Skip to Content
© Ian Allenden |
Tech tips

Tech how-to: Find out if your service provider is throttling your internet

Presented by ExpressVPN

Presented by ExpressVPN

Try ExpressVPN free for 30 days! Get three months free when you sign up for one year at

Does it ever feel like your internet is running slower than normal? Of course it does, it’s happened to all of us at some point.

Web pages seem sluggish while downloads and uploads seem to take forever. It’s very frustrating — especially when you’re paying for high-speed internet. There are many potential issues causing the slowdown, including problems with your device, browser or even a website you’re trying to visit.

But there could be another culprit you might not have considered — your Internet Service Provider (ISP) could be throttling your speeds. Outrageous, right?

There are many reasons to use a virtual private network, privacy and security being the most important; however, a VPN can also help you find out if your ISP is throttling you. We’ll explain how in just a couple of simple steps.

Try ExpressVPN for 30 days free! Get three months free when you sign up for one year at

First things first: finding the right VPN

For those of you who might not be familiar with the term, think of a VPN as a secure bridge between your device(s) and the internet. At first, it was just a way to securely connect business networks together online, or allow users to access a business network from home.

Fast-forward to today and the primary function of a VPN is to safeguard your online traffic from any and all forms of interference, snooping and censorship.

ExpressVPN has become known for its legendary speed, performance and capabilities. It’s also the only VPN Kim uses. In fact, she used it on a recent trip and messaged us at the office, asking, “Are you guys using this? It’s great!”

ExpressVPN has carefully engineered its apps and servers to categorically eliminate sensitive information. It can never be compelled to provide customer data that does not exist.

OK, now that you know which VPN to use, let’s talk about how to incorporate it to test your ISP.

Is your ISP throttling you?

Before activating ExpressVPN, check your internet speed on a trusted site. We recommend a site like Just visit and click “Go” in the middle of the screen. It will automatically detect test servers near your location.

For the first test, use the server it chooses. Afterward, you can try other servers around the country if you want. It will quickly tell you the ping, upload and download speed of your connection.

Now that you know what your internet speed is, activate ExpressVPN. Run again and compare speeds with and without an active VPN.

By default, internet speeds will be slower when connected to any VPN. This sometimes happens if you’ve reached your data limit for the month, but if you haven’t hit it yet you shouldn’t be getting slower speeds.

You see, a VPN hides the IP address that ISPs use to see who’s connected. If your internet speed is slower without an active VPN, your ISP is most likely throttling you unjustly.

Make sure to call your ISP immediately to find out what’s going on. In many cases, they can speed up your connection without even making a housecall.

Try ExpressVPN for 30 days free! Get three months free when you sign up for one year at App background

Check out the free App!

Get the latest tech updates and breaking news on the go, straight to your phone, with the App, available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

Download Now