Tech VPN / Privacy

Stop AT&T U-Verse Throttling – Stay Fast With a VPN

Stop AT&T U-Verse Throttling - Stay Fast With a VPN

Internet neutrality has been formally lifeless for months, and with its repeal (courtesy of the FCC’s Ajit Pai), gone are laws on ISPs’ management over their customers’ web connection. However even earlier than Internet Neutrality was struck down, ISP big AT&T had a historical past of throttling its customers’ web speeds – and we will now solely anticipate it to be worse than ever. It’s irritating to not have the ability to stream, surf, or obtain with out lag, or to solely give you the chance to take action to a very restricted extent.

However fortunately, there’s a solution to cease AT&T from throttling your U-Verse subscription – a VPN. On this information, we’re going to point out you why and the way a VPN may help, how one can decide a trusty one, and extra. A few of the different issues we’ll talk about are find out how to inform in the event you’re web connection is being throttled (and the place), the few instances the place a VPN gained’t assist, and AT&T’s murky historical past of slowing its customers down.

VPNs – the easiest way to cease throttling

A Digital Personal Community is the easiest way to cease AT&T U-Verse throttling. VPNs are highly effective, straightforward to make use of, and out there to run on nearly each system you possibly can consider – from desktops to smartphones, tablets, Amazon Hearth Stick, and much more. Additional, they provide a robust layer of privateness by encrypting all of your exercise on its solution to and from a supplier-run VPN server.

Not even AT&T can crack a good VPN’s encryption – and if they will’t see what you’re doing, they will’t throttle you based mostly on it. And if AT&T U-Verse is throttling you extra usually, a VPN can nonetheless assist. A majority of these ISP throttling “attacks” often happen at port numbers, that are like doorways within the web for you knowledge to journey via. VPNs can route your knowledge via totally different ports, permitting you to bypass throttling that’s happening at a particular port.

What to search for in a VPN

However whenever you begin researching and evaluating VPNs, it will possibly get overwhelming and complicated in a short time. It’s because, as you’ll discover, there are a lot of suppliers out available on the market, and it may be exhausting to know who to belief. Our specialists have spent lots of of hours testing one of the best ones – we prevented the free ones (study extra concerning the risks of “free” VPNs right here and right here) and got here up with a record of standards that will help you:

  • Velocity – Should you’re studying this text, your main objective is to cease your web getting slowed down – so why use one thing that’ll sluggish it down extra? A great VPN will shield your on-line exercise whereas sustaining as a lot velocity as attainable. Every of the VPNs we reviewed have wonderful connection and obtain speeds.
  • Safety – To ensure your knowledge is actually personal, you want highly effective encryption. You additionally want issues like DNS leak safety, automated kill switches, and powerful zero-logging insurance policies to remain protected.
  • Measurement – A big VPN will provide you with extra servers and ports to select from, serving to you beat AT&T U-Verse throttling, in addition to geo-blocks and censorships. Having many servers out there may even make it easier to get on-line on the quickest ones obtainable to you on your use-case.

VPNs that cease AT&T U-Verse Throttling

When you’ve accomplished your analysis, take a take a look at our record of advisable VPN suppliers:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN presents you greater than 2,000 servers throughout 94 nations. Plus, with limitless bandwidth, no restrictions on P2P networks or torrents, and positively zero velocity caps or throttling, they’re one of many quickest VPNs out there immediately, particularly for streaming video from providers like Netflix and Hulu. And with 256-bit AES encryption, a DNS leak check, and automated kill change (desktop variations solely), your knowledge is stored packaged and protected out of your ISP – and anybody else for that matter – so you possibly can cease throttling in its tracks.

However, although ExpressVPN has highly effective encryption, it stays a light-weight software program with a single-click on interface that stays out of your method, permitting you to stream buffer-free, obtain quick, and browse seamlessly. Additionally they boast a vast software program availability starting from mobiles like Android, iPhone, iPad, and even iPod, to browser extensions, Apple TV and Kindle Hearth, in addition to video gaming stations and even routers – so with the ability to shield all of your units is straightforward.

