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How To Tell If Your Home Internet Is Being Throttled
As your connection is shared by many users connected to the same cell tower, internet service providers (ISPs) sometimes limit the bandwidth of certain users. To tell if your home internet is being throttled, start by checking your monthly data usage, as many ISPs set data caps, which will limit the bandwidth when exceeded.
If you're well within your data plan and your connection is still not hitting the proper download and upload speeds, test the speeds separately on all the devices you use and write down the download, upload, and ping values. For running a speed test, we recommend using Ookla, but you can try different tests and compare the results.
To be extra certain, turn off any downloads, Netflix, or other websites, and try the test several times at different times of the day to check whether your internet is being throttled only during busy hours. While your speed test data alone may be enough to contact your ISP, you should still download a free and reputable VPN client to check if your internet is truly being throttled.
Use VPN clients like ProtonVPN, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or Surfshark and connect to a server as close as possible to where you live for accurate results. With your VPN enabled, run the same speed test and write down the speeds to compare them to the ones you've previously recorded.
If your internet speeds are roughly the same with and without a VPN, the problem might lie elsewhere. However, if your internet speeds are noticeably better when you're connected via a VPN client, your internet is likely being throttled, and you should provide your ISP with your speed test data in order to try to fix this problem.