ISP Throttling — How to Detect and Stop It with a VPN

Several little things could cause you to be frustrated. However, the frustration you experience from having to use slow internet could be the worst. 

When this occurs, your YouTube videos suddenly start to buffer, or you miss out on important parts of your Zoom meetings. You might have experienced this when browsing during peak periods or sharing your internet with other people in your home.

However, sometimes your internet speed is slower than usual, not because of the typical reasons but because of ISP throttling. This article helps you explore what ISP throttling is and how to detect and stop it.

What Is ISP Throttling? 

ISP throttling occurs when your internet service provider intentionally slows down your internet speed or limits your bandwidth. It usually happens when you have exhausted your data cap. As such, the internet service provider reduces your rate and allocates it to other users.

It usually affects activities that utilize high bandwidth, such as streaming videos, playing games, and downloading heavy files. When your ISP is throttling your data, you might still access services that don’t use high bandwidth. These include browsing through social media, Googling, or using your messenger apps.

While you can get frustrated by throttling, it is not exactly illegal. This means that internet service providers are within their rights to throttle your ISP, especially when you have exhausted your allocation. 

There are certain peak hours of the day when many people are likely to be using the internet. Some ISPs restrict bandwidth during this period. This usually applies to everyone, whether or not you have reached a data cap. Some others cap your data after you have reached your daily or monthly data cap.

However, some ISPs intentionally slow down specific web services and protocols. This is usually less conspicuous and harder to pick up by the user.

Why Do ISPs Throttle Data? 

Maybe the first answer to pop in your mind is that they just don’t want you to be happy. Sometimes, this looks like the case. However, ISPs throttle your data for several reasons. One of these reasons is because some web activities use more data than others. When you stream videos or use torrenting applications, you could be slowing down other bandwidth users’ speed on the network. 

Also, ISPs throttle your data to spread the data load across the network rather than to concentrate it in the area of greatest use. This way, individual servers are not overloaded. We cannot rule out the fact that some ISPs throttle data to make more money off users. You want to upgrade to a more expensive data plan if you realized that you couldn’t do what you have to do on your current one.

How Do You Detect When Your ISP Is Throttling Your Data?

Sometimes, it might be hard to detect when your ISP is slowing down your data. In a lot of cases, users accuse ISPs of using traffic-shaping technology. Of course, a lot of them have denied it because it’s pretty hard to prove. 

You could run a speed test to find out when your internet speed is getting slow. If you know your average internet speed, you could compare it with what you have when you feel your connection is lagging.

Another way is to run a speed test when your data connection is getting poor, then rerun it once more with a VPN. If the speed is significantly higher when you use the VPN, your ISP is likely throttling your data.

Measuring internet speed is not the only way to detect throttling. You could use some online tools specifically designed for this purpose. An internet throttling test helps you discover if your ISP is slowing down your data speed. It goes deeper than a normal speed test to detect ways your ISP has tampered with your connection.

How to Stop ISP Throttling with a VPN 

Discovering that your data connection is slow can be frustrating, but you can do something about it. A quick fix for ISP throttling is to ensure that your ISP cannot view your traffic. They cannot place a cap on something they cannot access. To do this, you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Are you wondering how a VPN works? It encrypts data about your internet connection and activities. This makes it almost impossible for the ISP to see what you’re doing. It also ensures that your ISP cannot identify your traffic and stalk your internet connection on specific sites.

What does a VPN do?

People use VPNs to protect their privacy and ensure that they have the freedom to use the internet as they please. A VPN does the following:

1. Bypass Speed Throttling

VPNs help you bypass restrictions that your ISP may impose on you. So, if your ISP throttles your data, you can always access speedier connections on a VPN. 

2. Data encryption

VPNs also encrypt your data and ensure that your ISP and hackers cannot track or monitor your online activity.

3. Use on several devices

Did you find out that your ISP has throttled your data on all your devices? A VPN could help with that! One VPN subscription can work on several devices; your phone, laptop, iPad, even your SmartTV, etc.

There are numerous free and paid VPNs available. You can find one with a free trial if you would like to test out its functions before committing to paying for it.

To use a VPN, follow these  steps:

  1. Sign up for a VPN.
  2. Download the VPN on your device.
  3. Launch the application and sign in.
  4. Choose a server location and connect! 

When you follow these steps, your connection is encrypted, and you can browse the internet, stream videos, or play games without any throttling!


Doing the things you love on the internet should not be a hassle. With a VPN encrypting your data and rerouting your connection through another server, you can now access all you want on the internet. Now, you can say goodbye to buffering videos, slow download speeds, and enjoy your video games in peace!