Slow Internet, how to find out if it’s the operator’s fault

In some cases the phone operator is to blame for the slowness of the Internet connection. Here is the test to do

The best Internet connections in FTTH technology (Fiber to the home) today promise speeds of 1 Gbit/s, but the vast majority of connections used by Italians have speeds between 20 and 100 Mbit/s. But none ever reach the nominal speed. But none ever reaches the nominal speed.

The reasons can be many and, if we call our Internet Service Provider to complain about the slowness of the connection, he will always tell us that the fault is not his and that the connection is very good. On the contrary, the fault will certainly be some problem in our computer, some interference in the Wi-Fi or anything but the line. But is it true, or are you kidding us? Yes, because it is not excluded that our operator is providing us with a service inferior to what has been declared: it is called "throttling" and consists in slowing down the connection in order to keep connected, with the same infrastructure, more paying users. We can't know for sure if our Internet Service Provider (ISP) is behaving in this way, but we can do some tests to understand if the Internet is slow because of the operator.

How to test your Internet connection

The first thing to do to understand if the Internet is slow because of the operator is to test its actual speed. Just Google "Internet speed test" and you'll find dozens of services that test our connection. Try two or three different ones, and repeat the tests with at least two different browsers, and then do the average to get a realistic idea of how fast our network really is.

Repeat tests, but with a VPN

Now we need to install a Virtual private network (VPN), perhaps by activating a free trial of one of the many services we find online. A Virtual private network is a virtual private network that masks our IP address and diverts the path of our data (incoming and outgoing) to make browsing anonymous. VPNs have the great advantage of increasing the security and privacy of our network, but also the disadvantage of slowing down the connection: if the tests show lower values after activating the VPN is absolutely normal.

The problem, however, is whether with the VPN activated the Internet speed increases: if so then it is precisely the operator who is slowing us down, activating the throttling on our IP address. But since behind a VPN our IP address is masked, the ISP doesn't recognize it and doesn't slow it down. Here's how to tell if your network is going slow because of the operator.