While streaming your best show, Internet lags are the worst turn-off. It even gets worse if you are gaming online with a friend and your internet connection keeps waving up and down. When most of your top activities keep getting influenced by this internet’s low speeds, it is a call for action as you have to identify the problem and have a viable solution.
One of the most common problems you should investigate is ISP throttling. This has been a treacherous scheme by internet service providers even though it is a legal practice in most countries. So how do you stop ISP throttling?
With the increasing demand for fast and stable internet to cater to streaming needs, internet service providers (ISPs) may slow your internet intentionally to minimize the bandwidth congestion or regulate the data traffic, causing a surge. This precautionary measure taken by internet service providers is known as bandwidth throttling.
There is no exception for those using a wireless internet connection, mobile data, or if you are torrenting. An ISP will throttle your connection to meet their demands. Throttling causes your internet connectivity to lag, and thus you cannot stream or go on with your activities as you wish.
Because you are not getting the internet speed or quality you deserve when there’s ISP throttling, it is a great option to find ways to minimize or work around the slow internet speeds that lag down performance. A VPN comes in great use when stopping ISP throttling. How does this work?
How to stop ISP throttling with a VPN
A VPN is the best option to stop ISP throttling as it restricts information the ISP can access on your internet activity and thus have no influence on your data traffic.
What is Bandwidth Throttling?
As an internet receiver and user, you have probably asked yourself, what is throttling? Internet throttling, or as some may call it, bandwidth throttling, is your internet service provider’s deliberate yet strategic act to slow down your internet to detectable levels.
Now that you are tipped with what bandwidth throttling is, you might ask why throttling the internet is necessary.
Why do ISPs throttle the internet?
They mostly use bandwidth throttling is when your contract is limited as a way to remind you to clear your dues. However, when there is high demand for connectivity than usual, they strategically use bandwidth throttling to spread out the internet in lesser denominations but to all consumers.
Other than when many users are hooked to internet draining activities on their devices, there are more competitive reasons that may cause ISP throttling. Such are like what is commonly referred to as paid prioritization. Here, Netflix may strike a deal with ISPs to throttle streaming content of competitors and have theirs on a fast lane, thus avoiding Netflix throttling.
In other cases, internet service providers have a maximum amount of internet they can allow a user in a month. These data caps may also be the cause of your data lagging.
In such cases, it is advisable to know the maximum ISP in your case and the ISP speed limits. So, am I being throttled? Here is how to tell.
How to Tell If Your Internet is Being Throttled
Knowing the existence of ISP throttling, you may ask, “Why is my internet being throttled?” There is a straightforward approach to knowing if a wide margin has breached your bandwidth limit. This is through a bandwidth throttling test.
The internet throttling test can be done in a few steps;
- Conduct an internet speed test on hours you think you are a victim of ISP throttling. This may be during peak hours or when you use a high bandwidth like downloading, playing games online, or streaming.
- Establish a connection with your preferred VPN.
- Now conduct the same speed test as earlier. Again, if there is a high margin between the two tests, you are a victim of ISP throttling.
As an alternative, the Internet Health Test app is essential as it tests your connectivity strength across peak access points to point out lags. This may be broadcasted by an app that uses different service providers. If the results vary exceedingly, then you can easily spot bandwidth throttling.
3 Best VPNs to Bypass Bandwidth Throttling
In a market full of VPNs, we have narrowed down the best three VPNs that will tackle throttling, and they are:
ExpressVPN – Best VPN to bypass ISP bandwidth throttling
ExpressVPN is your solution to stop ISP throttling. With this VPN, you get the fastest speeds per subscription. You also have access to over 160 server locations dispersed across over 90 countries.
That way, your internet service provider does not see your internet activity. As a result, they cannot throttle your internet when you are undertaking high-demand internet activities.
It is also one of the best streaming VPN in the industry owing to its fast server speeds and unblocking ability. It works with all popular streaming services like Hulu in Canada, watching American Netflix, American HBO Max, Peacock TV in Canada, and YouTube TV in Canada.
This VPN also offers the best server speeds and it does not throttle your bandwidth. During testing, we used a 100 Mbps connection, and ExpressVPN managed a fast speed of 88 Mbps.
ExpressVPN is available for CA$ 8.96/mo (US$ 6.67/mo) - Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan.
For a detailed analysis of ExpressVPN, you can visit our ExpressVPN review for Canada.
Surfshark – Budget-Friendly VPN for bypassing ISP throttling
With Surfshark, you have more than a device to stop internet throttling. It enables you to bypass internet throttling with its high speeds that come at a really affordable cost.
