• June 9, 2024

Which Isp Throttle Bandwidth

Bandwidth throttling - Wikipedia

Bandwidth throttling – Wikipedia

Bandwidth throttling consists in the limitation of the communication speed (bytes or kilobytes per second) of the ingoing (received) data and/or in the limitation of the speed of outgoing (sent) data in a network node or in a network device.
The data speed may be limited depending on various parameters and conditions.
Limiting the speed of data sent by a data originator (a client computer or a server computer) is much more efficient than limiting the speed in an intermediate network device between client and server because while in the first case usually no network packets are lost, in the second case network packets can be lost / discarded whenever ingoing data speed overcomes the bandwidth limit or the capacity of device and data packets cannot be temporarily stored in a buffer queue (because it is full or it does not exist); the usage of such a buffer queue is to absorb the peaks of incoming data for very short time lapse.
In the second case discarded data packets can be resent by transmitter and received again.
When a low level network device discards incoming data packets usually can also notify that fact to data transmitter in order to slow down the transmission speed (see also network congestion). [1]
NOTE: Bandwidth throttling should not be confused with rate limiting which operates on client requests at application server level and/or at network management level (i. e. by inspecting protocol data packets). Rate limiting can also help in keeping peaks of data speed under control.
These bandwidth limitations can be implemented:
at application software level (a client program or a server program, i. ftp server, web server, etc. ) which can be run and configured to throttle data sent through network or even to throttle data received from network (by reading data at most at a throttled amount per second);
at network management level (typically done by an ISP).
The first one (client/server program) is usually perfectly legal because it is a choice of the client manager or the server manager (by server administrator) to limit or not to limit the speed of data received from remote program via network or the speed of data sent to target program (server or client).
The second one (ISP) instead is considered an offense under FCC regulations. While ISPs prey on the individuals inability to fight them, fines can range up to $25, 000 USD for throttling. In the United States, net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate, has been an issue of contention between network users and access providers since the 1990s. With net neutrality, ISPs may not intentionally block, slow down, or charge money for specific online content.
Defined as the intentional slowing or speeding of an internet service by an Internet service provider (ISP). It is a reactive measure employed in communication networks to regulate network traffic and minimize bandwidth congestion. Bandwidth throttling can occur at different locations on the network. On a local area network (LAN), a system administrator (“sysadmin”) may employ bandwidth throttling to help limit network congestion and server crashes. On a broader level, the Internet service provider may use bandwidth throttling to help reduce a user’s usage of bandwidth that is supplied to the local network. Bandwidth throttling is also used as a measurement of data rate on Internet speed test websites.
Throttling can be used to actively limit a user’s upload and download rates on programs such as video streaming, BitTorrent protocols and other file sharing applications, as well as even out the usage of the total bandwidth supplied across all users on the network. Bandwidth throttling is also often used in Internet applications, in order to spread a load over a wider network to reduce local network congestion, or over a number of servers to avoid overloading individual ones, and so reduce their risk of the system crashing, and gain additional revenue by giving users an incentive to use more expensive tiered pricing schemes, where bandwidth is not throttled.
A computer network typically consists of a number of servers, which host data and provide services to clients. The Internet is a good example, in which web servers are used to host websites, providing information to a potentially very large number of client computers. Clients will make requests to servers, which will respond by sending the required data, which may be a song file, a video, and so on, depending on what the client has requested. As there will typically be many clients per server, the data processing demand on a server will generally be considerably greater than on any individual client. And so servers are typically implemented using computers with high data capacity and processing power. The traffic on such a network will vary over time, and there will be periods when client requests will peak or sent responses will be huge, sometimes exceeding the capacity of parts of network and causing congestion, especially in parts of the network that form bottlenecks. This can cause data request failures, or in worst cases, server crashes.
