How to stop the throttling on your Virgin Media broadband connection

Last year I started using broadband supplied by Virgin Media, which ran on a cabled connection (not the phone line).

I noticed that when I downloaded anything that initiated many connections (such as with a download manager, or torrents), the overall connection speed was very low. This was frustrating because we had an excellent connection, and I could get the full connection speed if I downloaded from a server.

Let’s be clear, here. Many people think Virgin Media are throttling the connection on their end because they don’t want people hogging the line, but it’s not actually throttling (as far as my own problem went — you may well have pissed them off enough for them to actually throttle your connection).

I narrowed the problem down to the router and realised that the router itself was blocking too many connections. You wouldn’t believe it, but this block was there to prevent DDoS attacks. The kind of attack that’s directed at web servers to take them down. It’s not entirely useless to be protected against this on your home connection in theory, but given the low chance of being DDoSed on your home connection (and the fact that you could just reboot your router) not being restricted in downloading should be higher up on the list.

In any case, the trusty black Netgear router I was given has an option to turn off this protection. Read on for instructions, although before you start it’s a good idea to try a download that is slower than you think it should be and note the speed for comparison later.

  1. Make sure you’re connected to the internet via the router itself
  2. Log in to the router’s control panel by going to your internet browser and typing “” (without the quotation marks) in the URL bar
  3. You’ll be presented with a login screen. Use username “admin” and password “changeme” (unless you’ve changed them). If these don’t work, check the underside of your router, which should say the correct details
  4. Click ‘Services’
  5. Untick the ‘Firewall Features’ box
  6. Click ‘Apply’

Now try to download the same file you tried earlier and see if there’s a difference in speed. Remember you can always turn the protection back on if you want to by following the instructions and re-ticking ‘Firewall Features’.

I hope this helps others out there. If you have a different router but experience the same problems, try to log in to your router in the same or a similar way and find the feature that is restricting your connection.

As always, feel free to comment below :)