Alert: ISPs Are Cheating Gamers and Streamers (since 2020)

Are you a gamer or steamer? Regardless of which part of the world you come from, chances are you’re being cheated by your ISP provider.

And I’m not just saying this myself, the article published by Avast.com on Internet Throttling backs my statement. Here’s what they said and I quote;

During times of high traffic, ISPs can throttle those they deem “heavy” internet users — but most people don’t fit this criteria. 

This statement needs more than just attention, especially from those who depend on the Internet for their “daily bread”.

Gamers and streamers require a lot of Internet data especially after the introduction of Cloud gaming and huge AAA titles in the market. Mind you, while gaming alone won’t require a lot of data, but streaming the same game does utilize internet data exponentially.

How Does your ISP Provider “LEGALLY” Cheat You?

Even if you don’t like this, here’s the thing;

Your ISP has every right to restrict the speed even after you’ve paid the complete amount for the Internet Plans. 

In the USA, Data Throttling is legal under Net Neutrality.

Remember we talked about how your ISP can “restrict speed” for heavy internet users? Streamers, Gamers, Vloggers, or anyone who deals with high bandwidth tasks shall fall to this. 

Here’s the not-so-good part about this – Internet Service Providers(ISPs) throttle your internet speed or bandwidth. And, they do it quite often!

What is Throttling?

In simple words, ISP throttling is when your Internet Service provider intentionally limits your internet bandwidth/speed without you knowing it.

Why do ISPs throttle your Internet?

  • Controlling internet traffic over their network
  • Reducing bandwidth congestion
  • Enforcing data limits

Thus, Internet throttling results in slower internet speeds compared to what you have paid to your ISP.

Check If Your Internet Is Throttled or Not

There is no “specific way” to tell if your internet is throttled or not – that’s because of many factors (like signal strength, latency, etc) that can result in slower internet speeds

Additionally, there aren’t any “Throttling Tests” to find whether your internet is restricted or not, however, these 3 PRO Techniques can help you avoid your internet being restricted from now on.

Test Internet Speed

The first thing to know is the download and upload speed you’re getting from your ISP. One of the best ways to is go on Speedcheck and hit the “Start Test” button.

Once you do that, you’ll see the results that look something like this;

Speedcheck.org - Internet Speed Test
Check your Internet’s Speed

Note: While there are so many options to test internet speed these days, this one is one of my favorites and the most precise tools in the market today.

The most important part of these Internet Tests is the latency, download speed and, upload speed for any streaming platform like YouTube, Twitch, or Facebook.

Minimum Requirements for Streaming 1080p Video @60 frames per second

  • YouTube: The required upload speeds are between 5.6 Mbps to 11 Mbps.
  • Twitch: The required upload speeds are between 5.6 Mbps and 7.4 Mbps.
  • Facebook : Aim for an upload speed of 6 Mbps to 7 Mbps.

Once you know the speed you’re getting from your ISP, you may require to check/upgrade your plans

If you see a massive difference in speed to what you’ve paid, I would highly recommend you directly contact your local ISP for a better explanation.

Recommended: Megabits vs. Megabytes – Know Your Internet Speed

Use A VPN

If you don’t know what VPN is, or how it actually works – don’t worry, you’re still a good gamer (I guess). Regardless, you don’t necessarily have to be from a technical background to know about VPN.

This is How VPN Works
This is How VPN Works

To put it simply, VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and mask your online identity. So neither the ISP nor anybody can trace which website you’re using or what you’re doing online.

A VPN will encrypt your network traffic. This will give you benefits like;

  • Protection from hackers looking to exploit valuable data like – passwords, credit card info, transaction details, etc.
  • No more government surveillance or any third party
  • Ability to hide websites/service you use from your ISP

Please note, while ISP might not be able to see which websites/services you’re using – they are aware if you’re using a VPN or not.

So this makes it clear – if you’re using VPN – ISP might not throttle your data.

Change your ISP

Gamers/streamers are required to be hooked up with fast internet connection in order to put high quality content online. 

If your ISP is throttling your internet while you’re gaming and streaming at the same time – why not just just have two separate connections? Think about that…

Look, some ISPs are just prone to throttle your Internet regardless what “minimum criteria” they set for you. 

More the popular ISP in your area – higher the changes of throttled internet connection.

If you find yourself throttled again and again, it’s time to change your ISP. And if you tend to be a streamer and don’t want to waste your time – you better add an extra ISP with higher data caps.

Conclusion

Data throttling is real and it has been legal in most of the countries. If you’re reading this and thinking “whether Am I being throttled”, the probable answer is “yes”.

Not just due to COVID situation where internet usage has increased drastically due to more and more people surfing on the internet daily, watching videos, sharing content, etc., the data throttling itself has its own benefits too.

As discussed, as a gamer or streamer, you should;

  • First, Check your Internet Speed
  • Second, Use A Better VPN
  • Third, maybe just Change Your ISP

If you follow these steps, your chances of being throttled are as less as playing any game in 2070 without the need to Internet.

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