In order to prevent such occurrences, a client / server / system administrator may enable (if available) bandwidth throttling:
at application software level, to control the speed of ingoing (received) data and/or to control the speed of outgoing (sent) data:
a client program could be configured to throttle the sending (upload) of a big file to a server program in order to reserve some network bandwidth for other uses (i. for sending emails with attached data, browsing web sites, etc. );
a server program (i. web server) could throttle its outgoing data to allow more concurrent active client connections without using too much network bandwidth (i. using only 90% of available bandwidth in order to keep a reserve for other activities, etc. );
examples: assuming to have a server site with speed access to Internet of 100MB/s (around 1000Mbit/s), assuming that most clients have a 1MB/s (around 10Mbit/s) network speed access to Internet and assuming to be able to download huge files (i. 1 GB each):
with bandwidth throttling, a server using a max. output speed of 100kB/s (around 1Mbit/s) for each TCP connection, could allow at least 1000 active TCP connections (or even 10000 if output is limited to 10kB/s) (active connections means that data content, such as a big file, is being downloaded from server to client);
without bandwidth throttling, a server could efficiently serve only 100 active TCP connections (100MB/s / 1MB/s) before saturating network bandwidth; a saturated network (i. with a bottleneck through an Internet Access Point) could slow down a lot the attempts to establish other new connections or even to force them to fail because of timeouts, etc. ; besides this new active connections could not get easily or fastly their proper share of bandwidth.
at network management level, to control the speed of data received or sent both at low level (data packets) and/or at high level (i. by inspecting application protocol data):
policies similar or even more sophisticated than those of application software level could be set in low level network devices near Internet access point.
A bandwidth intensive device, such as a server, might limit (throttle) the speed at which it receives or sends data, in order to avoid overloading its processing capacity or to saturate network bandwidth. This can be done both at the local network servers or at the ISP servers. ISPs often employ deep packet inspection (DPI), which is widely available in routers or provided by special DPI equipment. Additionally, today’s networking equipment allows ISPs to collect statistics on flow sizes at line speed, which can be used to mark large flows for traffic shaping. [2] Two ISPs, Cox and Comcast, have stated that they engage in this practice, where they limit users’ bandwidth by up to 99%. [3] Today most if not all Internet Service Providers throttle their users’ bandwidth, with or without the user ever even realizing it. [4] In the specific case of Comcast, an equipment vendor called Sandvine developed the network management technology that throttled P2P file transfers. [5]
Those that could have their bandwidth throttled are typically someone who is constantly downloading and uploading torrents, or someone who just watches a lot of online videos. If this is done by an ISP, many consider this practice as an unfair method of regulating the bandwidth because consumers are not getting the required bandwidth even after paying the prices set by the ISPs. By throttling the people who are using so much bandwidth, the ISPs claim to enable their regular users to have a better overall quality of service. [6]
Network neutrality[edit]
Net neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. It aims to guarantee a level playing field for all websites and Internet technologies. With net neutrality, the network’s only job is to move data—not to choose which data to privilege with higher quality, that is faster, service. In the US, on February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission adopted Open Internet rules. They are designed to protect free expression and innovation on the Internet and promote investment in the nation’s broadband networks. The Open Internet rules are grounded in the strongest possible legal foundation by relying on multiple sources of authority, including: Title II of the Communications Act and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The new rules apply to both fixed and mobile broadband services. [7] However, these rules were rolled back on December 14, 2017.
Bright line rules:
No blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
No throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
No paid prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration or payment of any kind—in other words, no “fast lanes. ” This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their own affiliated businesses. [8]
Throttling vs. capping[edit]
Bandwidth throttling works by limiting (throttling) the speed at which a bandwidth intensive device (a server) receives data or the speed (i. bytes / kilobytes per second) of each data response. If these limits are not in place, the device can overload its processing capacity.
