In June 29, 2015, Windows 10 was launched as a free update for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. During it developer preview stage and at its release, Windows 10 was received very positively from fans, daily users and power users alike.
Many people very happy for the return of the Start Menu and just how the performance was better than Windows 8 and 8.1. However, there were some features that were criticized for they violate users’ privacy like the “Getting to know you” feature and the allegedly “bandwidth stealing” feature which will be explained in this article. Of course you must be wondering, how does Windows 10 steal your bandwidth without your knowledge?
It all started with Microsoft giving Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8.1 users as mentioned earlier. The size of the update was 3.5 GB which is difficult for Microsoft to handle so many simultaneous downloads. So, in order to reduce the load on their servers, Microsoft added a feature to mimic a torrent behavior for distributing updates. This feature is named “Windows Update Delivery Optimization”.
It’s designed to help user get updates faster through a computer that already has downloaded that update on a local network. Note that this is a Windows 10 feature, so it also works with future updates for Windows 10. Just how torrents work, the updates are downloaded from another computer just like a peer-to-peer download.
This is how Windows Update Delivery Optimization Works:
● Suppose your Windows 10 PC is connected to a local area network and there are 3 other PCs which need to be updated to Windows 10.
● Your PC has downloaded the update so the other PCs download the update from your PC rather than from Microsoft’s servers.
● The other 3 PCs when complete the download, install the update.
● If another PC connects to this network, it can download from all the PCs which have the update.
In one way this feature is very useful because it can get updates to other users faster, but in another way Windows 10 steals your bandwidth without your knowledge since this feature is enabled by default. Imagine other computers downloading updates from your PC and you can’t seem to use the internet very good, it’s very frustrating. So how can you disable Windows Update Delivery Optimization, just follow these steps:
How to Disable Windows Update Delivery Optimization and Reduce Bandwidth Usage?
1. Open the Start Menu of Windows 10.
2. Type “windows update” in the search.
3. Select “Windows Update Settings” from the search results.
4. In Windows Update, click on “Advanced Options” under the Windows Update heading.
5. In Advanced Options, click on “Choose how updates are delivered” under “Choose how updates are installed”.
Even though the Windows Update Delivery Optimization speeds up downloading updates for other users, but this is how Windows 10 steals your bandwidth without your knowledge. Now if you were on your home network this feature would be very useful but if your bandwidth and downloads are limited, then this feature should be turned off. Specially if you use WiFi to connect internet and other data transfer usage, disabling this option will relife good amount of bandwidth from WiFi since WiFi is already slow compared to LAN cable.