Windows 10 web browsers are getting a new feature to throttle data usage

Windows 10 can tell the difference between a real Wi-Fi network
and a limited Wi-Fi network or a network where your device is
being tethered to a phone’s mobile hotspot. This feature is
known as ‘metered connection’ and enabling it means that
background internet usage will be throttled.

When a connection is marked as “metered”, Windows won’t
automatically download and apply Windows 10 and Microsoft Store
updates (except important security patches). It will also
disable peer-to-peer updates and live tiles to save your
bandwidth.

In addition, Windows 10 UWP apps may behave differently when
the metered connection feature is active. A metered connection
is a great way to get more control over your connection and
prevent the operating system from consuming all your bandwidth.

Microsoft is now updating the Chromium open-source platform
with support for Windows 10’s metered connection.

This will allow Chromium-based browsers (Edge and Chrome) to
respect your Windows 10 network settings and pause
updates/downloads temporarily when you’re on a connection with
a limited data allowance.

Edge metered connection

As you can see in the above screenshot, the feature is already
live in Microsoft Edge Canary and it’s coming to Google Chrome
and other Chromium browsers next year.

In a Chromium commit,
Microsoft noted that it wants to implement a basic best-effort
guess that works on platforms that can detect cellular versus
non-cellular types, which is essentially the same as how
metered Windows 10 network exists today.

Google Chrome engineer also agreed with Microsoft’s approach
and it’s likely that feature will land in Chrome Canary soon.

“It’s indeed true that a lot of code in Chromium assumes
metered iff cellular. If we have support for
IsConnectionMetered() API via NetworkChangeNotifier, that would
definitely be better,” the developer noted.

As we mentioned above, the metered connection setting for
Windows 10 gives you greater control over background internet
activity, and Chromium integration is particularly helpful when
you’re using an internet service with limited data.

For those unaware, Windows 10 now also comes with a feature
that lets you
throttle the data consumed by Windows Update and Microsoft
Store by configuring the bandwidth settings.

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