VPN Throttling Unlikely Even Without Net Neutrality: Expert

Internet service providers are "very unlikely" to throttle virtual private network (VPN) companies even if the Federal Communications Commission manages to go through with its controversial plan to repeal the net neutrality rules in the United States, Jodi Myers of NordVPN told Android Headlines on Wednesday. While VPN throttling is theoretically possible, it comes with significant technical and business challenges, starting with the telecoms' inability to simply throttle all encrypted traffic as that would directly hurt their customers who use VPNs for work and potentially affect access to HTTPS websites.

Alternatively, while ISPs may attempt throttling the Internet speeds of users connected to particular IP addresses associated with VPN servers, maintaining an updated list of such servers would be practically impossible even in a theoretical scenario in which VPN providers weren't making active efforts to circumvent such measures, Ms. Myers said. With millions of different VPN addresses being available to consumers and more added on a daily basis by both free and paid companies like NordVPN, any chance of ISPs successfully throttling such traffic is extremely slim. Even if Internet providers were to attempt such a move, "large-scale throttling" would be an easily identifiable phenomenon for VPNs who would be aware of such significant changes in real time and take steps to circumvent them in a timely manner, Ms. Myers revealed.

The company's Chief Marketing Officer Marty P. Kamden went on to stress that ISPs in the country can't be realistically expected to protect the open Internet when given the choice in the matter and will instead seek to maximize profits which selective throttling and selling of spots in their "fast lanes" would have the potential of doing. Ultimately, NordVPN remains adamant to continue fighting for net neutrality "even after the fight is lost" and the FCC votes to repeal the Title II regulations, which presently appears to be a likely outcome of its Thursday meeting. By funneling their traffic through a VPN, consumers will still be able to surf the World Wide Web without having ISPs throttle their speed of access to certain websites as they'll be unable to tell which domains they're accessing in the first place.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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