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How to Stop ISP Throttling with VPN in 2021 | CyberNews
While most internet service providers (ISPs) strive to deliver a fast service, sometimes, your internet is slow because your ISP is slowing it on purpose to minimize bandwidth congestion, or regulate traffic. This is known as ‘bandwidth throttling’.
How can you stop bandwidth throttling? How can you tell if it’s happening to you? And how can you improve the performance of your internet?
A VPN isn’t just good for keeping your data secure, it’s also a useful tool for stopping ISP throttling and keeping your internet speeds running smoothly.
This all means you can avoid that painful wait for a buffering wheel to disappear, or those long seconds waiting for a web page to load.
A short guide on how to fix ISP throttling with a VPNIf you hide the type of content you’re viewing from your ISP, you can avoid ISP throttling. This is because ISPs may slow your internet speed if you are doing something online that takes up a lot of bandwidth. If your ISP doesn’t know whether you’re streaming something in high definition on US Netflix or merely reading a page of simple HTML text, then you won’t be picked out for using up a lot of bandwidth.
There are other reasons ISPs throttle traffic, but we will go into them later in the article.
A VPN helps encrypt this information and keep it hidden from your ISP, so you can keep enjoying fast internet. Here’s all you need to do:
Download a reputable VPN from your device’s app store or from the VPN’s website. We recommend NordVPN, as it is fast and reliable.
Create an account with the VPN.
Sign in and connect to your desired server location.
Enjoy your fast internet!
ISP throttling explained
Bandwidth throttling occurs when your ISP deliberately slows your internet. While this might be because you have reached your data cap for the month, or you haven’t paid for your super-fast broadband, more often than not, your ISP will slow your internet speeds regardless of your contract status.
If you imagine the traffic passing through an ISP’s server to be like the traffic passing along a freeway, it makes sense that the more traffic there is, the slower it moves.
Streaming Netflix or using gaming in high definition uses up a lot of bandwidth. To keep things moving, ISPs may throttle, or slow internet service in order to allow users to at least keep accessing the sites they need to, even if the experience is slower.
Why do ISPs really throttle connections? An ISP would tell you that users experience throttling because you may have gone over your data cap or not paid your internet bill for the month. And of course, there’s the old party line that it is just trying to keep traffic flowing through the network.
But what’s the real reason for all this throttling? Even when ISPs promise unlimited super-fast broadband, the reality is that if everyone is streaming or gaming in 4k, it simply costs too much to supply everyone with the high-speed connectivity they need.
So ISPs react by limiting the bandwidth of everyone using the server, under the guise of preventing total crashes. The reality is that it is just cheaper to set all users to the same speed.
However, you might find that certain types of internet usage lead to more throttling than others. ISPs that have a ‘fast lane’ deal with Netflix for example, might throttle the streaming of content on a competitor like Disney Plus or Amazon Prime, in order to manipulate the behavior of its users.
Some services pay for ‘fast lanes’ for their content, and ISPs happily take that payment. But all this depends on an ISP being able to see what content you are using. After all, your ISP can’t slow your Netflix connection if it can’t see that you’re using Netflix.
Is ISP throttling illegal? In 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decreed that internet providers must not discriminate against what type of content gets throttled. After much back and forth over the last ten years, it is not technically legal in the US to restrict particular types of content. However, it is legal to offer ‘fast lane’ services to companies that want their content prioritized.
The other issue facing those who still believe in Net Neutrality is the fact that it is very difficult to prove that an ISP is purposefully throttling specific types of data.
If an ISP slows down your Netflix performance, it isn’t reflected in internet speed scores. This means you can lose performance without any way of knowing if it is down to throttling. So even if it was illegal, it’s virtually impossible to prove.
How to tell if your ISP is throttling you
Slower internet at peak hours, incredibly slow downloading and lagging video content are all indicators, but not proof of throttling.
If you want to confirm your suspicions, you can use an Internet Health Test to check various connections for signs of poor performance. If you check the connectivity of the same app that uses different service providers and find you have results that vary massively between each service provider, you can be pretty sure that you are a victim of ISP throttling.
