What is Bandwidth Throttling?

If you have "unlimited" data plans for your home Internet, you are probably aware of the phenomenon of bandwidth throttling. Yes, there is a word for it, and it is deliberate and entirely legal. You may not be aware of this, but you may also be unaware that it may be circumvented.

What Exactly is Bandwidth Throttling?

Your ISP is purposely slowing down your web speeds, to put it another way. They can effortlessly do so because they have complete control over your connections. After all, they go through their network.

In addition, your ISP has access to the websites you visit. They can also examine your data packets to determine which web apps you use and how much bandwidth you consume while using them. If they don't like the quantity, they can throttle your bandwidth for those services individually if they don't like it.

Why is Your Internet Throttled?

The following are the most typical reasons for bandwidth throttling −

  • You've used up all of your data. There is a cap on many Internet service plans. Meaning if you've used up a particular amount of data, your Internet will dramatically slow down (Until the beginning of the following billing cycle or month).

  • You're browsing the web during "Internet rush hour." The amount of bandwidth available is limited. When a large number of individuals use the Internet at the same time, your ISP may be obliged to impose a data cap on some or all of its customers' accounts.

  • For your specific activity, your ISP has data cap or bandwidth limitations. Since net neutrality was removed, Internet service companies now have the power to throttle your connection when you use certain online services. If a content platform does not pay a fee to your ISP, your ISP may throttle your bandwidth when you use the service.

Signs of Bandwidth Being Throttled

  • If you suspect your ISP is limiting bandwidth because you've over a monthly limit, an Internet speed test performed numerous times over the month may reveal the truth. This could be the case if your bandwidth unexpectedly drops near the end of the month.

  • The Internet Health Evaluate or M-Lab, both free traffic-shaping tests, can be used to test ISP bandwidth restriction based on the type of traffic, such as torrent use or Netflix watching.

  • Other forms of bandwidth throttling are more challenging to detect. Ask your friendly office IT person if the company network has any throttling activated.

  • The provider's support material most likely addresses any bandwidth limitation on the far end, such as in an MMOG or a cloud backup service. Just ask them if you can't find anything.

How to Prevent Bandwidth Throttling?

Stopping bandwidth limiting can be accomplished in several ways −

  • Keep track of how much data you use each month. You may track your data usage and see if you can use less if you have a monthly data cap. If you're browsing or downloading a lot of massive video games, you're probably emptying your bandwidth too quickly.

  • It would help if you upgraded your data plan. You can also upgrade your data plan to one that better suits your needs (or get an unlimited data plan).

  • Switch to a new Internet service provider (ISP). If your ISP offers a highly pricey unlimited package, you can always transfer providers.

The most straightforward way to prevent data throttling is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN is a service that allows you to remain secure and anonymous while using the Internet. When you connect to the Internet, it functions as a go-between for your device and the website you're looking at.

The VPN encrypts your data, so anyone spying on your activities won't be able to see it (your Internet service provider included). Your ISP will not limit your bandwidth if they don't know what you're doing on the Internet. Aside from avoiding bandwidth restriction, there are many other advantages to using a VPN.