Because many internet providers have limited bandwidth, particularly satellite internet companies, plans will often come with a limited data allowance before you get throttled.

Taking satellite internet as an example, if your provider is HughesNet, then your max speed is 25 Mbps. Then, after you use up your monthly data, you will get throttled down to about 1 to 3 Mbps. If your provider is Viasat, then you could have a download speed of up to 100 Mbps. Then, after you use up your data allowance, your data will be deprioritized behind users who haven’t used all of theirs. This will mean slower speeds during peak hours, but a smaller difference during off-peak hours.

An easy way to tell if you’re being throttled is to run a speed test online. If your speeds are much lower than usual, then you’re probably being throttled. While you shouldn’t expect to always get the full amount of your promised download speed, especially during peak hours, and especially over wifi, you should be getting most of it most of the time.

An even easier way to tell if you’re being throttled is to sign in to your account through your internet provider. Here you can find all the information on your monthly data usage, including how much, if any, you have left. If you’ve used up your monthly data allowance, that is why you are being throttled. Some providers will give you the option of purchasing bonus data, while with others you will need to upgrade to a better plan to get more data.

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