How does a VPN solve throttling issues? As we have already mentioned, ISPs don’t usually reduce the bandwidth of all their users completely equally. In fact, a lot of ISPs have a monetary incentive to throttle specific types of content. And that means that an ISP needs to know what content you are looking at in order to throttle it.
A VPN encrypts all the information that goes between the server and the receiver, and hides it from your ISP. An ISP cannot legally slow all your traffic to all sites, and if it doesn’t know where your traffic is going, it can’t slow any of it.
When using a VPN, the ISP can’t distinguish between HD streaming and simple web browsing. That means you won’t experience throttling, and you can enjoy good performance on any site, including BitTorrent, YouTube, Twitch and Usenet.
If you mask your online activity from your ISP, that means your ISP cannot move to throttle any of your activity. In such cases, they might even inadvertently throttle traffic to one of their ‘fast lane’ customers.
Best VPN against throttlingThere are a huge number of VPNs out there and knowing the one to choose is vitally important. One tip we would give is that it’s always worth spending some money on a VPN. A free VPN can be tempting, but the technology is complex and takes a lot of expertise to maintain and run properly.
Here are some of our recommendations:
Based in:PanamaServers/countries:5, 500+ servers in 59 countriesUnblocks Netflix:YesCurrent deal:Now 72% OFF + 3 Months FREE!
NordVPN is one of the most reputable VPNs on the market, and has a strict no-logs policy that means none of your activity is logged anywhere at all. It also has excellent levels of security and has servers all over the world, meaning you can access all kinds of content no matter where you are.
Based in:British Virgin IslandsServers/countries:3, 000 servers in 94 countriesUnblocks Netflix:YesCurrent deal:Get ExpressVPN, now 35% OFF!
ExpressVPN is another industry favorite and prides itself on its extremely fast server speeds. This is ideal if you’re aiming to get around poor performance due to throttling.
Based in:British Virgin IslandsServers/countries:3, 200+ servers in 65 countriesUnblocks Netflix:YesCurrent deal:Get Surfshark, now 81% OFF!
For those still not keen on splashing out too much on a VPN, Surfshark offers some of the best prices available, while still protecting your data and browsing information from your ISP.
To sum upLike any private enterprise, your ISP is always on the lookout for new ways to make money, and throttling traffic to certain online services for a price is an easy and hard-to-track way of bringing in paying clients who want their sites to run smoothly.
If you care about guaranteeing good quality internet, then a VPN is a really good option for avoiding ISP throttling.
It’s not just a matter of guaranteeing fast internet. Downloading and using a VPN can stop your internet behavior from being manipulated by your ISP as you browse. This means you won’t get a different quality of service no matter what content you’re accessing.
Will a VPN stop ISP throttling?
Yes, a VPN will stop ISP throttling as it will hide the content you are viewing from your ISP. Your ISP can’t throttle your internet connection across all services, so if it can’t see what you are doing, it won’t throttle any.
How do I stop my ISP from throttling me without a VPN?
You can either:1. Upgrade your package or plan with your ISP, or2. Use a proxy server to hide what you are accessing from your ISP
How can I boost my internet speed?
Use a reputable VPN to bypass ISP throttling and access the fastest servers. This will prevent your ISP from being able to throttle your internet connection, no matter what site you are on.
Are VPNs legal?
VPNs are entirely legal in the UK and the US. But online activities that are illegal without the use of a VPN are still illegal if you use a VPN.
More VPN guides from CyberNews:How to Block ISP from Tracking your History: take your privacy back with these methods
How to Unblock Websites and Access Restricted Content: here’s our proven methods how to bypass censorship anywhere
How to Use Chromecast With a VPN: access all the most important streaming platforms
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What Is ISP Throttling? Why It Happens & How to Stop It | AVG
What is internet throttling?
Internet throttling is when your internet service provider (ISP) slows down your internet on purpose. They can limit bandwidth whenever they want, and you might not notice. But when Netflix gets choppy or Facebook takes minutes to load, your ISP may be limiting data transmission over your connection.
Slow loading times don’t always indicate internet throttling — you might be browsing during peak hours, or you might need to do some browser maintenance.
