Posted 23rd Nov 2021
I just joined Vodafone broadband as they have had some great deals lately. I have been getting almost exactly the same speed test results and sync speeds as with my previous provider EE. However it seems clear to me that they are throttling speed for certain activities.

I use xcloud/game pass streaming a lot on my phone, and with my previous provider it has worked great. However now I am with Vodafone it is totally unusable, just a blurry mess, I have attached a screenshot.

This was strange, I checked my speed and they were good and I have had a good experience with lower speeds in the past. I then decided to try it with a VPN turned on. The quality was much better and it was somewhat usable again, however not great because of course a VPN will cause your speed to slow down considerably. The fact that I was getting a better experience via a VPN meant that I must have been getting better speeds through the VPN while using Xcloud.

This is clearly because Vodafone can see that I am using xcloud and start throttling my speed, but when I use a VPN they don't know what I'm doing, so don't realise I'm using xcloud and therefore don't throttle my speed.

Having done some research, there seems to be many posts, including on HUKD, of people experiencing the same throttling on Netflix with Vodafone broadband.

I contacted their support, and they kept insisting that they don't throttle speeds no matter how much I explained to them that they clearly are. It also says in their terms that they don't throttle, but they clearly are.

They have a 14 day cooling off period so I'll be leaving them asap. I'd suggest anyone who took out a contract with them recently to check to make sure all their streaming services are working well, especially if you use Netflix or xcloud, before your cooling off period is up, so you don't have to spend 24 months with a throttled connection.

Also if you plan on using any of the services they are known to throttle in the next 24 months, you might want to leave while you can or consider another provider if you're planning on starting a contract with them.

Just because you have a good speed test result doesn't mean that's what you're experiencing in real world applications. Of course they don't seem to be throttling traffic from speedtest.net. I wonder why?
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21 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Can be common with ISP's in general. Virgin also throttle my firestick. Speedtest is 60-80mbps, while with a VPN it jumps to the maximum 100mbs (i'm on 200mbs but Amazon ethernet adapter only goes to 100mb, so could possibly be more). As you say, you would expect 20% drop in your overall speed with VPN but that is not always the case with ISP throttling.
  2. Avatar
    Yeah they all do it still. I'm with now broadband and they say they don't but they definitely do. Maybe what they do isn't exactly that so they call it something else. I will have to try via VPN.
  3. Avatar
    It is not about the speed drop with VPN as in download speed... But the latency... The reaction time... As you need to input a reaction and get that uploaded and the action downloaded but there is a latency issue....

    I don't know if it will work but you could try changing your DNS to a public one like Google or cooudfare. Sorry as don't have detailed here but that might be a way around. No guarantee. DNS is your look up as in which phone book do you use to connect to the internet. In the old days just changing this could get you US Netflix for free but they blocked it. But it might bypass them without causing the longer lags of a Von compressing and decompressing data. The other thing is when you do use a VPN make sure you use their lightest compression algorithm but this is no doubt something you are already doing :(.
  4. Avatar
    Never noticed any problems with Voda BB on Netflix or with throttling.

    I did sync much higher then my "paid for price" before the pandemic and now only connect for what i pay for.
  5. Avatar
    Never noticed any throttling, also Vodafone don't block p2p or iptv which is useful. That said I'm in a semi rural location. I know in some areas Vodafone is over subscribed. It is very naughty if they are throttling, they say they don't hence I'm sure that would be a breach of contract etc. Anyway it might be best for you to use your cooling off period to leave. I wouldn't be happy either.
  6. Avatar
    I too have not had any throttling when streaming on Vodafone and get WiFi speed of 60mbps which is only about 5mb less than ethernet cable speed.
    Edited by: "yorkie12" 23rd Nov
  7. Avatar
    Mine was the same when I switched around two years ago. It's all documented in a thread on here. For some, Vodafone seems great value and just works. Mine was the same as yours, nothing worked after around 6pm, Netflix etc just wouldn't load.
  8. Avatar
    Had the same problem 2-years ago. Every day at 17:00 the speed went down to 1 Mbps and upload even lower. Got rid of them within the 14-days.
  9. Avatar
    Author
    I just tried xcloud this morning and it's exactly the same. I can't imagine it's a busy time of day so it looks like they're throttling it all day for some reason.
  10. Avatar
    Author
    Beauregard23/11/2021 11:21

    Comment deleted


    Yeah my speed is good too, but if I try and do something like use xcloud/Xbox game streaming it is a blurry mess. It's as if they throttle the speed of certain activities, especially bandwidth heavy ones.
  11. Avatar
    Author
    Beauregard23/11/2021 11:39

    Comment deleted


    Perhaps that's something that they don't throttle, or perhaps what/when they throttle varies by area. I'm getting 5-6 times the network speed needed for xcloud, but it doesn't work, so something is going on.
  12. Avatar
    Author
    jameshothothot23/11/2021 07:08

    It is not about the speed drop with VPN as in download speed... But the …It is not about the speed drop with VPN as in download speed... But the latency... The reaction time... As you need to input a reaction and get that uploaded and the action downloaded but there is a latency issue....I don't know if it will work but you could try changing your DNS to a public one like Google or cooudfare. Sorry as don't have detailed here but that might be a way around. No guarantee. DNS is your look up as in which phone book do you use to connect to the internet. In the old days just changing this could get you US Netflix for free but they blocked it. But it might bypass them without causing the longer lags of a Von compressing and decompressing data. The other thing is when you do use a VPN make sure you use their lightest compression algorithm but this is no doubt something you are already doing :(.


