What is ISP Throttling?
ISP, or bandwidth throttling, is a technique internet service providers use in order to slow down the internet speed. This is a process that targets users who visit specific websites, stream video, play online games, or use certain services.
ISP throttling is a method by which an ISP filters and separates internet traffic according to its usage. Unthrottled traffic, for example, allows web browsing and social networking at maximum speed. Tightened bandwidth may result in buffering and video lag when streaming services are accessed.
ISP Limits Your Speed
To cut costs and save money, ISPs throttle your bandwidth using data throttling. Cox Communications, Charter and Comcast use a variety of applications to throttle the internet connections of their clients. ISPs can reduce their data usage by limiting bandwidth usage to specific websites or internet users.
Data throttling allows ISPs to offer data services to more customers while reducing their network capacity. The strategy ultimately increases the ISP’s profit margins.
Some service providers also claim that heavy bandwidth users negatively impact other users. Such heavy bandwidth use includes:
- Streaming video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and Youtube.
- Gaming platforms
- BitTorrent and Usenet are file-sharing services.
ISP throttles data traffic at peak hours to manage traffic. High bandwidth users can be severely affected by excessive network traffic. To reduce the impact on users with lower bandwidth, ISPs throttle traffic from heavy bandwidth users.
Is ISP Throttling Legal?
ISP throttle is generally legal. It is unfair, however, as it can often lead to slower network speeds.
ISP throttleling is still controversial for many reasons. Some internet users don’t want ISPs to have too much control over their internet speeds. They may be concerned that ISPs can slow down websites they don’t like.
Other times, ISPs can restrict the bandwidth of websites related to their competitors.
Bandwidth throttling can also affect essential services. Take for instance situations where organizations use video streaming sites to deliver training, education, or other critical services.
How can Internet Providers Control Speed
There are many ways that internet service providers can control the speed of their internet users. These include:
- Bandwidth Cap is a simple way for an ISP to control a user’s bandwidth. This limits bandwidth usage for a set period in order to limit downloads or uploads. Although the ISPs have been using this method for years, it is still a contentious issue. The bandwidth cap has been the subject of many debates since ISPs typically apply it to all customers, regardless of internet usage.
- Pay Per Gigabyte:Some Internet Service Providers offer a pay per gigabyte service. This strategy allows internet users the ability to pay for bandwidth that exceeds the allotted maximum. Clients of such users experience bandwidth throttling.
- Traffic shaping: Internet providers can also control internet speed by traffic shaping. The technique is used by ISPs when certain types or network traffic are filtered while others are not.
Traffic to certain websites and applications is restricted by ISPs. This method involves reading the port number of data packets entering the ISP’s network. The ISPs will limit traffic related to BitTorrent client if the port numbers match those used in P2P applications such as BitTorrent client.
Some users try to circumvent these restrictions. To prevent bandwidth throttling, they use a VPN to encrypt their traffic. Traffic shaping is prevented by encrypted data packets that can’t be read by ISPs.
How to tell if your internet is being throttled
How do you know if your Internet connection is being throttled or not?
Recent years have seen advancements in traffic-shaping technology. It can be difficult to determine when ISPs throttle internet connections. It took many users to determine that Comcast was slowing down internet connections by using Sandvine congestion management software.
Speed can be reduced by ISPs when you access certain websites or services. It’s possible for your ISP to reduce your bandwidth, but it might not be happening all the time. There are some things you can do to determine if your internet bandwidth is being throttled.
How to determine if your Internet has been throttled.
- Speed test
- Take a YouTube quiz
- Use a VPN
- Use Internet Throttling Detection Tools
Simple Speed Test
A simple internet speed test is the best way to determine if your internet speed has been throttled. SpeedTest allows users to monitor variations in their internet speed using the SpeedTest website. You can determine if your ISP throttles your internet connection by running frequent speed tests.
A simple test is not enough to tell if a service provider throttles your internet connection. Some ISPs are able to detect speed issues in internet connections. They artificially increase their speed to conceal the fact that they throttle you.
