If you regularly experienced slow speeds when online, then there is a chance that you’re being targeted by your ISP for bandwidth throttling. Bandwidth throttling is incredibly common and can lead to lag during gaming, buffering videos, and web pages taking forever to load. Using an online speed tester is a fantastic way to check out your connection speeds to find out if your ISP is throttling your bandwidth. If you regularly participate in activities that can be considered ‘heavy-bandwidth’ such as torrenting, gaming, or streaming, then you have a much higher chance of having your bandwidth throttled.
ISPs decide to throttle their users’ bandwidth for several reasons including to reduce congestion on their network and control data caps for users (we’ll talk more about this later). Regardless, having your connection speeds negatively impacted, no matter what the reason is, can be extremely frosting and disruptive. Luckily, there is an easy solution that can stop bandwidth throttling altogether, so you can stream, game, and torrent with consistent connection speeds and no interruptions. With a VPN, you can conceal your online activity, preventing your ISP from targeting you and throttling your bandwidth. Keep reading to find out the best VPNs for avoiding bandwidth throttling in 2022!
The best VPNs for avoiding bandwidth throttling quick guide
- NordVPN – Best overall choice
- Surfshark – Most affordable
- ExpressVPN – Top performance
What is bandwidth throttling?
Bandwidth throttling is the deliberate slowing of connection speeds by an ISP (Internet Service Provider). Although an ISP may advertise ‘unlimited bandwidth’ they will still attempt to keep usage at a minimum to limit their overheads. By slowing down the connection speeds of selected users, ISPs can also reduce network congestion and enforce data caps. Typically, ISPs will target certain users who are participating in online activities that they would consider as ‘bandwidth heavy’ such as streaming media, torrenting, or playing online games.
Although this is usually the case, even if you’re not participating in any of these activities, you could still be a victim of bandwidth throttling. If you notice that certain websites that you visit are much slower than others, this could be a result of paid prioritisation. Also known as the ‘Internet fast lane’, paid prioritisation is when a company will pay an ISP for faster loading times on their websites, discouraging users from heading to their competitor’s sites.
How can a VPN prevent bandwidth throttling?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is undoubtedly the absolute best way to completely avoid bandwidth throttling. When you connect to a VPN server, your internet traffic is encrypted and rerouted through the server in a secure tunnel. Once connected, your ISP can longer see your online activity and whether or not you’re participating in the ‘heavy-bandwidth’ activities that we previously mentioned. This means that you can stream, game, and torrent as much as you want without worrying about your speeds being deliberately slowed down by your ISP.
It is worth noting that, yes, VPNs do slow down your connection speeds. However, this is due to your traffic needing to travel further to reach the remote VPN server, and the reduction in speed is so minimal that you likely won’t even notice it. In fact, it’s nothing compared to the significantly slow speeds caused by unfair bandwidth throttling, so we’d say it’s a reasonable price to pay. All in all, if you want to avoid having your bandwidth throttled, then you need a VPN to encrypt your traffic and hide your online activity from your ISP. If you want to learn more about the benefits of a VPN, then check our our guide of useful VPN features in 2022!
Our top recommended best VPNs for avoiding bandwidth throttling in 2022
The best VPNs to use to avoid bandwidth throttling will provide users with some form of obfuscation. This is important as when you use a VPN, your ISP can usually see your VPN usage and target you for bandwidth throttling anyway. When a VPN uses obfuscated servers, for instance, then your VPN usage is completely hidden from your ISP and appears to look like regular internet traffic, preventing you from being targeted.
Additionally, the best VPNs will use military-grade encryption to secure user traffic as well as various other useful security measures such as a kill switch, DNS leak prevention, and ad blocking technology. To ensure complete privacy and anonymity when online, you’ll also want to choose a VPN that has a strict no-logs policy. With this in mind, let’s take a look at our top recommended best VPNs for avoiding bandwidth throttling in 2022 –
NordVPN is a highly secure and trustworthy VPN that offers super-fast speeds, robust security, and a huge server network. This VPN has a strict no-logs policy that has been independently audited, so you can remain completely private and anonymous when preventing bandwidth throttling.