Contrary to throttling, in order to use bandwidth when available, but prevent excess, each node in a proactive system should set an outgoing bandwidth cap that appropriately limits the total number of bytes sent per unit time. [9] There are two types of bandwidth capping. A standard cap limits the bitrate or speed of data transfer on a broadband Internet connection. Standard capping is used to prevent individuals from consuming the entire transmission capacity of the medium. A lowered cap reduces an individual user’s bandwidth cap as a defensive measure and/or as a punishment for heavy use of the medium’s bandwidth. Oftentimes this happens without notifying the user.
The difference is that bandwidth throttling regulates a bandwidth intensive device (such as a server) by limiting how much data that device can receive from each node / client or can output or can send for each response. Bandwidth capping on the other hand limits the total transfer capacity, upstream or downstream, of data over a medium.
Court cases[edit]
Comcast Corp. v. FCC[edit]
In 2007, Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the Federal Communications Commission filed a complaint against Comcast’s Internet service. Several subscribers claimed that the company was interfering with their use of peer-to-peer networking applications. The Commission stated that it had jurisdiction over Comcast’s network management practices and that it could resolve the dispute through negotiation rather than through rulemaking. The Commission believed that Comcast had “significantly impeded consumers’ ability to access the content and use the applications of their choice”, and that because Comcast “ha[d] several available options it could use to manage network traffic without discriminating” against peer-to-peer communications, its method of bandwidth management “contravene[d]… federal policy”. At this time, “Comcast had already agreed to adopt a new system for managing bandwidth demand, the Commission simply ordered it to make a set of disclosures describing the details of its new approach and the company’s progress toward implementing it”. Comcast complied with this Order but petitioned for a review and presented several objections. [10]
ISP bandwidth throttling[edit]
In 2008, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decided to allow Bell Canada to single out peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic for bandwidth throttling between the hours of 4:30 p. m. to 2 a. [11] In 2009, the CRTC released a guideline for bandwidth throttling rules. [12]
In 2011, following a major complaint by the Canadian Gamers Organization against Rogers for breaking the 2009 rules already in place, the CRTC created an addendum[13] to their ITMP policy, allowing them to send the complaint to their Enforcements Division. The Canadian Gamers Organization in their submissions alluded to filing a complaint against Bell Canada. On December 20, 2011, Bell Canada announced they would end throttling by March 31, 2012 for their customers, as well as their wholesale customers. [14] On February 4, 2012, in an effort to get out of trouble with the CRTC (which had continued its own testing and had found additional non-compliance and demanded immediate compliance), Rogers announced 50% of their customers would be throttle-free by June 2012, and 100% of their customers would be throttle-free by the end of 2012. [15] Unfortunately for Rogers, this did not mollify the CRTC Enforcements Division.
ISPs in Canada that throttle bandwidth:
Acanac: No
Altima telecom: No
Bell Canada: No[16]
Cogeco Cable: No
DeryTelecom: Yes (Netflix)
Distributel: Yes
Bell MTS: No (Only with unlimited data mobile devices)
Rogers Cable: Yes (Netflix) (Android)
SaskTel: Yes
Primus Telecom: No
Shaw: Yes (25% of the traffic)
Xplornet: Yes, and also prioritizes VoIP
TELUS: Yes(2% of the traffic)
EastLink: Yes – The public statement was “Confidential”.
Sunwire Cable: No[17]
Sunwire DSL: No[18]
Teksavvy Cable: No
Teksavvy DSL: No
Teksavvy DSL MLPPP: No
Talk Wireless Inc. : Yes
Internet Lightspeed Cable: No
Internet Lightspeed DSL: No
Internet Lightspeed Bonded (MLPPP): No
In Cuba, internet speeds are deliberately throttled by the government to prevent the spread of information considered undesirable by the state. [19]
In April 2011, the European Union launched an investigation into Internet service providers’ methods for managing traffic on their networks. Some ISPs, for instance, restrict access to services such as Skype or the BBC iPlayer at peak times so that their users all receive an equal service. The EU’s commissioner for the digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, said: “I am absolutely determined that everyone in the EU should have the chance to enjoy the benefits of an open and lawful Internet, without hidden restrictions or slower speeds than they have been promised. ” The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (Berec) will examine the issues for the EU, and will ask both businesses and consumers for their views. The EU published the results of its investigation at the end of 2011. [20] New laws mean that ISPs are prohibited from blocking or slowing down of Internet traffic, except where necessary. [21]
In Singapore, net neutrality has been the law since 2011. November 2010, defined by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). [22] But despite the law, the majority of the ISPs do throttle bandwidth.
