Traffic Throttling: What It Means for Your Online Experience

Internet traffic throttling negatively affects your online experience. We explain why it happens and ways to navigate it. Stay informed and get the most out of your internet.
Date: November 4, 2023

Please Note: Apsis does not throttle your internet speed or have any limits on the amount of data you can download.

Internet Traffic Throttling: What It Means for Your Online Experience

Are you paying one of the "big companies" for internet, and you've noticed that sometimes your internet connection feels slower than usual? You're not alone.

One reason behind your speed issues is a practice big companies do called "traffic throttling".

We'll discuss internet throttling, why it happens, and how it can negatively affect your online activities. By the end, you'll have a clearer understanding of this often unknown area of internet service.

What is Internet Traffic Throttling?

At its core, traffic throttling is your internet connection being slowed down from your ISP. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can intentionally slow down your internet speed for specific types of data or during peak usage times. It's like having a cap on how fast your internet can go in certain situations.

Why Do ISPs Throttle Internet Traffic?

ISPs implement traffic throttling for a variety of reasons:

  • Network Congestion: When many people use the internet simultaneously, like during evening streaming hours, it can create congestion. Throttling the connections helps ISPs manage this traffic jam, ensuring everyone gets a reasonable share of the available bandwidth
  • Fair Usage: Some ISPs throttle heavy internet users to prevent a small number of customers from hogging all the bandwidth, which could negatively affect others on the same network
  • Compliance with Regulations: In some cases, ISPs may throttle certain types of data to comply with government regulations or maintain network stability

How Does Internet Traffic Throttling Work?

To understand how throttling works, think of it as traffic police controlling the flow of cars on a road. ISPs use specialized equipment to identify specific types of data, like video streaming or large file downloads. When they detect such data, they slow down the speed it travels through their network.

Effects on Your Online Activities

The impact of throttling can be noticeable during various online activities:

  • Streaming Videos: Buffering and lower video quality can occur when your ISP throttles video streaming services
  • Online Gaming: Throttling can lead to lag, long ping times, and disruptions in your online gaming experience
  • Large Downloads: If you're downloading big files, they will take longer to complete

Detecting and Dealing with Throttling

There are a few signs to look out for to see if your internet is being held back

  • Consistently Slow Speeds: If your internet is consistently slow, especially during specific times of the day, it could be a sign of throttling
  • VPN Test: Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can sometimes help bypass throttling, as it encrypts your traffic
  • Contacting Your ISP: Reach out to your ISP and ask about their throttling policies

The Importance of ISP Transparency

Transparency from your ISP matters in todays world. They should inform you about their throttling practices and policies, so you know what to expect.

Being an informed customer can help you make decisions about your internet service and whether to explore other options.

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