Has your ISP been throttling your bandwidth during different hours of the day, and it’s getting on your nerves?
It’s understood how frustrating it may be, especially when your ISP decides to limit your speeds regularly. But, unfortunately, this throttling ruins your online streaming and gaming experience, something no one wants to experience.
Don’t worry anymore! Follow this guide to see how you can bypass bandwidth throttling by your ISP and enjoy seamless network speed.
What is Bandwidth Throttling or ISP Throttling
“ISP Throttling” or “bandwidth Throttling” means ISPs impose limits on connections and cut down average Internet speeds you’re getting without any prior warning or notice. Excessive load and bandwidth distribution challenges are the most typical causes of internet throttling.
These Internet Service Providers not only throttle your internet speed but also track your online activity. They have control over your network, and they can analyze your data packets.
Why Do ISPs Throttle User Bandwidth?
Data caps are the primary cause behind this. If you have a monthly bandwidth restriction that you can’t exceed, your ISP will slow down your connection if you consume too much data.
ISPs also limit customer bandwidth during peak traffic hours to avoid network congestion. This allows them to improve their services and eliminates the need to invest in expensive storage equipment or additional bandwidth.
As reported by Avast, ISPs prioritize the services that are paying them more, and if the user is using those services, then they get the priority and are not throttled. This is especially common with streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, HBO, and Hulu Plus. Conversely, if the streaming provider doesn’t pay the ISP more money, this has deprioritization.
Finally, your bandwidth may be throttled if you’re doing anything your ISP doesn’t approve of, such as downloading torrents.
How To Tell If You Being Throttled
One of the indicators is when you notice that your speed is lowering at regular intervals during the day, especially in the evening or at night when there is likely to be a lot of user traffic on the servers.
You can test your upload and download speed by trying tools like “Speedtest by Ookla” and notice the drops on it. If you keep pushing your service speed at different times during the day, you will start to see the throttling when your speed is low and at other times would be high.
Follow these key steps to see if your ISP is throttling you:
- First, check if your Internet plan is still active; delinquent accounts may experience reduced service.
- Disconnect all users from the WiFi router and do speed tests simultaneously.
- If you download torrents, you will almost certainly experience ISP throttling.
- Use a reliable VPN provider like Astrill VPN, and repeat the speed tests (with and without VPN).
As soon as you start noticing that your ISP is throttling your bandwidth, jump to the solution that we are about to discuss next:
How to Bypass Bandwidth Throttling
The best and only way of bypassing bandwidth throttling is to use a VPN. Even if you visit a forum like Quora, you will notice that everyone has mentioned VPN as the best solution. This is because when connected to a VPN, your traffic is encrypted, and your ISP can no longer control your bandwidth or track your activity.
When you connect to a VPN server, your IP and DNS are masked, and your ISP is changed. This way, your ISP loses control over your bandwidth. However, your ISP can still notice that you are using a VPN.
The best thing about VPN servers is that they are highly optimized to provide seamless service to binge-watchers and gamers. This is why they provide unlimited bandwidth and have very low ping on their service. So using a VPN will not only bypass bandwidth throttling but also enhance your experience as you will be getting better speed.
Follow these steps to bypass bandwidth throttling:
- First, subscribe to a VPN provider having highly optimized VPN servers.
- Next, download and install the VPN client or app.
- Next, sign in to the app using your credentials.
- Finally, connect to a server from the region that you want to access.
- Once the connection is established, you can start using the web as you wish without worrying about ISP throttling.
Is it Possible to Bypass Throttling Without VPN?
Without a VPN, it isn’t that easy to bypass throttling, or we can say that the other methods aren’t effective enough. Some additional ways to bypass throttling without a VPN are:
Using a Tor Browser
Tor Browser encrypts the traffic passing through it and through different nodes, securing the user from any external threats. Since the traffic that passes through it is encrypted, the ISP loses its control and is unable to throttle bandwidth and track user activity. However, two things need to be understood over here:
- Although you are using Tor and your browser traffic is encrypted, your overall network is still not secure. That means the ISP may not be able to throttle bandwidth passing through the browser, but they can still throttle the bandwidth you are using on different apps and streaming services.
- The speed over Tor browser is very slow, and if you are using it to bypass throttling, you will not have a very good experience.
- This means that using a Tor browser is not a very good option. It’s a valid option for safe and secure browsing but not for bypassing ISP throttling.
Contacting your ISP
Another option over here is to contact your ISP directly and ask them not to throttle your bandwidth. But, this seems to be a long shot, expecting the ISP to provide you exclusive service.
Switching to a new ISP
You can also switch your ISP and choose someone who provides better service. However, it is highly unlikely to find an ISP that does not include throttle bandwidth. Almost all ISPs out there are engaged in bandwidth throttling because they have to handle the server loads and prioritize users.
Can I use a Free VPN to bypass ISP Throttling?
Free VPNs are a big no! Be it for streaming, gaming, or even bypassing ISP throttling, you cannot trust Free VPNs at all. There are numerous reasons for that, like:
- Free VPNs keep user-activity logs: There’s a reason why their service is free. They may not charge users for the service, but they keep user activity logs and sell them to their-party sources. This is how they earn and market themselves as a free service.
- Free VPNs are not safe: The security protocols of free VPN providers are weak, and if you are using them, then you are putting yourself in harm’s way. In addition, they will keep leaking IP and DNS, which means they can’t really protect your privacy nor provide you safety from malware and hackers.
- Low speed and poor connectivity: Since their service is free, they do not have optimized servers and do not provide unlimited bandwidth. They have specific bandwidth caps and start throttling your connection once you reach that limit.
So by now, you would have understood what bandwidth throttling is, why ISPs do it and how you can tackle it. Using a VPN is the best solution to bypass ISP throttling, and also, the VPN should be premium, not free. Any other means, like Tor, are not helpful in this regard, so stay away from them.
The best thing is that if you use a VPN, you will not only be bypassing ISP throttling, but you will also be protecting your online privacy through it. In these dire times, bandwidth throttling is not that big of an issue compared to the cyber threats that exist online. So stay safe from every possible threat and surf the web anonymously.
Image Credit: by Yan Krukov; Pexels; Thank you!