Posted May 16, 2014 by TopDog in How To

Stop Throttling by your Internet Provider

Stop Throttling with a VPN
Stop Throttling with a VPN

You’re made it past the first step. You’re aware that your internet connection is being throttled. But what exactly does this mean and what can you do about it?

What is Bandwidth Throttling?

Internet Providers like DSL and Cable providers may guarantee you X amount of bandwidth but they don’t guarantee that they will spread that bandwidth equally to all of your online activities. Instead, they like to reserve the right to slow down (throttle) certain websites, services, or ports. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most common things that your ISP throttles are also the ones that take up/require the most bandwidth.

Internet Provider’s Commonly Throttle:

  • Video Streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube
  • Online Gaming and MMRPG like World of Warcraft
  • File-sharing software and BitTorrent

Have you ever been on Youtube and wondered by your video quality keeps changing? It’s NOT because google doesn’t have enough bandwidth, they have more than you can imagine. It’s because your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is throttling your connection, and it’s annoying as hell.

Throttling Looks Like This:

diagram of bandwidth throttling

Bandwidth Throttling

As you can see, low bandwidth activities like web browsing go straight through your ISP’s filter and get to use your full internet speed (not that you could ever read a webpage fast enough to need 20 Mbps) while the bandwidth hogs like netflix and uTorrent get routed into the throttled data tunnel.

The size of the throttled tunnel is much smaller and not as much data can fit inside. As a result, your speeds for the throttled activities will slow dramatically.

How does my ISP sort and Throttle my Traffic

Because you can’t reach the internet without connecting through your internet provider, they have access to all your traffic. They can see all the websites you visit, all the files you download, and all the movies you stream. So, just like you can see the difference between Netflix and a web search at google.com, so can your internet provider (although they don’t see it visually, they sort it based on the type of incoming data and the ports used to access the data).

If Netflix always uses a specific port or range or ports to send their data to you, your Internet Provider can automatically assign those ports to be ‘throttled.’

So how do you prevent throttling?

Your ISP’s ability to throttle portions of your internet traffic depend on their ability to read and separate your internet activities.

[info_box]What if your internet provider can’t read your traffic? Then they wouldn’t be able to filter it…[/info_box]

The only way you could prevent your internet provider from being able to read your internet traffic is if you somehow encrypted (password protected) it before it reached your ISP’s servers. Then, instead of clear data, your internet traffic would just look like a bunch of encoded gibberish and your Internet Provider won’t know which bits are Netflix and which bits are just web-browsing.

This technology may sound complicated, but it’s incredibly easy to achieve by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

What’s a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network is a technology a that allows you to route your internet connection through a remote server. VPN technology is almost always used with Encryption, which wraps your data in a secure tunnel so it can’t be read or deciphered by anyone, not even your Internet Service Provider.

Your normal internet connection looks like this: Your computer -> ISP -> Internet

With a VPN, the connection is: Your Computer => ISP => VPN Server => Internet

The difference is, all your data transferred between your computer and the VPN will be encrypted, and even your Internet Provider won’t be able to read or throttle it.

The best VPN’s to Block Bandwidth Throttling:

We recommend you pick the best VPN for your needs. You can start by checking out our reviews section. Also, here’s a few VPN providers we really like, all of which can help you block throttling easily. Since speed is your primary concern, we picked the fastest VPN providers for this list.

#1 – IPVanish

ipvanish block throttling

Visit IPvanish

IPvanish is the fastest VPN provider we’ve tested on this site and it shouldn’t be a surprise. They control their own massive fiber optic network instead of just renting servers like other VPN providers.IPvanish doesn’t log or monitor your internet activity, and they have servers in over 50 countries, so you can make your internet connection appear to be from nearly any country in the world!

Read our Review of IPVanish to see all the features they offer, or just Visit their website to sign up! Monthly prices are only $10/month or you can save 45% and get a full year of IPvanish for only $6.49/month.

#2 – HideMyAss VPN

Like IPVanish, HideMyAss offers a massive amount of servers. They currently have VPN servers in over 70 countries. You also get HMA’s top-of-the-line VPN software that puts tons of extra functionality at your fingertips with the click of a button. Read our review of HideMyAss for the full details.

#3 – Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is one of the most popular VPN’s in the world, because they do 1 thing really really well. They know what their customers want, and they tailor their service to fit that. PIA is incredibly affordable, with prices as low as $3.33/month for unlimited VPN service. They don’t log or monitor any VPN activity, and they allow Torrents, HD Video streaming with skype and Netflix, and virtually anything else you could need a VPN for. Our hands-on review takes a closer look at their features, or you can just visit PIA and see for yourself.