AT&T does slow down your Internet connection from time to time. Especially while downloading or uploading – and sometimes while streaming during peak hours. But luckily, you can overcome AT&T speed throttling.
American Telephone and Telegraph Company, or AT&T, is one of the most popular ISPs in the US and offers a wide range of internet plans to cater to various user needs. However, the ISP often provides slow internet, which is a significant problem for its users.
At times, this slow internet is due to AT&T throttling, a term used for the deliberate slowing down of the internet by ISPs. However, throttling is not the only reason users experience slow internet speeds. These slow speeds are often because of legitimate issues such as traffic congestion, bad weather, etc.
Amidst this, to ensure a fast and reliable online experience, it is crucial to recognize if you are a victim of throttling or whether these slow speeds are due to any other reason. If you are a victim of AT&T throttling, fortunately, there are various ways to bypass ISP throttling issue, such as using a VPN. But if you are facing slow speeds for any other reason, you might need to read along. This guide explores why AT&T throttles users and how to fix this issue.
ISP throttling worldwide issue, whether you like it or not, it’s there. Sometimes it is the name of peak hours, bandwidth loads, extensive torrenting or streaming, or because of the net-neutrality bill. There are many ways to get around this issue, but the most effective and quick way to use the fastest VPN service.
- CyberGhost (9.9 ratings) is the most recommended.
- NordVPN (9.9 rating) has fastest severs
- Surfshark: offers better support for streaming and downloading.
Using the fastest VPN, you can easily change your IP and get around the ISP throttling filter.
Is your AT&T connection slow- how to check?
If you are experiencing slow speed, especially during high bandwidth activities or during specific times of the day, you could be experiencing ISP throttling. Here is how to identify why your connection is slow:
- Use a VPN: install a VPN and run a speed test. If you get different results if you experience different speed results before and after connecting to a VPN, then your ISP could be deliberately slowing down your connection.
- Run a speed test: You can check your download and upload speeds by performing a speed test online. If the results are closer to what you paid for, your internet is probably not slow, and try upgrading your data plan. However, your connection will likely be slow if the speed is less than what you paid.
- Run a speed test on your router: If you have Eero, Linksys, Google’s Nest Wi-Fi, or Asus ZenWifi router, conduct a speed test. This will help you analyze whether the problem lies on your end.
- Use the Internet Health Test: You can run this tool to check whether the Internet connection is healthy or experiencing slow speeds due to throttling.
- Observe consistency: Take note that the slowdown is consistent. Intermittent slowdowns indicate network congestion or interference, while consistent sluggishness points to hardware or configuration problems.
These methods will help you identify if your connection is slow due to AT&T throttling your connection or due to some other reason.
Why is AT&T so slow?- common reasons.
Although AT&T is one of the most popular ISPS in the US, it has a history of throttling its users, and slow speeds are a common issue for them. Since the ISP is notorious for throttling its users, most people take up Reddit to complain about its throttling practices.
However, throttling is not always why AT&T users experience slow internet speeds. These slow speeds are often due to various other problems from the consumer end, such as network congestion, bandwidth restrictions, faulty or outdated routers, or even interference from neighboring networks. Often, slow internet speeds are also due to malware infections. Therefore, checking your connection for throttling is crucial before jumping to conclusions and blaming your ISP for unethical practices.
If the slow internet is due to hardware or software issues, you might get better speeds instantly by contacting customer support. But if you are certain that you are a victim of throttling, then you might have to look for more permanent solutions to evade the issue, such as using a VPN.
Does AT&T throttle your connection? History
AT&T throttling practices have long since gained immense attention. The ISP has faced several lawsuits over throttling allegations, eventually resulting in costly settlements. In 2014, the FTC sued AT&T for throttling users’ data on the unlimited plan when they reached a specific threshold.
The throttling was so intense that customers could not perform basic tasks like browsing and streaming.
Although the company denied these allegations, the FTC still filed a lawsuit against it. AT&T chose to settle the lawsuit out of court and refund over $52 million to both current and former customers. Nevertheless, as per people on Reddit, AT&T still throttles user data over unlimited and elite plans even though the ISP promised not to throttle on those plans.