ISPs in Singapore that throttle bandwidth:[23]
ISP Name
Limits bandwidth
M1 Limited
United States[edit]
Parts of this article (those related to FCC net neutrality rules) need to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (September 2015)
In 2007, Comcast was caught interfering with peer-to-peer traffic. Specifically, it falsified packets of data that fooled users and their peer-to-peer programs into thinking they were transferring files. [26] Comcast initially denied that it interfered with its subscribers’ uploads, but later admitted it. [27] The FCC held a hearing and concluded that Comcast violated the principles of the Internet Policy Statement because Comcast’s “discriminatory and arbitrary practice unduly squelched the dynamic benefits of an open and accessible Internet and did not constitute reasonable network management. “[28] The FCC also provided clear guidelines to any ISP wishing to engage in reasonable network management. The FCC suggested ways that Comcast could have achieved its goal of stopping network congestion, including capping the average user’s capacity and charging the most aggressive users overage (going over a maximum) fees, throttling back the connections of all high capacity users, or negotiating directly with the application providers and developing new technologies. [29]
However, in 2008, Comcast amended their Acceptable Usage Policy and placed a specific 250 GB monthly cap. Comcast has also announced a new bandwidth-throttling plan. The scheme includes a two-class system of “priority-best-effort” and “best-effort” where “sustained use of 70% of your up or downstream throughput triggers the BE state, at which point you’ll find your traffic priority lowered until your usage drops to 50% of your provisioned upstream or downstream bandwidth for “a period of approximately 15 minutes”. A throttled Comcast user being placed in a BE state “may or may not result in the user’s traffic being delayed or, in extreme cases, dropped before PBE traffic is dropped”. Comcast explained to the FCC that “If there is no congestion, packets from a user in a BE state should have little trouble getting on the bus when they arrive at the bus stop. If, on the other hand, there is congestion in a particular instance, the bus may become filled by packets in a PBE state before any BE packets can get on. In that situation, the BE packets would have to wait for the next bus that is not filled by PBE packets”. [30]
US cell phone ISP’s have also increasingly resorted to bandwidth throttling in their networks. Verizon and AT&T even applied such throttling to data plans advertised as “unlimited”, resulting an FCC complaint against Verizon. [citation needed] Though AT&T had told its customers throttling was a possibility, the FTC filed a lawsuit against the company in 2014, charging that the disclosure was insufficiently specific. [31] A nation-wide study of video streaming speeds in 2018-2019 found major wireless carriers throttling a majority of the time, including when traffic was light, and with significant discrepancies between video services. [32]
Antel has a state-enforced monopoly forcing consumers who require non-wireless Internet access (i. ADSL or fiber – cable Internet is outlawed[33]) to purchase it directly from Antel. Its practices provide insight into the probable behavior of ISPs in markets that have little or no competition and/or lack balancing regulations in the interest of consumers. All of Antel’s Internet access plans for consumers are either capped or throttled. Capped plans are typically marketed under the brand “flexible”. On such plans once a user reaches a data tier (e. g. 5 GB) additional data usage is billed at a rate of approximately 5 $US/GB. Once a second tier is reached (e. g., 15 GB), Internet services are suspended until the start of the next billing cycle. Throttled plans are typically marketed under the brand “Flat Rate” (for ADSL) and “Vera” (for fiber. ) Such plans allow full bandwidth on the connection (e. 20 Mbit/s down on the Vera fiber plan) from the beginning of the billing month but are restricted to a percentage of the contracted transmission rate (e. g., to 2Mbit/s down, or 10% of the advertised speed) once a data tier (e. 150 GB) is reached. Full bandwidth capability is restored at the beginning of the next billing month. [34][35]
