We all face slow internet speeds once in a while, especially when you are streaming videos online. Why does that happen? Well, this phenomenon is called “ISP Throttling.”
ISP throttling is when your internet service provider (ISP) intentionally restricts your internet bandwidth without giving a notice in advance. The purpose behind it is to control internet traffic over their network and reduce the overall bandwidth congestion. ISPs enforce data limits deliberately to carry out this function.
How can you detect if ISP is throttling is happening? You might start to face slow internet speeds, drop-in bandwidth, low-resolution videos, lagging in online gaming, and sites that may take a long time to load. Most people who use the internet for streaming, online gaming, and downloading suffer from internet throttling. If you use the internet for simple browsing or R&D, internet throttling is not an issue that you’ll face.
Nonetheless, internet throttling can be frustrating, especially when you are in the middle of your ‘relaxing time’ after a rugged hard working day.
How to check if I’m being throttled?
Slow internet speed is not always because of ISP throttling; there can be several reasons why you are facing slow internet bandwidth. However, to check if your ISP is throttling your internet speed, you can perform the following functions to conclude internet throttling.
Check your internet speed.
Go to any of the online internet speed test tools and check if you are getting your usual internet bandwidth or not. Note down the current downloading and uploading speed of your internet.
Connect your VPN
Now open your VPN application and connect your VPN to your device’s internet connection. Use a different server location from your original one; the VPN service provider will assign you a new IP address and encrypt your internet traffic. All of this will hide your online activity from your local ISP (internet service provider), and thus, it will not be able to throttle your internet speed.
Again, check your internet speed.
With the VPN connection still established, go to the same online speed testing tool you had used before, and rerun an internet speed test. If you get the results of higher downloading and uploading speeds, then this means that you were a victim of internet throttling.
If your internet speed remains the same or drops, this means that you are simply facing slow internet speed, and it will soon be resolved automatically, or you can launch a complaint to your local ISP.
ISP Throttling: Reasons
Internet service providers perform practices like ISP throttling because of several reasons. It is not only because a user is streaming videos or is playing online games, and the local ISP wants to distribute the bandwidth among all of its clients fairly. There is a much bigger play at hand. Here are some of the primary reasons why your internet service provider is slowing your internet speed:
When ISP’s clients use more data, the costs of the company rise. Their network expands, more users get on that network, and eventually, the company’s prices are raised as per increased data usage. So, to save money, they cut down on your data supply.
Remember that your local ISP does not have an unlimited supply of data; they also have a limited supply of bandwidth which they outsource to their clients/users. What the ISPs do is, outsource this bandwidth to more clients than they can afford. So, during peak hours, when there is load, they cut down on the supply line of internet bandwidth, making your internet speed slow down.
ISPs punish their users/clients who use way more data than the rest of their clients. People who use the internet for online gaming, streaming videos or downloading/uploading huge files get throttled from their ISPs.
An ISP can also practise internet throttling as a marketing tactic to push their users/clients to upgrade to their more expensive packages where they’ll provide the user with faster speeds and no data limits.
VPN can help you defeat ISP Throttling
Now that you are entirely aware of some of the primary reasons your ISP is throttling your internet speed, you can easily defeat this by installing one of the top-of-the-line VPN products on your device.
There is no better option than using a VPN to defeat internet throttling. Your online activities will be masked, and your local ISP will not find a reason to slow down your internet speed. You can stop internet throttling by following the below-mentioned steps:
- Download and Install a VPN of your choice on your device.
- Make an account on your application.
- Now go to the servers/locations tab, and select one of the locations you want to connect to or press the Connect button on the home screen of your VPN application. It will automatically connect you to the best servers following your original location.
- Your internet activities will instantly get masked from your local ISP, and your blocked bandwidth will be released immediately.
This is how a VPN or Virtual Private Network can help you defeat ISP throttling so you can enjoy a lag-free internet experience.
The process of how VPN stops Internet Throttling
To put it simply, a VPN works by creating an encryption tunnel, and it sends your internet traffic via that secure tunnel. This makes the internet activity of the VPN user hide from everyone (including your local ISP). The majority of the VPNs utilize AES-256 bit encryption, which is the only encryption in the world that has yet not been deciphered.
A VPN also hides and secures your original location from all the interested third party organizations. As your internet traffic connection is masked, your local ISP will not read your data usage. So, you can play online games, stream online videos, and download/upload big data files without any hurdle.
You see, your ISP needs to monitor and measure your data usage to take action like ‘internet throttling’ against you. When they cannot read your browsing activity, then throttling your internet bandwidth is no longer an option for them.
Top VPNs to beat Internet Throttling
Even though it is very tempting to use a free VPN to deal with your ISP throttling issues, you cannot rely upon them as they are known to have security leaks. The most common problem with free VPNs is data leakage and IP leaks, this makes you exposed, and thus your online activity is no longer hidden from your local Internet Service Provider.
It varies from country to country. In the US, ISP throttling is legal, whereas, in Singapore, it is illegal. However, ISPs still practice it. Gathering the evidence to confront your ISP about internet throttling is very difficult. They can deny this allegation and claim that they have not taken such actions.
Check the download speed by going online and using one of the online internet speed test tools. If your results are different than usual, then it might mean that you are being throttled. Connect to a VPN and check again; if your internet speed increases, then this means that your ISP is throttling your internet connection.