How to Bypass ISP Throttling When Gaming

By Staff Reporter , Updated Apr 10, 2019 09:53 AM EDT
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In the following article, we're going to take a look at ISP throttling, what it is, why ISPs are doing it, and what you can do to bypass it when gaming online.

One thing that you'll learn is that using a VPN is the best ways to improve your connection speeds. Therefore, installing a VPN, such as ExpressVPN, can be one of the best methods to bypass pesky ISP throttling.

What is ISP Throttling?

Most often, throttling occurs when your ISP sets limitations on your bandwidth usage once you've surpassed a certain preset data cap. In other words, they give you a certain amount of data at high speeds, but after you've used it up, they will slow your connection.

Throttling can be the result of when an ISP wants to slow down a specific online destination, such as a streaming service. In this scenario, your ISP may be slowing down specific websites or services, say Hulu or Netflix, because they want their users to pay a fee for a full-speed connection before being able to use them.

Regardless of the reason, ISP throttling results in slower internet speeds and this causes latency, which can feel like torture when playing video games.

Why Some ISPs May Throttle Your Service

There are several reasons that an ISP may be throttling their internet services.

For starters, some internet package subscriptions include caps on how much data can be used at a certain speed. Once the cap has been reached by the user, they will still have access to the internet, but their ISP will only provide the service at significantly slower speeds.

If you're now wondering whether or not your ISP service plan has a data cap, it's best to contact them and ask.

There have been reports of ISPs throttling their users' connection speeds based on their internet activities. Although this goes against net neutrality laws, it's not uncommon for it to happen in certain countries or regions.

Most of the time, this happens when an internet user is participating in activities that consume large amounts of bandwidth, such as downloading or uploading torrent files.

Other than that, an ISP may also decide to throttle their network at certain points where it connects to other areas of the world wide web. For example, some ISPs may do this to try and persuade gaming services or content providers to pay more for their users to access the internet via their connection.

How to Tell If Your Connection is Being Throttled

It can sometimes be hard to tell if your connection is slow because it's being throttled or if it is simply acting up. Fortunately, there is a simple way to find out.

First, start by running a simple speed test to see where your connection currently stands. Take note of your connection speed. Next, you're going to want to download and install a VPN before running a speed test a second time.

If your service is being throttled by your ISP, you should see a significant improvement in speed when using the VPN. And by doing this, you'll quickly be able to find out if your connection is being throttled.

If it is, keep reading and we'll explain what you can do to get around this pesky inconvenience.

How to Bypass ISP Throttling

If you find that your connection is being throttled, the first thing you should do is speak with your internet service provider and complain that you feel like you're receiving poor internet service. In some cases, just by complaining, they might be willing to offer you an upgrade at no additional cost.

In some cases, you might have a plan that actually allows them to throttle your service. However, that doesn't mean you're out of options. For example, you could simply upgrade your plan to one without a data cap. But unfortunately, that will likely end up costing you out of pocket.

One other very effective negotiation technique is to tell them that you're simply not happy with their service and are considering switching to another provider. This will usually get their attention and they'll transfer you to their retentions department to offer you some sort of upgrade to keep you as a customer.

Use a VPN

As we've already mentioned, you can find out if your service is being throttled simply by installing a VPN and checking to see if your connection speeds improve. But at the same time, a VPN can simply be used to bypass ISP throttling without them even knowing about it.

Using a VPN or Virtual Private Network will prevent your ISP from being able to see what you're doing on the internet. In other words, it will be impossible for them to know if you've been downloading torrents, running speed tests, or doing whatever else it is you choose to do on the internet.

Aside from helping you bypass ISP throttling, VPNs are also extremely effective at helping internet users protect their privacy. With that being said, we recommend using a VPN as the best method to bypass ISP throttling.

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