Bandwidth throttling refers to when an ISP (Internet Service Provider) deliberately slows down a user’s connection speeds, resulting in slower page loading times, buffering, and lag. Bandwidth throttling can occur for several reasons, with the most common being to reduce network congestion and prevent server overloads. Another reason for having your bandwidth throttled is due to you exceeding your data cap, as many ISPS limit how much data users can send each month.
Whatever the reason for bandwidth throttling, it is usually unfair and disruptive for users. ISPs will often target certain users and throttle their bandwidth based if their activity is deemed as consuming too much bandwidth. If you want to stop bandwidth throttling and enjoy consistent speeds, allowing you to play games online without any lag and stream in the highest quality without any buffering, then you absolutely need a VPN. Since a VPN encrypts your traffic and reroutes it through a remote server, your ISP cannot see your online activity and therefore won’t be able to target you and throttle your bandwidth. Keep reading to find out how to check if your bandwidth is being throttled and discover how to stop bandwidth throttling using a VPN in 2022!
How to stop bandwidth throttling using a VPN quick guide
Haven’t got much time? Follow this simple guide to find out how to stop bandwidth throttling using a VPN in 2022!
- Choose a VPN
To bypass bandwidth throttling, you need a VPN with fantastic obfuscation, a no-logs policy, and military-grade encryption. Check out below to see our top recommended VPNs!
- Install app/client
Install your chosen VPN’s app or client on whichever devices you want to protect and browse anonymously from. Next, open up the app/client to see a list of available servers.
- Connect to a server
If you’re not interested in bypassing geo-restrictions, then simply connect to a server that’s based in your country. The closer a VPN server is to your location, the faster your connection speeds will be. After you’ve connected to a server, your IP address will be concealed and your online activity will be hidden from your ISP.
- Freely use the internet
Now you can do whatever you like on the internet without worrying about bandwidth throttling. Your ISP can no longer detect if you’re participating in a heavy-bandwidth activity, so you’re free to stream, torrent, and game as much as you want without your connection speeds being throttled.
How does using a VPN stop bandwidth throttling?
As we already mentioned, bandwidth throttling occurs when ISPs deliberately restrict a user’s internet bandwidth to reduce congestion and prevent data caps from being exceeded. ISPs do not notify users when their bandwidth is being throttled, so you could be experiencing slow connection speeds and not know the reason why. Additionally, ISPs will often discriminate against users and target those who are participating in activities that the provider considers ‘bandwidth-heavy’. This can include streaming, torrenting, and playing online games.
However, even if you’re not participating in any of these activities, you could still be experiencing slow connection speeds when visiting certain websites due to paid prioritisation (also referred to as the ‘internet fast lane’). This occurs when companies pay ISPs for faster loading times on their websites to discourage users from using their competitor’s sites. For example, if you regularly use the popular streaming service, Netflix, but your ISP has a ‘fast lane’ contract with a competitor such as Amazon Prime Video, then your Netflix connection speeds will likely be much slower than they should be.
To avoid unfair bandwidth throttling and improve your overall connection speeds, you need a VPN. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts user traffic and reroutes it in a secure tunnel through one of its remote servers. Because of this, when you use a VPN, your ISP cannot see your online activity, and therefore will be unable to see if you’re streaming, gaming, torrenting, or participating in any other heavy-bandwidth activity. This means that you will no longer be a target for bandwidth throttling and can enjoy fast and consistent connection speeds.
Of course, a VPN will slow down your connection speeds slightly, since your traffic has to travel further to reach the VPN server. However, this reduction in speed is so minimal compared to the significantly slowed-down speeds caused by bandwidth throttling. Overall, VPNs are the easiest and most efficient way to hide your online activity from your ISP and subsequently prevent bandwidth throttling.
The best VPNs for stopping bandwidth throttling in 2022
The best VPNs to help stop bandwidth throttling will, most importantly, provide some form of obfuscation. Since, when you use a VPN, your online activity is hidden, often your ISP can still tell by your traffic that you’re using a VPN. This can cause your bandwidth to still be throttled. Therefore, you need a VPN that uses obfuscation to disguise your VPN traffic as regular traffic. (Learn more about obfuscation and other features in our in-depth VPN feature guide!)