With more value for less cost, Surfshark ensures your privacy is a priority and maintains high connectivity speeds for downloads, uploads, gaming, or streaming.
Further, it supports unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can secure as many devices as you wish with a single account.
Surfshark is available for just CA$ 3.09/mo (US$ 2.30/mo) - 82% off VPN deal on 2 year plan with 2 months free.
Have a look at the comprehensive Surfshark VPN Canada review and get more insight into its specs and features.
NordVPN – Secure VPN to stop ISP throttling
With a VPN that gets you to ultra-fast speeds, you can depend on it to give you the best performance as far as speeds and privacy are concerned. This is possible due to the 5300+ servers they control in over 59 countries. You can, therefore, easily bypass bandwidth throttling with NordVPN.
It offers amazing unblocking ability and works with all popular streaming services such as Voot, ESPN+, Philo TV, ITV in Canada and more. Owing to its super-fast speeds, you don’t have to worry about ISP throttling or buffering.
It is also important to note that with NordVPN, their ultra-strong data encryption will assure you of your internet activities being private to only you.
An additional advantage is that you get to use it with up to 6 devices shows how far It goes to ensure you stop ISP throttling. It also offers apps for various devices.
It is available for CA$ 4.42/mo (US$ 3.29/mo) - 2 years with 60% off + Threat Protection for free.
To get to know more in detail about NordVPN, read our complete review of NordVPN for Canadian users.
How Do VPNs Help Bypass Throttling?
Does VPN slow down the internet as it prevents throttling, or what’s the cut? A VPN uses another perspective to maintain your internet’s normal high speeds.
As mentioned earlier, ISPs use prioritization to promote content from streamers they agree with. To do this, they have to collect the data from their clients and pin down competitor streamers.
ISPs collect content on what clients browse or stream and use this to uphold some while in the same criteria, pulling down others. For example, if they observe a user on a competitor’s site, they deliberately throttle the connectivity to discourage visiting the site.
A VPN helps you bypass bandwidth throttling more easily. It encrypts all information from your device to a level that even your ISP cannot decipher. This, in turn, ensures that no one has access to data on the information you are accessing or the amount of data usage you are reaching.
How will an ISP slow down your data traffic if it doesn’t know what you are accessing? It cannot legally pull down the act, and thus, your internet speed remains uninfluenced.
Of course, there are unethical practices in such matters, but the rules are clear. For example, in some countries, any form of internet throttling is still illegal.
How to Bypass ISP Throttling on iPhone and Android
After seeing how to stop ISP throttling on our streaming devices, it remains unclear if the steps mentioned in the article can work for iPhone and Android smartphones. As it turns out, they are not that different. For how to stop ISP throttling on your smartphone, the following steps apply:
Is Bandwidth Throttling illegal in Canada?
Canada has a law for neutral competition, and thus, throttling applications that are not acceptable to consumers are not to be practiced in the country.
Throttling may be allowed in some national commissioned broadcasters but only for a limited time frame. For ISPs, it is purely neutral ground in Canada despite the large market of binge-watchers.
FAQs: Stop ISP Throttling with a VPN
Can You Use a Free VPN to Bypass ISP Throttling?
Yes. But on the condition that it is reliable and has security features to cater to your online security.
Does bandwidth throttling affect mobile data?
ISPs may actively be throttling data increasing usage and thus more data costs. It is advisable to use a VPN even on your smartphones.
How do I stop throttling without a VPN?
Using a proxy server may stop throttling effectively but with a major drawback. Proxies are slow and thus may not bring out the difference from when throttling occurs. There is also an option would be to upgrade your internet plan.
How to avoid ISP throttling while torrenting?
The recommended way is to switch to using a VPN, as it is the most effective way of avoiding ISP throttling.
How can I boost my internet speed?
This is easily achievable by stopping all activities that use your internet without your control. Such activities may be paused by taking measures such as; using an ad blocker, clearing your browsing history regularly, using fiber optic cabling, and disconnecting devices that are not in use.
Can an ISP throttle a VPN?
A VPN will make your internet presence anonymous and thus do not influence your choice of content. Therefore, ISPs cannot throttle your speeds if you are using a VPN.
Does VPN throttle speed?
No, this is because you have less buffering after a VPN hides your internet activity from your ISP.
A VPN is the best answer to bandwidth throttling. However, after an ISP throttling test shows you are a victim of ISP throttling, one has to decide on spending an extra bit of cash for greater speeds and internet security. Luckily, it is very easy to stop ISP Throttling with a VPN.