But AT&T’s throttling practices did not end just then—research from 2019 shows that the ISP throttling users Netflix and YouTube content even in peak hours. AT&T was quick to dispute the study by claiming that,
“We are committed to an open internet. We don’t block websites or censor online content. And we don’t throttle, discriminate or degrade network performance based on content.”
However, as per AT&T consumers on Reddit, AT&T practices selective video throttling on all its plans.
Why is AT&T Throttling your connection?
AT&T has declined all the allegations of throttling users. However, the company may temporarily slow down users’ connection due to traffic congestion or when a customer “uses more than 50GB or 22GB of data in a single billing period.” Other reasons why AT&T is throttling your connection are:
- Network Congestion: when multiple users are connected to the same internet tower. Then, network congestion occurs. AT&T tends to slow users’ internet speed during network congestion to divide bandwidth equally among users.
- Data Caps: AT&T has data caps, so when a user exceeds the limit, which is 50GB, then the ISP will throttle your connection.
- Paid Priority: The ISP is also known for practicing paid prioritization. This means that they throttle selected users performing specific activities to promote their websites and connections.
- Illegal activities: At times when users are performing illegal activities, AT&T throttles users’ connection. This is done to prevent customers from indulging in illegal and harmful activities.
These are the major reasons for AT&T throttling users’ connections. Read further to know how to detect throttling and fix this issue.
AT&T throttling policies.
AT&T is transparent about its throttling policies. Primarily because the FTC previously sued the company for illegally throttling users to an extent where even browsing was impossible. However, the ISP has become clear about its throttling policy now. AT&T states;
If a lot of devices are using mobile data at once, it can put a strain on our network. This is called network congestion, and we may have to slow your data speed to keep everyone connected.
Moreover, for unlimited plan customers, AT&T has a separate policy;
On an unlimited plan? We may temporarily slow your speed at any time if our network is busy. We may also slow it after you use more than 50GB or 22GB of data in a single bill period.
Signs of AT&T Throttling
Detecting throttling can be challenging, but some signs may indicate that your internet is being deliberately slowed down:
- If your internet speed plummets unexpectedly, it could be a sign of throttling.
- If your internet remains slow for an extended period, especially after reaching a data cap, throttling may be the cause.
- Slow and reduced internet speed. Speed is slower than the plan you pay for.
- You may experience blocked ports and websites.
- There are slow upload and download speeds.
- You may face streaming issues, i.e., lagging videos.
- Websites take longer than usual to open.
- Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can sometimes bypass throttling, indicating that your ISP may be intentionally slowing down your connection.
These are the primary signs when an ISP is throttling your connection. Contact customer support to complain about throttling and fix slow-speed internet or find any other reliable solution.
How to bypass AT&T Throttling?
If you’re a victim of AT&T throttling and are tired of it. Here are some quick fixes on how to bypass AT&T throttling;
Use a VPN
Another trusted way of bypassing AT&T throttling is to use a VPN. A VPN encrypts your data and hides your IP, preventing your ISPs from violating your activity and slowing your connection. Moreover, the most secure VPN also has obfuscated servers that hide VPN traffic using HTTPS encryption used by banks to help users evade any possible VPN blocks. Therefore, using a VPN with robust encryption and fast-speed protocols is crucial to ensure fast speed and quick connections.
Contact AT&T Support
AT&T has made its customer support easy to reach. You can reach out to them via live chat, call, and email service. Moreover, their website has videos and tutorials to help users with their issues. The website also has a support panel, which you can click for help. You can also call them on the given number or email them. Apart from that, there is also a chat option on the right side of your screen. You can click on it to chat with them. AT&T customer support will be able to help and fix your issue.
Network congestion is when multiple users are connected simultaneously to a single internet tower. This way, the internet connection is hogged, resulting in slow speed. Therefore, ISPs often throttle users during network congestion to fairly divide the internet bandwidth among users. Avoid using the internet during peak times to prevent throttling due to network congestion.
Upgrade Your Plan
Sluggish internet speed can irritate users. Try upgrading your plan to unlimited bandwidth. This will help you maintain high-speed internet and solve your throttling issues. If budget is not an issue, some extra bucks can lend you a smooth internet journey with minimized throttling.
