ISPs. Some of its distinctive features that prevent throttling are as follows:
- No Borders mode
- Camouflage mode
- Kill switch
- IP and DNS leak protection
- GPS spoofing
- Device invisibility
The service provider’s speed also makes it the most preferred choice of the users. It has a decent server network comprising 3200+ servers in over 100 countries; the best part is that it continuously adds more servers. Moreover, the VPN provides consistent and fast connection speed sufficient for high-bandwidth activities like streaming and downloading. Since Surfshark VPN uses WireGuard protocol, it’s another reason that you’ll get a stable internet connection.
Besides this, Surfshark’s security and privacy standards also make it difficult for the ISP to intercept users’ privacy. It deploys AES-256-bit encryption and follows a verified no-log policy that guarantees ultimate privacy on the web. Overall, Surfshark is a great VPN that comes at an affordable price, so do try it out once.
ProtonVPN is among the best top-rated VPN providers that use strong encryption to hide the data traffic from the prying eyes of the ISPs. The VPN deploys virtually uncrackable AES-256-bit encryption and secure tunneling protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard to safeguard the internet traffic from the ISPs. In addition, ProtonVPN protects against IP leaks and ensures that by no means can the ISP get to know about your online activities.
The VPN provider has recently introduced a stealth protocol that helps bypass the detection filters used by ISPs and browse the web freely. Besides this, it offers a few impressive security and privacy-centric features that keep them more private on the web like:
- Kill switch
- Alternate routing technology
- Secure core servers
ProtonVPN also follows a verified no-log policy that refrains from recording or sharing data with prying eyes. Another impressive ProtonVPN feature is the VPN accelerator. It is a speed-centric feature that increases the VPN speed to its fullest. Also, it has 1600+ servers in over 60 countries. All the server offers unlimited bandwidth and quickly establishes the connection, leaving room for the ISP to identify the network traffic.
ExpressVPN is another best VPN to bypass ISP throttling and enjoy super-fast speeds. It uses the proprietary lightway protocol and offers an extensive server network in 94 countries, enabling users to get maximum speed while streaming, gaming, and downloading. One best thing about ExpressVPN is when you choose a server, it allows users to perform a speed test to ensure that the server offers the desired speed for any activity.
The VPN provider uses strong encryption that hides and protects the internet traffic from the ISPs and ensures anonymity on the web. Additionally, it also has various other features that provide robust online security and privacy and help prevent ISP throttling, such as:
- IP leak protection
- Split tunneling
- Trusted Server Technology
- Private DNS servers
Moreover, ExpressVPN is a no-log VPN that guarantees not to log or share your data with anyone, including the ISPs, so you can trust this VPN as it promises to keep your activities private. As a whole, ExpressVPN completely hides the VPN traffic and stops ISP from throttling your connections.
VyprVPN, due to its security standards and fast speed, emerges as the best VPN for bypassing ISP throttling. Though it offers a limited server network spread, speeds are stable enough for browsing, streaming, and downloading. It uses the proprietary Chameleon protocol that helps get around censorship or filters to detect your activities and improves speed. This way, VyprVPN ensures a seamless downloading and streaming experience.
The service provider is a private VPN that follows a verified no-log policy and guarantees not to share your data with anyone. However, unlike most other VPN providers, VyprVPN lacks advanced features, but it does include all essential features that are needed to hide your identity from the ISPs, such as:
- Kill switch
- Connection per app
- Public Wi-Fi protection
Besides this, VyprVPN also uses a NAT firewall feature that doesn’t show your IP address and prevents the network from identifying you. Also, it uses strong military-grade encryption to hide the data from the ISPs and ensures an interrupted user experience.
How Do VPNs Help Bypass ISP Throttling?
ISP throttling is not something that a user can’t control or stop. But there are various ways by which bypassing ISP throttling becomes easy, and connecting to a VPN is the best and easiest method to overcome this issue.
A reliable VPN provider encrypts the data traffic using strong encryption. It sends the internet traffic via an encrypted tunnel preventing the ISPs from viewing the websites you’re trying to access. Also, connecting you to a remote VPN server masks your IP address and assigns the IP address of the VPN, making you more anonymous. Hence, you can easily bypass the ISP filters and the system that detects high bandwidth activities.
