The Net Neutrality repeal went into effect two days ago, meaning that internet service providers (ISPs) are no longer legally bound to give equal treatment to all websites. They can throttle speeds, bundle internet services in premium packages, or arbitrarily block services.
This does not necessarily mean that ISPs will start behaving as such, it means that they can if they choose so. Regardless, there are tricks to avoid, or at least alleviate, the absence of Net Neutrality. Here’s what you can do:
Use a VPN
As we’ve mentioned in a previous article detailing the impact of the Net Neutrality repeal, using a virtual private network can alleviate some of the drawbacks of the repeal. Simply put, an ISP won’t be able to employ discriminatory tactics -blocking, throttling, bundling, etc – if it does not know what you’re trying to access.
A VPN obfuscates your activity by encrypting your data and routing through one their servers. The ISP won’t be able to read your traffic, and all traffic will look like it is headed towards the server. There is a good number of good VPN providers out there, our favorite is ExpressVPN, which boasts state of the art encryption, super speeds, and a 30-day money back guaranteed grace period. Below is our list of the top 5 providers.
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Find a Net Neutrality Friendly ISP
Leading the push for the abolishment were telecommunications conglomerates such as Comcast and AT&T. But there are numerous, smaller service providers that supported Net Neutrality. In fact, over 40 such providers had sent a letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai expressing their support for the regulations back in June. The names of those providers can be found here.
Use the tool created by mapping platform MapBox to see if any of those providers operate in your area.
The repeal won’t apply everywhere. Several states have enacted their own Net Neutrality laws – Washington passed a net neutrality law that took effect starting on June 11, the day the federal regulations expired.
Vermont and Oregon also have protective laws that will come into effect in the future, and several other states are considering enacting similar legislation. You can get more information on where each state stands in this regard on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website here.
While moving to any of the Net Neutrality friendly states sounds like a most impractical solution, what you can do instead is to contact your state’s legislators and try to push for reform.
The governors Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, and Vermont have already signed executive orders; attorneys general from 22 states filed a protective petition for review against the FCC. Do your part.
For more options, check out our list of the top VPNs available on the market.