There are millions of data users worldwide, and, in VPN matters, the primary concern among most of them is data usage. Since the internet is slowly becoming a daily necessity, it increases the need for VPN. There are so many questions surrounding VPN use and whether it can bypass data caps.
So, does VPN bypass data cap? When using a VPN, your data passes through your internet service provider’s (ISP) servers first before the VPN’s server, so any data caps set by the ISP cannot be bypassed. As VPN data is encrypted, it’s larger in comparison to unencrypted data, so any data cap will result in less encrypted data passing through compared to unencrypted data when a VPN is not used.
ISPs can have data caps especially on their low cost plans and this also include cell phone networks, that can restrict data depending on the plan selected.
A VPN service provider, especially a paid for subscription service won’t generally have any data caps and won’t also throttle bandwidth. Free VPNs on the other hand, may have data caps and may rigidly enforce these.
If you are worried about data usage, especially with your ISP and your VPN, this article is the right guide. We discuss whether it can bypass throttling and, if not, does it waste data? In the coming sections, we will divulge the details about these and more concerns.
Some Internet Service Providers limit how much data you can use within a particular time; these are known as data caps. However, there are so many unlimited data plans for users to choose from, so there’s flexibility in being able to choose an unlimited data plan especially on cell networks.
For the limited plan, some ISPs can limit the total amount of data that can be sent over a specific period, such as only allowing a maximum of 5 gigabytes of data a month to travel from the user’s device across the ISP to the internet.
Any data usage above the data cap will probably result in extra charges for the user. Other companies also entirely shut out the user from any internet connection; it depends on the specific provider for your subscription.
These data caps are necessary for the ISPs to give their users a manageable price for data use and ease network congestion. Most users have concerns about the data plans’ current prices; hence, the complaints about whether it is essential.
Moreover, some companies have admitted that the data caps are unnecessary for the user’s benefit, but profits. Therefore, as a user, you are justified to wish for a way to bypass these data caps.
Does VPN Bypass Throttling?
A VPN can help in bypassing ISP bandwidth throttling as the ISP is unable to effectively work out what type of traffic is passing through it’s systems. All the ISP can see is encrypted traffic and not individual types of traffic going to different parts of the internet.
Typically using network tools, the ISP can distinguish the different types of internet traffic from website traffic, voice calls, torrent traffic, video streaming traffic and so on. It can then decide to throttle that is slow down certain types traffic, so for example, slowing torrent traffic right down but leaving other types of traffic alone.
Throttling is where the ISPs achieve their motives even without the users’ knowledge. When we talk of data throttling, we refer to the activities that slow down the internet to maximize bandwidth. The result is a faster network for other unaffected users.
One way to ensure that you are not affected by ISP data throttling is by using a VPN network, as the ISP is unable to work out exactly what type of traffic is passing through it’s servers. All it can see is encrypted traffic going to the VPN servers.
When you install a VPN, you install the VPN client on your device but there is also a second part, the VPN server, which the VPN provider takes care of. With a tunnel created between these two sources, the VPN client and the VPN server, any data travelling through this tunnel will be encrypted. The VPN uses powerful encryption that the ISP can’t read.
As much as the ISP can’t read the encrypted VPN traffic, they can still calculate the transiting data size and therefore enforce any data caps but with data throttling, where the speed of the internet connection is changed, it’s a different story.
A VPN can effectively bypass throttling, given that when you use data, it travels directly from your device to the VPN server over an encrypted tunnel. Therefore the ISP has no way of knowing what type of data is travelling across this tunnel even though the tunnel goes across it’s own systems.
ISPs could determine that the traffic is going to a VPN by knowing the IP addresses the VPN servers use but as this keeps changing all the time, it becomes difficult for them to track VPN server IP addresses.
So, how can you use a VPN to bypass throttling? First, it may cost you. You need to acquire and subscribe to a reliable service provider, ensuring that it will effectively keep your data private. Doing so will ensure that you don’t need to worry about being spied on by ISPs.
Also, note that you need to consider the device you will use and the internet speed you need. You can do this by installing a speed tester; we all want fast speed internet connections.
How To Bypass Data Throttling
First, you need to settle on a reliable VPN provider. Given so many options to choose from, you need to find the most suitable option for your needs. You can base your choice on need and affordability.
As soon as you find one, you can quickly gain access to the secure network and effectively avoid data caps. The next step is to download the VPN. Using it as an app for your device will enhance its performance and improve its speed.
You can download the Android, Windows, or IOS version based on your gadget, and all you need is to enter your details to log in, and you are good to go.
It is also necessary to establish the server’s connection since it varies depending on your country or state. The good thing is, there are various VPN providers in many countries that any user can access. It would help if you also used a suitable browser, given that some are prone to throttling. Some users find the phone’s Chrome browser effective in bypassing data caps.
Also, note that you may find extra support that accompanies the VPN, like data savers. This way, the VPN will help achieve your desired bandwidth; most of these are downloadable for easier access.
Does VPN Waste Data?
For internet users with unlimited data plans, data wastage may not be a big deal compared to other users. If you have a limited package, then your main aim is to use your data sparingly. As noted, the VPN is heavily encrypted; therefore, you need more data to receive and send these kinds of data. Moreover, these data use more space than the standard data. Therefore, VPN, to some extent, uses more data given how it operates.
Logically, a system that functions in encrypting such bulky data to enhance user privacy will work more. This extra data usage required is called encryption overhead. Therefore, the stronger your VPN, the more data you will use. Similarly, the stronger the VPN, the slower your internet connection; thus, it will take longer for you to load data.
How To Limit VPN Data Usage
The first way to limit data usage, which applies to any other application, is to turn it off when it is not in use. If it works in the background, it may use up your data even when you are not using it; hence, the need for restrictions. One way to do it is to disable it unless you need access to blocked content or transferring sensitive files.
Secondly, you can configure it to cater to your data needs; this allows you to enable it only when using specific applications or programs. When you do so, you allow it to run the intended programs and leave out other heavy ones that are data consuming.
On the other hand, if you can access public Wi-Fi, utilizing it may save you some data. Given that VPN enhances data security, you need not worry about security.
Lastly, you need to ensure that you use the closest VPN server; this will significantly save data. The notion behind this is that the closer the server is, the faster it will be in data transfer. Thus, you utilize the bandwidth and data usage. Note that you also need to be careful in your server selection to select genuine providers; this way, you are sure that your data won’t leak to other sources.
VPN will come in handy in data security, but it may not effectively bypass hard ISP data caps, thanks to their routing to their servers. However, you can easily bypass some throttles and soft caps. Similarly, it is possible to get faster speeds, and you can unblock heavy applications such as Skype or Netflix.
We advise the use of a VPN, not just for security but also as a way to bypass data caps. As much as it uses up some data, you need not worry about wastage. Besides, there are various measures you can use to optimize data usage when using a VPN.