Additionally, your chosen VPN should have robust security features such as a kill switch and private DNS on top of military-grade encryption. To further protect your privacy and help you remain anonymous when online, you should only use a VPN that has a strict no-logs policy. With these factors in mind, we’ve handpicked the best VPNs for stopping bandwidth throttling in 2022! Check them out –
NordVPN is one of the most functional and secure VPNs out in the market. This VPN has an intuitive interface, massive server network, and top-notch security protocols, making it the overall best choice for preventing bandwidth throttling. Also, NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy which is a necessity for users who want to maintain their online privacy and browse the web anonymously.
There are over 5000 servers based in 60 countries, so no matter where you’re located, you’ll likely have a NordVPN server nearby. This provider also uses obfuscated servers which are specialised servers that are used to bypass VPN-blocking firewalls. By obfuscating user data and hiding data packets, not even an ISP can see that a VPN is being used. This is a key feature to have as it can further prevent having your bandwidth throttled due to your VPN usage.
NordVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, which is an encrypted standard that would take cybercriminals billions of years to crack. Alongside this encryption are a range of fantastic security features including MFA, dedicated IP, double VPN protection, private DNS, and Threat Protection. There is also a split tunnelling feature that can be used to reroute just a section portion of your traffic. This means that you can have, for instance, your streaming traffic encrypted to prevent being targeted by your ISP, whilst still browsing the rest of the web as usual.
The NordVPN app can be downloaded on any Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux device. Additionally, you can use this VPN on your smart TV, router, or as a browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge) extension. Users can connect up to 6 devices simultaneously and there are no bandwidth caps, so you can enjoy super-fast and consistent speeds on all your favourite phones, laptops, tablets, smart TVs, and PCs!
Try out NordVPN* to prevent bandwidth throttling for free for 30 days with their money-back guarantee!
ProtonVPN is a highly secure VPN that is the perfect choice for those who want to reduce their digital footprint and maintain their privacy online. If you not only want to stop bandwidth throttling but you’re also looking for advanced security features and a strict no-logs policy, then look no further than this VPN.
On top of military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, this VPN provides users with a built-in ad blocker, DNS leak prevention, and a kill switch. Additionally, all user data is protected by ProtonVPN’s Secure Core Architecture. This reroutes user traffic through multiple servers before leaving the network, making it near-impossible for cybercriminals to match the VPN traffic to the real IP address of users. Not only this, ProtonVPN uses the most secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2) and protects all servers with full disk encryption.
You can access any of ProtonVPN’s 1600 servers in 63 countries with up to 10 devices simultaneously. There are absolutely no bandwidth caps, so you can stream, game, torrent, and participate in other heavy-bandwidth activities as much as you want. You can download ProtonVPN on any Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux device. You can also get the app on your router, smart TV, or console!
Try out ProtonVPN* to prevent bandwidth throttling for free for 30 days with their money-back guarantee!
Surfshark is an affordable yet still highly reliable VPN that provides impressive speeds, top-notch security, and a huge range of worldwide servers to choose from. If you want to avoid bandwidth throttling but are on a tight budget, then Surfshark is your best option.
There are over 3200 servers based in 65 countries, making it easy for users to connect to a nearby server and enjoy unbeatable connection speeds. Surfshark uses the world’s most trusted VPN protocols, WireGuard, IKEv1, and OpenVPN, as well as running RAM-only servers that do not store any user data. Additionally, this VPN has a strict no-logs policy, so you won’t have to worry about any of your sensitive information being collected or monitored.
All of Surfshark’s user traffic is secured with AES 256-bit encryption and further protected with security features such as private DNS with leak protection, a kill switch, and a built-in ad-blocker. There is also a NoBorders mode which is suitable for those in highly censored countries as it shows users which available servers will perform best under heavy network restrictions. The most important feature for stopping bandwidth throttling is Surfshark’s Camouflage mode (also called Obfuscation). This mode makes any user’s connectivity appear as a regular internet connection so that ISPs cannot see their VPN usage.
The Surfshark app is available on any Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux devices, as well as most smart TVs, routers, and gaming consoles. In addition to unlimited bandwidth, Surfshark also offers unlimited simultaneous connections for all users, meaning that you can protect and avoid bandwidth throttling on every single one of your devices!