How to control and limit Internet data usage on your Windows

The fiber connection that we have at home is not used up, but there are cases in which we will want to cControl or limit Internet traffic in Windows. That is, if you have contracted a fiber rate with your operator you can have limits on the maximum speed but you can use it as much as you want so that it will not be “spent”, as it happens with mobile data rates. But it could be that you have a 4G rate at home or simply that you are using your mobile data to connect to the Internet… That is when it is convenient to set limits.

We can set the limit if it is the computer of a boy, a girl or a teenager, but also if it is your own computer and you have a 4G data rate (for example, for a second home) or simply if you are tethering during a city trip. I work and you don’t want exhaust all the data of your mobile rate. In these cases, Windows allows us to check what is spending the most but also set a limit that can be once, monthly, etc.

data limit

From the settings of our computer we can configure how much is the maximum that each computer connected to the network can spend. We can do it from all the Windows computers that we have connected to the Internet and it is very simple.

Simply the steps we must follow are:

  • We go to the start menu and look for Setting
  • We open the configuration section of the computer
  • Let’s go to the world icon and tap on “Network and Internet”

Arrived at this window we will see that in the upper part of it there are a graph that shows us the state of the network. If we are connected, for example, and if we are connected through WiFi networks or through an Ethernet cable. Just below this graph we can see the consumption we have made of data or gigabytes in the last thirty days, as you can see in the image below.

Network and Internet

And here, two buttons: Properties and data usage. We’ll stick with the second. Click on “Data usage” and a new window will open where we will see all the details, the use we have made from that network on that computer.

Here we will see a list with all the programs on the computer and the consumption that each one of them has “caused”. You will see your browser, music streaming programs such as Spotify, video call programs such as Skype and others such as Netflix in its desktop version if you have it downloaded, for example. You will see how much each one has consumed, how many gigabytes or megabytes all the programs that you have connected to the Internet on your computer have spent in the last 30 days.

data usage

And at the top of the screen we will see: Specify limit. Tap on this button that will help us, as Windows explains, to “not exceed your data limit”. Regardless of the operator you have or the tariff, this will not change. Windows will simply send us an alert so that we don’t overdo it.

When opening this window we will see a series of options:

  • Limit type: Monthly, once, unlimited
  • Day of the month to reset
  • data limit (amount in figures)
  • Unit (MB or GB)

we should only fill in all the data as we want. If you have a 4G rate at home for a while, you should choose “monthly” since you will configure it so that each month it will notify you if you are overdoing it. But if it is something specific because you are in a hotel doing tethering for a week, it will be enough for you to choose “once”.

Data usage limit

When you have it, you fill in the data limit and automatically Windows will send a notification when you are approaching so that you make a decision and know if you have to reduce consumption or you can take advantage of every last mega.

Metered connection

Another option that allows you to limit Internet consumption is the “Metered connection” in Windows that allows us to have more control over the data used. Explains Windows from settings: “If you’re on a limited usage plan and want more control over your data usage, convert this connection to a metered network.” But they warn: “The operation of some applications may change to reduce data usage when you are connected to this network.”

The difference between the previous option and this one is that the limit in Windows allows us to do everything normally and allows us to use the Internet as usual, but it will notify us when we are reaching the limit that we have established before. However, what the metered connection does is avoid spending gigabytes or megabytes on certain uses. For example… it blocks automatic updates, file synchronization in the cloud and limits tasks so that consumption is reduced while we have the function activated. We can activate and deactivate it whenever we want and we can do it whether we are connected to WiFi or wired.

The steps to activate the metered connection are simple:

  • We open the configuration on our computer
  • We touch on “Network and Internet” in the settings section
  • We will see the graph mentioned before that shows our connection
  • here we will see our WiFi or cable network
  • Click on “Properties”

Once inside we will have options to choose the network profile, public or private. And something more shortcut we will find the section that interests us “Metered usage connection”. We can activate or deactivate it as many times as you want.

metered use

What if our metered connection settings 2” button is greyed out? In this case it is because it does not depend on us but on the organization itself. It’s likely to be checked by default if you have a company computer, for example, or if you’re using a laptop that doesn’t belong to you.

Both options for limiting data will help us spend less and are totally complementary. If you activate the data limit and activate the metered use connection, we can avoid reaching that limit as soon and dispense with functions or tools that may be spending in the background.

Parental control

In the case of parental control, we can configure filters for applications that are allowed or not allowed, but we cannot use a data limit beyond those explained above. If we want to activate parental control we can do it by adding the our son’s Windows profile to the Microsoft family group. Once we have it personalized with age and name we can set time limits or limits on which applications or games you can use and which ones you can’t.

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We can choose that do not use the device for more than one hour a day, for example, and that will automatically limit data usage without the need to do it manually. Or set time slots with the available time.

time-limits-and-schedules.jpg

But we can also configure the allowed applications. We can add all the possible browsers and in this way we will ensure that it does not connect to the Internet in this way, but we can also limit games or apps that they are online as we want that they do not consume too much data at a specific time.

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