Verizon is infamous for throttling network speeds for its users, but you can speed up your connection with a VPN. We’ll explain why this practice is becoming more commonplace, plus how VPN technology works to counteract unfair throttling by Verizon and other internet providers. Check out our recommended VPN providers to unleash the full speed of your Internet connection in just a few minutes.
In a clear violation of net neutrality, even before the voting took place in late 2017, the U.S.-based wireless service provider Verizon was caught artificially slowing down user speeds when accessing certain services. This practice of throttling largely affected Netflix and YouTube content, two sites that directly compete with video streaming services Verizon itself owns and operates. Verizon apologized and promised to remedy the error, yet many users report nothing happened to undo the throttling.
- NordVPN – Best vs. Verizon Throttling – NordVPN’s privacy provisions laugh at your ISP’s attempts to track and throttle your Internet connection. Try it with a 30-day guarantee.
- Surfshark – Surfshark allows you to take back your privacy online and avoid tracing with powerful encryption and obfuscation.
- ExpressVPN – A well-trusted VPN for privacy, ExpressVPN’s blazing-fast network preserves your natural connection speed against throttling.
- CyberGhost – Enable the “surf anonymously” mode to block out any attempts by your ISP to limit your bandwidth or view your activity.
- PureVPN – Another blazing-fast VPN with ample provisions to block ISP spying, adware, malware, and more.
Throttling doesn’t have to relate to a single website. Many wireless carriers and ISPs throttle data once you reach a certain amount of downloads. Others will slow down your connection if you use services like Kodi or a VPN. There’s no reason behind these speed bumps, only that the ISP wants to control your connection to the internet. The good news is you don’t have to put up with Verizon or any other company throttling your internet. Read below for a complete guide on how to stop throttling for good.
VPNs – The Best Tool to Undo Internet Throttling by Verizon
By far the best way to put a stop to throttling is to run a good VPN. Virtual private networks are powerful and easy to use, and you can run them on every device, including PCs, smartphones, tablets, even Fire TV.
How VPNs Stop Throttling by Verizon and Other Providers
Virtual private networks provide a ton of privacy and anonymity features thanks to data encryption, a process that wraps each packet of information in a layer of unbreakable code before it leaves your device. No one can see what’s inside these packets, not even Verizon. And if they can’t tell what you’re accessing, they can’t throttle your connection based on that.
If your internet is being throttled on a more generalized basis, VPNs can help that, too. Most ISP throttling efforts are put into place based on port numbers, which are like numbered doors your internet traffic passes through. Data packets usually run through the same port, so all an ISP has to do to do is throttle connections on that port. VPNs can send traffic through different locations, allowing them to access ports Verizon and other ISPs can’t block without shutting down your internet altogether.
Evaluating VPNs For Their Ability To Undo Throttling by Verizon
Getting the right VPN requires more than just picking a service based on how cool their logo looks. Privacy and censorship are very real issues, and if you don’t choose your VPN wisely, you could put your data at risk instead of protecting it.
Below are the main criteria you should use when selecting a good VPN to stop Verizon throttling. We used the same features to make our recommendations below, allowing you to find the fastest, safest, and most reliable VPN around to avoid or undo Verizon throttling.
- Reputation – A trustworthy VPN can keep you safe, but an unreliable one can destroy your privacy. Make sure your VPN is well-established and receives good reviews from current and past users.
- Speed – VPNs can be a little slower than an unsecured connection, even when you take throttling into account. Using a fast service is necessary to keep your speed scores high.
- Security features – Things like encryption strength, DNS leak protection, and kill switch features are crucial to keeping your connection safe.
- Logging policy – To ensure true privacy, always choose a VPN service that has a strict zero-logging policy.
A Warning about Free VPNs
Free VPNs are all over the place, and many of them promise to help defeat throttling efforts, too. It may be tempting to install one of these on your device, but the reality is they often put your privacy at risk. Because free VPNs don’t make money billing their users, they have to recover costs in other areas. Most do this by selling your data to third parties. Some have even been shown to co-opt user devices into a botnet. In addition to privacy concerns, free VPNs are also notoriously slow. Even if they did defeat throttling, you still won’t have a lightning fast connection to the internet.
Best VPNs to Stop Verizon Throttling Your Unlimited Data Speed
Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to sign up for a VPN and put a stop to throttling once and for all! Below are our recommended services you can use on any device around the world. Pick your favorite, stop the throttling, and and enjoy your faster connection!
