There are sometimes frustrating speed bumps in the information superhighway that is the World Wide Web. In some instances, the reason for the slowdown is throttling of your internet service by your internet provider. As for what throttling is, it’s the intentional slowing down of your internet service by your internet service provider. You may not immediately notice the narrowing bandwidth. However, it could become an issue if streamed content suddenly becomes choppy or videos on YouTube are interrupted or slow to fully play. Below, we run through some of the ways to tell if your ISP is throttling your internet service – or if there are other reasons for the traffic jam.
Check Your Router
If the issue is slow Wi-Fi connections, check where your router is placed in your home in relation to the device you’re using at the moment. A router that’s too far away or blocked by walls or other barriers, for instance, could affect your internet’s performance. Try restarting your router and moving it closer to your laptop or other internet-connected devices.
Test Your Internet Speed
The next step to take with narrowing down the potential source of your slower internet speed is to do an actual internet speed test. There are plenty of free online sources you can use to do this. All you’re basically doing with a speed test is getting a full rundown of the health of your internet connection in terms of how fast it is and how it’s performing. Speed tests aren’t always perfect, but it’s a good way to gather some useful info.
Check Your Device
In some cases, issues with security or viruses can affect how fast your device works when connected to the internet. Do a virus scan and check your security features on your device. Correct any issues if a scan shows that some problems have been detected. If all else fails, try reverting back to a previous installation of your operating system or doing a reinstall.
What Can You Do about Throttling?
If you ultimately believe your internet service provider may be throttling your connection, contact your ISP. Granted, they may not always be upfront about whether or not they sometimes slow the internet service they provide. Still, it never hurts to see if they can offer a reasonable solution.
Even if your ISP isn’t fully upfront with you about whether or not they sometimes throttle service, letting them know you’ll switch providers if speed issues aren’t resolved may help. If you’re still not seeing improvements, consider your available options with internet service in your area. You may find an ISP that provides better service at a reasonable price.
There are several internet providers such as Spectrum and HughesNet allows you to use your own equipment and you’re currently using what they provide, consider investing in your own router and modem. Updating your equipment may boost your speed and give you the internet power you need to complete your online tasks. A mesh router could improve connectivity and speed as well. Mesh systems are designed to extend Wi-Fi coverage so your network can be shared by multiple devices. This can be especially beneficial if you have a larger home or one with an unusual layout that makes router placement difficult.
Another option is to connect with a VPN, or virtual private network. In order to throttle your service, your ISP needs to be detected. With a VPN, you’re connecting privately, so this may solve your speed issues. If you already have a VPN and your speed is slow, test your internet speed with and without your VPN activated. In some cases, switching to a more reliable VPN can solve the problem.