How to detect and bypass ISP throttling using a VPN service

Last updated: November 21, 2019
Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Tired of the slow internet connection when browsing, streaming content on YouTube/Netflix, or downloading torrents? You may be a victim of ISP throttling.

With FCC dismantling Net Neutrality regulations, ISPs are are at an advantage. And in most circumstances, slow bandwidth is directly related to throttling.

To leverage better security and re-enable a high-speed internet, here is a round-up on the 5 best VPNs to bypass ISP throttling:

RankVPNHighlightsPrice
1.SurfsharkBest VPN to Stop ISP Throttling$1.99/mo.
2.IvacySuperfast Speeds with the VPN$1.99/mo.
3.ExpressVPNVPN App Bypasses Throttling Easily$8.82/mo.
4.PureVPNInstant Protection Against Throttling $1.32/mo
5.VyprVPNChameleon Feature Bypasses Throttling$6.67/mo.

How to Detect ISP Throttling

  1. Conduct a speed test by using the Oakla tool
  2. Analyze the results with ISP plan you have purchased
  3. Use the “Internet Health Test” tool
  4. Look for inconsistencies in upload/download speeds
  5. Open a 4k video on YouTube and note down bandwidth
  6. Compare video bandwidth against your overall internet speed

 

How to Stop Throttling: 5 Recommended VPNs

Below is a list of the top 5 VPNs to stop ISP throttling and enjoy a speedy online experience.

1. Surfshark

Best VPN to Stop ISP Throttling

Pricing$1.99/mo. on a 2-year plan
Bandwidth CapNone
Reliable UptimesYes
Unblocks NetflixYes
Servers1000+ in 60+ countries
MultiloginsUnlimited
Data EncryptionAES-256-GCM
Websitehttps://www.surfshark.com/

Founded in 2018 and based in BVI, Surfshark is an affordable newcomer that competes with top names like Express and Nord. It is a highly secure VPN that cloaks your IP address to keep your identity hidden from ISPs to stop throttling.

The VPN also offers access to 800+ servers in 50 countries worldwide. I was able to unblock Netflix US/UK, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and other VoDs through these servers. They delivered high speeds, as you can see in the tests I conducted below:

ServerDownloadUploadPing
US87.39Mbps60.63Mbps88 ms
UK80.88Mbps58.74Mbps111 ms
Australia71.19Mbps69.44Mbps125 ms
Germany77.03Mbps50.13Mbps119 ms
France81.95Mbps61.31Mbps67 ms
Average78.15Mbps60.18Mbps70ms

The average download and upload speeds are quite amazing for a newcomer like Surfshark. Luckily, this does not mean it compromises on security. AES-256-GCM encryption protects you against DDoS attacks and being discovered.

Best part of all: the provider gives access to unlimited multi-logins and a huge list of compatible apps. This includes native clients for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and even Amazon Fire TV.

Pros

  1. 1040+ servers in 61 countries
  2. WebRTC/DNS/IP leak protection
  3. Unlimited Multilogins
  4. Multiple payment options
  5. Headquartered in BVI

Cons

  1. No free trial

For more information, check out this full Surfshark Review!

2. Ivacy

Get Superfast Speeds with the VPN

Pricing$1.99/mo. on a 2-year plan
Bandwidth CapNone
Reliable UptimesYes
Unblocks NetflixYes
Servers1000+ in 100+ locations
Multilogins5 devices
Data EncryptionAES-256-CBC
Websitehttps://www.ivacy.com

Reputed for being a top choice for Chinese users, Ivacy is based in Singapore. As such, it resides in a safe location, which works in favor for keeping your identity hidden and enjoying a verified no logging experience.

Users have access to 1,000+ servers in 100+ locations worldwide. All deliver exceptional capability in bypassing throttling and unblocking streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Netflix.