Metrics for ISPs[edit]
Whether aimed at avoiding network congestion or at pushing users to upgrade to costlier Internet plans, the increasingly common capping and throttling practices of ISPs undoubtedly have an effect on the value proposition of the plans they offer. For consumers to be able to make an informed decision when choosing an Internet plan, ISPs should publish their capping and throttling practices with the necessary level of detail. While the net effect of some throttling and capping strategies can be hard to compare across ISPs, some basic metrics that are of interest for any kind of throttled/capped Internet connection are:
Maximum monthly payload: This is the amount of data that an Internet connection would be able to carry in a hypothetical setting assuming no bottlenecks external to the ISP. In the example Antel 20Mbs fiber connection (see Uruguay above), the maximum monthly payload in that hypothetical setting would be reached by running the connection at 20Mbs for the first 150 GB, and at 2Mbs for the rest of the month. Thus the maximum monthly payload of that connection is 60, 000 seconds * 2. 5 MB/s + 2, 532, 000 seconds * 0. 25 MB/s = 783 GB (about the size of a large laptop disk drive in 2013. )
Maximum utilization percentage: This is the ratio of the maximum monthly payload of a throttled Internet connection to the maximum unthrottled monthly payload of the same connection. In the example Antel fiber 20Mbs connection the maximum unthrottled monthly payload of that connection is 2, 592, 000 seconds * 2. 5 MB/s = 6, 480 GB. Thus the maximum utilization percentage of that connection is 783 GB / 6, 480 GB = 12%
Throttling percentage: This represents how much the maximum monthly payload of an Internet connection gets reduced by the ISP’s throttling policy. It is calculated simply as 1 − maximum utilization percentage. In the example Antel fiber 20Mbs connection it is 1 − 12% = 88%
Equivalent connection bandwidth: This is the bandwidth of an unthrottled Internet connection whose maximum monthly payload is the same as the maximum monthly payload of the throttled connection in question. This can be calculated as unthrottled connection bandwidth * throttling percentage. In the example Antel fiber 20Mbs connection the equivalent connection bandwidth is 20 Mbs * 12% = 2. 4 Mbs
Cost per unit payload: The ultimate metric of throttling’s effect on an Internet connection’s potential value to a customer is the cost per GB (or TB in the case of fast connections) carried assuming perfect utilization of the connection. It is calculated by dividing the monthly cost of the connection by the maximum monthly payload. In the example Antel fiber 20 Mbs connection it would be US$36 / 0. 783 TB = US$46 per TB. By comparison, if the same 20Mbs connection weren’t throttled by the ISP it would have a cost per unit payload of US$36 / 6. 48 TB = US$5. 6 per TB
Unthrottled connection cost: This is how much it would cost the customer to offset the effect of throttling by aggregating throttled Internet connections from the ISP. It is calculated by dividing the monthly cost of a throttled connection by the throttling percentage. In the example Antel fiber connection the cost of building an unthrottled 20Mbit/s fiber Internet connection by aggregating 20Mbit/s throttled ones would be US$36 / 12% = US$300 per month
User responses[edit]
Although ISPs may actively throttle bandwidth, there are several known methods to bypass the throttling of a user’s bandwidth, if the throttling is focused on a particular protocol. These methods, nicknamed “workarounds”, include:[36]
Virtual private network (VPN) – Generally costs a monthly fee to rent, but offers users a secure connection where data cannot be intercepted.
Force Encryption[37] – Free method that works for some users.
Seedbox – A dedicated private server, usually hosted offshore, that offers high speed upstream and downstream rates and often storage for a relatively high monthly cost.
