With the internet being deeply embedded in our lives, the job of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) has become crucial. They are tasked with providing essential internet services for all their users, but many users claim to have an occasional dip in speed. There can be many reasons but its criminal if your ISP is slowing down the connection intentionally. This act is called bandwidth throttling, and it is a reactive measure employed to minimise bandwidth congestion.
Bandwidth throttling can cause many upsets. There can be delays in video or stream buffering, slow file downloads on p2p networks such as BitTorrent and excessive lag while gaming. Here are five ways to check if your ISP is practising bandwidth throttling.
1. Read Your Internet Contract
Before you start carrying out any tests, it is important to you what speed you are paying for. Many users often mix up the details of their subscription package and are disappointed when they use up all of their data in downloads and are stuck with a slow connection after.
2. Run a Speed Test
To test whether your ISP is slowing down your connection over time, you’ll have to measure your internet connection over time. You can run speed tests over different periods and note down the results.
Internet speed can be monitored with the help of using speed test websites such as SpeedTest by Ookla. These tools can help but are not entirely accurate since an ISP can prioritise traffic from a speed test resulting in a fake image of fast internet.
3. Netflix and Youtube Throttling.
Netflix is a considerable target site for throttling and to counter that they have created their test to check their connection. The Netflix FAST speed test shows your links to Netflix, and if it is less compared to the original speed test, it is evident that your ISP is throttling.
Similarly, Google has also provided means to check, the Google Video Quality Report, which shows the quality of your connection to YouTube’s servers. If your internet connection is fast, but you have sick video streaming on YouTube, it clearly indicates that your ISP is involved in slowing down your connection.
4. The Internet Health Test
This test, developed by Battle for the Net, checks your internet connection to see if there are any problems at the points of interconnection. It’s not uncommon for ISPs to throttle the performance at these points to that the other ISPs have to pay an additional fee. The test checks all the different routes and points and detects if you are experiencing a poor connection at one or more interconnection points. So if you see a big difference between consecutive tests, it means that your ISP is throttling it.
5. Speed Test with a VPN
As previously discussed, ISPs can prioritise traffic depending on the task at hand. For streaming services, it can be restricted, and for regular browsing, higher speeds can be available. To eliminate this process, you can use a VPN to mask your activity and then run the test. The results will be far more accurate and will show if your connection is being throttled or not.
If after trying all these tips but your internet connection is still sucked, you should switch ISPs and try to find a better one. The names on this list are the current best cable internet providers if you want to change.