These are the trusted methods to bypass AT&T throttling and understand why it happens quickly.
How to use a VPN to evade AT&T throttling issues?
A VPN is one of the most reliable methods to help bypass AT&T throttling issues. But setting up a VPN for this purpose can be a bit tricky, so you can follow these steps to ease the process:
- Sign up for a reliable VPN that can help guarantee fast speeds and robust security, such as NordVPN, SurfsharkVPN, ExpressVPN, or CyberGhost VPN.
- Once you have signed up for a VPN subscription, you must download and install the VPN app on your device from the provider’s website or the app store on your device.
- Go to the browser settings and delete all the history and cache to make sure the old IP is forgotten.
- After the installation, launch the app and connect to a VPN server. Choosing a server location close to your physical location is best for the best performance.
Once connected to a VPN server, your internet traffic will be encrypted and routed through the VPN server. This means that AT&T will not be able to see what you are doing online and, therefore, cannot throttle your bandwidth.
Best VPNs to bypass AT&T throttling
Finding a reliable VPN that can guarantee fast speeds and robust security is hard. Therefore, we have tried and tested VPNs to compile a list of your most reliable VPNs.
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs available for bypassing AT&T throttling. It offers several essential features that make it ideal for this purpose, including a large network of fast-speed servers in the US to help bypass throttling easily. The VPN offers robust security through strong encryption ciphers and protocols to hide your daat traffic from the ISP. But what makes the VPN standout is its proprietary NordLynx protocol that offers high security and speeds and its obfuscated servers that help evade VPN blocks. Overall, if you are looking for a VPN to bypass AT&T throttling, NordVPN is a great choice.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for bypassing AT&T throttling. It offers a number of important features, such as fast speeds, strong encryption, a no-logs policy, and a global server network. It is also easy to use and compatible with various devices. The VPN has its proprietary Lightway protocol designed to provide high speeds and robust security that can easily help bypass AT&T throttling issues. Its other features that can help ensure a reliable browsing experience are its obfuscated servers and encrypted DNS, which users can use to evade throttling, VPN blocks, and online censorship.
Surfshark VPN is a reliable VPN to bypass AT&T throttling. It offers a large network of servers, fast speeds, and strong encryption that can help prevent AT&T from snooping and throttling your bandwidth based on your activity. The VPN also has several other features that can help bypass throttling issues, such as the obfuscated servers that hide VPN traffic from ISPs, helping users evade VPN blocks. The VPN also offers WireGuard protocols for optimum browsing speeds.
CyberGhost VPN is a good VPN to bypass AT&T throttling because it has a large network of servers in the US, fast speeds, and strong security features. The VPN also has dedicated servers for streaming and torrenting, which provide optimum speeds and security. These servers also help bypass throttling issues in these high-speed activities and ensure a reliable experience.
How to choose a VPN to bypass AT&T throttling?
To bypass AT&T’s throttling issues, you need a reliable VPN with fast speeds and security. While compiling our list of the best VPNs, we went through the following factors:
- Server network: the VPN must have an extensive server network with most servers in the US since AT&T is a US ISP
- Security: the VPN must encrypt data traffic through high encryption ciphers to prevent ISP snooping and throttling.
- Privacy: it is crucial to use a VPN that ensures user privacy through a strict no-logs policy
- Speed: the VPN must use a reliable protocol that provides fast speeds for a reliable connection.
- Obfuscated servers: a VPN with obfuscation mode is reliable since this mode helps evade VPN blocks.
- Encrypted DNS: this helps ensure privacy and security and prevents third parties from knowing your queries.
It is crucial to choose a VPN with the features since it can only help bypass all throttling issues.
Can I use a free VPN to get rid of AT&T throttling?
Many free VPNs advertise themselves as a reliable tool for helping users bypass ISP throttling issues. However, using a free VPN to get rid of AT&T throttling can be problematic since these VPNs come with several issues.
The main problem with free VPNs is that they often have limited bandwidth and data caps. This means you may be unable to use them for high-bandwidth activities, such as streaming video or gaming. Additionally, free VPNs may throttle your connection speeds, making your internet even slower than it already is. Apart from that, free VPNs are not as secure as paid VPNs. They provide low encryption, which can easily give way to ISP snooping. These VPNs are also known for logging and selling users’ data to third-party advertisers. Also, most IP addresses associated with free VPNs are known to the ISPs, so these VPNs are often blocked through special filters.