NordVPN is a stable, trustworthy, and extremely reliable VPN provider that has been in business for years. The company offers a huge network of 5,300+ servers in 59 different countries for fast connections around the world. The core of NordVPN’s privacy is built around a strict zero-logging policy that covers bandwidth, traffic, time stamps, and DNS access, including an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and 256-bit AES encryption on all data. You can also take advantage of unique privacy features such as double encryption, onion over VPN routing, and DDoS protection. This VPN is a solid and reliable option to undo or avoid being throttled.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Unblocks US Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime and other streaming services
- Different IP addresses aervers
- Allows up to 6 devices to be connected at once
- Retains no metadata of your browsing
- Live chat support is available.
- Some servers can have average d/l speeds
- Refund processing can take up to 30 days.
Surfshark is a rising star in the VPN industry, and it will work extremely well to defeat your ISP’s unfair throttling. Featuring unbreakable 256-AES-GCM encryption on all 800+ servers, there’s simply no way for anyone to brute-force their way into your business.
And for any other method Verizon might use to track your activity online, Surfshark has an answer. You can cloak your VPN traffic with their special Camouflage obfuscation, making it all but impossible for your ISP to tamp down on whatever it is you’re doing on their network.
Surfshark even protects you when your connection drops out, cutting the Internet via the automatic kill switch. Coupled with protections against IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, plus an independently audited no-logging policy, ISP tracking and throttling are effectively things of the past.
- Every server optimized for unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more
- Get a static IP from US, UK, Germany, Japan, or Singapore
- Unlimited simultaneous connections–Protect your whole family!
- Logging policy independently audited and verified
- Responsive customer support available 24/7.
- Growing network doesn’t have same coverage as more mature VPNs
- Apps don’t allow for much manual fiddling for power users.
Read our full Surfshark review.
ExpressVPN has fast speeds, strong security, and a great reputation in the VPN community. I’s also incredibly easy to use, offering custom software and apps for a wide variety of devices, all of which come with one-click connections and other useful privacy features. ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption on all data combined with a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. You also get DNS leak protection and automatic kill switch features on every device, along with a fast network with locations in 94 different countries – a great option to avoid throttling by Verizon or any other internet provider!
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- Unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other streaming services
- 94 countries, 3,000+ servers
- Very simple and easy to use
- No logs for personal data
- 24/7 Chat Support.
- Expensive month-to-month plan.
CyberGhost delivers a superb mixture of speed and privacy, making it a great VPN to stay safe online while unblocking websites and defeating throttling efforts from Verizon and other ISPs. It starts with 256-bit AES encryption on all data and includes a thorough zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch ensure your identity stays hidden no matter what. You also get access to over 5,700 servers in 90 countries for fast worldwide connections. Good news for Verizon customers suffering from throttling.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
- Unblocks US Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu
- 3,600+ servers in 55+ countries
- No leaks detected
- Strict no-logs policy
- Money-back guarantee.
- Doesn’t unblock all streaming services.
PureVPN is an incredibly useful VPN service that offers a wide variety of features that go above and beyond. Have you ever wanted virus protection on your device? How about malware shields, app blocking, and DNS-level website filters? With PureVPN you get access to all of these and more, including 256-bit encryption, a zero-logging policy on all traffic, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. PureVPN provides great speeds with a large network of 2,000+ servers across 140 countries, ensuring you can connect and defeat throttling anywhere in the world.
Read our full PureVPN review.
Stop Verizon Throttling – Other Methods
VPNs are great all-purpose tools that can usually defeat throttling efforts from Verizon in an instant. For more stubborn ISPs, though, you’ll want to deploy stronger measures to keep your connection fast and secure. Below are some of the most common alternatives to stop throttling.
VPN Configuration Settings
By default, most VPNs will immediately put a stop to throttling efforts by Verizon or any other company. Encryption is often all that’s needed to give you free access to the internet. If that’s not enough, you can usually change some of your VPN’s settings to try a more aggressive method.
Open your VPN’s configurations page and look for an option to change security protocol settings. Inside, check for ways to alter the default port, toggle extra encryption protocols, or switch encryption types altogether.
Below are a few common changes you might be able to make that often help stop data throttling.
- Use UDP or TCP port 1194, the official OpenVPN port
- Enable SSH connections on any port
- Activate SSL encryption on any port
- Switch to UDP or TCP port 80
- Try a high port, like 41185
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) tunnels are an extremely reliable method for defeating ISP throttling efforts. If you’ve ever seen a site with a green padlock icon in your browser’s URL bar, that means it was secured with HTTPS, or HTTP secure. This protocol uses SSL for basic encryption, and you can do the same for all of your internet traffic, making it anonymous and difficult for Verizon to track.