But maybe your ISP is deliberately impeding your connection to those sites. This may happen because you visit those sites frequently, or maybe your ISP’s available bandwidth is overloaded and they need to throttle your connection.
Internet throttling violates the principle of net neutrality, which states that ISPs must give equal treatment to all communications over the internet.
In the worst-case scenario, you might be kept from doing your work or other important tasks. What’s more, your ISP can keep providing subpar service with impunity. That’s an anti-consumer business practice, and it keeps the internet from being freely accessible to everyone.
If your internet connection has a real effect on your daily life, you should pay attention to the issue of internet throttling.
How can I tell if my internet is being throttled?
If your internet is slower than normal, especially on certain websites, this may indicate that data throttling is happening on your connection. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed here, ask yourself: Is my internet being throttled?
Your internet has become slower than usual, or your Wi-Fi connection is choppy or broken.
Certain websites or services load slower than others.
Your download speeds are suffering.
Your videos are constantly buffering or lagging.
Some websites seem to be blocked or non-functional.
If you don’t experience slowdowns often, you don’t need to worry about data throttling. But if you do, the next step is to use an internet throttling test, which analyzes your internet speed and lets you know if it’s being messed with. And there are other services that help you spot connection abnormalities.
Here are the three easiest ways to check if your ISP is throttling your internet connection:
Option 1: Use the Internet Health Test to see how your internet performs over a short period of time. This test checks your connection speed to popular access points and detects any unusual slowdowns. Here’s what good results tend to look like:
This test detects whether your ISP is slowing down streaming platforms like Netflix. The ISP can use this tactic as a bargaining chip to get the streaming service to pay them, which is unfair to you.
Option 2: Check if certain ports are blocked. Gamers will want to go to, click Port Scanners, and then click Game Ports. This advice is relevant only if you use an open port while gaming online and have recently begun experiencing issues.
You should worry only if a game you play is coming back with a “Timed-Out” status. The first step in that case is to try port forwarding, if you haven’t done so already.
If you’ve been comfortably using one of these ports, and it suddenly hits you with a “Rejected” status, you might have a problem with throttling.
Option 3: Check if the speed of your internet changes when using a VPN. The simplest way to see if your internet is being throttled is to turn on a VPN (virtual private network) and compare the speed. Though your VPN may slow down your internet slightly, the difference is nothing compared to ISP throttling — and you can always make your VPN connection go faster.
If your internet is faster with your VPN on, your ISP might be throttling your internet. So why don’t you just keep your VPN on all the time? Great question!
Solving content-based ISP throttling is one of the many benefits to using a VPN. A virtual private network also encrypts your data to prevent your ISP from monitoring what you do. Encryption secures your internet browsing, making any connection safe — including unsecured public Wi-Fi networks — as long as you’ve got the VPN turned on.
AVG Secure VPN is carefully designed to give you world-class online security, keep you anonymous while you browse, and bring the whole internet to your fingertips. Try it today with a 7-day free trial.
How to stop internet throttling
You can stop internet throttling by changing your ISP or hiding your internet activity with a VPN. Here are the best ways to stop internet throttling:
Switch to a new internet service provider.
Self-regulate your bandwidth use.
Upgrade your internet plan to a higher data cap.
Use a VPN.
Your ISP might have a policy on network throttling that you can find on their website — look in the terms and conditions for anything that mentions bandwidth limits, data caps, or similar terms. You can also learn about their throttling policies by reading user reviews. If you can’t or don’t want to switch ISPs, use a VPN.
How does a VPN stop internet throttling?
By encrypting your internet connection, a VPN prevents your ISP from monitoring your online activity and throttling you because of it. While your ISP can still impose limits on your total bandwidth use, you’ll no longer need to be worried about your activity compromising your connection.
VPNs are easy to set up, and masking your activity is a surefire way to stop your ISP from limiting your access to certain websites and services. And by hiding your IP address, VPNs open up your streaming and TV options significantly. (If you’re on mobile, check out our guide to setting up a mobile VPN. )
With military-grade encryption, AVG Secure VPN is the best VPN to stop internet throttling. Your internet use will stay hidden, protecting you against content-based internet throttling by your ISP. Whether your ISP is actually throttling your internet or not, go with the option that ensures they won’t.
