Bypass ISP throttling and get a faster internet

Don’t let ISP throttling slow down your Friday night.

  • Have you noticed slow speeds on YouTube videos?
  • Do Netflix videos take forever to load and buffer?
  • Is your ISP throttling your streaming video traffic?
  • Use a VPN to bypass throttling and peering conflicts.
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What is ISP bandwidth throttling, exactly?

A buffering laptop connected to the internet with an eye overlooking the connection.

Throttling is when an internet service provider (ISP) intentionally slows down your internet based on what you’re trying to watch.

With the rise of streaming video services like NetflixHBO Max, and even YouTube that demand high bandwidth, ISPs have begun inspecting your data and restricting your download speed if they detect packets from those services. ISPs claim this is to reduce congestion on their networks, but the truth is more complicated.

Am I being throttled?

The best way to know if your internet speed is being throttled is by running an internet speed test—with and without a VPN. A VPN, or virtual private network, encrypts your internet traffic, shielding it from your service provider. If your internet speed improves with the use of a VPN, there's a good chance your ISP is throttling your internet connection.

Bandwidth throttling hurts customers

Some ISPs already have the capability to handle the extra data but choose to throttle content providers’ traffic because it competes with their own streaming content libraries. Some ISPs have forced Netflix to pay a fee to escape throttling, allowing the ISP to avoid paying for much-needed upgrades. Lack of competition among ISPs and broadband providers means that companies can even get away with overcharging customers for faster internet.

Learn more about other topics related to internet freedom.

What is peering?

What is peering? Diagram showing two ISPs restricting the speed of a laptop streaming video.

Peering is when two ISPs connect and exchange traffic. Mutually beneficial under normal circumstances, peering causes problems when a popular streaming service (such as Netflix) forces one ISP to exceed the agreed traffic ratio, prompting the other one to ignore congestion and refuse to make adjustments.

That means you could be denied the internet speeds you paid for simply because your ISP refuses to resolve a peering conflict with another company.

How to bypass throttling with a VPN: Diagram showing an ISP unable to tell a user is streaming video.

What’s the best way to bypass bandwidth throttling?

If your ISP is throttling your bandwidth, and switching providers is not an option, the easiest solution is to connect through VPN. Your ISP won’t be able to inspect the data packets, so it won’t be able to throttle that traffic based on what service you’re using. The result is unlimited bandwidth for pure, unrestricted streaming video.

How to bypass peering conflicts with a VPN: Diagram showing an ISP unable to slow video because of peering.

How to bypass peering conflicts with a VPN

Using a VPN also solves the congestion caused by peering conflicts. Instead of going through a third-party ISP to reach your content, your traffic travels on a privately maintained network, taking the most direct, least congested path between you and the content you love.

Defeat ISP throttling in 3 easy steps

Step 1

Step 1 of downloading a VPN.

Sign up for ExpressVPN, with its blazing-fast speeds.

Step 2

Step 3 of connecting VPN.

Connect to any of 160 server locations in 94 countries.

Step 3

Fast video play button, with a speedometer.

Enjoy faster speeds and no more throttling based on content. Bye-bye, buffering.


Don’t let ISPs throttle your streaming video

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