I don’t know about you, but my ISP is very strict about overuse fees – if I go over a certain limit, the price per gigabyte jumps from a few pennies to a few dollars, which is certainly not good for my ISP bill.
That’s why I pay close attention to my network usage. But Windows 8 users may not realize how to monitor network usage on their systems, which is why I’m going to show you how it’s done.
Step 1) Go to your Windows 8 desktop
Step 2) Look for the Internet Connection button in the system tray (it’s the one with 5 signal bars)
Step 3) From the menu that pops up, right-click Your Internet connection
Step 4) Click Show estimated data usage and then left click on Your Internet connection once more.
Step 5) You can view internet usage from that dropdown menu. By default, the stats are set to record internet usage over the past 60 days. But you can reset this number at any time by simply clicking the Reset button.
Note: Keep in mind that this is only an estimate of usage. It’s not guaranteed to protect you from the wrath of your ISP. And obviously, the description isn’t terribly detailed – it just tells you the number of gigabytes downloaded – that’s it.
If you want to get detailed statistics about your internet usage, you’ll need to download a Windows 8 app. Keep reading to find out how to do that.
How to get a more detailed explanation of internet data usage
Step 1) Download the aptly-named Network Usage app from the Windows Store for free
Step 2) Using that app, you can view a breakdown of data sent and received over a certain period of time. This may not be too useful if you’re like most people and have an unlimited plan. But it’s an interesting insight into how much bandwidth you use on a daily basis.
How to limit network usage in Windows 8
If you want to prevent yourself from going beyond a certain data limit, then you can use a built-in function within Windows 8 to do that. To access that function, follow these steps:
Step 1) Go to the Charms bar, click Change PC Settings, then click Devices.
Step 2) Below your list of devices (you should see a mouse, keyboard, and whatever else has been connected to your computer on this screen), you’ll see a Download over metered connections button. Switch that slider to Off if it isn’t already off. This prevents Windows 8 from automatically downloading software drivers, data, or apps when connected to a metered network
Step 4) Open your network connection
Step 5) Click on the network to which you’re currently connected
Step 6) Click Set as metered connection
Step 7) If you don’t see the Set as metered connection option, then you may have clicked on a wired connection. For whatever reason, you can only set a wireless connection as ‘metered’. No, I don’t know why. Yes, this seems like a weird oversight on Microsoft’s part.
That’s it! Your connection will now be metered. All the data you configured in the above step will not be downloaded over that connection. Remember: if you’re on a metered connection, this can save you a ton of money.