What is ISP throttling? How Can We Bypass it?

ISP throttling

Are you experiencing slower speeds or bandwidth limits even though you paid for the best internet package? Well, there are chances your Internet Service Provider is stifling it. This guide should help you learn the easiest or fastest way to bypass ISP throttling. Sounds good? Then keep reading!

What is ISP throttling?

You might have noticed at some point that your internet speeds are slower than usual. Have you ever wondered what’s causing it? Sometimes it is just for a couple of minutes, or it could be when you are only streaming content from platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Hulu. You try to restart your device, or even your modem, only to have the same results.

So, what is it? If you’re experiencing any of this, it is called ISP throttling.

It is when your internet service provider meddles (throttles or controls) your internet speeds and the bandwidth limit. It doesn’t matter if you paid for a fast connection; you will still experience just the opposite. ISP throttling happens almost 60% of the time and gets quite frustrating.

Why does your ISP throttle your internet speeds and bandwidth?

Since your internet service provider handles everything you do online and can see the websites or apps you use or download, they can pretty much meddle with the speeds and bandwidth. There are quite a few reasons why your ISP throttles your internet. Firstly, the age-old excuse, which might be partly true, is that your ISP limits bandwidth and speeds to prevent network congestion during extremely high traffic hours.

Another reason is quite manipulative. Most users often go for a decent speed package depending on what is affordable. For instance, you ask for a 35 Mbps package and still experience slow speeds while streaming HD or 4K content.

35Mbps is more than sustainable for high definition, which is why it gets confusing when your speeds or internet doesn’t support it. Because of this, your Internet Service Provider is staging poor speed rates, and they often mislead their users into thinking they should buy higher internet packages. It is what you call a tactic to make a quick buck.

However, there are situations where most users opt for 4K or UHD, which is not something every internet service provider can manage or support. It is what leads to speeds and bandwidth throttling. That is where a VPN comes in as a solution.

How can a VPN help bypass ISP throttling?

A VPN is the best way or rather the safest software that helps users bypass ISP speed and bandwidth throttling. When you connect to a VPN server, all your web traffic is re-routed through a secure tunnel with high encryption levels.

Once the VPN masks your physical IP with a virtual one, they won’t be able to see whether you are using a VPN, nor what websites you are visiting. In light of that, it allows you to use the internet freely and without worry.


Your ISP won’t be able to throttle your bandwidth since it can’t see what you are doing.

There is often a misconception behind VPNs drastically increasing your internet speed, and that is entirely false. A VPN can’t improve what’s not already there. It means that when you connect to a VPN, it is shielding your ISP from the activities you are doing, which in turn curbs speed throttling by your ISP.

For instance, if you are using a 30Mbps internet and it goes down to 15Mbps while you are on Netflix, it is due to ISP throttling. When you connect to a VPN, your speeds should bounce back up to 25-30Mbps. It also entirely depends on the VPN you choose.

Most VPNs are banned or restricted in certain countries, which is also then monitored by your ISP. If you choose a good VPN, you won’t experience such issues. The best VPN doesn’t have to be expensive. A couple of cheap VPN services offer the best security tools to help bypass ISP throttling and avoid many other online restrictions.

It makes streaming on geo-restricted services and gaming so much easier. Neither your ISP nor the blocked website provider will have any idea of whether you are using a VPN to unblock the service. They will automatically assume that you are from a country other than your own.

How to choose a VPN that is strong enough to prevent ISP Throttling

A VPN is the best way around ISP throttling, but that doesn’t mean every VPN will be able to. There are many VPNs in the industry, and most of them are scams. The VPN you use should be widely recognized to bypass ISP throttling through reasons like why it gets many great user reviews. Other than that, here’s what to look for:

  • Military-grade AES 256-bit encryption
  • It should offer optimized servers for faster speeds and access to international services.
  • Compatibility with multiple operating systems.
  • Obfuscation tools
  • Free trial and refund period
  • Reliable support staff
  • Strict no-logs policy

How to detect ISP throttling?

You could run a small test that will show you whether you are a victim of ISP or bandwidth throttling. Here’s what to do:

  • Open up any video or movie that’s in 4K
  • Choose the 4K resolution option of 2160p60
  • Play the video on full screen.
  • Now, you’ll need to wait and see if the internet buffers or lags more than once.
  • If it does, you’ll now need to lower the resolution and test the results.
  • You’ll notice that if the buffering continues, even while connected to a lower resolution, it means your internet service provider is throttling it.

Will using TOR help prevent bandwidth throttling?

TOR is an open-source service that you can use to access geo-blocked streaming services, apps, or websites from anywhere in the world. It comes with solid encryption, passing all data or web traffic through three nodes. It allows users to stay anonymous just like a VPN does. TOR comes with over 6500 servers that you can remain anonymous with, but that’s still not enough for countless users worldwide. The downside to it is that, unlike a VPN, TOR will drastically slow down your speeds, which is something your internet service provider already does.

So, what’s the point?

Can we use a proxy to bypass ISP throttling?

Most users might opt for a proxy since it is a cheaper alternative. However, just because it is cheaper doesn’t make it equivalent to a VPN’s standards. Yes, a proxy will be able to bypass certain websites or services by masking your IP address. This will help prevent ISP throttling, but it only works for websites entered through your browser. The other downside to it is that proxies don’t come with the same security encryption as a VPN offers typically.

This means your data or the device you use could easily be put at risk from external threats. When the encryption is not present nor strong at all, it could leak your data, exposing your physical IP to your internet service provider.

To conclude

I hope this short guide helped you understand better ways to bypass ISP throttling. Just to go over what we’ve learned, we know that a VPN is the best or safest way to stop throttling. However, not every VPN can help with that. I would suggest being careful when choosing certain providers as they do come with many vulnerabilities. Always choose one that offers a free trial or at least a reliable refund period so that you can run a few tests.



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