Do you ever experience your internet speed slowing down? I am sure you do. And you would probably think it must have something to do with the internet connection. But do you know the real reason behind it? If you are a heavy internet user, then sometimes your internet speed is reduced by your internet service provider. If you use broadband or wireless internet connection, then your ISP sometimes intentionally limits the speed of your internet connection to provide it to other users. If your ISP is shared by your neighboring people, and you are experiencing lagging while surfing the internet, there is a chance that you are probably the only one encountering that. This process is called Internet throttling or Bandwidth throttling. There may be many reasons for you becoming a victim of ISP internet restriction.
Maybe you reached your internet limit. Service providers normally decrease the limit of your internet connection so that others may use their quota of the internet sufficiently. If you are someone who scrolls on the internet at maximum, then iSP does this to reduce the load on internet traffic and provide to all its users potentially.
However, internet throttling can be considered both legal and illegal based on the situation. Mainly there are two types of internet throttling based on customer’s asked conditions. There is a case where internet throttling may be done by a server program like a web server or client program in which the choice of limiting the speed lies in the hands of the client manager. This one is considered completely legal. While it is illegal if the internet throttling is done by network management or simply say ISP. it is noted as an offence in certain countries on the basis that ISP should not discriminate and treat all the same under net neutrality.
Is there a way to find out if my internet is being throttled?
Now how would you know if your internet is being throttled or is it just simply buffering? This usually occurs during peak hours when most people are surfing the internet. It is stated by the net neutrality principle that all internet service providers must share all communications over the internet equally. And if you are being internet throttled, you are free to file a complaint and even receive compensation.
But it is not just about compensation, if the timing of you being internet throttled is wrong, it might cause you severe troubles. Like if you are doing some important work, sending mails or filing documents. If your internet speed slows during crucial internet activities, you might suffer loss. So you must know and check from time to time if your internet is being throttled when you are suffering from buffer or loading time.
There are many ways you can find that if you observe a few of the listed symptoms-
- If your internet speed is running slower than usual.
- Check if your wifi connection is broken.
- If you are downloading something, and it is taking more time than usual.
- The videos you are watching are constantly buffering or getting stuck.
- Some websites that you are visiting seem to be blocked or non-functional.
- The loading time for a page of certain websites is slow.
If all the above symptoms are occurring often while you are surfing the internet, then you might be the victim of internet throttling. And if you have high doubts about this, then you can have an internet throttling test to clear your suspicions.
You can use an internet health test and run your device through it. This test checks the performance of your internet over a short period of time by going through various access points and detecting any unusual slowdowns in your speed of the connection.
You can turn on a VPN to check if there is any change in your internet speed. If your internet speed is faster while your VPN is on, there is a chance of internet throttling.
Why is internet throttling done?
Even though sometimes, internet throttling is considered illegal, ISPs provide genuine reasons to do so. Their main reason is to clear up congestion on the internet by regulating traffic on a network. According to internet service providers, there are quite a few valid reasons they give for limiting their internet speed to certain individuals-
Some service providers provide internet on fixed data capacities. They provide a limited amount of high-speed internet to a customer every month. You cannot access internet data at high speed once you have crossed the limit. You can check your data plan if you are experiencing low-speed internet.
Paid Prioritization is one of the marketing tactics used in a competitive market by the ISPs. Sometimes ISPs are paid to do throttle specific websites or applications by their competitors to discourage you from using them and divert your direction to the ones who paid for throttling. Or some IsPs to this to cost websites more money for speeding up their load time. In a few countries, internet throttling is considered completely a fair activity.
When there are a lot of people using the internet at the same time from the same internet service provider, it might create congestion in the network and cause a heavy burden on the service provider’s system. To avoid this, ISPs lower the speed of the internet so that everyone can have access to it. But it comes with setbacks so some may get full-speed internet while others may be experiencing slow internet connection. They can specifically target those users who are taking too much bandwidth like large files or torrents.
Bypass throttling with a trusted VPN
No matter how you see it and how some of the reasons for being throttled sound valid, it is unfair to you for getting throttled when you have paid for the high internet service speed. As we informed earlier that throttling is done either during peak hours or when you are consuming a high amount of bandwidth. So it is not justifiable for you to bear the consequences of internet throttling just because you are using more bandwidth which apparently you paid for.
Therefore, if you confirm that you are being internet throttled, then using VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the shortest and easiest way to stop your internet throttling. ISPs have a way to access your activities on the internet. That is how they find out if you are using more data consumption than others and restrict your data speed limits. Therefore if your VPN is on, the ISP won’t be able to track and detect if you are streaming or using torrents. And that way you will be able to save yourself from ISP on your tail.
VPN helps you to privatize your internet surfing activities from outsiders like advertisers, hackers, and even ISPs. You can download the VPN service and install it on your device. After that run the application, and you will experience a fast and encrypted internet connection without the fear of internet throttling. You can consider many VPNs to use from the given options like NordVPN, Avast SecureLine VPN, IPVanish, or Surfshark VPN which are fast, secure, and consistent with smart DNS technology.
Other ways to bypass throttling
Even though using a VPN works out most of the time, if you are using bandwidth with high consumption during peak hours then sometimes maybe even VPN won’t work to stop your internet speed from slowing down. In this case, you can opt for other ways to stop internet throttling.
Some blocked websites filter by changing their DNS servers to redirect to the other website. And you can get around the filtering if you set a custom DNS server on your device. Through your DNS server, you can bypass the default DNS servers that are controlled by the ISPs.
If you are not accessing unencrypted data, then you can use TOR because it allows you to browse anonymously. It can help to open blocked websites and helps to browse over an encrypted network without revealing your location.
You can also use system-wide proxies. Web-based proxies help you to access blocked websites. Though proxies do not always work with every program but they can be the quickest escape from being throttled.
Throttling mostly occurs due to heavy traffic on the internet. So you can go for an SSH tunnel that securely redirects your traffic over the internet. It encrypts your browsing activity and hides your traffic from the public wifi networks.