ISPs can also throttle internet speed at protocol level. It is nearly impossible to detect this method using an internet speed test. A service provider might leave the bandwidth limit unchanged. However, streaming videos at lower resolutions is not possible.
You will need to run many speed tests throughout the time period in order to determine if your ISP throttles you.
At the end of the billing period, measure the speed
Many service providers slow down internet speeds towards the end. Most customers have used large amounts of traffic data by this point. Some customers have experienced slow internet speeds towards end of billing period, while experiencing fast speeds at the beginning of next billing cycle.
If they see excessive data usage, some ISPs may also slow down the connection. This happens most often when a user exceeds their monthly bandwidth limit. If a user exceeds a threshold, the ISP will enforce bandwidth limits.
It is possible to run speed tests throughout the month, and take note of when the Internet is slow. Start the speed test at the beginning, when speeds are typically high. If the results are consistent with lower speeds in the end months, then it is likely that your ISP is slowing down internet speed and bandwidth usage.
Peak hours speed measurement
It is possible to determine if the ISP throttles consumer bandwidth during peak hours by running frequent tests throughout the day. ISP throttle during peak times often happens between 7 p.m. & 11 p.m.
You can track your internet speed throughout the day. You may notice a decrease in internet speed during peak hours.
This method has a downside: slower speeds during peak hours do not always mean ISP throttle. Due to the increased number of users accessing the internet simultaneously, speeds may be slower because of a lack of processing power for some websites and services.
Virtual private networks are a reliable and tested way to check if your internet connection has been throttled. Some content may be blocked by ISPs because they can cause high bandwidth usage. Because it hides the identity of the ISP and masks the activities of the consumer, a VPN can help prevent ISPs from throttle content.
The service provider might not be able to identify the web sites or services that you use. All content is treated equally by the ISP. To determine if any changes have occurred, you can perform a speed test once you are connected to the VPN.
Your ISP may be slowing down your connection speeds if your speed improves when you use a VPN.
Take a YouTube test
The manual YouTube Test is another option. A YouTube throttling test allows individuals to find out if their ISP is restricting video bandwidth. These are the steps for performing a YouTube throttle test:
- Make an HD video with 4k quality.
- Select the 4k resolution in the Access Settings
- Check the video to see if it buffers.
- If the buffering occurs, try again with a lower resolution.
- Continue this process until all videos are playing without buffering. This is the point at which the video resolution indicates that the network has reached the maximum video bandwidth.
You can estimate your video bandwidth by using the following YouTube bitrates chart:
|16 Mbps||1140p (2k).|
|35-45 Mbits||2160p (4k).|
Next, you can compare the video bitrate of the resolution that the video plays without buffering with an online speed test. It could be that the service provider throttled the internet connection if the video bandwidth is lower.
Use Internet Throttling Detection Tools
There are several tools that can detect when service providers alter the bandwidth allotted to consumers. One solution is the Internet Health Test software. The tool can be used to determine if there are network bottlenecks.
The Internet Health Test is unable to measure certain protocols like video or P2P, but it can check a connection’s performance over a large backbone network. This includes data that is hosted by services such as YouTube, Hulu and Netflix.
The dashboard shows the results for various hosting services. The tool dashboard allows users to compare upload and download speeds for different services. If you notice a significant drop in connection speeds, it could be an indication that your ISP is engaged in internet throttling.
How to Detect ISP Trottling
Bandwidth throttling can be more difficult to spot than other occurrences like internet blackout or social media shutdown. It is not easy to determine if the internet speed has been slowed by an intentional or accidental disruption. This is especially true for countries with fragile IT infrastructures and high-risk internet disruptions.
Throttling can also affect specific platforms or portions of certain platforms. Some users may find the internet speeds to be normal while others experience slow connections.
It is also difficult to determine the exact number of ISPs who throttle their internet connections due to the difficulties involved in documenting it.
Can a VPN Prevent Throttling
A VPN can be used to stop ISP throttle.
