Can a VPN Prevent Bandwidth Throttling?
Bandwidth throttling occurs when a service provider or company intentionally slow down your bandwidth. Everyone who uses the Internet has experienced it at some point. It’s one of the most annoying aspects of the online experience, but luckily, there are steps you can take to avoid it. This article will explain what bandwidth throttling is and address why bandwidth throttling is dangerous. It will also explain how a VPN can help prevent bandwidth throttling. We’ll also go over one of the best VPN services for circumventing bandwidth throttling, ExpressVPN. Check out ExpressVPN review here.
What is Bandwidth Throttling?
Bandwidth throttling is when your Internet service provider (ISP) or mobile provider purposefully slow down your Internet speed. Sometimes, an ISP will limit bandwidth because the network is congested, and they are worried about servers crashing. It occurs most often during days and times when a lot of people trying to stream content and download files at the same time. Service providers also use throttling when users reach their monthly data cap or forget to pay their service fee. Sometimes, throttling occurs because an ISP is performing a network test. No matter the cause, no one wants their online activity interrupted by slow speeds and buffering.
Occasionally, end-services will also participate in throttling. One example is Netflix. The service used to limit video speeds to help customers stay within their data limits, though they no longer do this.
Why Is Bandwidth Throttling Dangerous?
Bandwidth throttling is controversial for several different reasons. Many don’t want services providers to have too much control over speeds because they can just slow down any site they don’t like, or they can slow down websites run by competitors. Another reason is that not all online traffic is entertainment-related people. Firefighters, police officers, etc. all use the Internet to perform their life-saving work. Civilians also rely on the Internet when they’re in emergencies.
At best, throttling is annoying. At worst, it is downright dangerous.
How a VPN Can Help
It might seem like the easiest solution would be to switch providers. This likely won’t help much at all. Almost every ISP engages in bandwidth throttling to some extent. The best way to prevent your ISP from throttling your service is to use a VPN provider. A VPN encrypts your Internet traffic and redirects it to a remote server. In most cases, the user can choose the server. This encryption will keep your ISP from being able to see your network traffic. Using a VPN will stop most throttling performed by an ISP, but can’t help when the throttling is a result of overusing data. A VPN can’t disguise how much data you have used.
VPNs are especially useful for throttling caused by congestion. With a VPN you can choose what network your traffic travels on. Thus, your traffic will usually be on less congested servers than what your ISP provides. ExpressVPN, for example, uses privately maintained networks. These networks are more direct routes to the websites you want to visit. ExpressVPN is one of our favorite VPN providers. In addition to helping you with throttling issues, the service assists with problems associated with Internet censorship, geographic content restrictions, firewalls, and campus filters. The service also offers unlimited bandwidth and unlimited server switches. Few VPNs that we have tried allow you to browse the Internet with as much freedom.
Many ISPs are trying to crack down on VPNs. You generally want to use a VPN that is well-established and has substantial resources. Free VPN and proxy services are the first targets of these measures because they are easy targets. Free VPNs also usually lack the privacy you get from the likes of ExpressVPN, as they tend to have more IP address leaks and data leaks. Essentially, the ISP could still be monitoring your online activity, which defeats the purpose of a VPN. Thus, you want to do research in advance and find a VPN that users say consistently prevent bandwidth throttling.
Once you have a VPN, you will have a choice of many different servers. You will notice that not all work equally. Maybe the servers that are close to you are faster than ones that are farther away. It is a good idea to test several servers and see which one works the best. Many VPNs have an automatic reconnect feature. This will allow you to reliably use the server that gives you the best performance.
You will be hard-pressed to find an Internet service provider and mobile carrier that doesn’t engage in bandwidth throttling. Even though it doesn’t benefit the customers in any way, throttling still benefits their bottom-line. The best way to prevent your speeds from being slowed down is to subscribe to a reliable VPN service.
Visual journalist/Graduating student, University of Missouri-Columbia. Lover of everything in the gaming industry and an avid fan of all films!