Wi-Fi is slow? Your Internet service provider may limit your Internet connection

This is part of the story Home TipsCNET’s collection of practical tips for getting the most out of your home and inside.

Is your internet suddenly slow? This may be the reason outdated router or a non-ideal router location. Your connectivity issues may only require an easy fix, e.g upgrade to mesh network (which it also needs to be built in the right place) or simply restart your modem and router. However, if you have tried many of the tried and true methods and your internet speed is still low, the problem may be with you. internet provider does on purpose: reduce bandwidth.

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Yes, you read that right. Your ISP may slow down Wi-Fi on purpose. Because a 2019 Supreme Court decision While the court refuses to hear the net neutrality petition, ISPs can still legally throttle your internet, limits your broadband if you broadcast more TV than they want and serve slower links to their competitors’ websites.

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A solution to slowing down Wi-Fi (if it is caused by internet throttling). virtual private network
. Basically, ISPs need to see your IP address to slow down your internet and a good VPN it will protect identity — although it comes with some limitations and disadvantages, which I’ll discuss below. We’ll tell you how to determine if the setting is to blame, and if not, what to do to fix bad Wi-Fi. (You can also learn more about how to get free Wi-Fi anywhere in the world.)

Step 1

Troubleshoot your slow internet connection first

So the Wi-Fi is slow and you think your service provider is throttling your connection. Before jumping to these conclusions, it’s important to go through the usual troubleshooting checklist: Check that your router is centrally located in your home, replace its antennas, double-check your network security, and more. If you want to read about more ways to optimize your Wi-Fi, check out our suggestions.

If you’ve gone through the laundry list and your Wi-Fi is still slow, skip to the next step.

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Step 2

Check your internet speed


Step 3

Find a reliable VPN

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

Step 4

Compare your speed with a VPN

Next, test your internet speed at a site like Fast.com or Speedtest.net. Compare the results with the same test with VPN enabled. Using any VPN should slow down your speed significantly, so speed tests should show a discrepancy, VPN-active speed is significantly slower than VPN-inactive speed. But a VPN also hides the IP address that ISPs use to identify you, so if you have a speed test with a VPN Faster More so than without a VPN, this may mean your ISP targets your IP address for throttling.

Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

OK, this is the hard part. Even if you know your ISP is throttling your internet, there may not really be much you can do. Many people in the US live in areas with ISP monopolies or duopolies, so you won’t find a better provider. But here are some helpful answers:

  • If you do if you have options, use the best provider in your area. The Metering Lab provides a good resource for finding information specific to your region, which can direct you to a more reliable ISP.
  • Use a VPN to maintain a more consistent speed. A VPN can’t solve a bad connection or other reasons behind your slow service, but it can reduce congestion from unscrupulous ISPs.
  • Call your provider and threaten to switch providers if they don’t stop throttling your internet. This may seem old-fashioned, and I can’t guarantee lasting results, but providers have responded positively to such tactics when I’ve used them.

read more about The best VPNs to use while working from homethe fastest VPNs and VPNs you can try for free before purchasing. And here the best high speed internet providers and the best Wi-Fi extender for almost everyone.

Correction, February 10, 2020: This article previously referred the 2019 net neutrality decision to the Supreme Court, not the D.C. Circuit Court, which decided the case. The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.

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