With more and more Internet Service Providers (ISPs) around the world capping bandwidth for subscribers, these users have to find ways to monitor network usage to avoid slow service and high fees. Windows 8 has a built-in tool to show network usage statistics as well as ways to limit your usage to help keep on top of it before your ISP caps you.
How to show network usage statistics
1. Head to your Windows 8 desktop.
2. Click on the “Internet Connection” icon in the taskbar.
3. “Right-click” your Internet connection.
A small menu will appear.
4. Click “Show estimated data usage.”
5. “Left-click” your Internet connection again.
A drop down menu will appear that will give you your estimated usage since Windows 8 started recording it. If you have never turned this on before, it’ll be since you installed Windows 8. You can reset the stats at any time by clicking “Reset.”
Windows 8 only gives you an estimate of usage. For more in-depth statistics, we will take a look at a Windows Store app that gives you more information.
Using the Network Usage app
You can download the Network Usage app from the Windows Store.
Once installed, Network Usage will breakdown your monthly and daily MBs sent and received on an Internet connection.
If you click on any month with data, you can see the breakdown daily of what was sent and received.
On days that have particularly high data usage, you can recall what you did that day to figure out ways to cut back on sending and receiving data.
Network Usage will keep records for all network connections you have utilized until you reset it. This includes networks you merely connected to once or your home network you stay connected to most of the time.
How to limit your network usage
If you are already using a metered connection, you may need to ensure you are not downloading over it. Depending on your data plan with your ISP, you may or may not have to worry about limiting your usage. Windows 8 has a built-in setting to help meter your own connection.
1. In order to do that, open the “Charms Bar.” Then click “Change PC Settings,” followed by “Devices” under PC settings.
2. Scroll down below your devices, and you will see the “Download over metered connections” option.
3. Ensure this is turned off.
This means you will never download software drivers, information, apps or updates when you have a metered network connection. This will help save bandwidth and keep your usage low when you cannot afford to go over.
Windows 8 lets you quickly go from ametered connection to a non-metered one through the network properties.
4. Open your network connection.
5. “Left-click” your Internet connection.
Keep in mind that only wireless connections can be metered in Windows 8. Wired connections cannot.
6. Click “Set as metered connection.”
The unwanted data that was configured above will no longer be downloaded.
You can toggle this on or off any time by following steps 4 through 6.
Check with your ISP to see if you are on a metered data plan. You could be and may not even know it. If you are, the steps above can help give you an idea of what you are using each month, and you can take precautions to not go over your data allotment.
What methods do you use to monitor your network usage statistics in Windows 8? Let us know below in the comments section.