SSH Tunneling – Tunneling protocol
See also[edit]
Bandwidth management
Rate limiting
^ Deep Medhi; Karthik Ramasamy. “Dropping packet – an overview”. ScienceDirect. Archived from the original on May 7, 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
^ Massimiliano Marcon; et al. “The Local and Global Effects of Traffic Shaping in the Internet” (PDF). MPI. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
^ Max Planck Institute (March 18, 2008). “Glasnost: Results from tests for BitTorrent traffic blocking”. Archived from the original on April 4, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
^ netequalizer (March 21, 2009). “Is Your ISP Throttling Your Bandwidth? “. Archived from the original on April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
^ Kevin Werbach (2009). “Higher Standards Regulation in the Network Age”. Harvard Journal of Law & Technology. Harvard University. 23 (1): 217. SSRN 1557265.
^ “What is Internet Throttling? Everything You Need To Know”. July 27, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
^ “Open Internet”.. Archived from the original on 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
^ Emil Sit; Andreas Haeberlen; Frank Dabek; Byung-Gon Chun; Hakim Weatherspoon; Robert Morris; M. Frans Kaashoek; John Kubiatowicz. Proactive replication for data durability. p. 6. CiteSeerX 10. 1. 71. 7264.
^ Comcast vs. FCC & U. S., 08-1291 Chief Judge David S. Tatel (United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia April 6, 2010).
^ Anderson, Nate (20 November 2008). “Canadian regulators allow P2P throttling”. Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 25 March 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
^ “Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-657”. CRTC. 2009. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
^ “Internet traffic management practices – Guidelines for responding to complaints and enforcing framework compliance by Internet service providers”. 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
^ “Bell to stop internet throttling”. CBC News. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
^ “Rogers promises to end internet throttling”. 2012. Archived from the original on April 27, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
^ “Bell Canada ends internet throttling in favor of usage-based billing”.. The Verge. 23 December 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2019. ISP Bell Canada has announced that it will stop throttling peer-to-peer file-sharing next year
^ “Sunwire Support FAQ”.
^ Matt Warman (April 20, 2011). “EU launches net neutrality investigation”. The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on April 26, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
^ “NET NEUTRALITY” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-21. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
^ “Bad ISPs”. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
^ “Does SingNet perform any network management activities? “. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
^ “Does MyRepublic throttle BitTorrent / P2P traffic? “. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
^ Peter Svensson (2007-10-19). “Comcast blocks some Internet traffic”. Associated Press. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
^ Declan McCullagh (August 1, 2008). “FCC formally rules Comcast’s throttling of BitTorrent was illegal”. CNET News. Archived from the original on November 10, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
^ FCC (2008-08-01). Comcast Memorandum Opinion and Order (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-01.
^ Michael P. Murtagh (2008). “The FCC, the DMCA, and Why Takedown Notices Are Not Enough” (PDF). Hastings Law Journal. University of California. 61 (233): 242–243. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
^ Karl Bode (January 5, 2009). “New Comcast Throttling System 100% Online”. Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
^ Edward Wyatt (October 28, 2014). “AT&T Accused of Deceiving Smartphone Customers With Unlimited Data Plans”. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
^ Wireless carrier throttling of online video is pervasive
^ Only Cuba and Uruguay don’t offer Internet access via cable modem (In Spanish) Archived 2013-05-14 at the Wayback Machine
^ Telecommunications in Uruguay
^ Planes de Internet – Antel
^ Remisser. “Workarounds For Bandwidth Throttling”. Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
^ “Optimize BitTorrent to outwit traffic shaping ISPs”. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
How to Tell if Your Internet Is Being Throttled - BroadbandNow ...

How to Tell if Your Internet Is Being Throttled – BroadbandNow …

The bottom line: throttling is frequent on mobile and wireless services, but not very common with cable, DSL, or fiber. The only way to reliably test if you’re being throttled is with a VPN service. If you want to know if your internet is being throttled, you can follow these simple steps:
1. Run an internet speed test
2. Download and activate a reputable VPN
3. Run another speed test to see if you get a different result
If your network is being throttled, your speed will dramatically improve once you activate a reliable VPN. If you notice no change, there is likely another reason behind your slow internet speeds.