You possibly can study extra about this lightning quick supplier in our full ExpressVPN evaluation.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is a powerhouse of safety and encryption. Large at 5,200+ servers in 62 nations, they’re all the time rising and have the distinctive potential to dedicate sure servers to particular use-instances. In so doing, NordVPN provides you the choice to select specialty servers for issues like Onion over VPN, Anti-DDoS, Double VPN, P2P, Devoted IP tackle, and Obfuscated servers. With these servers devoted these use-instances, the settings are optimized that will help you do these issues even higher than their “ordinary” servers.

However their “regulars” are not any slouches, both – all of NordVPN’s community gives army-grade, 256-bit AES encryption. The default OpenVPN protocol provides you a nice mix of velocity and safety, however four further choices may help you increase your velocity or beat robust geo-blocks. Elective CyberSec safety toggles block advertisements and malware, preserving you additional protected, whereas customized DNS settings allow you to tweak issues to your liking.

Lastly, NordVPN additionally has some of the full logging insurance policies within the business, refusing to document your visitors, IP tackle, timestamps, bandwidth, or shopping historical past.

Study extra about this supplier in our NordVPN evaluate.

three. CyberGhost

CyberGhost provides you a three,173 servers-robust community scattered throughout 61 nations. With greatest-of-the-greatest 256-bit AES encryption, connection guard, kill change, advert blocker, and on-line monitoring blocker, they’ll hold you personal and protected. And their immaculate logging coverage protects you even additional: they don’t document something however nameless login occasions as soon as a day on uncommon customers – they usually don’t even know your e-mail tackle, making them double-blind to your on-line exercise.

However regardless of robust encryption and an unimaginable zero-logging coverage, CyberGhost stays wonderful for one factor: their ease of use. A colourful, minimalist show greets, quickly adopted by 6 easy profiles, preconfigured with one of the best settings for some widespread use-instances. Their titles give clues to what they’re greatest fitted to: Surf Anonymously, Unblock Streaming, Shield my WiFi connection, Torrent Anonymously, Unblock Primary Web sites, and Select my VPN server.

With every profile additional customizable with easy toggles, you possibly can block further on-line threats, compress knowledge, mechanically redirect to HTTPS, and – importantly – increase your velocity.

Study extra about this straightforward-to-use VPN in our complete CyberGhost evaluate.

How can I inform AT&T U-Verse is throttling my web?

With the demise of Internet Neutrality, the FCC has willingly turned a blind eye to web corporations like AT&T. Since they will now throttle with impunity, how do you discover out for those who’re web is being slowed down?

Fortunately, there are numerous free exams you possibly can see to verify your web speeds.

Web velocity + congestion exams

A lot of the instruments out there to you fall beneath two primary umbrellas, or varieties:

  1. Easy bandwidth velocity checks – You’ll find these by merely Googling “speed test.” They run a primary check of your present bandwidth speeds.
  2. Congestion/general web well being checks – In contrast to primary velocity checks, these take velocity measurements from the consumer’s ISP at a number of ports to see how and the place efficiency is being degraded. Probably the most nicely-recognized is Battle for the Internet’s Web Well being Check.

Totally different exams for various makes use of

To get a extra correct, exact take a look at the place your actions are being degraded, totally different exams might be greatest for various use-instances:

