Are You Facing ISP Throttling? Here Is How To Speed Up!

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ISP throttling is when an ISP deliberately slows down your internet connection. If you are facing slow and sluggish Internet connections when streaming, gaming, torrenting, or even at specific points of the day, chances are you are being throttled. While this seems unfair, you’re not alone in this issue. Countless internet users face ISP throttling daily.

ISP throttling is a genuine concern affecting the internet speed and bandwidth. A 2015 study found significant network degradation for the five largest ISPs in the US, including AT&T and Time Warner, which serve 75% of US wireline households. There can be multiple reasons for your ISP to throttle your connection, but mostly, it happens when there’s excessive network traffic. 

Regardless, as an internet user, this can be incredibly frustrating. So, if you’re concerned that your ISP might be throttling your internet and want to know ways to mitigate this issue, keep reading the article.

How to detect Bandwidth throttling?

Detecting throttling by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is essential to ensure you get the service you’re paying for. Here are some practical ways to see throttling:

  • Compare Your Speeds: Keep an eye on your internet speeds throughout the day and use different applications. It could indicate throttling if you notice significant slowdowns during specific times or with particular apps.
  • Use a VPN: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help bypass throttling. Connect to a VPN; if you see improved speeds, your ISP might be throttling your connection.
  • Speed Test: Numerous online speed test websites are available. Run a speed test to check your download and upload speeds. If they consistently fall far below what you’re paying for, it’s a red flag for throttling.
  • Monitor Data Usage: Keep an eye on your data usage, especially if you have a data cap. Consistently exceeding your limit could indicate throttling.
  • Check Specific Websites or Apps: Throttling isn’t always uniform. If specific websites or applications seem slower than others, your ISP may be targeting those.
  • Compare with Others: If you know people with the same ISP, compare your speeds. If yours are significantly slower, it might indicate throttling.

If you suspect throttling, contact your ISP to inquire or seek a resolution. In extreme cases, consider switching providers to ensure you receive the service quality you deserve. Throttling can hinder your online experience, so staying vigilant is critical to maintaining a smooth connection.

Reasons for ISP throttling 

Knowing why Internet Service Providers (ISPs) throttle can help you understand this common practice better. Here are some of the critical reasons why ISPs throttle their customers’ internet connections:

Network Congestion: 

Network congestion is one of the most prevalent reasons for throttling. In Europe, the government grants internet service providers the authority to throttle online traffic to prevent congestion. ISPs often throttle network traffic during peak usage hours, such as evenings and weekends, to ensure that all users have a consistent and satisfactory internet experience. 

Data Caps: 

Some ISPs enforce data caps, limiting how much data a customer can use monthly. When customers surpass their data cap, the ISP may throttle their connection speed. It helps the ISP maintain a balanced network and prevents excessive data usage.

Certain ISPs practice paid prioritization, where customers can pay for premium access to the network. Those who opt for this service receive priority regarding network speed and reliability. As a result, customers who do not subscribe to paid prioritization may experience throttling to ensure fair access for all users.


In some countries, governmental regulations require ISPs to throttle or block access to specific websites or applications. In Ireland, ISPs are implemented to block access to The Pirate Bay, a torrenting site. Hence, an ISP enforces this censorship to adhere to these regulations and maintain compliance.

While these are some of the primary reasons for ISP throttling, it’s worth noting that ISPs may also resort to throttling for other purposes, such as troubleshooting technical issues or preventing network abuse.

Can I tell if my ISP is throttling me? Common signs 

Detecting if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is throttling your connection is crucial for ensuring you get the service you’re paying for. Here are some common signs to watch out for:

  • An apparent sign of throttling is a noticeable slow internet speed. It often occurs during peak usage hours or in bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming videos or online gaming. You might experience a fluctuation in your internet performance. Sometimes, it will be fast and steady, but other times, it might become slow and sluggish.
  • If you frequently deal with buffering when streaming video content or listening to music, it could be a telltale sign of throttling. Buffering occurs when your connection struggles to handle the data flow smoothly.
  • Frequent disconnections or an unstable internet connection can also point toward throttling issues. If your internet drops out unexpectedly, it’s worth investigating further.
  • Some ISPs may impose throttling or block access to specific websites or applications. It is to manage network traffic or comply with government regulations.

