Is your favorite Netflix show buffering like a sloth? Or are you unable to play PUBG on mobile? In both cases, your service provider may be throttling your bandwidth.
Since the Net Neutrality laws have given ISPs leeway to meddle with their bandwidth allocation, ISP throttling is a more common issue and requires immediate attention if you want to enjoy good network speeds.
If you are experiencing that, then you might be a victim of bandwidth throttling. However, fret not, as you can use a VPN to easily bypass ISP throttling. A VPN is an excellent tool to prevent ISP throttling and keep your internet connection as fast and reliable as possible.
This post will tell you about the 3 best VPN providers to bypass ISP throttling, starting with ExpressVPN – our #1 recommendation to free you from the shackles of bandwidth limit restrictions and data caps.
ISP Throttling Explained
ISP throttling is when your Internet Service Provider deliberately limits your speed and internet bandwidth without informing you. Internet throttling results in speeds that are slower than what your ISP is offering you.
You may experience bandwidth throttling if you have reached your data cap for the month or haven’t paid for your super-fast broadband. And, more often than not, your ISP will slow your internet speeds regardless of your contract status.
Streaming video-on-demand services or gaming in high definition utilizes a lot of bandwidth. So, to prevent network congestion, the ISP throttles or slows your internet so all users on the network can get a stable internet connection, even if the experience is slower. This is called content-based internet throttling.
Why Do ISPs Throttle your Bandwidth?
ISPs throttle your internet only to regulate your internet traffic and clear network congestion. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can also throttle their network users when they reach their data limit within a set period. However, throttling does get a bit questionable when ISPs use it to influence their users’ internet habits and derive profit from them.
There are multiple reasons for ISP to throttle your bandwidth. The most common reasons to throttle your internet speed and limit your data transmission speeds include:
- Tackling network congestion: Heavy internet usage will slow down the internet speeds of other people in the same area. To neutralize this problem, ISP may throttle the connection of anyone using high amounts of bandwidth.
- Usage regulation: If your internet connection has a data cap and uses a certain amount of bandwidth, your connection can become deprioritized. As a result, your connection could be the first to get throttled in periods of congestion on the network, or your speeds might stay reduced until the next cycle starts. You may even lose your internet contract.
- Deprioritization of certain services: Internet service providers are permitted to limit access to streaming platforms as part of their efforts to manage everyone’s connections. They can throttle the websites you visit and more. But you shouldn’t be denied parts of the internet for arbitrary reasons totally unrelated to you.
How Do I Know if I’m Being Throttled?
There are various symptoms of internet throttling. These include:
However, you can confirm that your internet is being throttled by taking various tests. These are as follows:
Internet Health Test
If your internet speed seems slower than usual or you’re noticing other problems like trouble on websites, the Internet Health Test can help you figure out what’s going on. This tool was created by freedom advocates that measure variations in speeds through a series of individual tests. The tool will perform a speed test to help you check your connection speeds.
If you see a pattern of huge variations in the measured speed when the tool connects to different servers, then this indicates throttling. A speed drop of more than 25-30% is abnormal and is caused by deliberate bandwidth throttling on the part of your ISP.
Internet Speed Test
If you want to double-check that you are indeed being throttled, you can use fast.com. Since many ISPs specifically throttle speeds on streaming platforms like Netflix and YouTube, this tool can help you judge if you’re indeed a victim of throttling.
If this test registers a speed slower than your base internet connection, then this is another indication that your internet provider is throttling Netflix and probably other services as well.
Wehe’s an app for mobile users that can test if your Wi-Fi or data provider is throttling speeds on your phones.
Blocked Ports Test
Sometimes throttling can occur when you are gaming online using open ports. You can run Blocked Port Test to check if specific ports are blocked:
If all the tests performed through the aforementioned tools point towards the possibility of throttling, then there’s a good chance your ISP is involved in throttling your connection.
Luckily, you can bypass bandwidth limits with a VPN. Using a VPN, you don’t have to worry about going over your data usage limit. ISPs use various techniques to throttle internet speed, but using a VPN is an efficient way to bypass it.
3 Best VPNs to Bypass ISP Throttling
We have conducted an in-depth analysis of the best VPN providers that you can use to bypass internet throttling and achieve maximum internet speed:
1. ExpressVPN – Blazing-fast Speeds and Robust Security
ExpressVPN is the best VPN to bypass throttling and get super-fast speeds. The VPN’s Lightway protocol and military-grade AES 256-bit encryption combine and prevent your ISP from detecting your VPN traffic.
