Windows 10 will soon shield you from unexpected data charges

Windows 10
(Image credit: Anton Watman / Shutterstock)

Windows 10 users will soon gain access to a new feature that could protect them from unexpected data charges. Metered connections are coming soon to the operating system, which will restrict background internet usage when a device is using a limited Wi-Fi network or is connected to a phone’s mobile hotspot.

Microsoft is currently in the process of updating the Chromium open-source platform with support for the new feature. This means that Chromium-based browsers, including Edge and Chrome, will soon take note of an individual’s Windows 10 network settings and whether metered connections have been enabled or not.

When the metered connections feature has been activated, Windows will no longer automatically download Windows 10 or Microsoft Store updates, except in the case of critical security fixes. Peer-to-peer updates will also be disabled and Universal Windows Platform apps may behave differently.

Gaining control

The new Windows 10 feature provides a great way for individuals to gain better control over their connection and prevent Windows 10 from using excessing amounts of their bandwidth. Even if it does not make much of a difference to browsing speeds, background internet activity can cause costs to unexpectedly increase when a limited internet connection is being used.

Metered connections are already live for users of the Microsoft Edge Canary preview channel and it is expected to launch for Google Chrome and other Chromium browsers next year. For those that don’t want to wait, there is already a Windows 10 feature that enables users to throttle data being used by Windows Update and the Microsoft Store by changing the bandwidth settings.

If remote working does become more common in the post-pandemic world, it may very well be the case that individuals find themselves using new Wi-Fi connections more frequently. Aside from the security implications that this will bring, having greater control over bandwidth consumption will certainly come in useful.

Via Windows Latest

Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.