If you’re a British citizen, then you’ve probably already heard of Plusnet – and not necessarily good things. The company operates in four service areas, providing broadband, landline, IPTV, and mobile services. Although it was founded in 1997, the BT Group acquired the company in 2007, at which point it continued to operate as a separate business.
With over 750,000 customers in 2013 across the UK, Plusnet admits to throttling its clients’ connections as a way of maintaining service quality. Customers have also been asked to either restrict their usage, upgrade to a different product, or leave the company entirely. It’s no wonder customers feel frustrated whenever they feel their connection is being slowed down. Luckily, there are ways to avoid throttling: a VPN service can help you browse anonymously and retain your speed connection.
Throttling and Blocking
Plusnet uses throttling on both of its Business broadband and fibre products. The company refers to this as traffic prioritization and mentions service quality and cost reduction as the reasons behind this action. Basically, traffic is split into three different levels: things that need great amounts of speed like gaming or internet phone-calls are classified as high importance; streaming and general internet browsing are classified as medium importance; and finally, things that are less time-sensitive like software updates are seen as low importance. Bandwidth traffic is then distributed across the network according to this division.
The company clarifies, however, that traffic prioritization will not limit line speed, usage or downloads. The good news is that, regarding this, you’re only likely to be throttled if there are more users connected to the network simultaneously.
Besides this traffic prioritization, there are two more situations where the company may throttle connections: if the data usage limit has been reached or if the customer has failed to pay their bill. In the past, Plusnet has asked customers to restrict their usage, upgrade to a different product, or even leave the company entirely when either of these two situations had occurred. While asking a client to pack their bags is a bold move for a company, this is a common practice within the ISP market. Customers complain, however, of these account changes happening without their knowledge.
Best VPN Services for Plusnet of 2019
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Using a VPN With Plusnet
As mentioned, Plusnet categorizes traffic in three categories: high, medium, and low. While streaming is classified as medium importance, downloading is considered low. Using a VPN service may be helpful since it will disguise your online activities, meaning that your ISP provider will be able to know if you’re using the internet but won’t know what exactly you are doing. This makes it almost impossible to determinate if you’re downloading a file, torrenting, or on an internet call.
However, this doesn’t mean some interpretation can’t be done on the ISP’s side. Despite not being able to see customers’ online activity, it is still possible to see how the connection behaves. Torrenting would the best example: before it starts downloading, a torrent will make several connection requests at the same time. After that, several small files will be downloaded. This kind of information is visible for ISPs who, based on this information, can figure out that you’re using torrents at that moment. Obviously, since the exact activity can’t be confirmed because the information is encrypted, it would be unfair for an internet provider to mess with their clients’ connection.
A VPN service is also a way to circumvent any kind of website block or even geographically-restricted content. With the possibility of connecting to a server from another country, Plusnet users will have access to content that would otherwise be unavailable to them, such as Netflix’s U.S. library or websites that are blocked specifically for the UK, such as those through GDPR regulations.
Recommended VPN Services
For Plusnet customers that are tired of having their connection slowed down, it is actually very easy to overcome throttling. A VPN service is enough to do that. A good VPN program is able to hide your real location by providing a new IP connected to another location and will also encrypt all your data transferred over the internet. This makes for a safer user experience. Here is some VPN software that you can use to avoid throttling.
With an extensive number of protocols available, Hide.me pairs incredible speed with security. A network of over 85 servers distributed across 23 countries helps to deliver a great service. Unlike most VPN providers that offer a trial version for a limited period of time, Hide.me provides a forever-free account with the same security, just with less data storage and server locations. Users can also try the full version with unlimited data storage, all locations, and five simultaneous connections risk-free by making use of the company’s 14-day money-back guarantee.
With an extensive selection of over 100 locations in more than 50 countries, Ivacy will certainly please fans of torrenting. The software provides the best encryption available and adds value with additional security features. And while there is no free or trial version, Ivacy has a great price/quality ratio, which will make customers want to try the software by benefiting from the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
With multiple protocols available to enhance its overall performance, PureVPN is able to provide one of the most complete VPN services on the market. The software was designed to allow users to customize their connections according to the purpose they’re using the VPN for. The company places high importance on security and this is one of the reasons that customers are satisfied with the product. A three-day trial is available for those who want to test the PureVPN, however for those who need a bit more time to decide, the 31-day money-back guarantee policy will certainly be of good use.