ExpressVPN encrypts your entire traffic and passes it through your chosen remote server. It then assigns you an IP for the server location that you chose before you reach the destination. This way, your content, and the new IP address is completely hidden from your ISP, preventing it from throttling your connection that’s one of the reason its is also the best VPN for IPTV.
ExpressVPN’s server network consists of 3000+ servers in 94 countries that enable internet users to obtain unlimited, uninterrupted, and unlimited access to various streaming, dating, shopping, and trading websites.
This VPN service offers consistently fast speeds for 4K Ultra-HD video streaming and lightning-fast torrent downloading and is one of the fastest VPNs in the VPN industry. Its throttling prevention capabilities make it one of the best VPN services for streaming.
When we conducted an ExpressVPN speed test to confirm how fast its speeds are, the VPN delivered a downloading speed of 87.78 Mbps and an uploading speed of 42.22 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.
It is also known for offering best-in-class security and online privacy to internet users due to its strict no-logs policy. No-logs policy makes ExpressVPN the best offshore VPN out there. Also its DNS leak protection, and TrustedServer technology that completely hides the fact that you are even using a VPN by disguising your VPN traffic.
You can subscribe to ExpressVPN for $6.67/mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE this Black Friday/Cyber Monday), and its premium subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To learn more about this provider, check out our ExpressVPN review.
- High-speed servers cater to throttling in any part of the world
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Secure VPN protocols to give maximum
- Bypass throttling
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Minimize ping and lag during streaming videos
- Offers five multi-logins only
2. Surfshark – Budget-friendly VPN with Optimized Servers
Surfshark is the most budget-friendly VPN to overcome bandwidth throttling. Internet users can bypass geo-restrictions and enjoy streaming online without throttling, thanks to its 3200+ servers in 100 countries.
We conducted a Surfshark speed test and discovered this VPN’s super-fast streaming and torrenting speeds. In our test, the ping was quite stable, and there was no lag at all. On our 100 Mbps connection, we received a downloading speed of 81.32 Mbps and an uploading speed of 76.12 Mbps.
The whole network is capable of constantly delivering a good connection speed to not only defeat ISP throttling but also allow you to stream your favorite streaming services in Ultra-HD video playback quality like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney Plus, and more.
Its privacy-enhancing features, such as WhiteLister, Internet Kill Switch, and MultiHop, make it easy for you to stop throttling. Its essential features include a no-logs policy, secure DNS, open-source code, and military-grade AES-256-bit encryption.
The service is available for just $2.05/mo (Get 84% + 2 Months FREE this Black Friday/Cyber Monday) with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can also avail of a Surfshark free trial to try this service risk-free.
To learn more about this provider, check out our Surfshark review.
- It supports all major devices
- 24/7 live chat support
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Solid zero-logs policy and robust AES encryption
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Bypass ISP throttling
- Top-notch privacy and security
- Customer support gets down sometimes
- No port forwarding
3. NordVPN – Top-notch Security with Obfuscation Technology
NordVPN is the most secure VPN for bypassing ISP throttling. Based in Panama, a highly secured place, and operating in the market since 2012. The users of NordVPN can access 5500+ servers in 59 countries.
This VPN is free from IP and DNS leaks, and PwC Switzerland has carefully audited its no-logs policy to ensure that all processes are secure and safe. NordVPN also offers you many important features for extra privacy, such as Onion Over VPN, DoubleVPN, and Kill Switch.
We tested the VPN by connecting it with US servers and streamed our favorite shows without any buffering issues or throttling. We are impressed with its ultra-fast speeds that guarantee the best performance while surfing the web.
In our NordVPN speed test, we achieved a downloading speed of 83.82 Mbps and an uploading speed of 44.64 Mbps.
Although this provider focuses more on online security and privacy, its users can easily bypass any form of online censorship with its server network. As a result, you can easily unblock popular streaming services such as Disney Plus, DAZN, YouTube TV, and Amazon Prime with NordVPN at 4K Ultra-HD quality.
This ISP throttling VPN is available for just $3.69/mo (Get 55% Off + 2 Months FREE this Black Friday/Cyber Monday) and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. To learn more about this provider, check out our NordVPN review.
- Kill Switch
- Available for all platforms
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Bypass bandwidth throttling
- Obfuscation technology allows you to stream for hours without getting throttled.