ServerDownloadUploadPing
US91.71Mbps60.63Mbps128 ms
UK83.96Mbps49.99Mbps92 ms
Australia75.81Mbps50.19Mbps117 ms
Germany 65.98Mbps59.88Mbps99 ms
France82.55Mbps62.72Mbps55 ms
Average80.00Mbps56.68Mbps98 ms

I even conducted a performance test on the VPN to get a better idea about the speeds you receive on gaming. As you can see above, the speed loss is minimal, which still will have a major impact after bypassing throttling on your connection.

For encryption, the provider uses AES-256 with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication. You even leverage amazing security features like Split Tunneling, SOCKS5 proxies, IPv6 leak protection, 5 multilogins and more.

Pros

  1. 1000+ servers in 100+ locations.
  2. Dedicated IPs available
  3. Strict no logging policy
  4. Automatic Kill Switch
  5. IPv6 Leak Protection

Cons

  1. Slow support response times

For more information, check out this full Ivacy Review!

3. ExpressVPN

VPN App Bypasses Throttling Easily

Pricing$8.32/mo. on a 1-year plan
Bandwidth CapNone
Reliable UptimesYes
Unblocks NetflixYes
Servers3,000+ in 160+ locations
Multilogins5 devices
Data EncryptionAES-256-GCM
Websitehttps://www.expressvpn.com/

The universal ExpressVPN ranks third for stopping throttling, not because of poor performance. Just because it is priced a little higher than the above names like Surfshark and NordVPN, which provide great value for lesser money.

Nevertheless, the BVI-based provider is an amazing choice for stopping throttling. All of its servers offer exceptional protection to keep your identity hidden. Not to mention, you receive great speeds through the VPN.

ServerDownloadUploadPing
US89.55Mbps60.63Mbps108 ms
UK86.27Mbps49.99Mbps72ms
Australia79.83Mbps50.19Mbps119 ms
Germany 70.11Mbps59.88Mbps82 ms
France82.97Mbps62.72Mbps78 ms
Average85.19Mbps61.94Mbps102 ms

You have 3,000+ servers in 160 locations worldwide. Most of which successfully bypass geo-restrictions on Netflix and work in China. Best part of all: you receive good enough speeds for ultra HD and even 4k streaming.

ExpressVPN uses military grade AES-256 encryption to secure your data. This in turn allows you to stop speed throttling attempts by your ISP quite easily, even on iOS and Android smartphones and devices.

Pros

  1. Great speeds for stopping throttling
  2. 3,000+ servers in 140 locations
  3. Multi-logins on 5 devices
  4. Netflix and Torrenting Support
  5. AES-256-GCM Encryption

Cons

  1. Plans are highly priced

For more information, check out this full ExpressVPN Review!

4. PureVPN

Instant Protection Against Throttling

Pricing$1.65/mo. on a 5-year plan
Bandwidth CapNone
Reliable UptimesYes
Unblocks NetflixYes
Servers2000+ in 140+ countries
Multilogins5 devices
Data EncryptionAES-256-CBC
Websitehttps://www.purevpn.com/

PureVPN may have had a rocky start in the industry. However, it has improved quite a lot recently, even being endorsed by one of the largest media companies online, Forbes. Meanwhile it has an amazing rating of 9.5 stars on TrustPilot.

It did get criticized in the past, particularly for slow and below par speeds. Nevertheless, things are much better now, as PureVPN comes really close in competing with top names in the marketplace:

ServerDownloadUploadPing
US81.88Mbps69.71Mbps99ms
UK77.13Mbps70.91Mbps123ms
Australia73.61Mbps64.44Mbps150ms
Germany82.19Mbps61.39Mbps113ms
France61.95Mbps78.15Mbps79ms
Average73.57Mbps64.59Mbps103ms

Users seldom experience breakdowns in service. On top of all this, PureVPN exists as one of the most cheap reliable VPNs, priced at just $1.65/mo. on a 5-year plan.

You even have dedicated IPs available with the provider, which further prove useful for a faster internet. You can easily buy one to receive a care-free and speedy online experience on your desktop or mobile.

