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Can An I S P Deliberately Slow Down Your Modem/Router?

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Hagen | 08:54 Sat 11th Jul 2020 | Technology
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I have a Zyxel VMG1312 series combined modem/router. Recently I've noticed that the Internet connection slows down from the expected 20 Mb/s download speed to about 13 Mb/s over the course of about three days. I can get the proper speed back by rebooting it but then it gradually slows down again. The drop in speed happens mainly at night when I am not using it.

I'm aware that modem/routers, especially cheap ones provided by one's ISP, do degrade over time and this one is quite old. The obvious answer would be to replace it, but the new one provided by O2 (Czech Republic) is (a) very expensive and (b) has far more bells and whistles than I'll ever need.

The decline in speed started at the same time as I began to receive texts and phone calls from O2 telling me my router is out of date and I need a new one. That may be coincidence, but is it possible that they may be sending something down the line at night to slow my modem/router down in order to pressurise me into buying the expensive new one?

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Can't see it would be worth their while to do so. Maybe tech changes at their end coupled with more folk wanting the service is having a effect. Maybe you notice it because they brought it to your attention.
Yes they can.
https://testinternetspeed.org/blog/what-is-a-bandwidth-cap/

Deliberately in an attempt to sell you a new one, highly unlikely but possible.
Any sort of general capping would show up during the evening as more and more users become online and the ISP attempts to average out internet speeds.
Time for you change your ISP. I have never bought a router, it has always been free and remains the property of the ISP, which suits me because if it develops a fault they have to rectify it at their expense.
I agree with SlackAlice but the speed should automatically revert to normal during the day, not get slower and slower over 3 days until you reboot.
Hagen, are you in the UK? why the mention of the Czech Republic?
Question Author
Thanks for the replies so far. I live in the Czech Republic (to answer Woofgang), but am a regular on the Listener thread here and over the years have noticed there are a lot of tech-savvy posters on this forum.

In fairness I think the router can be included in the Internet package for minimal monthly payments, but I haven't really looked into this yet.

OG is probably right that I noticed the speed drop when I started to get those texts and calls. I also think that the speed should revert to normal in the daytime, whereas what happens that it can be 20 Mb/s when I go to bed at midnight but at 9am the next day it's 18 Mb/s.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into what is basically a worn-out router. If only things were built to last!

Thanks all.
If technology was meant to last I'd still be using the old dial up modem. No thank you, couldn't stand the shrieking :D From the modem and me when my patience ran out!
That’s different.
That’s a technological advance as opposed to things just wearing out
O2 in the Czech republic may do things differently and operate differently than in the Uk, that's why I asked :)
Question Author
If you ever get nostalgic for the old dial-up modem sound, Barry, there are plenty of downloadable recordings of it online!

I agree with Ichkeria - moving on with tech should be a conscious decision to upgrade, not forced upon us by things going wrong.

I don't know if the big providers have varying polices in different countries, but I get the impression that it's fairly much standardised across Europe. I may be wrong about that.

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