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How to stop AT&T throttling (5 best VPNs to use)

Elena Constantinescu
by Elena Constantinescu

VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate

  • 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 AT&T throttling, lift bandwidth restrictions, and increase your Internet speed, use a VPN.
  • A VPN offers an excellent solution for bypassing ISP limitations. You can also use it to watch unlimited streaming on your device.
  • Check out the 5 best VPNs for AT&T customers to fix your Internet-related problems.

how to stop ATT throttling

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.

In fact, 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.

Keep reading if you want to discover the 5 best VPNs to block ISP tracking and make your Internet connection faster.

How do I stop AT&T throttling and data slowing down?

  1. Test your Internet speed
  2. Sign up for premium VPN (we recommend PIA)
  3. Download and set up PIA on your device
  4. Fire up the app and click the PIA icon in the systray
  5. Click VPN Server and then Choose automatically
  6. Press the big power button to connect to the VPN server
  7. Test your Internet speed again
  8. Compare speed test results

PIA is connected to a US VPN server

If you’re not sure if AT&T is throttling your bandwidth, run a speed test with and without VPN to compare results.

A better Internet speed through VPN could indicate that your ISP is slowing down your network.

It could happen because you reached your monthly data cap or because your Internet activities are too resource-demanding, like uploading a torrent or watching Netflix or YouTube.

If the ISP slows you down using content filtering, then you can stop AT&T throttling with a VPN.

How it works

What a VPN does is spoof your IP address, encrypt your network data, and hide your Internet activity from your ISP.

AT&T can tell that you’re using a VPN, but it can’t see what you do online while you’re connected to a VPN server.

Therefore, if AT&T typically throttles your bandwidth by analyzing and filtering your traffic, it won’t tell apart streaming from browsing traffic, for example. It can only see the amount of data used.

Private Internet Access is the best VPN service

Private Internet Access (PIA) is the best VPN for stopping AT&T throttling. It makes your Internet faster by connecting you to speedy VPN servers available worldwide.

You can also access blocked websites and defeat government censorship. As far as security features are concerned, PIA can reroute your DNS requests through exclusive DNS servers to preserve your online anonymity.

It’s also ideal for hosting game servers for you and your friends, or for joining multiplayer sessions without worrying about low ping.

Private Internet Access supports port forwarding, split tunneling, kill switch, ad and malware blocker, along with 24/7 live chat support. It’s one of the top-rated VPNs for streaming and works on all popular devices.

What else you should know about PIA:

  • +3,300 VPN servers in 48 countries
  • No traffic logs
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee (no free trial)
Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Bypass AT&T throttling by connecting to the high-speed servers of this VPN.

CyberGhost VPN is among the best VPN apps

CyberGhost VPN is the only free VPN for streaming on this list, and you can use it to prevent AT&T from throttling your bandwidth by masking your traffic using VPN encryption. Made by Kape Technologies, this VPN has the most impressive network of VPN servers.

Furthermore, you can use CyberGhost VPN to unblock the best Netflix catalogs from all over the world, even if they’re not normally available to your country. It’s wrapped in a highly intuitive interface and has special categories for streaming and torrenting.

In addition to installing CyberGhost VPN on all major operating systems, you can take advantage of exclusive DNS servers, a malware and ad blocker for your browsers, a kill switch, and split tunneling.

What else you should know about CyberGhost VPN:

  • +6,500 VPN servers in 89 countries
  • No data logs
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • 45-day money-back guarantee (1-day free trial)
CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN

Hide your Internet traffic from AT&T to stop throttling, thanks to this secure VPN service.

BullGuard VPN is one of the best VPN apps

BullGuard VPN doesn’t have the same range of VPN servers as the other services on this list. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best VPNs for Windows 10. You can also set it up on macOS, Android, and iOS. It’s operated by BullGuard.

This virtual private network service applies OpenVPN encryption to your incoming and outgoing data packets. It can defend your router from hackers and automatically turn off your Internet connection in case the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, thanks to an integrated kill switch.

What else you should know about BullGuard VPN:

  • +2,000 VPN servers in 16 countries
  • Zero logs
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee (no free trial)
BullGuard VPN

BullGuard VPN

Prevent AT&T from throttling your bandwidth by using this reliable VPN to encrypt your traffic.

NordVPN is one of the best VPN apps

Owned by Tefincom & Co, NordVPN is one of the most popular virtual private network solutions on the web, thanks to its affordable subscription plans, high-speed servers, and top-of-the-line security features. You can use it to fix network congestion.

This VPN service truly shines in security. For example, if you’re considering using a VPN and Tor at the same time to maximize your online privacy, you don’t have to separately download and install the Tor Browser since you can directly connect to the Tor anonymous network throughNordVPN’s Onion-over-VPN servers.

Additionally, if AT&T starts blocking your VPN traffic, you can connect to NordVPN’s obfuscated servers to make it look like HTTPS traffic. The tool has a kill switch, along with an ad and malware blocker. Although it doesn’t support split tunneling, you can use the browser extension independent from the desktop client as a workaround.

What else you should know about NordVPN:

  • +5,100 VPN servers in 59 countries
  • A strict no-logs privacy policy
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee (no free trial)


Stop At&T throttling and secure your Internet connection using this trustworthy VPN.

Surfshark is one of the best VPN apps for Windows 8 and 8.1

Surfshark is an excellent VPN to stop AT&T throttling if you’re looking for a cheap solution that offers unlimited device connections. Operated by Surfshark LTD, this tool has a clean UI and more than enough VPN servers.

Each VPN server is protected by private DNS, so you don’t have to worry about exposing your DNS queries to your ISP. Moreover, you can use obfuscation mode in case AT&T blocks your VPN traffic, activate an emergency kill switch, and enable split-tunneling mode.

Surfshark is compatible with all major operating systems. In addition to anti-hacker protection, the service can reduce your ping and improve your gameplay, access restricted sites, and unblocking streaming services like Netflix.

What else you should know about Surfshark:

  • +1,700 VPN servers in +63 countries
  • No logs
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee (no free trial)


Protect your entire household and bypass AT&T throttling using this budget-friendly VPN.

To summarize, if you’re experiencing AT&T throttling on your home network, no matter what device you use, you can stop this by getting equipped with a dependable VPN.

By redirecting your network traffic through VPN servers, you can stop your ISP from monitoring your activities and setting bandwidth restrictions.

FAQ: Learn more about AT&T throttling and VPN

  • Does AT&T slow down Internet?

Yes, AT&T is slowing down your Internet. The company discloses that even unlimited data plans might be throttled during peak hours. But you can fix network congestion with a VPN.

  • How can I tell if I am being throttled?

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.

  • Is throttling Internet illegal?

Internet throttling isn’t illegal if it’s disclosed by the ISP.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in July 2020 and was revamped and updated in February 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

This post was written by Elena Constantinescu and was first posted to WindowsReport

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