While these signs may strongly suggest throttling, it’s essential to consider that other factors like network congestion, hardware problems, or software glitches can also lead to similar issues. It’s best to consider other potential causes first to confirm if your ISP is throttling your connection. If all else seems normal and the signs persist, there’s a higher likelihood that your ISP may be throttling your internet.

How to speed up the internet and bypass ISP throttling?

There are several effective strategies to boost your internet speed and bypass throttling. Here’s a handy set of tips that can help you achieve smoother online experiences:

Use a VPN: 

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be a game-changer. It encrypts your online traffic and redirects it through a different server, effectively bypassing throttling and congested networks. This not only enhances security but can also lead to faster internet speeds.

Change DNS Settings: 

Optimizing your DNS (Domain Name System) settings can improve internet speed and reliability. For better performance, consider switching to reliable and fast DNS services like Google Public DNS or Cloudflare DNS.

Optimize Network Settings: 

You can improve your internet by tweaking your network settings. Disabling Quality of Service (QoS) and background apps can free up bandwidth and enhance your connection’s speed and performance.

Upgrade Hardware: 

Outdated or underperforming hardware can be a bottleneck for your internet connection. Consider upgrading your router, modem, or even your computer if necessary. The latest hardware can provide faster and more stable connectivity.

Consider a Different ISP: 

If you consistently face throttling issues with your current ISP, exploring other providers in your area might be worthwhile. Switching to an ISP offering better service and transparency can improve internet experiences.

Following the above tips can effectively mitigate ISP throttling and enjoy a swift and steady online experience.

Additional Tips to bypass ISP throttling 

Here are some additional tips you can consider for bypassing throttling:

  • Wired Connection: Opt for a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi whenever possible. Wired connections are generally faster and more reliable.
  • Optimal Router Placement: Position your router centrally within your home to ensure even signal distribution to all your devices.
  • Device Management: Avoid overloading your network with too many devices simultaneously. Limit the number of active devices to prevent slowdowns.
  • Software Updates: Keep your software updated, including your operating system, web browser, and antivirus software. Updated software often includes performance improvements.

If you are still experiencing slow speeds or throttling issues after trying these tips, don’t hesitate to contact your ISP for assistance. They can diagnose and resolve specific network problems to enhance your online experience.

Final Word

Many internet users frequently experience ISP throttling, which is a common issue. It can be frustrating and can disrupt your online activities. ISP throttling occurs when your ISP intentionally slows down your internet connection. However, there are multiple ways to mitigate this problem that we have mentioned above in the article. We strongly recommend using a high-quality VPN to bypass ISP throttling when engaging in bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming, online gaming, or torrenting. 


Some common signs you’re being throttled include a drop in internet speed, inconsistent performance, buffering during streaming, frequent disconnections, and blocked access to specific websites.

Throttling refers to the intentional slowing down of your internet speed by your ISP for various reasons, such as managing network congestion, enforcing data caps, or even prioritizing certain services.

To prevent your internet speed from throttling, consider using a VPN to encrypt and reroute your traffic, optimize your DNS settings, and upgrade hardware if needed.

When your internet connection is being throttled, your Internet Service Provider intentionally slows down your internet speed, usually to manage network traffic.

While a VPN can help you bypass some forms of ISP throttling, some ISPs can still detect VPN traffic and may throttle it. Choosing a high-quality VPN service is essential for better results.

Using a VPN can sometimes lead to slightly slower speeds due to the encryption and the routing of your traffic through VPN servers. It is crucial to choose one that provides a guaranteed fast rate.

Yes, unfortunately, internet throttling IS legal in most cases. However, it must comply with net neutrality regulations in some regions, and violations may lead to legal consequences.

Kenneth G Aranda

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