There are over 5300 ultra-fast servers located in 60 countries around the world so regardless of where you are, you’re likely to have a NordVPN server nearby. Additionally, NordVPN uses obfuscated servers to conceal their users’ VPN usage by making it appear as regular internet traffic. When connected to one of these specialised servers, your ISP will not see that you’re using a VPN and will therefore cannot target you and throttle your bandwidth.
This VPN uses the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption which is near-impossible to crack, so you don’t have to worry about cyber criminals intercepting your traffic. NordVPN also provides users with various other security features including double VPN protection, a kill switch, MFA, private DNS, and built-in threat protection with an ad-blocker. Additionally, there is a split tunnelling feature that allows users to reroute just some of their internet traffic, so you can connect to a server to stream content and avoid bandwidth throttling but still browse the web as you normally would.
NordVPN is supported by all major operating systems including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. You can also download the app on your Smart TV, router, and gaming console, or install the VPN as a browser extension on Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. Users are allowed up to 6 simultaneous connections and there are no caps on bandwidth, so you can benefit from fast and consistent speeds on all your favourite devices!
Surfshark is a cost-effective and feature-rich VPN that has a massive server network, impressive connection speeds, and plenty more on offer. If you want to prevent your bandwidth from being throttled but are on a tight budget, then look no further than this highly reliable provider.
This VPN has over 3200 servers scattered across 65 countries, allowing users from anywhere to connect to a nearby server and encrypt their traffic to avoid bandwidth throttling. Surfshark uses 100% RAM-only servers that do not store any user data and the provider has a strict no-logs policy that has been independently audited. This means that sensitive information such as IP addresses, connection timestamps, bandwidth usage, and browsing history will never be monitored, collected, or stored by the VPN.
Surfshark uses the most trusted VPN protocols – Wireguard, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and secures all user data with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption. Additionally, the VPN also provides users with other security features such as private DNS with leak protection, a kill switch, NoBorders mode, and a built-in ad-blocker. There’s also a camouflage mode that uses obfuscation to conceal a user’s VPN usage from their ISP, so you won’t have to worry about having your bandwidth throttled for using a VPN.
You can download Surfshark now on any Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux device in addition to most Smart TVs, routers, and gaming consoles. Surfshark generously offers both unlimited simultaneous connections and unlimited bandwidth so you can protect all your devices and stream, torrent, or game on them as much as you want whilst completely avoiding bandwidth throttling!
Try out Surfshark* to avoid bandwidth throttling now for free for 30 days with their money-back guarantee!
ExpressVPN is a VPN that provides outstanding performance for users at a reasonable cost. Whether you’re concerned about your privacy, security, or just want the fastest speed possible, ExpressVPN can provide all that you need and much more. This provider also has an independently audited no-logs policy, so you can have peace of mind when browsing the web with consistent and fast connection speeds.
This VPN has thousands of secure servers based in 160 locations across an incredible 94 countries. If you’re looking for lightning-fast connection speeds then you can use ExpressVPN’s built-in speed test tool to automatically connect to the fastest server location for your network. This ensures that no matter where you are, you can enjoy super-fast connection speeds from anywhere in the world.
As with most VPN providers, ExpressVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to encrypt its users’ traffic. Other security features provided by this VPN include private DNS, a kill switch, split tunnelling support, and a threat manager. Furthermore, ExpressVPN uses its own VPN protocol, Lightway, which has been engineered to provide users with the most secure, reliable, and fastest VPN experience possible.
The ExpressVPN app/client is available on any Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux device as well as most Smart TVs, game consoles, and IoT devices. This provider allows for up to 5 simultaneous connections per account and does not use any bandwidth caps, so you can enjoy an ultra-fast online experience without being weighed down by bandwidth throttling!
Try out ExpressVPN* to avoid bandwidth throttling now for free for 30 days with their money-back guarantee!