Pros

  1. 2,000+ servers in 140 countries
  2. Easy-to-use VPN apps
  3. Dedicated IPs available
  4. Multi-logins on 5 devices
  5. Double VPN and Split Tunneling.

Cons

  1. Keeps some logs

For more information, check out this full PureVPN Review!

5. VyprVPN

Chameleon Feature Bypasses Throttling

Pricing$6.67/mo. on a 1-year plan
Bandwidth CapNone
Reliable UptimesYes
Unblocks NetflixYes
Servers700+ in 70+ countries
Multilogins5 devices
Data EncryptionAES-256-GCM
Websitehttps://www/vyprvpn.com

Based in Switzerland, VyprVPN is another service that has quickly risen to fame in the marketplace. Much of which is owed to its Chameleon Protocol feature, designed for defeating DPI/DDoS attacks and stopping throttling.

It even makes it possible for users to unblock sites where there is a VPN ban imposed. This includes gaming sites like Stream and VoDs like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more.

ServerDownloadUploadPing
US84.69Mbps74.18Mbps99ms
UK74.63Mbps61.51Mbps123ms
Australia75.15Mbps57.82Mbps110ms
Germany64.96Mbps52.26Mbps113ms
France72.55Mbps63.59Mbps79ms
Average74.39Mbps61.87Mbps107ms

The VPN has a reputation for being a fast provider and my testing verified these claims.  A ping rate of 107 Ms is not bad at all. Also, the download and upload speeds were also quite reasonable for stopping throttling.

VyprVPN also offers a NAT firewall, 700+servers in 70 countries worldwide, a zero logs policy and a wide number of compatible apps to go with incredible service. You can use one subscription on 5 devices simultaneously.

Pros

  1. 700+ servers in 70 countries
  2. Chameleon for DPI attacks
  3. 30-day refund available
  4. AES-256-Bit encryption
  5. Netflix and Torrenting

Cons

  1. No browser extensions

For more information, check out this full VyprVPN Review!

How to Stop Throttling on Windows

  1. Go to “Settings” and click on “Network & Internet”
  2. Select your current network from Wi-Fi or Ethernet
  3. Open the network and enable “Metered Connection”
  4. Return to the previous “Settings” menu and select “Update & Security”
  5. Select Windows Update > Settings > Advanced Options > Deliver Optimization
  6. Click on “Advanced Settings” and move the bar for optimizing the bandwidth

How to Bypass Throttling on Android

  1. Open the menu of your Android smartphone or tablet
  2. Tap on the “Settings” tab and then select “Wireless & Network”
  3. Access the “Mobile Networks” menu and then open “Point Names”
  4. Select your Providers’ APN and then find the APN type
  5. Once done, click on the APN type and add “Dun” at the end
  6. Reboot your phone to save settings and bypass throttling

How to Stop Throttling On Android without Root

To bypass these new restrictions, find a suitable provider from the list above, subscribe to the service, download/install the app, and browse the list of servers. Choose a fast US location which is in close proximity.

This will mask your identity by switching your IP address, hence making it impossible to track your online activity or impose throttling. Using a VPN is the easiest way to avoid throttling without rooting your smartphones.

How to Bypass Throttling on iPhone

  1. Go to any reputable VPN provider website from the list provided above
  2. Sign up for an account and purchase a subscription that suits your needs
  3. Download the relevant VPN app for iPhone from the website directly or iTunes
  4. Launch the VPN software and select an appropriate server location
  5. Enable the “Connect” button and enjoy a seamless internet experience with no throttling

How to Stop Throttling on T-Mobile

  1. Go to the main menu of your Android tablet or phone
  2. Head to “Settings” and tap on “Wireless & Network”
  3. Open the “Mobile Networks” list and access “Point Names”
  4. Select “T-Mobile APN” and find the APN Type
  5. Click the APN Type and add “dun” at the end of it
  6. Shut off your phone, reboot it, and enjoy a faster internet on T-Mobile!

