Internet Throttling 101

Internet Throttling

Our lives have now made to revolve around the wonder that the internet is. Shopping, working, watching movies and shows, learning new skills and subjects, spreading awareness, and video conferencing have all been made possible from the comfort of our bedroom on account of this technology, the internet. When we depend on something, it is of utmost importance to have it functioning on a top-grade level. However, I know no person who has not felt oppressed because of an unstable and unreliable internet connection. Occasional connection dips are fair game but being cheated on by your internet provider seems rather criminal.

This article focuses on the subject of internet throttling and everything you need to know about it.

INTERNET THROTTLING

Internet Throttling is also known by the names: Traffic Shaping and Bandwidth Throttling. It occurs when your internet provider intentionally limits your internet bandwidth or speed. Your internet service provider might be limiting your internet speed for specific websites and services or at a particular time of the day. Internet Throttling affects high-speed consuming activities more often like gaming, heavy file sharing, and video streaming.

Since the Net Neutrality act has been passed, many internet providers have started to throttle the internet. In such adverse times when you cannot even miss a second, you should sign up with ISPs that are credible and reliable in their functioning and supply internet speeds; Spectrum offers high download and upload speeds with unlimited data caps and no need to sign a lengthy contract.

REASONS BEHIND INTERNET THROTTLING

Your internet provider has several reasons to throttle your internet, and out of all these, we have put in the top causes of the matter here.

Data caps

Have you ever felt that your internet lacks fast speed during the last days of the month? If yes, the reason might just be the simple case of data caps. Many times, internet providers put your connection under data caps, and once you go over that cap, you might face internet throttling. You should pay for a relationship that has no data caps like Optimum and Spectrum internet.

Network Congestion

This is one reason that actually makes Net Neutrality act a fair choice. Like Uber puts surge charges on rides during peak hours, internet providers throttle the internet during peak hours so that every customer can access some bandwidth. If this does not happen, some customers would be enjoying high speeds while others might not have a connection altogether.

Paid Prioritization

Internet providers throttle the internet when you use certain websites and applications. This happens so you are discouraged to use these sites. Users have faced this issue when using Hulu and Netflix. Internet providers execute this so these sites would pay them extra for quick loading time. Paid prioritization used to be legal before the Net Neutrality act was passed.

Malicious activities

If an internet user is carrying out some illegal activities online, internet providers can throttle the internet to obstruct their participation in such activities.

WORKING MODEL OF INTERNET THROTTLING

Internet providers can filter incoming and outgoing internet traffic and then divide it into two sets of lanes.

Fast Lane consists of the data that is not throttled. This includes social media sites, generic net surfing, and web browsing.

Slow Lane consists of sites that suffer occasional throttling. This includes Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Torrent.

Websites and traffic types that are prone to be throttled are:

  • Video Streaming: Netflix, Hulu, Twitch, YouTube
  • Gaming: World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Fortnite
  • File-Sharing: Torrent, Usenet, RDP

DETECTION OF INTERNET THROTTLING

Some of the simple steps that can lead you to find out if you are being throttled or not are:

Figure out the internet speed you are being offered by your internet provider. You can determine this by carefully reading your contract. This is an important step because you do not want to build a case for yourself without knowing the basics, now do you?

Take a Speed Test

Once you are aware of the speed that you should be getting, you must know the speed that you are getting. Take a speed test at speedcheck.org for this purpose.. You should run this speed test when any other device is not using your internet. Activities like heavy file-sharing or HD video streaming can have a great impact on your speed test.

Get a VPN

Once you have the speed test result, download a good VPN or Virtual Private Network for another speed test. Generally, internet providers throttle the internet of a specific area during a certain time. Knowing this, a speed test while being connected to a VPN is required to ensure the results and that if your ISP is throttling the speed.

Compare the speed results

By now, you would have gotten both the speed test results. Compare both the speeds and if they seem similar, it is all okay and you are suffering from a general, occasional connection tweak. If not and you experience better speeds when connected to a VPN, you would know that your provider is indeed throttling the internet.

In advertisements, the internet speeds that are mentioned are usually the download speeds, and sometimes, even those numbers are exaggerated on account of a concept of advertising called puffery. Before signing up, you must make sure to have a long and direct conversation with your chosen internet provider so that there is no confusion or miscommunication. If the results show a huge difference between what you were promised and what you are getting, talk to your ISP, and if nothing changes, you should consider switching to a better and stable provider.

WAYS TO FIX INTERNET THROTTLING

If you find out that your bandwidth is being throttled, you can fix the issue by these simple steps:

Occasional checks on your bandwidth usage

If you have subscribed to a capped internet package, the first thing you should do is to check on your internet usage. If you find out that you go above the data limit almost every month, it probably is time to upgrade your internet plan.

Install a reliable VPN

This perhaps is your best bet. Having a good VPN installed can help you escape the bandwidth throttling. However, you must know that sites like Netflix and Hulu can detect even a good VPN and do not allow you to use them.

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