AT&T is the collective designation of several merged companies. All of them engage in providing internet access to customers, and operate under the same principles. However, the organization has a history of attracting negative media attention through accusations of throttling and blocking websites. Sadly, some of them are true, but the answer – at least in our opinion – is a bit more complicated than AT&T simply neglecting customers. Still, the problem remains. This is why we are going to present a solution that bypasses the company’s restrictive actions entirely while also keeping you safe from intruders: VPN services.
AT&T falls in line with its ISP competition in terms of throttling. The company is often featured even in yellow journalism articles because of throttling activities. Such restrictive processes work in a temporary fashion. The trend in throttling is that during peak hours, when the population’s internet usage is at its highest, certain websites’ capabilities are reduced. The ones often throttled are YouTube, Netflix and Hulu, but other video on demand and streaming sites might get hit as well. AT&T also practices this type of throttling – this is not a denial of access. A VPN service though helps you find a way around this problem. Any ISP has its own servers that data traffic runs through. VPN organizations have their own ones as well (or they lease servers). If you connect to the internet via a VPN network, it will ignore the congested AT&T servers, and thus throttling as well.
Best VPN Services for AT&T of 2018
AT&T Blocking Websites and Streaming Services
AT&T does block websites, but apart from blocks stemming from users not abiding the rules of the company, they are done in an odd manner. For no apparent reason, websites are blocked based on the IP addresses they are associated with. Our best guess is that a conservation of resources and reducing congestion is again the aim here. But then again, AT&T’s or any ISP’s throttling and blocking activity happens because they attract a great number of customers with promises of internet quality they cannot even support in the first place. In our opinion, this is an effective way of thinking about blocks: the ISP does not have a beef with you, in fact it has a beef with itself, in that it bit more beef than it can chew, in return for easy extra profit. Therefore, AT&T does block websites; from the viewpoint of VPN though, this too is irrelevant, since such a network is explicitly designed to bypass restrictions.
Using a VPN with AT&T
Therefore, we would like to expand upon the topic of VPN in this section. A Virtual Private Network can be best understood as a shortcut to internet access instead of the ISP route, which is full of detours. There are two main functionalities of a VPN: access and safety.
Access means that this type of service lets you view online content you otherwise cannot. All countries have their specific laws regarding what they allow on the internet and they don’t. A VPN service lets you connect to countries that have excellent internet freedom. Iceland, Switzerland, or Estonia are great examples. This way you can also legally conduct file-sharing activities like torrenting.
Secondly, this private access opportunity is protected by encryptions. This protective method hides your presence online, making it next to impossible for AT&T to find out what is it that you do. You are usually given a selection to choose from; we suggest opting for the OpenVPN and L2TP types.
If your online access needs are more on the entertainment and streaming side, try out a smart DNS service. While VPN is a general access tool, this one works with select sites only, like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and so on. Smart DNS does not have encryptions and is thus as fast as your regular internet, but it is also less safe as a result. For streaming websites though it is the go-to service. For all other purposes, VPN is better in our opinion.
To list off a few great companies, we would like to encourage you to investigate for yourself or even sign up for a free trial at one of the following organizations! Try out IPVanish for great general quality, HideMyAss if you want long distance access and rare locations, and PureVPN if you want a joint VPN + smart DNS package.