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What is a metered connection in Windows? How to activate it

A computer with an active Internet connection is constantly exchanging data to and from the Internet. This will result in high internet usage. The higher the data each device exchanges over the Internet, the higher the cost. This is where a discreet link comes in.

Metered connection lets you limit the data your PC uses. It does this by alerting users when the PC reaches a certain amount of data usage. Moreover, it also restricts application and background process from using internet data.

So, if you have internet subscription where you only have limited amount of data per day/month/year, or maybe you need to limit your computer bandwidth usage, it is good to enable metered connection.

This article explains more about metered links and when to enable/disable them. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

What is Metered Connection in Windows?

Users around the globe are moving to work remotely. Due to this, users are also facing extreme internet data usage. Even if you are not performing any tasks, but leave the computer running, its background process can constantly use a certain amount of Internet data.

This is not really a problem if your ISP (Internet Service Provider) subscription is unlimited. However, if you have a subscription where the data you use is limited, you may want to limit your PC data usage. This is where a discreet link comes in.

Windows offers a special feature, especially for users who want to limit the use of Internet data on their PC. Whether you have a limited internet subscription, or use the internet through a Hotspot network, or you may want your computer to use lower bandwidth resources, enabling metered connection will be your choice.

A limited internet plan is where you have a certain amount of data (GB) per day/month/year. If you use data that exceeds this limit, you may have to pay additional charges depending on how much data you use.

Metered connection allows your computer to use a certain amount of data when connected to a certain network via ethernet or Wi-Fi. Enabling metered connections prevents the operating system from using too much bandwidth. This, in turn, will affect your download and upload speeds.

Connection measured using Ethernet data

Windows tracks the amount of data transferred over a network. Once the amount of data reaches close to the maximum limit set by the metered connection, Windows will notify users and/or block data transfers if it reaches the limit.

Enabling this setting also restricts certain processes such as automatic updates from Windows or other applications, as well as downloading and installing applications over the network. It can also stop the browser from loading certain websites. However, users on multiple Q/A forums have also reported that disabling metered connections in apps reduced their latency.

Speaking of turning off tethering, there are some advantages to it as well. One of the most obvious is the internet that works smoothly without any restrictions.

metered connection with reduced latency

Once the computer stops throttling the bandwidth, the application that depends heavily on internet usage will also experience reduced latency. App installed from Microsoft Store and Windows will also update automatically.

How to enable/disable metered connection?

Before moving on to the process of enabling/disabling metered connection, we recommend you to check your internet plan. If you have an unlimited data plan, it is better to set metered connections to Disable.

By default, Windows sets metered connection to disabled. This allows the computer to use the required amount of bandwidth and data according to its usage. Setting metered connection to enabled is ideal only if you have a limited data plan.

To enable or disable metered connection,

  1. Press the Windows key + I to Open Settings.
  2. In the left panel, click on Network and Internet.
  3. Click on the network you are connected to. For Wi-Fi, click on the connected network.
    wifi network connection
  4. Now, select Metered Connection.
    wifi metering connection
  5. For ethernet, just click on Ethernet and click on Metered Connection.
  6. Here you can enable or disable Metered Connection.
    connection with ethernet measurement
  7. Click on Set a data limit to help control data usage on this network if you want to set a data usage limit.
  8. Here you can see all the apps and how much data they’re using. Click on Enter the limit to set a limit.
    set the measured limit
  9. You can set the data limit type. Monthly allows you to reset data limits every month. Once allows you to limit data once.
  10. Set the data limit and select Unit in MB or GB.
  11. Click on Save.

Now, Windows will limit data usage in the background and warn users when the computer is close to the data limit. Just set metered connection to disabled if you don’t want any bandwidth and data restrictions.

What happens if I turn on metered connection?

Even when idle, your computer will constantly send and receive data from the Internet if it is connected to a network. Apps and processes running in the background can use more internet data than you might imagine.

Therefore, disabling metered connections may cause Windows to behave differently than expected. Here are some things you might encounter when you turn on metered connection.

  1. Windows will not update automatically.
  2. App installed from Microsoft Store will not update automatically
  3. If you are using Windows 10, the start menu will not show updated information on live tiles.
  4. Increased latency in an application that heavily needs an active internet connection
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