  • BitTorrent and comparable – In the event you torrent they usually appear sluggish, is it AT&T? Torrenting requires a lot of bandwidth. Neubot is a useful gizmo particular to testing your BitTorrent visitors over time to determine any issues.
  • Bandwidth limiting – In case you have “unlimited” knowledge, AT&T U-Verse should throttle your speeds when you use “too much” of it. This often occurs whenever you hit a sure threshold. Attempt utilizing SpeedTest and run a check initially of the month to determine your beginning bandwidth velocity. Then, run a check all through the month, particularly close to the top to watch any modifications. For those who persistently see a lot slower bandwidth speeds, it’s probably AT&T is throttling you.
    • For many correct velocity check outcomes, ensure you’re the one individual in your community whenever you run it. If one other particular person is utilizing your web connection on the similar time, it doubtless gained’t be correct as there’s extra bandwidth getting used. You might also see quicker speeds at, say, 2 or three a.m. when nobody is on, quite than at 9 p.m.
  • Netflix and YouTube – For those who’re questioning in case your video streaming is being throttled, attempt utilizing the velocity check or Google’s “Google Video Quality” report. The previous was developed by Netflix for his or her platform, and the latter by Google to point out you the standard of your connection to YouTube’s servers. In both case, in case your speeds are quick, however you’ve a poor connection to Netflix or YouTube, AT&T could also be throttling your connections.
  • Interconnection – As briefly talked about earlier, once you use the web your knowledge travels by way of ports on numerous ISP networks. Your ISP may degrade your connection at any of those interconnection factors. Utilizing the Web Well being Check will help you determine if that is the issue.

To get a complete take a look at if, when, and the place you’re web could possibly be getting throttled might require a mixture of those totally different exams. The necessary factor is to trace persistently.

When a VPN gained’t assist

Sadly, there are some events the place even utilizing a VPN gained’t make it easier to cease AT&T U-Verse throttling, or from being sluggish typically. Listed here are these few occasions:

Bandwidth caps

In case you have a restricted-knowledge plan with AT&T U-Verse, a VPN can’t make it easier to overcome that restrict. Your ISP won’t be capable of see what you’re doing, however they will nonetheless see how a lot knowledge you’re utilizing. When you attain your restrict, you’ll get throttled regardless.

Whereas that is unavoidable with a knowledge-restricted plan, upgrading to a vast plan and using a VPN will help forestall the usually-inevitable throttling when you use giant quantities of knowledge.

Numerous variables have an effect on velocity

When you’ve tried a number of the velocity exams from earlier and it looks like your connection is simply sluggish throughout, there might be a totally different purpose on your sluggish web. You may have previous gear, like routers, modems, or your gadget itself; too many units related to your Wi-Fi directly; a weak Wi-Fi sign on the place of the connection; or one thing interfering together with your Wi-Fi hyperlink.

This stuff would impression speeds general, moderately than at particular web sites. On this case, it may be value troubleshooting a few of these issues, and AT&T has a assist-web page devoted to the subject. Attempt these out earlier than leaping to a VPN.

AT&T U-Verse – A historical past of shortchanging customers

As alluded to, even earlier than Internet Neutrality was repealed, AT&T U-Verse had some shady historical past with manipulating their customers’ web connections.

In 2012, Apple up to date Facetime video chat to help wi-fi knowledge connections; AT&T refused to let it run correctly on their community until subscribers switched to a larger-priced, tiered knowledge plan. In 2014, the FTC filed a lawsuit towards AT&T for violating (on the time) Internet Neutrality legal guidelines and throttling bandwidth. The FTC declared that between 2011 and 2014, AT&T had been slowing down cellular knowledge entry to greater than three.5 million clients with out telling them.

And eventually, AT&T created a Sponsored Knowledge program, which rewarded clients for utilizing sponsored, third-get together providers (like DirecTV, for instance), with out the info counting towards their plan. Different, non-sponsored corporations, didn’t get the identical advantages – in clear violation of the previous Internet Neutrality legal guidelines.

And with these laws gone now, AT&T U-Verse and different web suppliers (Time Warner, Verizon, and so forth.) have extra freedom to throttle and manipulate speeds and different elements of their networks as they please.


In the event you’re an AT&T U-Verse buyer, you’ve in all probability had throttling occur already, or suspected it’s prevalence. Whereas customers with a knowledge-restricted plan might not get a lot profit from a VPN relating to speeds, for the remainder of us, utilizing a VPN will help cease AT&T U-Verse throttling in its tracks – and with no safety anymore from giants like AT&T, we’d like all the assistance we will get.

Have you ever skilled throttling by the hands of AT&T U-Verse? Did you discover a means round it? Use a VPN to dodge it? Give us your solutions to those questions within the feedback and inform us some other experiences you’ve had with AT&T U-Verse, VPNs, or throttling basically.