- AT&T has been known for throttling the bandwidth of its customers, even on unlimited data plans that normally shouldn't have such limitations.
- If you want to easily stop these limitations, lift bandwidth restrictions, and increase your Internet speed, use a VPN.
- Virtual Private Network software can prevent your ISP from accessing your traffic data, hence not allowing it to place any restrictions.
- Not only can the suggestions below stop throttling, but they can also surpass geo-restrictions and find the best server location to boost your gaming.
AT&T is the world’s largest telecom provider of mobile and fixed telephone services. It also facilitates Internet services. Unfortunately, the ISP is also known for throttling the bandwidth.
AT&T was fined by the FTC for throttling so-called unlimited data plans without disclosing this matter.
If you happen to be one of these unsatisfied customers and if you’re considering changing your ISP, try using a VPN to stop AT&T throttling first.
Not all virtual private network services are fit for the job, though, so you should take the time to explore your options.
Or you can go with our recommendations since we’ve tested countless VPN apps.
Although there are free VPNs you can use, we’re against them because they are either filled with adware, collect and share your data with marketing agencies, or both. Instead, a premium VPN is worth it.
Check out the step-by-step instructions below to see how to successfully bypass AT&T throttling with a VPN.
What is network throttling?
The practice of throttling your internet bandwidth is the process through which your ISP (internet service provider) limits the speed of your connection.
This usually happens for a few reasons which we will discuss further:
➡️ Surpassing the data packet you paid for
As you might expect, if your contract with the ISP mentions a specific network data cap, then, as soon as you reach it, your internet connection will become increasingly slower over time.
This is a tactic used by ISPs to persuade users to renew the data packet with their company. From this perspective, it would make sense that the internet connection is limited after reaching the cap mentioned in the contract.
That being said, depending on the ISP company, throttling is used sometimes even while paying for a so-called unlimited internet plan. ISP’s engaged in this procedure whenever your data transfer reaches a certain soft cap, which is not fixed, but dependent on your location, internet connection type, and surge in the network data processing.
➡️ The ISP wants to stop you from accessing certain online resources
For you to be able to access certain streaming services or download large files through a torrent client, your internet connections need to be running at a certain speed.
By using the process of throttling, your ISP reduces the amount of data that can be transferred at once through their network, thus, stopping you from using the services mentioned above.
➡️ The ISP’s network is used by a large number of people at once
Bandwidth throttling also happens if the ISP observes that their network can’t deal with the number of people using their connection at the same time.
As ISPs have a limited amount of bandwidth to share amongst users, if a surge in traffic happens, the speed at which you will be able to stream and download content will be reduced to accommodate all users.
- Private Internet Access - Access content across the globe at the highest speed rate.
- NordVPN - Secure multiple devices and enjoy stable connections anywhere.
- SurfShark - Price convenient VPN service with all-rounded security features.
- CyberGhost - Connect to thousands of servers for persistent seamless browsing.
- ExpressVPN - Browse the web from multiple devices with increased security protocols.
Does AT&T throttle the Internet?
The answer here is affirmative because the company stated that it’s possible to slow down your Internet speed in different situations.
For instance, your wireless connection can be throttled if the network is too busy. That’s because many people use mobile data at the same time and the result is network congestion.
In spite of this eventuality, you can stop Internet throttle by getting more expensive unlimited plans and avoiding slow navigation on your PC.
The Private Internet Access VPN service is one of the few that does not limit your network bandwidth regardless of how much you send or receive through their servers.
You may also use PIA to test internet speeds, see where your ISP throttles your network usage, and connect to an alternative server from out of the many available.
Private Internet Access
Send and receive unlimited network bandwidth and never experience ISP throttle.
How do I know if my bandwidth is being throttled?
To check if your bandwidth is being throttled, you should start by checking the contract you have with AT&T, and read the stipulations regarding your connection’s data caps, and bandwidth limits.
Once you have this information, simply test the internet connection speed by using an online tool like Speedtest.net.
All you need to do is to visit the website and click the GO button appearing on the screen.