ISPs reduce internet speeds by segregating traffic into different lanes and restricting certain connections. The law does not allow service providers to throttle your internet speeds if a consumer has paid for a specific speed, such as 100 Mbps.
A VPN prevents an ISP from monitoring a user’s internet activities. It is impossible to separate traffic if a service provider can’t view visited websites or data from user applications.
VPNs wrap a consumer’s internet traffic within a strong and inaccessible encryption layer to achieve several things. This includes preventing an ISP from seeing the protocol, websites, or services that a client uses. Encrypting network traffic to stop the ISP from separating or throttling.
How to Stop ISP Trottling
There are many ways to get around ISP throttle:
Use a VPN
A VPN can be used to prevent ISP throttle.
This is the best way to stop ISP throttling. Use a VPN to prevent internet throttling.
- Register for a VPN ( NordVPN recommended).
- Connect to any server
- Enjoy lightning fast speeds
The VPN hides user activity so ISPs cannot throttle the internet connection. Therefore, consumers can enjoy faster speeds without network delays.
Enhance Your Data Plan
Switching to a data plan that offers more bandwidth can help you avoid bandwidth throttling. This isn’t the best option as it can result in additional data usage costs. It can be more expensive than using a VPN, which is just as effective.
Different ISPs may use different approaches to limit data usage, depending on their terms and service levels. Some ISPs are more notorious for throttling clients’ internet connections than others. They can cause slower speeds than normal. It is recommended that you sign up for a service provider with a higher data limit.
Although it may not completely resolve ISP throttle, the move will address some of the issues. It addresses the problem of ISPs limiting internet speeds to very slow speeds.
How can ISPs throttle a connection protected by a VPN?
A VPN encrypts and tunnels data, but the provider still has access to it. Internet providers have the option to throttle traffic and not separate it.
Alternatively, an ISP could decide to block all traffic from IP addresses that are known to be associated with VPN providers. However, this is rarely the case.
Tightening VPN traffic can cause problems for real businesses that use VPN services to perform critical functions. VPN services are used by organizations to protect their internal communications and secure payment processing. Blocking all VPN servers would be a major mistake.
Although it is possible to throttle full VPN services, this would cause severe internet usage disruption. VPN traffic is not usually throttled. This could cause ISPs to lose customers or reduce revenues.
Other benefits of a VPN
Businesses can also use VPNs to stop ISP throttling.
A VPN can be used for security reasons. Employees can securely share data through an encrypted network tunnel. This allows remote work.
VPNs are used by businesses to share sensitive information such as passwords and business data. VPN encryption protects these data from hackers and unauthorized access.
A VPN service hides network information from ISPs, to be clear. This prevents bandwidth throttling. This feature results in a faster network speed and better performance. High Internet speeds provide a better online experience, which is beneficial for information sharing and research. This results in increased productivity.
Bypass filters and blockers
VPNs allow internet users to bypass blockers and filters easily. Some countries have internet censorship that prevents users from accessing vital platforms such as social media. Certain levels of internet censorships restrict freedom of expression and information access. VPNs protect your internet traffic from being censored by encrypting it.
Many people consider internet anonymity an essential principle or problem. Undisputed fact: An exposed identity can lead to the owner being exploited in many ways. There are also certain activities that internet users don’t want to be traced back. A VPN allows individuals to access web and other applications while keeping their anonymity. VPNs are better than web proxy services or incognito mode on web browsers. This does not hide an individual’s identity.
A VPN is a great option for internet users, as it offers many benefits, such as the ability to avoid ISP throttleling. Many VPN service providers offer premium services at reasonable prices. Many offer a variety of mouthwatering features. A VPN service that is reliable and secure can improve network performance and security.
A VPN is the best way to prevent IP throttling. VPNs encrypt internet traffic, making it difficult for ISPs to see. VPN hides browsing activity so your ISP cannot reduce bandwidth. A good VPN is essential if you want to improve your internet speed and have lag-free connections.
Here are some of the best VPNs to stop ISP throttling: