How can I bypass ISP data throttling?

Erlis D January 14, 2014
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Hello there!

Recenlty I’ve been dealing with a problem on my internet connection (to be more precise the last 3 months). I paid for 4 Mbps monthly subscription, and now after downloading 30-40 GiBs for the first 10 days, my ISP throttled my connection speed. I already contacted their costumer service, and the answer I got from them was: “You have been marked as a “suspicious” user by our system, and the system has limited your connection speed. Are you interested in any bussiness subscription?” I mean… C’mon! This is crazy! -.-‘

As I mentioned above this has been happening for the past three months (before I used to download more than 200-300 GiBs per month and no problem at all). This is turning very annoying since it’s becoming more like a limited connection with a non-limited subscription. Now to the question… I was wondering if there is any way to bypass this? And I was wondering more that, could an VPN service ‘ignore’ this throttling and use the default speed for which I paid! I have read a lot about this, and I know that if the change was done by the ISP is almost impossible to make changes, but what I want is suggestion, more knowledge about this, and probably a solution to this problem!
Thanks in advance,
Erlis D.

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  1. James B
    January 19, 2014 at 10:51 am

    A VPN may help, but it depends on how they're identifying you as suspicious. If they found you downloading torrents - were you? - then a VPN would hide that from them. If they simply saw you using too much bandwidth at 100% usage rate (and I can't really thin how you would do that other than torrents), then a VPN probably wouldn't help.

    On a paltry 4 MB connection though I really wouldn't expect much. Probably they offer a higher tier which costs a lot more and may be completely unlimited. 4MB sounds like their lowest level of service, and of course it's going to be bandwidth capped and limited. You have a BURST RATE of 4mb, but the service contract doesn't mean you may use 4MB CONSTANTLY. You get what you pay for, really.

  2. kihara
    January 16, 2014 at 8:35 am
  3. Jan F
    January 14, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    First of all, there is no non-limited subscription as you want it. Somewhere in the Terms and Conditions or the Terms of Service WILL BE a paragraph that gives them the right to either limit or even cancel your service for one reason or another.

    That is also my suggestion to you: Read the ToC and ToS of your subscription because the answer (good or bad) is probably in there.

    The other question would be whether you actually have a truly unlimited subscription or fair-use policy.
    In a truly unlimited subscription they are not allowed to throttle your bandwidth regardless of how suspicious it looks. Only if the suspicion is found to be true they can do something about it ~ usually cancel your service.

    If you have a fair-use policy, well then I'm afraid you are out of luck. Unless certain terms or a certain limit is specified it is up to them whether they throttle at 1000GB or 10GB.

    As for VPN:
    That depends on how the throttling is done. If they are using traffic shaping to limit certain types of traffic a VPN connection should enable you to bypass it. So if for example a HTTP download runs at full 4Mbps and e.g. Torrent only at 256kbit then this could work.
    If they just throttle your entire service (line) to a lower bandwidth a VPN won't change that.

    • Erlis D
      January 14, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      Yeah, you are right! I've already read the ToC and ToS. What's said is:
      "In case of hacking or ilegal use of the service, action will be taken to limit your bandwidth or even permamently cancel your service!"
      I know it's not a non-limited connection, but still to put a restriction like that, and even without advising, it's out of the terms of service and not legal from them. This problem has happened to a lot of my friends also who use this company, and yes, they are very unhappy from this.
      I already contanced their costumer service, and they did not give me an answer or at least give me a proper answer...
      In this case, I think it has been throttled the entire service. Before this, I used to see different hosts for my connetion(as I checked on speedtest.com ). Now, I have my ISP's host, but my IP gets changed frequently!
      Anyway, thanks for your comment! It really helped a lot, and now I'm really considering changing to another ISP.

    • Jan F
      January 15, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Yes, this is a vary vague term. I wouldn't be surprised if some additional paragraph or maybe other document says something like "You may not use it for high volume purposes". This is actually an example of a violation Verizon has buried in their Terms of Service (Section 4, Subsection 3 Restrictions on Use) in between not leasing your line to a third-party. One can only assume what "high volume" means, right?

      Unfortunately you will encounter and (have to) agree to vague statements like this at pretty much any provider. My personal suggestion is to lookup and ask in broadband forums which provider people can suggest in your area.

      For example I have chosen and stayed with the most expensive provider in my area simply because I never had any trouble of that sort. I used to have a package that included 10GB in the freetime (8pm to 8am) and despite reaching over 100GB every month I was asked to limit my traffic only once in two years.

    • James B
      January 19, 2014 at 10:49 am

      Not sure where you live, but I have completed unlimited internet with no caps at 60mb/s. Not every country is as backward-ass as America?

    • Jan F
      January 19, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      If your answer was regarding my comment ~ I do have a truly unlimited line right now. This "Freetime" thing was like 7 years ago?
      But most areas here are nowhere near 60Mbit... 8-16Mbit is sort of the norm 'thanks' to old DSL technology. If you are living in higher population city you can usually get cable with up to 50Mbit. Few lucky households get FC connection with 100Mbit unlimited for like $45 a month.

  4. Oron J
    January 14, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    As far as I know there's no way to get around the throttlingt, but you could take your business to a different ISP. Also, depending on the country you're in, you could contact your Trading Standards office and make a complaint. If a download limit is not written into your contract, you may well find that the trading standards office will be interested to use your case to clamp down on the ISP.

    • Erlis D
      January 14, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      I could choose a different ISP, but I chose this since it's considered the best here in my country! -.-'
      I wish there was a trading standards office. Even though a lot of user complains, there is no solution to this issue. It's like their words are not listened, and the worst is that no one changes ISP, hoping it will be better in the future!

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