Believe it or not, internet bandwidth is never truly unlimited. The signal being sent to your devices is coming from a single cell tower that is shared with many other individuals simultaneously.
For this reason, internet service providers (ISPs) may sometimes “throttle, ” or limit, your usage to certain speeds without expressly telling you when they are doing it in order to free up bandwidth for others connected to the same tower.
Typically, ISPs only throttle what they consider to be a “heavy” internet user — as per their own definition — during “times of high traffic. ”
A typical internet user will likely never experience network throttling. If your internet is slow, there may be another reason behind it.
It’s frustrating to run a speed test and see that you’re getting less speed than you’re paying for. The question is: are you being throttled? Or is it some other issue?
What Is Throttling Data?
Throttling is the process of an ISP purposely slowing down an internet user’s data transmission. Sometimes you’ll see lower speeds that are difficult to explain and aren’t attributed to equipment issues. You won’t always receive a clear notification that your connection is throttled despite rules that pressure telecom companies to inform you, so the uncertainty regarding your slower connection can be incredibly frustrating.
Currently, you’ll usually see a throttling of your entire connection, but with the repeal of Net Neutrality, some people worry that ISPs may start throttling specific types of content. This is not yet a common issue.
Why Do ISPs Throttle Data?
There are multiple reasons why an ISP might throttle data:
1. You have met your data limit. Many people have data limits on their internet connections. When they exceed the allotted amount of data, their speeds will often be drastically reduced. Instead of cutting off access to internet service completely, ISPs instead prioritize customers that are within the terms of their plan. The slower speeds can be incredibly annoying, but it’s definitely preferable to losing the ability to surf the web completely.
2. You are connected during a “high traffic” time. While bandwidth isn’t usually an issue for major internet providers, the fact remains that it is a finite resource. With extremely heavy data use that exceeds allowances, ISPs may need to throttle some connections in order to provide high speeds to the rest of their customers.
3. Your ISP is choosing to throttle your specific activity. With the repeal of Net Neutrality, the ability of an ISP to throttle may be expanded, adding the ability to throttle specific types of content or to charge higher fees to major data users such as streaming services like Netflix. If costs are increased dramatically for these content providers, the costs of paying off ISPs may be passed down to you.
How To Check If Your ISP Is Throttling Bandwidth
Note that throttling results in extremely low download speeds, while more common issues like Netflix congestion only cause a 10–40% speed reduction.
The most obvious way to tell if your internet is being throttled would be to run a free speed test available online. Unfortunately, most internet providers can detect speed tests and artificially inflate your speeds to make it appear that they’re not throttling you.
So, a speed test isn’t a foolproof way to identify internet throttling.
The only reliable method of checking whether your connection is throttled is through a Virtual Private Network, also known as a VPN.
ISPs may sometimes throttle only specific types of content, and a VPN can make this practice next to impossible by masking your IP address and activities from your ISP.
With your ISP forced to treat all of your content equally due to the inability to discern what sort of websites you’re viewing, you should then be able to measure your true speeds using an online speed test.
So, to reiterate, you can tell if your internet is being throttled by following these steps:
If your speeds are significantly lower than normal and you can’t explain the problem after following the steps in the troubleshooting section below, the odds are that your connection is being throttled.
How To Fix Data Throttling
Thankfully, there are a couple of practical steps you can take to fix internet throttling:
1. Monitor your monthly data usage. If you’ve exceeded your data limit on a capped plan, you can usually avoid the issue by better monitoring your usage moving forward or switching to a plan with higher data allowances. If your data is supposed to be “unlimited, ” however, there may not be an easy fix.
2. Sign up for a reputable VPN. A good VPN may be able to provide you a solution to internet throttling. If a VPN cannot solve the issue, you may need to resort to one of the next two steps. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that many large online services such as Netflix and Hulu are getting better at detecting VPNs and may restrict you from using their services if they cannot determine your location.