    Tried changing DNS, no change unfortunately still unusable. Thanks for trying to help though .
  13. Avatar
    Wow I am glad you are in your cooling off period. I am with EE but haven't tried xcloud so couldn't tell you. And it is all from BT wholesale anyhow. You might want to try By retail as they seem to have better deals with BT wholesale (for installation) and might get a higher priority line? Good luck either way!
  14. Avatar
    RhysLloyd200223/11/2021 09:54

    ...Of course they don't seem to be throttling traffic from speedtest.net. …...Of course they don't seem to be throttling traffic from speedtest.net. I wonder why?


    Vague recollection of tech forum discussion indicating different ISPs accessing/providing different routes to/from sources, where some routes where more efficient than others. Reasonably sure Netflix provides (or did provide) route selection alternatives.
    That kinda ticked the "why is VPN / Speedtest .net not throttled" boxes, because there is / was no throttling, just naturally less optimal routing for some services.
    Obviously if a provider routinely uses rubbish routes: bin 'em,
    but the "we don't throttle" statement may be credibly 100% true.
  15. Avatar
    Author
    jameshothothot23/11/2021 12:53

    Wow I am glad you are in your cooling off period. I am with EE but haven't …Wow I am glad you are in your cooling off period. I am with EE but haven't tried xcloud so couldn't tell you. And it is all from BT wholesale anyhow. You might want to try By retail as they seem to have better deals with BT wholesale (for installation) and might get a higher priority line? Good luck either way!


    Yeah, I was with EE before I switched to Vodafone and xcloud worked great. I'll probably go back to them, or perhaps Plusnet.
  16. Avatar
    Worth reporting to ofcom, if it's true Vodafone are throttling then it's total scummy - this isn't 2005 anymore.

    They simply need to lease more lines.


    These days I only tend to stick with BT or Sky as i've not had problems with their internet.

    One thing that really grinds my gears is when they outsource their call centres - with my local british accent and their accent it makes for an impossible phone call.

    Talktalk comes to mind. BT Business I think also.
  17. Avatar
    RhysLloyd200223/11/2021 11:43

    Perhaps that's something that they don't throttle, or perhaps what/when …Perhaps that's something that they don't throttle, or perhaps what/when they throttle varies by area. I'm getting 5-6 times the network speed needed for xcloud, but it doesn't work, so something is going on.


    As prev mentioned in layman's terminology: the "routing" Vodafone has access to in delivering the subject service may (will?) be the likely issue, not deliberate targeted throttling. Example:
    Netflix acknowledges "routing" can cause issues in provisioning its services to a satisfactory quality and offers to partner with ISPs to provide more direct access to its services via OpenConnect:
    "minimising the delivery of traffic that is served over a transit provider"
    openconnect.netflix.com/en_gb/

    Also as prev mentioned: it doesn't matter if Voda is actively throttling or not, if the ISP cannot deliver an acceptable experience for a particular service then yes: bin the ISP, but the ISP is likely being 100% honest in its statement of "no throttling".
  18. Avatar
    Author
    AndyRoyd24/11/2021 18:08

    As prev mentioned in layman's terminology: the "routing" Vodafone has …As prev mentioned in layman's terminology: the "routing" Vodafone has access to in delivering the subject service may (will?) be the likely issue, not deliberate targeted throttling. Example:Netflix acknowledges "routing" can cause issues in provisioning its services to a satisfactory quality and offers to partner with ISPs to provide more direct access to its services via OpenConnect:"minimising the delivery of traffic that is served over a transit provider"https://openconnect.netflix.com/en_gb/Also as prev mentioned: it doesn't matter if Voda is actively throttling or not, if the ISP cannot deliver an acceptable experience for a particular service then yes: bin the ISP, but the ISP is likely being 100% honest in its statement of "no throttling".


    I understand what you're saying. However, Microsoft say that you need a minimum of 9mbps to use xcloud. I am getting a lync speed of about 52mbps. As you can see from the screenshot in my original post xcloud is a blurry mess, so presumably my effective speed or rout to xcloud is considerably less than 9 Mbps. Can poor routing alone really cause that big of a degradation in speed, perhaps it can I'm not sure?
    On a side note, I used cloudflare's warp+ mobile VPN yesterday and I had a flawless experience with xcloud, enough to happily play for a couple of hours. If I turn the VPN off however, it is still unusable.
  19. Avatar
    Im looking to leave vodafone for this reason. If i try xcloud through the browser its fine, but through the app its an unusable mess. On wired connections too.

    With a vpn , its fine, however any added latency to this service i can really do without.

    Any reccomendations of other isps?
  20. Avatar
    Author
    hawkinsandy30/12/2021 11:11

    Im looking to leave vodafone for this reason. If i try xcloud through the …Im looking to leave vodafone for this reason. If i try xcloud through the browser its fine, but through the app its an unusable mess. On wired connections too.With a vpn , its fine, however any added latency to this service i can really do without.Any reccomendations of other isps?


    I was with ee broadband before Vodafone and it was good.
  21. Avatar
    Thanks. Voda giving me the usual rubbish , despite me showing them videos taken with and without a vpn. No other internet issues. lies.
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