Friday, July 31, 2015

Windows 10 relies on P2P to effciently share updates

There were a lot of things that were found during Windows 10 development, but that only now, with its official launch, are being noticed. Things like WiFi password sharing, and this P2P, torrent-like update system that will use your data connection to push Windows updates to other users.

When you consider Microsoft needs to deploy updates to hundreds of millions of computers out there, it makes perfect sense to look at how the most efficient file sharers do it, and rely on P2P techniques. In fact, it would be great to see MS officially endorse BitTorrents (if only as a way to show that it's a highly efficient way to transfer data, not only for illegal purposes, as it's often associated with), but it seems that MS decided to implement its own solution.

In any case, the result is the same, each and every Windows 10 user will help distribute Windows 10 updates, which I think it an excellent idea. However, as always, there are cases when users may think otherwise, as it will happen for those having limited or metered internet connections where the added megabytes or gigabytes may incur in hefty extra fees.

For those cases Microsoft allows you to define your interenet connection as metered, which should prevent that, using only the minimum amount of data required. But, if you want to be certain, you can also disable the update sharing under the advanced settings of Windows updates (do leave it enabled for computers on the same local network, as that will prevent machines from downloading the same update multiple times - as soon as one has it, it can share it with the other machines.)

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