As soon as you do, the website will start analyzing your internet connection, and you will get a set of results at the end that will look something like this:
Comparing the Download and Upload values found after the speed test with the values mentioned in your AT&T contract will show you if throttling is active or not on your case.
If you find that throttling is being used, it is recommended that you first check if the data cap on your AT&T contract has not been reached.
In case you still have data available for usage, then it is possible to conclude that the ISP is limiting your bandwidth for one of the reasons mentioned previously.
To avoid this problem, the good VPN software will do the trick, by not allowing the ISP to observe how you’re using the bandwidth, and thus, limit their capability to engage this protocol.
Can a VPN help with throttling?
A powerful VPN software will help with the AT&T throttling issue, but not all software in this category can do this successfully.
Capable VPN software will effectively change your IP address, and thus stop the ISP’s processes from identifying if you’re using the data to download torrents, or simply access a streaming service that they don’t condone.
That being said, if the throttling from AT&T happens because you reached your data cap, VPN software will not be able to do much. Even if your IP address will be changed, and your ISP will not know who you are or where you live exactly, the internet connection will still be throttled until you renew your data packet subscription.
Does VPN throttle speed?
Usually, your Internet speed can get slower if you connect to another VPN server because of data encryption.
However, that does not mean you’ll have a much slower speed, especially if using a reliable VPN connection.
That said, using a high-end VPN privacy will hide your IP address from your Internet provider and thus stop the Internet throttle and low speed.
How do I stop AT&T throttling and data slowing down?
- Sign up for a premium VPN (we recommend PIA)
- Download and set up PIA on your device.
- Run the app and login into your account.
- Select the VPN Server button.
- Click on Choose automatically.
- Press the big power button to connect to the VPN server.
- Try accessing the previously-restricted online resource.
Is it legal for AT&T to throttle your internet traffic?
Yes. AT&T’s throttling policy is following the law in the USA regarding all internet traffic being treated roughly in the same way.
This situation is caused by the FCC under the Trump Administration which repealed the Open Internet Order, and also the regulation enforced by the Obama Administration which allows ISPs to discriminate users based on a variety of factors like service type, content, and the device used, etc.
Even if that’s the case, AT&T’s policies do not engage in any sort of discriminatory actions in regards to their users, but they are fully within their rights to do so.
Is there other VPN software that can help with throttling?
If you already made sure that your ISP’s data cap hasn’t been reached, then there are a few other software options that can help you with this endeavor.
As you might expect, all of them will work without problems when it comes to AT&T throttling.
If you’re interested in diving a bit deeper into this comparison, feel free to explore an in-depth list of the best VPNs for the AT&T U-verse, researched by the security and privacy experts at VPN Central.
As you can see, throttling applied by ISPs can happen for a variety of reasons, and will severely impact the internet speed for browsing, but also stop you from accessing streaming services like Netflix, and from downloading torrents.
How do I bypass AT&T hotspot throttling?
Firstly, you must know that many plans of this ISP company include hotspot limits in order to control data usage or network congestion.
➡️ You can try to bypass these hotspot throttling cases for your mobile or PC using various methods:
- Use the PdaNet+ app to share your Android Internet data
- Monitor your Internet data
- Purchase additional hotspot data
- Get an AT&T hotspot device for 4G network
Luckily, using a powerful VPN can be of help in case your ISP bandwidth cap hasn’t been reached, and we discussed some of the best options available on the market.
Feel free to share your experience with us by using the comment section below.
Your connection is not secure - websites you visit can find out your details:
- Your IP Address:
Companies can sell this information, alongside your location and internet provider name, and profit from it by serving targeted ads or monitoring your data usage.
We recommend Private Internet Access, a VPN with a no-log policy, open source code, ad blocking and much more; now 79% off.
Frequently Asked Questions
Run a speed test with and without a VPN. If your speed is better while staying connected to the VPN, then AT&T might be throttling your bandwidth.
Internet throttling isn’t illegal if it’s disclosed by the ISP.