How to Stop ISP Throttling without a VPN

  1. Click on the search icon on the taskbar, type “Run”, and hit the enter button
  2. Type MSC, in the pop-up run window, to configure the bandwidth settings
  3. A window will open called “Local Group Policy Editor”
  4. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Network > QoS Packet Scheduler > Limit Reservable Bandwidth
  5. Type “0” in the section that asks for the “Bandwidth Limit %” and then hit the okay button.
  6. Head to the Start Menu once again
  7. Go to the “Control Panel” and then select the “Network & Internet” option
  8. Navigate to “Network and Sharing” and then “Change Adapter Settings”
  9. Left click on the “Local Area Connection” and select “Properties”
  10. Enable the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4” via check-mark
  11. Change the DNS server settings to the Google DNS: 8.8.8.8
  12. Disconnect and Reconnect the network for changes to take effect!

How to Re-enable High Speed Mobile Data after Being Throttled

  1. Go to any reputable VPN provider website like Surfshark
  2. Purchase a subscription that suits your needs
  3. Download the relevant VPN app for your device
  4. Launch the VPN software and connect to any server
  5. Enjoy a seamless internet experience with no throttling

People Also Ask

What is ISP Peering?

ISP Peering, as the name implies, is the act/agreement of exchanging traffic between different ISPs. It typically gives the ability or larger ISPs with a strong backbone and network to allow traffic from other ISPs in exchange for traffic on their networks.

What is bandwidth throttling?

ISP Throttling is the act of slowing down your internet, based on your bandwidth consumption. Most telecom and ISP providers indugle in this act to supposedly reducing the congestion on their networks.

Why do ISPs throttle your connection?

ISPs claim that throttling bandwidth, allows them to decrease the congestion over their network. This in turn lowers the amount of data they have to process at a single time, saving them the need to buy more expensive and faster equipment.

Can a VPN bypass ISP throttling?

Indeed a VPN can help in bypassing ISP throttling. They shift your location, switch your IP address, and anonymize all online activities. This makes it impossible for a ISP to detect you and impose a speed limit on your connection.

Are ISPs allowed to throttle?

With the Net Neutrality laws being repelled, there are not many legal protections against throttling. However, customer outrage on specific servers does keep things in check. Otherwise, throttling for the most part is quite legal.

Is ISP throttling legal?

In countries where Net Neutrality laws are in place, bandwidth throttling imposed by ISPs is strictly forbidden. However, where the laws are repelled, ISPs will have the ability to impose throttling whenever or wherever necessary.

Am I being throttled by my ISP?

If you are being cheated on any ISP-related performance degradation on your internet connection, the best way to check is taking this “Internet Health Test” from Battle for the Net, a site that is an advocator for Net Neutrality.

Why is Cox throttling Netflix?

ISP throttling on popular services like Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, and particularly Netflix is not an uncommon practice. It was first only common among popular names like AT&T and Verizon, but Cox is now imposing throttling too.

Can I hide my browsing history from ISPs?

One of the worst tactics of earning money plenty of ISPs engage in is to use the information they gather form us users. The only way to hide your browsing history and leverage complete anonymity is to invest in a VPN service!

What is the best free VPN to bypass ISP throttling?

I do not recommend using free VPN services for stopping ISP throttling, as most come with bandwidth and data limitations themselves. So, you cannot really expect them to stop ISP throttling for you.

Wrapping Things Up

The compartmentalization of the internet has begun after the Net Neutrality laws being repelled. VPNs are the only solution currently available that allow users to enjoy the same internet speeds across all digital avenues.

With all factors taken into consideration, the affordable Surfshark wins this category for the best VPN for bypassing ISP throttling. However, if you do not mind spending a little more money, do consider Ivacy.

If you encounter any issues or have suggestions to offer, please do not hesitate to comment below. Also, feel free to share the guide with your friends/family members, who may want to know more about bypassing ISP throttling.

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