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Does Xfinity Throttle Internet on Unlimited Data?

Last Updated Aug 20, 2022
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Xfinity offers many different internet plans that allow all their customers to work and play as needed. For many people, limited data is enough to get through the month and do everything they need. An unlimited data plan makes more sense when you spend a lot of time streaming shows, playing games, and working on the internet. But, does Xfinity still throttle internet connections on unlimited plans? 

Many customers who subscribe to Xfinity’s unlimited internet data plans report bandwidth throttling after using as little as 20 GB each month. Xfinity may also throttle your data during high traffic periods to ensure all users can connect to the internet. 

Below, we will discuss when Xfinity may throttle your internet connection and some ways you can combat it. Keep reading to learn more!

Does Xfinity Throttle Internet on Unlimited Data? 

There are many different Xfinity Internet plans to choose from. If someone chooses an unlimited data plan, it’s usually because they spend a lot of time on the internet. While most customers expect their connection speed to remain the same throughout each month, that’s not always the case.

Xfinity may throttle your internet speed for a few different reasons. Even if you have an unlimited data plan, you could experience significantly slower download and upload speeds after using a certain number of gigabytes. There are also times when the company is forced to throttle the data in a certain area due to high network congestion. 

What is Bandwidth Throttling? 

The concept of bandwidth throttling has become a hot topic in recent years. Internet or bandwidth throttling is when your internet service provider intentionally limits your connection speed. While your bandwidth is throttled, you will not be able to connect to the internet at the speed you usually do. This has nothing to do with your network or router, but everything to do with your service provider.

While several factors can impact your internet connection speed, there are very few things you can do to avoid bandwidth throttling. More often than not, Xfinity will do this due to the amount of data you’ve used throughout the month or the number of users online at once.

Why is Xfinity Throttling My Data?

Most internet service providers (ISPs), including Xfinity, practice some form of bandwidth throttling. There are many reasons this may happen, and not all are due to the amount of data you’re using. Xfinity may throttle your internet data because of:

  • Network congestion 
  • Data caps 
  • Paid prioritization 
  • Forbidden activities 

Below, we will discuss each of these reasons in more detail and highlight a few ways you may be able to avoid throttling.

Network Congestion 

The network can become congested during peak hours when many people are on the internet simultaneously. In some areas, this can cause a few people to experience perfect network connections, while others cannot connect at all. That is why some internet service providers will throttle the network speed in an area at certain times to ensure everyone is at least connected to the internet, even if their speed is lower than usual. 

There isn’t much you can do about bandwidth throttling due to network congestion, but you can try to limit any big downloads to other times of the day. Keep track of the times you have the most issues, and avoid doing any data-intensive activities during those hours.

While peak hours can vary by the day, most people are online during the workday and for a few hours after they return home from the office. Generally, there will be the lowest number of people online late at night and early in the morning. 

Data Caps 

Data caps are a perfect example of how important it is to read the fine print in your contract. Many unlimited data plans include a warning that your internet speed will slow down after using a certain amount of data in a single month.

You still technically have unlimited internet data, but your connection will be much slower after exceeding this cap. You shouldn’t have too many problems, but you may want to start opting for standard definition streaming rather than high definition after reaching the high-speed limit.

One way to combat this problem is to ensure that your unlimited data plan does not have a data cap. This might cost a little bit more, but it can save you from a lot of frustration in the future. 

Paid Prioritization 

Some internet providers that offer their own streaming service could throttle your connection to competitor pages. For example, because Xfinity offers Xfinity Stream, they may throttle your speed when you use other streaming services such as Netflix. This might sound illegal, but it isn’t. It is intended to encourage you to use their service instead. 

Forbidden Activities 

If Xfinity notices that you are visiting a website known for distributing pirated materials, they could throttle your internet speed to ensure you can’t download illegal content. This is intended to uphold the law and protect customers from downloading malware.

In Conclusion

Xfinity can throttle your internet even if you have an unlimited data plan. This can happen for many reasons, from network congestion to paid prioritization. Make sure to read the fine print on your contract to avoid any problems and try to download any large files during off-peak hours.

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