Over the years, the line between throttling and shaping has become very blurred.
Throttling is very simple, it slows down your entire connection for a predetermined period, this means your internet will be slower for everything you do, it usually targets high bandwidth users who consume a lot of bandwidth during peak hours.
Shaping is far more complex, it usually slows down activities which cause the most traffic on your ISP's network, leaving less resource intensive activities, like web browsing and email working at your full connection speed.
Afrihost claims to employ a more modern method of shaping which they refer to as "Dynamic Shaping". Here's what they have to say about it:
What does this practically mean? (Dynamic Shaping)
This means that on an Uncapped account - no matter how much overall data you download - you will get the fastest Realtime Internet experience that your line can handle for 24 hours a day. For our high bandwidth users users, non-Realtime Internet traffic (such as torrents) will be dynamically shaped during peak network usage so that congestion can be prevented and a good overall quality of service can be guaranteed. During non-peak usage, everyone (even the highest bandwidth users) will get as close to full speeds on ALL types of traffic (Realtime and non-Realtime) as the network will allow.
If you are one of our higher bandwidth users, when are the peak times that your torrents and non-Realtime traffic will be shaped?
In general, peak times on our network are between 08h00 and 0h00 every day. This means that non-Realtime services will be shaped on a sliding scale, with higher bandwidth users getting shaped more than lower bandwidth users, and the higher bandwidth users will not get full speeds during these times for non-Realtime services (Realtime services will continue at full speeds).
Generally, after midnight and before 08h00 each day, non-Realtime traffic will be less shaped (or not at all) and you will get the fastest speed your Telkom line (and the network) allows.
Please note that the times mentioned here are meant to give a general indication of possible network behaviour. Since the network management is demand based, Afrihost cannot guarantee shaping or abscence of shaping at a specific time - as this is entirely dependant on collective user behaviour (demand for bandwidth) at any given time of the day.
As you can see above, dynamic shaping has the characteristics of throttling, in that it targets individual users who make excessive use of resource intensive protocols.