3. Switch to a new internet service provider. Some ISPs are more notorious when it comes to slowing down its users, and almost every ISP has a different data cap in its terms. If you are constantly being throttled, you may want to sign up with another internet service provider that has a significantly higher data cap.
4. Express your concerns to government representatives. If these solutions don’t work for you, the only real recourse that remains is to try to convince representatives and Federal Communications Commission officials to fight for a more open internet. By submitting an FCC comment voicing your concerns or contacting your congressperson, you can add your voice to the many fighting against predatory throttling and content prioritization.
Why Is My Internet Slow?
Throttling is one of many potential bottlenecks that can slow down a consumer Internet connection.
If you’ve gone through the appropriate tests and determined that your internet isn’t being throttled, or you simply aren’t convinced one way or the other, there are other tests you can perform to find the true cause.
Here are a few reasons why your internet could be slow:
Your modem and router are old or outdated. Most of the time, the issue is something to do with your modem and router — they might need a restart, or be too old to function properly.
You’re connected during “high traffic” hours. The second most common issue is “peak use” slowdowns from other customers. It’s normal for cable Internet to slow down around 30% from 5–9 PM when everyone in the neighborhood starts their nightly Netflix binge.
WiFi connections are slower than Ethernet. Finally, keep in mind that it’s normal for Internet connections to slow down when you’re on WiFi vs. plugged in with Ethernet. Connect your computer to the router with Ethernet and run a speed test to see if the speed is still reduced.
Go through the checklist below to check if there’s another issue before assuming you’re being throttled:
Check for Throttling Checklist
Reset your router. Occasionally, the equipment just needs a reboot to get your connection back up to speed.
Connect via Ethernet cable to see if it’s a problem with your WiFi
Connect via another device to see if the problem is isolated to one computer.
Check for viruses with a reputable antivirus and malware scanner
Call your service provider to see if they can detect a technical issue.
To continue trying to diagnose your connection issues in greater detail, you can check out our more comprehensive WiFi troubleshooting guide.
If you’ve run through the checklist above and you’re still experiencing connection issues, it’s possible that your connection is being throttled.
Is Internet Throttling Legal?
Is throttling legal? As of 2018, there aren’t many legal protections against throttling, although consumer outrage when ISPs do throttle specific services generally keeps the practice in check.
In most cases, the throttling of an internet connection is legal. One common reason that data is throttled is due to excess use on a plan with a data cap. In almost all cases, ISPs are obligated to inform consumers when they throttle connections.
Back in 2015, US courts ruled that companies could not prioritize different streams of data with “internet fast lanes, ” or penalize customers for not upgrading to a faster plan.
With the repeal of Net Neutrality, these provisions have basically been gutted, making regulations around selective throttling nearly non-existent.
Despite the repeal of these protections, ISPs generally still have to inform customers when they throttle data. Outside of the obligation to provide notification, however, these companies now have much fewer limits when it comes to prioritizing content and charging customers for priority connections.
Many ISPs have made a pledge to treat the greater freedom responsibly, in spite of past issues with blocking select services.
How to Stop ISP Throttling with VPN in 2021 | CyberNews

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!
Visit NordVPN
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!
Visit ExpressVPN
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!
Visit Surfshark
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

Frequently Asked Questions about which isp throttle bandwidth

Do all ISPs throttle bandwidth?

Typically, ISPs only throttle what they consider to be a “heavy” internet user — as per their own definition — during “times of high traffic.” A typical internet user will likely never experience network throttling. If your internet is slow, there may be another reason behind it.Aug 10, 2021

Will ISP stop 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.Oct 1, 2021

How do I stop ISP throttling?

How to stop ISP throttlingMonitor your monthly data usage. Your ISP is not always at fault for internet speed throttling. … Switch to a new internet provider. If you’re frustrated with your ISP, switch to another if you can. … Use a VPN.Aug 2, 2021

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