While there is no ISP that will officially admit this, some providers are known to throttle your Internet connection for specific types of traffic or behavior such as BitTorrent traffic or when you download too much data. So how can you check if your ISP is limiting your Internet connection?
Obviously, this can be done but you will need to run some tests – it’s not as easy as pushing a button.
How to check if your ISP is limiting your Internet connection
The two most common scenarios in which your ISP may slow down your Internet connection is if you download too much data in a month, or limiting BitTorrent traffic. Keep reading to find out what you need to do for both situations.
Limited bandwidth for using too much data
You may think that if you have an “unlimited” connection your ISP will never throttle it for downloading too much data but it’s still possible even though the threshold is usually quite large. There is no easy way to find out if your Internet provider enforces a connection speed limitation other than monitoring it over time.
It makes sense the limitation would happen toward the end of the month once you reach the “invisible” data cap and the speed should return to normal at the start of the next billing interval.
The easiest way to keep track of connection speed variations is using the SpeedTest website. Of course, you need to remember to perform this check on a regular basis (once a week should suffice), not just when you experience slow speed. Also, to ensure accurate results the test should be performed when your connection isn’t being used, including by other people.
The connection speed can also vary based on the time of day – during the night when fewer people are using the shared line, your connection will likely be faster compared to day time. And don’t be surprised if you’re not getting the maximum speed you’re paying for, that almost never happens.
ISPs can also prioritize traffic from SpeedTest to make it look like your connection is faster, even if it’s not.
Slow BitTorrent traffic
If you’re experiencing slow BitTorrent downloads you can monitor this traffic over time using a practical tool called Neubot. First, visit the link below to download Neubot (select the Windows version) then install it like any other application.
Once you’ve installed the app, you can launch it from the Start menu.
In the program’s window, select the Privacy tab and make sure all the options are checked then click on “Save”. This will provide Neubot with the permission it needs to gather and publish your Internet address online so it can be reused for research purposes. The app doesn’t work without these permissions.
Now you can manually start the tests – you just need to select the “speedtest” option under “Manually start test” then click “Go!”. This will allow the app to perform a standard HTTP speed test.
Then, you can select the “bittorrent” option and click “Go!” one more time for the app to perform a BitTorrent speed test. As always make sure there’s no one performing large downloads on your network before starting the tests.
Go to the “Results” tab to view the test results. Select the “speedtest” test type from the text field at the top of the window and click “Go!” to view the results of the HTTP speed test. The, you can do the same for the BitTorrent speed test by selecting “bittorrent” in the test box.
Finally, all you have left to do is compared the results of the two tests. Keep in mind they will always be somewhat different. What matters most if the speed difference between them is significant.
Furthermore, Neubot runs in the background and can run tests automatically at regular intervals. To get a more accurate idea of your HTTP and BitTorrent connection speeds it would be a good idea to leave the app installed and check the results every now and then. However, if you don’t want the app to keep monitoring your connection speed you can uninstall it from the Control Panel.