If you are serious about getting rid of AT&T throttling, then the best way out is to invest in a paid VPN. Paid VPNs offer better performance, security, and reliability than free VPNs.
What is Throttling?
Throttling is the deliberate slowing down of your internet connection, typically your download and upload speeds. It can be temporary or ongoing, depending on the reason behind it. ISPs like AT&T may throttle your connection for various purposes:
- Network Management: During peak usage times, ISPs may throttle connections to ensure all users get a reasonable share of the available bandwidth.
- Data Caps: Some AT&T plans come with data caps. If you exceed your allotted data limit, your internet speed may be reduced for the remainder of your billing cycle.
- Content Restrictions: In some cases, ISPs have been accused of throttling specific types of online content, such as streaming video services, to encourage users to subscribe to their streaming platforms.
Nevertheless, whatever the reason may be, throttling is unethical and a hindrance to free internet. Unfortunately, all the popular ISPs in the US, such as Comcast, Verizon, and Spectrum, practice bandwidth throttling. The slow internet speeds are often a nightmare for users and contribute to an awful online experience. Therefore, looking for reliable methods to bypass the issue is crucial.
Tips for Improving AT&T’s Internet Speed
While bypassing throttling and using VPNs can be effective in some situations, it’s equally important to focus on improving your AT&T internet speed through legitimate means. Here are some tips for enhancing your internet experience:
- Upgrade Modem and Router: If you’re using outdated equipment provided by AT&T, consider upgrading to a newer modem and router compatible with your plan.
- Ensure Proper Ventilation: Keep your modem and router in well-ventilated areas to prevent overheating, which can degrade performance.
- Check Cables and Connections: Inspect all cables and connections to ensure they are secure and free from damage.
- Update Firmware: Regularly update the firmware on your modem and router to benefit from performance enhancements and security patches.
- Clear Cache and Cookies: Clear browser caches and cookies periodically to improve browsing speeds.
- Manage Background Processes: Close unnecessary background applications and processes consuming network resources.
- Optimal Router Placement: Position your router in a central location within your home to maximize coverage. Avoid placing it in areas with interference sources.
- Choose the Right Wi-Fi Channel: Access your router’s settings to select a less congested Wi-Fi channel, especially if you live in an area with many Wi-Fi networks.
These are some reliable tips and tricks that can ensure a smooth and fast online experience.
AT&T throttles users’ connection and slows down their internet speeds. Throttling is done to prevent network congestion and, as a result, data caps. However, ISP throttling can be prevented using several methods.
The most common way of bypassing throttling is using a VPN. A VPN will mask your online activity and obfuscate your IP, making it harder for ISPs to throttle your data. However, choose a reliable VPN to bypass throttling, and if a VPN is not your preferred choice, try upgrading your plan. A plan with more bandwidth and a higher data cap will minimize ISP throttling.
FAQ’s About AT&T Throttling
Slowdowns during specific times, often peak hours, can occur due to network congestion. Many users are online simultaneously, leading to a shared bandwidth, which can slow down individual connections.
AT&T may throttle your internet under certain circumstances, such as network congestion or exceeding data caps. You can tell if they are throttling your connection if you experience a sudden and significant drop in internet speed, especially after heavy data usage.
Using a VPN to bypass throttling is generally legal, but the legality can vary by region and specific use cases. It’s essential to use a VPN responsibly and in accordance with AT&T’s terms of service.
To avoid throttling, consider optimizing your data usage. This includes reducing streaming quality, limiting background updates, and being mindful of data consumption. Additionally, contacting AT&T for plan upgrades with higher data allowances can help.
Slow download and upload speed, blocked ports, and sluggish internet speed indicate that your data is being throttled.
AT&T mentions in its policy that it slows down users’ internet speed during network congestion and when users reach their plan’s data cap.
Use a reputable VPN to prevent AT&T from throttling your data. It will hide your internet activity, which makes it harder for AT&T to throttle your data.