Why is my ISP throttling my internet?
Your ISP may throttle your internet to try to minimize congestion by managing traffic on its network. Throttling can also happen if you’ve reached your data cap (usage limit) within a given period. Only when throttling is used against you should you do something about it. In the meantime, you can also try boosting your Wi-Fi signal to see if that speeds things up.
The most common reasons your ISP throttles your internet connection and limits your data transmission speeds include:
Tackling network congestion
Heavy internet usage will slow down the internet speeds of other people in the same area. To compensate, ISPs may throttle the connection of anyone using high amounts of bandwidth. You may experience slower speeds for a little while, especially if you’ve been engaging in bandwidth-heavy activities, but this usually occurs only during short “rush hour” periods.
Your connection can become deprioritized if you’ve used a certain amount of bandwidth during the billing period — especially if your internet contract has a data cap. Even “unlimited” plans often have unofficial data caps. Your connection could be the first to get throttled in periods of network congestion, or your speeds might stay reduced until the next cycle starts.
If your work or other activity requires a stable, high-speed connection for hours at a time, look closely at your ISP’s policies on data use. Gamers will want the best setup possible, especially if they’re competing or streaming on Twitch.
Deprioritization of certain services
In many places, ISPs are allowed to limit access to streaming services as part of their efforts to manage everyone’s connections. But you shouldn’t be deprived of parts of the internet for arbitrary reasons totally unrelated to you. Likewise, those who want to stream without buffering might want to try a different ISP — if there are options where you live.
Is ISP throttling illegal?
ISP throttling is not illegal, and sometimes, it’s even necessary. Your connection would be much choppier if your ISP wasn’t allowed to manage usage over its network. Throttling allows your ISP to ensure stable service for everyone using the internet. But there are some ways that throttling can be unethical.
Net neutrality in the US
In the US, ISPs weren’t always allowed to throttle particular applications and services. But when the country’s net neutrality rules were repealed in 2018, these limits were removed. Now, ISPs are no longer legally required to treat all internet traffic equally.
ISPs are also allowed to make you pay for the “fast lane, ” something that wasn’t possible under net neutrality regulations. You’re presented with the “choice” to go with a standard connection or a marked-up package.
You might not have noticed the effects of net neutrality’s repeal, but an open and ethical internet provides equal opportunity to all. When the rulebook favors the corporate bottom line, you might be prevented from making a career pivot to online teaching or Twitch streaming. Net neutrality is an issue that concerns us all.
Bypass throttling with a VPN
AVG Secure VPN encrypts your online activity with a single click or tap. No matter where you are, your internet connection will be safe from prying eyes, with everything you do completely hidden.
If you’re looking for the simplest throttle bypass, AVG Secure VPN will prevent ISPs from limiting any online activity they don’t like. And with your IP address masked, you’ll be able to unblock websites, avoid IP-based web tracking, and prevent location-based price discrimination.
Take back the internet for yourself today, and try AVG Secure VPN with a 7-day free trial.
Will using a VPN prevent ISP throttling due to the removal of …
I consider myself more or less tech savvy, but when it comes to the relationship between my internet -> online as opposed to the internet -> VPN -> online I’m a bit clueless. I recently purchased a VPN called “ExpressVPN”, and if I use this VPN, does it mean that I can get even MORE bandwidth than the internet package I’m signed up for because I’m connecting through high-speed VPN servers? So, in theory, would using my VPN all the time make the removal of Net Neutrality not affect my speed if my ISP decided to start charging more for bullshit “fastlanes” and starts making my service worse?
Frequently Asked Questions about can a vpn stop throttling
How do I stop data throttling?
Here are the best ways to stop internet throttling:Switch to a new internet service provider.Self-regulate your bandwidth use.Upgrade your internet plan to a higher data cap.Use a VPN.May 19, 2021
Can a VPN prevent throttling Reddit?
No, using a VPN will not stop throttling.