The term “internet throttling” refers to the situation where your internet service provider (ISP) slows down the internet to limit your bandwidth. As a result, you experience slow speeds and bandwidth congestion, which disrupt your online activities. So, if you notice these issues even if you have tried different ways to resolve them, you need to understand that your internet is being throttled!

Your ISP may throttle your internet to control your network traffic and impose data limits on users. Limiting your bandwidth allows specific users to perform online tasks with minimal lag. It can be very frustrating for many internet users; therefore, this article will provide you with all the information about internet throttling and ways to resolve it.

Reasons Why You Experience Internet Throttling

Internet throttling is more likely to occur if you perform data-intensive tasks, such as downloading, streaming, and gaming. When your internet service provider (ISP) throttles your internet, there is a chance that it is providing its service to new users without any improvement in speeds or connection quality. It is more commonly found in wireless and mobile internet services, compared to DSL, cable, and fiber internet.

Here are some of the common reasons behind internet throttling:

Data Caps

Many internet providers impose data caps on their users to limit the amount of data usage per month. When you exceed your monthly data limit, you may get an overage fee on your internet bill, which will require you to pay extra dollars every month. So, if your ISP has imposed a soft data cap on your service plan and you have surpassed your bandwidth limit, then it may throttle your internet. This way, your ISP controls your bandwidth usage.

Network Congestion

When too many users access the same network at the same time, it causes network congestion. This occurs because, after some time, the network exceeds its capacity to accommodate so many users, leading to congestion. Therefore, internet providers throttle the internet to facilitate the number of users connected to the network.

You are more likely to encounter network congestion during peak hours of internet use or if you live in a shared home or apartment.

Bandwidth Usage

Many ISPs advertise their internet plans by claiming no bandwidth caps. However, when too many users perform bandwidth-intensive activities simultaneously, internet providers control the network traffic by throttling the internet. This is because many ISPs can’t facilitate the growing bandwidth needs of their users to perform tasks that need high bandwidth, such as gaming and streaming.

Paid Prioritization

Paid prioritization is one of the reasons why your ISP may throttle your internet. It consists of a financial agreement that demands ISPs to slow down their internet service. As a result, your ISP may throttle your internet in exchange for an amount paid to promote another company’s internet connection.

Here are some of the signs that your ISP is throttling the internet due to paid prioritization:

  • Your ISP offers access to certain platforms by asking you to pay an additional fee. As a result, it throttles the internet for users who are not willing to pay the extra costs apart from monthly internet bills
  • Your ISP advertises new streaming services, which results in throttling for popular streaming platforms, including Netflix and Hulu
  • Your ISP asks a website to pay an amount for loading the website faster

How to Identify Internet Throttling?

We have put together a list of ways to determine if your internet is being throttled:

Check Your Internet Speeds

You can use an online speed test to know the actual speeds you are getting from your internet provider. Then, you need to compare your speeds with the speeds that your ISP claimed. Since your internet speed may vary from time to time, it is better to conduct multiple speed tests throughout the day to calculate your average speed.

If you notice that your speed is significantly slower than what you signed up for, then it is a major sign that your internet is throttling.

Use a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) works by encrypting your internet connection to hide your IP address and other information from your ISP. This way, nobody can see your browsing activities or determine your personal information, including your email address or password. In addition, it allows you to access blocked websites without any security issues.

Once you have tested your internet speed using an online speed testing tool, it’s time for you to test it again, but with a VPN. This way, you will know your actual speeds as the VPN will generate your speed result without using your IP address. If your speeds differ from what you are supposed to get from your current internet plan, this may be a sign of internet throttling.

How to Stop the Internet from Being Throttled?

Your internet throttling issues can be sorted out using the following ways:

  • Upgrade to AT&T bundles to enjoy uninterrupted connectivity. There are no data caps on AT&T Fiber plans
  • Turn on your VPN so that your internet provider can’t track the websites you access on the internet
  • Monitor your bandwidth usage

If you have tried all the options listed above, but your internet throttling does not stop, then it’s time for you to switch to AT&T Internet. With symmetrical speeds of up to 5 GIGs from AT&T Fiber, you can connect more than 10 devices at the same time. It allows you to stream, video chat, and play bandwidth-intensive online games without worrying about exceeding your monthly data caps. In addition, you don’t need to sign an annual contract to get connected to AT&T Fiber.

The Bottom Line

Internet throttling can disrupt your online experience by delaying important tasks that need to be done on time. However, you can fix your throttled internet using the abovementioned ways. So, be careful and keep an eye on various signs that indicate that your internet is being throttled. This way, you can ensure that you get internet access seamlessly.

By Robert Smith

John Smith: John, a former software engineer, shares his insights on software development, programming languages, and coding best practices.