Stunnel is the most popular piece of software for setting up and using SSL tunnels. It takes a little research to do properly, but once it’s complete you’ll be able to bypass throttling in an instant. You can also choose a VPN service that offers SSL tunnels by default, such as NordVPN.
Shadowsocks (SOCKS5 Proxy)
Shadowsocks uses the SOCKS5 protocol (Socket Secure 5) which transfers data packets between clients and servers using a proxy server. It’s simple but effective, designed to break through censorship barriers by keeping traffic completely obscured. This also helps defeat throttling, since knowing the destination of a packet of data is often how ISPs decide when to apply speed caps. The website above will walk you through the process of renting and setting up a shadowsocks server to use on your home network.
Stop Verizon Throttling on a Smartphone
Verizon doesn’t stop its throttling efforts on data connections. The company applies caps and bandwidth limits on many of its cell phone services, too. Unfortunately for us users, this is almost impossible to bypass with any measure of reliability. Current workaround are complex and difficult to implement, requiring deep knowledge of Android architecture, phone rooting, and ROM cracking.
VPNs can’t stop 3G or 4G data throttling, nor can any of the methods above. If possible, try switching to a standard internet connection via Wi-Fi and downloading your content for offline access.
How to Tell if Your Wireless Internet Connection Is Being Throttled
If you’re a Verizon customer, there’s a good change your connection to the internet is already being throttled. Netflix might feel slow, YouTube a little sluggish, and your Kodi streams are never quite HD. There are dozens of potential causes for internet slowdown, however. To make sure it’s throttling that’s the issue, try the easy method below.
BattleForTheNet is a great resource that promotes internet freedoms around the world. The site has a number of tools that help you test your internet connection for censorship and throttling concerns. No complicated setups are required, just visit the throttling test site, click the button, and wait for the results.
Another less reliable method is to try any online speed test service. Watch your download speeds when accessing a site you think may be throttled by Verizon. Then visit SpeedTest.net and run a quick test. If the download speeds there are vastly different than the other results, chances are you’re being throttled.
More Benefits of Using a VPN
VPNs do more than just put a stop to Verizon throttling. They can help you access censored content, bypass government firewalls, even let you stream movies from other countries. Below are just a few of the best reasons to use a VPN.
If you can’t access Netflix in your area, or if you want to try streaming videos from other regions, VPNs can help. The services let you change your IP address to a non-local one, fooling streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube into thinking you’re located in another area. Reload the page and suddenly tons of new TV shows and movies are ready to stream!
Hide Your Kodi Streams
Kodi is a wonderful piece of media center software that allows you to stream content from around the world, all for free. Some add-ons for Kodi are known to access illegal content, however, which means governments and ISPs are more likely to monitor your streams if you use Kodi, even for legitimate reasons.
Using a VPN while streaming with Kodi helps keep you safe. Encryption prevents ISPs from checking your data, stopping throttling attempts before they even start. You can also access all of Kodi’s add-ons with complete privacy. If you want to use Kodi even just once, make sure you’re running a VPN in the background.
Wireless Mobile Security
Connecting your smartphone on a public Wi-Fi network is just asking for trouble. Open hotspots are dangerous territory, featuring everything from hackers to shady ISPs that record and sell private data. Smartphones carry an incredible amount of information about our identity, making them a prime target for data thieves. By running a VPN on your cell phone, you can keep communications secure and download speeds nice and fast, even at coffee shops and restaurants.
Secure Your Fire TV
Running a VPN on Fire TV is a great way to secure data leaving your streaming device. You might think you’re safe from throttling or privacy concerns when using a Fire Stick, but ISPs monitor TV streaming devices just like smartphones and PCs. VPNs put a stop to these problems right away, allowing you to watch movies in complete privacy.
Our Final Thoughts on VPNs vs. Verizon
Ready to put a stop to Verizon’s inconvenient throttling practices? The company constantly changes its methods to keep artificial slowdown in place without alerting users, but with the right tools you can bypass these bottlenecks without any effort. Stay safe and stay speedy with a good VPN on your side.
Have you been a victim of unfair ISP throttling by Verizon? What were you doing at the time? Did a VPN help you out? Let us know your throttling story below.
If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. NordVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.