How to Test IF ISP is Shaping Traffic?

test isp shaping traffic

ISP throttling is not a myth as it is occurring throughout the world. Also known as bandwidth throttling, it is a medium leveraged by ISPs to manage network traffic and lessen bandwidth congestion. Generally, this happens in the following ways:

  • Video streaming content (Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, etc.)
  • Peer-to-peer traffic (BitTorrent, etc.)

In simple terms, ISP throttling refers to the slowing down of certain websites or services by the ISP. You may see this in the form of:

  • Sluggish internet speed on playing YouTube videos.
  • Videos are not loading and buffering on Netflix, Prime Video, or other streaming video platforms.
  • Lower download or upload speed when exchanging information on mediums such as BitTorrent.

Before getting to any kind of conclusions, you will need to determine whether or not your Internet Service Provider is throttling your Internet or there is another reason. Go through the information provided below.

Make Sure That You Are Getting Enough Bandwidth

The first step here is to ensure that the contract that you have purchased from your ISP states certain minimum guaranteed speeds and/or maximum limits of traffic per month that will be applicable for your plan.

After that, you will need to go for a speed test online to check that you are getting speeds close to the one mentioned in the contract. It is recommended to run the test using a computer connected with an Ethernet cable to your router. If you run the test using WiFi, the result may vary depending on the performance of the router and the distance it has.

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In case you are getting the promised speed, you can proceed with the testing for ISP throttling. However, if the speed appears to much lower than what the contract says, it is suggested to contact your ISP for resolution. Depending on the reason causing the issue, your ISP will provide you an ideal solution.

 Tools to Test Whether Your ISP is Throttling Your Internet Connection

  1. Check Available Bandwidth

In this case, you will need to run a speed test using any of your devices. For example, if you are watching Amazon Prime video using your phone, you will need to run the speed test on that device. Doing so will provide you an idea of the bandwidth provided by your ISP for general purposes

  1. Is Your Netflix App Loading Slowly or Even Buffering

If your Netflix app is running sluggishly or not at all, it is recommended to run the Netflix FAST speed test. If you find the speed to be lower than the control speed test, it means that your ISP is throttling connections to Netflix streaming application in particular.

  1. Check Google Video Quality Report

In case you are experiencing issues with your YouTube streaming, you can check the Google Video Quality report. This report will help you know the performance of your Internet connections concerning YouTube’s servers. In case the quality of YouTube appears to be poor, however, your Internet connection is fast, this means that your ISP is throttling connections to YouTube.

  1. Perform the Internet Health Test

Running an internet health test will help you check your Internet connection whether or not any problem is occurring at points of interconnection. This is because sometimes ISPs may throttle the performance so that the other ISP pays an extra fee. Also, this test help checks other routes and identify whether you are facing degraded performance at one or more than one interconnection point. After performing this set, if you find a big difference in speeds it means that you are being throttled by your internet service provider.

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So, these are the steps that you will need to follow to test whether your ISP is shaping your traffic.

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