Besides this, certain features in a VPN provider also help bypass ISP throttling. Hence, when you choose a VPN so, don’t overlook the following features:
- Server Network: A VPN with a vast server network means it has servers across every country. This results in less ping time and establishes a quick connection.
- Fast Speed: The best VPN for throttling offers super-fast speed without significant connection drops across all servers.
- Privacy Aspect: Ensure that the VPN follows a strict no-log policy and neither logs nor shares users’ activities with anyone.
- Extra Features: A VPN offering additional features like a kill switch, private DNS, IP leak protection, and obfuscated technology further makes you anonymous over the web.
It is a common myth that VPNs might slow down internet speed and must not be used. However, this is not completely true. While connecting to a remote server and establishing a connection takes time, the best VPN for throttling ensures that the slowed-down time doesn’t impact your online activity. Therefore, using a VPN the fastest VPN for speed is crucial.
How to avoid ISP throttling while torrenting?
If your ISP catches you downloading torrents, they’ll throttle your connection to optimize the network traffic. As a result, you will experience slow and sluggish downloading speed and ruining your experience. However, using the best VPN for throttling helps hide the IP address from the ISPs and provides fast speed, ensuring a smooth and secure downloading experience.
How can I bypass AT&T throttling?
AT&T is a popular telecom provider, but it also throttles users’ internet speed and prevents them from performing certain activities. But by using a legitimate VPN provider, it’s easy to stop ISP throttling and browse the web freely.
How to bypass data throttling without a VPN?
A VPN is undoubtedly the most effective tool for bypassing ISP throttling. But there are other ways also that you can consider using. For instance, you can change your service provider or switch to a higher bandwidth plan and get rid of ISP intentionally slowing down your speed.
Will a VPN stop ISP throttling?
A VPN stops ISP throttling and ensures that you surf the web at the fastest speed. It has an extensive server network, fast speed, and a range of security and privacy-focused features to hide your activities from the ISPs.
Is ISP throttling illegal?
On legal grounds, ISP throttling is not illegal. When the bandwidth is equally distributed among all the users, everyone benefits from it. However, from users’ perspective, it is an unfair practice that prevents them from doing activities they want.
Can you use a VPN to bypass throttling?
A VPN is the perfect tool for bypassing ISP throttling. It provides end-to-end encryption and hides your real IP address, making you completely anonymous on the web. The ISP won’t know who you’re or what you’re doing on the web, and you can enjoy fast speeds for all your activities.
Does bandwidth throttling affect mobile data?
ISP also throttles the bandwidth of mobile data as it leads to higher mobile data usage. When users don’t get the desired bandwidth, they will choose a higher bandwidth plan at a high price, which will benefit the service providers.
How to stop ISP throttling?
Whether it’s data or ISP throttling, always use a legitimate VPN provider and browse the web with the fastest connection speeds. Besides this, you can also use a proxy service, switch to a new service provider, or upgrade to a higher bandwidth plan to stop throttling.
How to bypass ISP throttling with a free VPN?
You can use a free VPN provider to bypass ISP throttling, but how it works depends on your choice of VPN. Most free providers have a monthly data limit which is sometimes not enough for simple browsing. Also, the free VPNs provide limited server network access and lack features that would make you utterly private from the ISPs. Therefore, it is an option that no one recommends.
ISP throttling is a deliberate act by service providers to slow down their internet speed overall or while using specific sites and services. According to the ISPs, there are legitimate reasons for throttling, like network decongestion and optimizing the network traffic. However, the ISP also throttles the connection for other reasons, like paid prioritization. No matter what the reason might be, ISP throttling from the users’ perspective is wrong.
There are various ways that you can adopt to bypass ISP throttling. You can switch to a new broadband provider or increase the data plan of your current one. But the best method is using a VPN. A trusted VPN provider hides your IP address by connecting to a remote server and encrypts the internet traffic using strong encryption. Thus, it ensures that none of your activities are visible to the ISPs and allows you to browse the web as you want.