There’s probably nothing more frustrating than endless buffering when watching that long-awaited TV episode or your favorite team play a do-or-die match. It could be that your bandwidth is being throttled. But how can you tell if an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is controlling your internet speed? And if they are, is there a way to stop it?
Bandwidth, or traffic, throttling is when ISPs slow down Internet speeds for their customers. This can happen to anyone at any time and it has a direct impact on how fast you can browse the internet, stream online videos, and use P2P services.
It’s normal for an ISP to limit your bandwidth after you’ve reached your monthly data cap or if you’re not paying your bills. But if you did none of these, why are you still experiencing slow buffering?
One of the main reasons why ISPs do so is pretty simple: they can no longer fulfill their promise of providing unlimited data or high speeds because it’s expensive.
Back in the day, almost all Internet users had unlimited data plans because checking emails or reading news was all they needed. But now people spend hours watching videos and consuming massive amounts of data and bandwidth – way more than ISPs anticipated.
To solve this problem, they could raise the prices of your data plans, offer less bandwidth or data, or brand your plans as ‘unlimited’ and then set limits anyway.
ISPs can control your traffic because they can see what you do on the internet. Your ISP can decide whether to throttle your connection depending on what websites you visit or services you use. However, if you use a VPN your traffic gets encrypted so your ISP can no longer see what you are doing online. As a result, they can no longer throttle your connection if you're streaming.
It’s easy to check whether your traffic is being throttled. If your connection speeds suddenly dropped, try connecting to a VPN and then performing the exact same actions you were doing when you noticed the drop. If you experience better speeds with the VPN, your ISP is probably throttling your connection.
You can perform this test with NordVPN because we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, bypassing throttling isn’t all NordVPN is good for. Here’s what it does for you:
Bypass internet throttling with NordVPN. Try it now with a 30-day money-back guarantee.