In 2017 United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officially revoked net neutrality. A lot has happened since then, but the debate over whether net neutrality regulations are good or bad and whether they will ever be restored is still ongoing.
Net neutrality affects both internet users and internet service providers (ISPs) in very different ways, so there are a lot of arguments for and against it. From a consumer’s point of view, net neutrality laws are a guarantee of a more open internet, in which all connections are treated equally and ISPs can’t censor users.
To ISPs, it means that the government will heavily control how they do their business, possibly preventing them from getting extra income to improve infrastructure. So are net neutrality regulations good or bad? Let’s look at the pros and cons.
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Net neutrality protects consumer interests and helps to create a fairer, more open internet in several ways. For one, it prevents ISPs from intentionally reducing the speed of internet services or charging consumers money for access to specific areas of the internet.
Net neutrality is the idea that all internet users can expect a basic standard of speed and accessibility. This meant that ISPs operating under the net neutrality principle are not allowed to censor content based on their own preferences (they could, of course, censor content for legal reasons). Likewise, ISPs abiding by the principle of net neutrality commit to not artificially slowing down internet services in an attempt to target competitors.
For example, if you use a streaming service owned by a rival of your ISP’s parent company, your ISP might be incentivized to slow down your connection to that service, discouraging you from using it. This is the sort of tactic that net neutrality legislation typically combats.
Without net neutrality rules, ISPs can prioritize specific types of traffic over others, potentially targeting competitors and creating a worse experience for the consumer. They could even make users and companies pay for a fast lane, providing better speeds to those who can afford them.
Yes, a VPN can help you avoid some of the negative impacts of net neutrality being rolled back.
ISPs are more likely to throttle your connection if they can see what you do online: for example, if you use a service owned by one of their competitors. To avoid activity-based bandwidth throttling and improve your privacy, use a VPN.
A VPN service routes your internet traffic through a VPN server, encrypting it and hiding it from ISPs and hackers. Remember, however, that a VPN doesn’t make you completely invisible to your ISP. They still know that you’re connected to a VPN, but your traffic will be shielded from them. Enjoy privacy and security with NordVPN.
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