Microsoft Uses Customer Bandwidth To Deliver Windows 10 Updates

For those of you who use Bit Torrent to download pirated movies, this post is for you.  Microsoft has turned every Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro user into a Bit Torrent node of sorts, delivering Microsoft updates to their millions of customers.

Like other Windows 10 features (WiFi Sense, for example), I am sure that Microsoft thought this was a good idea.  A new Windows 10 service called Windows Update Delivery Optimization, turned on by default, has existing Windows 10 users serving up Windows patches for other computers on the Internet.

I can see a benefit for using WUDO to share updates with other computers on your same home or small office network.  That would actually reduce the load on your Internet connection.  For example, when Microsoft released their first big, post release Windows 10 patch (sorry, they are calling them service releases now.  It sound better than bug fix) this week, the patch weighed in at over 300 megabytes.  Since Microsoft has removed your ability to control when patches install, it could download in the middle of the day.

Say you have 5 computers in your office.  At some point those computers will collectively download almost 2 gigabytes of Microsoft madness.  WUDO would reduce that to 350 megabytes (the size of one download) and have you share that patch with your fellow computers.

But what they are doing is using you to serve patches to other, non related, users on the Internet, using your upload bandwidth.

For users on DSL, your upload bandwidth is already pretty small and for other businesses, you likely sized your Internet connection to meet your business needs not Microsoft’s.  After all, they are not paying you to use your bandwidth.

This is not a surprise;  Microsoft said this was going to happen for a while and it was active in the beta versions.

If you are concerned about your bandwidth (not to mention your liability for serving up Microsoft’s patches), you can turn this off, but it is not obvious.  The link below has more details, but from Settings, go to Update & security and then advanced options.  You can select to turn it off completely or leave it on for computers in your home or office only.

As we move to the brave new world of Windows 10, we have to learn a whole new set of configuration checks in order to turn on or off things that we want to be different than the default.  The good news is that Microsoft says this is the last version of Windows.

Information for this post came from Computer World.

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