Question Awful speeds and ISP giving me no help


Mar 4, 2017
My main question is: Why is my router getting 19Mb but not outputting anywhere near that even with a direct Ethernet connection?

So I’ve moved into my house last September (2018) and got a deal with EE. I live in a pretty remote area of SW U.K. so I know I was never going to get the speeds I would have liked to get, and of course, no Fibre Optic. But I’m subscribed to an average 16Mb and minimum 7Mb download (I know it’s bad, but it’s worse).
The router was fine for awhile, then I started getting consistently around 1Mb download max, and the same for upload speed. Logging into the routers configuration shows me that it is always getting 19Mb and always does every time I check.
I ran loads of tests on Ethernet and wired on a range of devices all whilst on the phone to EE. The ping was all over the place and went from 60 to 1800. They blamed a faulty router and sent me a knew one.
I get the router and get going. For the first week it’s not perfect but I’m getting a whopping whole 7Mb download speed. Then after a week (present day is a month after I get 2nd router) it all goes bad again.
I have some reason to believe they are throttling me as temporarily using a vpn on my WiFi gets 10Mb+, however with the fluctuation I cannot really prove it.
My contract says that if I get less than minimum then I can leave the contract free of charge if they can’t fix it. This will be a consideration but I suspect I may get the same issues with other ISP’s.
The tests I used include: BTwholesale (the one EE recommends), Ookla’s, and Google’s front page one. All returning somewhat similar results.
There must be some other explanation if the vpn works fine. The isp is lazy they are not going to throttle some IP and not others. To them vpn looks like any other web traffic. Unless they watch very closely as the session starts to detect that open vpn is using a slightly different handshake than a real HTTPS session they can not tell. China great firewall does watch for this since want to block all vpn.

So they will treat vpn traffic the same as other traffic.

I would keep testing and be sure it consistently works on the VPN and it is not some random test results.

It could be your ISP has issues getting to other ISP and the VPN is taking a different path. Hard to say it is not common that a VPN helps network performance. You mostly see this in asia where not all ISP have access to the optimum undersea fiber paths.