If you hire an Internet Service Provider (ISP,) you are supposed to put your trust in their hands to offer you the best possible speeds and performance while browsing the web and performing other activities, such as playing online games, gambling, streaming, torrenting, and others.
However, some ISPs throttle their users’ connection on purpose for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they need to control the amount of data available in specific hours, while other times they “punish” the people that perform the most data-intensive tasks, such as online streaming.
ISP throttling is, sadly, a widespread occurrence these days, and a very distasteful way of controlling which sites the userbase access. After all, if a person tries to open Netflix to stream a movie and it sees a lot of buffering, it will probably decide against completing the activity.
Verizon: A Net Neutrality-violating company
One of the companies known for applying speed throttling to its users is Verizon. It is a US-based multinational telecommunications conglomerate that, along with Comcast, has been actively lobbying for changes in the FCC’s regulations that require ISPs to offer all content at one internet speed regardless of the type. Both companies have admitted to throttling content.
Before the voting occurred in 2017 (violating the Net Neutrality,) Verizon was caught slowing down their users’ speeds while using specific services: Netflix and Youtube are the most notable, while Kodi users also reported the issue, and although Verizon promised not to do it, nothing happened.
ISPs throttle bandwidth for a variety of reasons. Among them are:
- Pressure from the government, as some websites are deemed immoral or sensitive. The cases of Iran and the United Arab Emirates are perfect examples
- Discouraging people from visiting specific sites, services or apps. For instance, Comcast didn’t want people to use the BitTorrent protocol, and Verizon is known for slowing down speeds for Youtube and Netflix use, which are known, competitors
- The user exceeded the monthly data limit when it comes to bandwidth. At that moment, the provider may choose to throttle the user’s speed or stop offering the service altogether until the next payment
- Avoiding DDoS attacks
- Specific traffic optimization
- Bandwidth management on the ISP part, most notably during peak hours. Some ISPs don’t always have all the bandwidth users want or need at all times, and often find themselves needing to “cut down” traffic allowance somewhat
Internet throttling and the law
You may ask yourself: is ISP throttling even legal? The answer depends on the country you live. For example, the United States disallowed the activity thanks to the Comcast-BitTorrent scandal in 2007.
However, the regulation was recently reverted, and ISPs can go back to throttling their users’ connection because the FCC canceled Net Neutrality laws.
Avoid Verizon’s throttling with a VPN
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are data encryption and protection measures that not only hide your traffic but also mask your real IP address and lend you a new one for temporary use at the location of your request.
They implement protocols, or content protection technologies, to create a virtual tunnel by which the user’s information and IP address will pass, away from the potentially dangerous actions of Internet Service Providers, hackers, cyber criminals, malware developers, online advertisers, copyright trolls, surveillance agencies, and more.
The data encryption process that a VPN fosters wraps each data packet in a layer of unbreakable code. The process is done before the information leaves the user’s device, and thanks to it, no agent will see what’s inside the packets: not Verizon, not Comcast, or any ISP.
If Verizon can’t see what you are entering or doing on the web, then the company won’t be able to throttle your Internet connection speed based on what you are visiting.
The previously mentioned scenario works if you are visiting a specific page or service that Verizon throttles. However, if your ISP throttles your connection in a more general manner, VPNs can help you too. The process of slowing down the user’s connection on purpose is performed based on port numbers: these agents are the numbered “doors” through which your traffic goes through on the web.
The data packets often pass through the same port, or “door,” so the majority of ISPs, like Verizon, slow down connections on that specific port. However, a VPN can send traffic through other locations, thus accessing ports that the Internet Service Provider can’t block without effectively disabling your whole Internet connection.
How to prevent Verizon throttling with a VPN
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- Select a VPN with robust encryption, a no-logging policy, high speeds, and excellent security features
- Go to that VPN’s website
- Register for the VPN service after you select your preferred plan. You may have to provide a payment method and some personal information
- Create a username and a password
- Download and install the VPN app or client on your device
- Launch the VPN app
- Sign in to your VPN account
- Connect to any server to hide your activity from Verizon and stop throttling
TorGuard: the best VPN to stop Verizon throttling
When looking for the best VPN to stop ISP throttling, there are a few traits you should prioritize over others. For example, you need a speedy brand, because you won’t be doing anything if you bypass throttling if the VPN brand you select significantly slows down your connection by itself.
One of the few brands that can brag about fulfilling most of those requirements is TorGuard. It is an American server with a strict and clear no-logging policy, secure AES 256-bit encryption, OpenVPN and support for other protocols, and more than 3,000 servers in 55 locations.
TorGuard is compatible with the vast majority of operating systems, devices, and platforms out there, and can be configured in five devices simultaneously under the same account. It costs $10 per month and is extremely easy to install and use, but if you happen to have any issues, you can solve them through the highly efficient live chat feature.
In conclusion, to stop Verizon and any other ISP’s throttling activities, you need to disguise your traffic and identify with a VPN service. TorGuard has an extensive track record for managing people’s privacy and online security flawlessly.