Sometimes when I want to boost my productivity, I’ll change my location. With the fine weather we’ve been having, I decided to pick up my notebook and head outdoors. All was fine till I got a pop up message from my internet provider. It turns out, I blew past my plan’s data allocation. And it could’ve been prevented if I thought about two factors – metered connections and automatic software updates.
Automatic Software Updates & Backups
For the most part, I like to do software updates shortly after the release. Granted it depends on the company because some are much better at testing. But, what got me this time is Windows 10. In the latest release, users have fewer options on how they get their updates.
In the screen snap below, my desktop version of Windows 10 Pro has an option to defer upgrades. I could also choose to update other Microsoft products. This isn’t the case with my notebook, which is a different version. As a side note, “security updates” still come through.
Lesson Learned: Check for software updates from a wired connection before heading out the door. You might also check the options for any backup services you use.
Check Your Wi-Fi Network Connection Settings
If you’re not familiar with a “metered connection”, it’s a Windows setting that popped up several years ago. It’s useful where you have a data allotment. For example, your cell phone company provides a set number of gigabytes per month. If you go over your allotment, you pay. This is why you want to limit unnecessary data transmission.
Windows does have default settings based on the connection type, but you may want to check yours. It typically has Wi-Fi connections as non-metered and mobile broadband as metered.
When this Metered Connection setting is turned on, certain online activities won’t take place or will be limited. For example, you’ll still get priority updates, but maybe your live tiles won’t update or your offline files won’t sync.
To enable a metered connection in Windows 10,
- Press your Windows key + I key
- Click WI-FI and connect to the Wi-Fi network you wish to change.
- Scroll to the bottom of the list and select Advanced options
- At the bottom of the WIRELESS NETWORK CONNECTION dialog, click the toggle for set as metered connection
Lesson Learned: Turn on metered connection if you’re on a plan that has a data cap. You can always toggle it back off.