This article is about Charter Communications, a U.S. telecommunications organization. Specifically, we are going to discuss details of its broadband internet service. The growing number of restrictions in U.S. internet law and the subsequent policies put into effect by ISPs such as Charter have negative consequences for the customer base of the company. Less and less online freedom awaits those using the internet; next to discussing details of this projected to Charter, we are also going to present a solution that legally ignores the restrictive environment of U.S. internet: Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
In Charter’s official Acceptable Use Policy, there are points that might apply to throttling activity. What we would like to highlight is that at Charter, the “excessive use of bandwidth” is prohibited. There are no numbers attached to this; the only method of judgment is “Charter’s sole opinion”, that is those who monitor and act upon specific bandwidth usage. This may lead to you being throttled indivertibly, as you are not clearly informed of any boundary for the expression “excessive use of bandwidth”. The other oddly worded section also prohibits “disrupting any aspect of the service through any means”. If this does extend to literally any means, then even forcefully shutting down a modem (in the case of an electrical emergency for example) can also be understood as disruption of service, from the customer’s side. In recent years though, there has been a decline on throttling reports. Despite all this, there are no rules that restrict VPN usage either directly or indirectly, so Charter is VPN-friendly.
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Charter Blocking Websites and Streaming Services
Charter as an Internet Service Provider has a bone to pick with those engaging in copyright infringement. Or rather, the U.S. version of it, which is more strict than in other countries. Pirating websites are often blocked, and GPT domains are not favored either. General torrenting, peer-to-peer and file sharing activity is not supported at Charter. The tendency is suspending or terminating accounts. Most other internet activities can be done without disruption; keep in mind though that U.S. law – and thus Charter – does not favor gambling websites and questionable content, such as excessive violence on the internet. In our opinion this particular ISP is selective in the types of content they favor and do not favor. Luckily, if you are after torrenting for example, a VPN service is good to have.
Using a VPN with Charter
You should not experience issues as a Charter subscriber if you use a VPN. There are no policies affecting this type of service at the ISP, and the working method of any VPN ensures that even if Charter were not neutral in the topic, you could proceed undetected.
The method itself has two main aspects to it. First, regardless of the VPN company you side with, you will be provided with either their own client software, or an open-source one. Both will automatically set things up for you, you will have adjust minor settings at worst. The key element to any VPN connection is the change of the IP address of your device. While this may not be supported by Charter, you have the second aspect of a VPN connection that conceals your actions: encryption. VPN is as effective as it is, because your presence is hidden online. Encryptions ensure this, allowing you to bypass throttling and blocks.
On a brief side note, another type of service also exists that is great, for a purpose. While VPN is more invested in providing general access, smart DNS services are more focused on getting people to view streaming websites they otherwise cannot access like Netflix, or Hulu. The problem with smart DNS services is that they rarely have inherent protection like VPN services. Also, they work on the basis of DNS address swapping; since this is not a protected procedure, Charter can potentially engage in DNS hijacking, denying the usage of the smart DNS service from you. On the flipside, encryptions reduce connection speeds, and since smart DNS lacks this, your regular internet speeds are preserved.
To sum up, both VPN and smart DNS are able candidates for bypassing throttling, but the latter is the most useful when you want to stream content. Otherwise, VPN is a sure shot.