Optimum is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that serves customers in the areas of Connecticut, New Jersey, Long Island, and the Bronx-Brooklyn-Westchester regions. This article is going to discuss some throttling and blocking history of this ISP, along with presenting a solution to bypassing any of these restrictions. This is none other than Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Before anything specific, we can state that in general, Optimum is not necessarily the most VPN-friendly ISP, though indirectly most of the time. This comprises of the blocking of select ports and programs. Regardless of an ISP throttling or not, using a VPN prevents even the possibility of it.
Unfortunately, Optimum has a history of throttling. Putting a cap on certain users’ connections has happened before, particularly in cable networks. Regular usage is encouraged by Optimum, meaning that a client conducting individual networking activities, such as creating or running an FTP server or engaging in file sharing, is not favored. As a result, throttling often happens to clients who Optimum thinks resort to these, regardless of legality or not. Furthermore, you might also experience throttling if you tamper with any hardware or software the ISP provides to you. This includes changing basic settings as well. And, oddly enough, the Acceptable Use Policy states that “excessive use of bandwidth” is also an offense. The problem with this expression is that it has a vague meaning; essentially, the subjective humans overseeing data traffic and their superiors are the ones deciding whether or not to throttle a customer, and not an objective framework that treats everybody as equally as possible.
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Optimum Blocking Websites and Streaming Services
The blocking of some services or types of connection is present with Optimum. In accordance with a lot of other ISPs, port 80 is not open by default. A bit better news is that you can enable it manually for your Optimum account. People trying to use port 3389 were also met with closed doors. Any sort of torrent activity is not favored either, even if the intention of usage does not harm the copyright laws of the U.S. Thus, Optimum falls in line with the vast majority of the country’s ISPs – they disrupt peer-to-peer traffic in some form or another. Therefore, we do not consider the service and its parent company Cablevision to be VPN-friendly, as such a service provides access to everything Optimum does not agree with or prohibits.
Using a VPN with Optimum
Because Optimum is not keen on you using an IP address other than what they assigned to you, this runs into a problem if you want to use a VPN. However, Optimum does not explicitly block any VPN service, so using one is still allowed. A VPN service works on the basis of IP address swapping. The VPN company you subscribe to supplies you with IP addresses that connect you to the internet. This is automatically done by the given company’s client software, manual setup is hardly ever needed.
Regardless of the IP problem above, the good news is that you will not be hurt by it if you use a VPN. The case is such because all connections are protected by encryptions. This security method hides your actual actions and your online identity from ISP monitoring, meaning that you can safely access any kind of content your connection allows. For example, using an Australian IP address will let you view all content that is only available in Australia.
There is an alternative to VPN, called smart DNS. Unlike its counterpart, which is focused on general access, smart DNS is a specialized service. It is mainly used to get to streaming websites that are not within your reach by default. In the case of a VPN, encryptions reduce your connection speeds. Smart DNS on the other hand has no inherent protection, but it preserves the original quickness of your internet. Overall, both can work, since Optimum’s AUP does not regulate DNS address usage, and a VPN protects your temporarily changed IP.