- No data caps
- Desktop app comes with a few glitches
How Do VPNs Help Bypass ISP Throttling?
A VPN helps you bypass ISP throttling by masking the content you’re accessing from your ISP. Your ISP cannot throttle your connection across all services, so if the ISP cannot view what you’re doing, it won’t throttle your activities.
A VPN is a private network that allows internet users to connect to the internet through a secure path from their device/PC to the end node or server. It is different from a conventional network as it adds a layer of encryption to your data packets as soon as they leave your system.
Rather than communicating directly with the website or server that you want to access via your ISP’s server, a VPN uses remote servers that work on your behalf to do all the communication for you.
As such, a VPN guards your secrecy by implementing AES-256-Bit encryption and keeping your real identity masked from the eyes of your ISP.
Since a VPN conceals your internet activities, your ISP can no longer monitor your internet traffic. Additionally, a VPN cloaks your original IP address and replaces it with the address of a VPN server, thus hiding your true location and identity.
You virtually become a ghost that your ISP can’t keep track of. So, even if they wanted to throttle your internet connections, they’d be basically shooting in the dark.
Bypass ISP Throttling on iPhone And Android
A VPN is the most effective option to bypass ISP throttling on your smartphone. It bypasses any restrictions that your internet service provider puts on your speeds and offers a stable internet connection.
Follow the steps below of a step-by-step guide:
- Select a premium VPN service for your smartphone (ExpressVPN is the best VPN to stop throttling).
- Install a VPN app on your iOS or Android smartphone.
- Connect to any server you prefer.
- Enjoy super-fast speeds on streaming, browsing, and torrenting.
FAQs – Bypass ISP Throttling
How to avoid ISP throttling while torrenting?
As explained above, a VPN is the easiest, fastest, and most effective way to bypass ISP throttling. A VPN conceals your online activities by encrypting your data from your ISP, so they’re unable to target you from torrenting, downloading, and streaming.
Out of all the VPNs, ExpressVPN is fully capable of concealing your online activities from your ISP so that you can avoid bandwidth throttling and download torrents with ease.
How can I bypass AT&T throttling?
Here’s how to prevent bandwidth throttling using AT&T:
- Register for a VPN provider (ExpressVPN is our #1 recommendation).
- Download and install the ExpressVPN application on your device.
- Open the app and choose a server location.
- Tap on the Connect button.
- Wait for the connection to be successful. Once it’s done, you’ll be prompted with a notification.
In the same way, you can bypass ISP throttling on Android and iOS.
How to bypass data throttling without a VPN?
You can use a web proxy to bypass data throttling without a VPN. However, a proxy lets you bypass throttling without routing your traffic through an encrypted server. This way, your online activities can still be viewed by your ISP. So, using a VPN is always the best way to bypass throttling.
Will a VPN stop ISP throttling?
Yes, a VPN will stop ISP throttling by masking your online activities from your ISP. This way, your internet service provider won’t know what you’re doing online and will be unable to throttle your internet.
Is ISP throttling illegal?
No, ISP throttling is not illegal. Throttling an internet connection is a sneaky task that shortchanges the customers. However, throttling is legal until ISPs sufficiently explain how it works to their customers. But, it’s illegal if the ISP doesn’t inform its customers about throttling.
Can you use a VPN to bypass throttling?
Yes, you can use a VPN to bypass throttling. A VPN is the easiest solution to mask your actual IP address so you can surf the web anonymously. This way, the ISP won’t be able to throttle your bandwidth.
We hope this answers your ‘Can you bypass ISP throttling’ query.
Does bandwidth throttling affect mobile data?
Yes, if the internet connection of your mobile is being throttled, it will lead to higher usage of mobile data. This is quite advantageous for ISPs since higher mobile data usage urges users to buy more data.
To summarize, if you’re experiencing throttling from your internet service provider, such as AT&T, you can only bypass ISP throttling and bandwidth limits with a VPN.
By redirecting your network traffic through VPN servers, you can stop your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from monitoring websites you visit and setting bandwidth limit restrictions.
For bypassing ISP throttling, ExpressVPN is our recommended option. This VPN obfuscates your internet traffic, so your ISP never knows that you’re using a VPN. It also offers fast speeds and thousands of servers, using which you can circumvent throttling without issues.
This ends our ‘how to bypass ISP throttling with a VPN’ guide. Get a VPN and defeat throttling now!