We all experience dips in our internet connectivity from time to time, but if you’ve noticed your internet connection is suddenly much slower, it may be your Internet Service Provider (ISP) throttling you.
Throttling is your ISP’s attempt at minimizing bandwidth congestion by imposing slower speeds on its users. If you’ve ever had the feeling that you aren’t getting the speeds you’re paying for, it’s probably because it’s true.
Nobody likes being forced into the slow lane and ISPs can use pretty underhand tactics to minimize network traffic and ultimately cut their costs. You pay a monthly fee for your broadband connection after all, and it isn’t fair if you aren’t able to surf the net at the speeds you signed up for.
In this article, we’ll explain why ISPs are known to throttle internet connections and how connecting your devices to a VPN is one of the easiest ways to avoid anyone slowing down your connection.
Why ISPs Throttle User Connections
Networks only have a limited amount of bandwidth and the busier they get, the slower things run. ISPs are known to throttle connections during peak times, usually between 7 PM and 9 PM, to ease their network’s congestion.
This is done so all of the ISP’s customers are still able to access the network when things get busy, albeit at much slower speeds.
If your broadband contract has a data cap, your ISP could be throttling your connection because you’re using too much data. You’d be surprised at how much data something as simple as streaming a TV show can use. Streaming on Netflix uses around 1GB of data every hour. That soon adds up if you’re planning to binge-watch a new series.
ISPs can also throttle your connection simply because they want to. In 2018, the net neutrality regulations, which deemed your ISP wasn’t able to control what you can and can’t access on the internet, were repealed.
This now means it’s legal for your ISP to throttle your connection for whatever reason they deem ‘necessary’. Worryingly, this could be for commercial reasons, such as your ISP having its own streaming service and wanting to discourage people from accessing services they class as the competition.
It can be incredibly frustrating when you’re paying for an internet connection that barely runs, even at the best of times. If you suspect your ISP isn’t giving you access to the speeds that you paid for, using a VPN to change your IP address is one of the easiest ways to stop them from throttling your connection.
How a VPN Can Stop Throttling
One of the best ways to avoid ISP throttling is by using a reliable VPN. Once you’ve connected your devices to a VPN, your ISP won’t be able to see what services and websites you’re accessing.
There’s no way they can restrict your speeds either. You’ll be connected to a remote server where all of the traffic flowing through it is 100% encrypted.
While using a VPN will essentially make it impossible for you to throttle your connection as you’ll be invisible to them, it’s going to be pointless if the VPN you choose is unreliable and has slow servers.
To help make sure you find the best VPN to avoid ISP throttling, we’ve provided a list of our top three VPNs below. If you’re using your internet for a specific reason such as gaming or streaming, you may want to choose a VPN that specializes in providing for those needs.
If you’re looking for a VPN that you can trust, look no further than ExpressVPN. With one of the strongest reputations on the market, it’s the first name that many people think of when it comes to quality VPNs.
You won’t struggle to connect to a dedicated server with decent speeds as there are over 3000 of them to choose from.
NordVPN offers impressive speeds, over 5800 dedicated servers and excellent performance for just $2.99 a month.
That’s hard to argue with, especially when it allows up to six simultaneous connections, making it the perfect VPN for busy households with lots of devices.
Connecting to a VPN for the first time can sound tricky. Thankfully it’s not, and SaferVPN makes it easier than most with a user-friendly interface and by being incredibly simple to use.
It’s a great choice for first-time users, who’ll be able to benefit from excellent speeds and military-grade security features to keep them safe while they’re browsing.