Peer-to-Peer Pilferage

Last week Windows 10 hijacked my computer in order to perform necessary, and apparently major, updates. Twice, actually. The first time it asked me politely, and I decided to just go ahead and do it rather than reschedule it for later. I was on deadline, and I figured if I didn’t just get it over with it would simply continue to interrupt and nag me. It took about an hour, but I did other things, and productivity proceded apace.

The second time was a couple of days later, when I stepped away to go to the backroom and came back to it running an update. Apparently it had downloaded the updates but had not run them, and decided to just do so without asking. Or it asked, but since I was AFK it assumed that that lack of an answer was consent. The dire DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER meant that I had another unscheduled break for an hour or so. But it was done with, and I had no more interruptions while I crawled toward my deadline.

Since then, however, I kept getting “time out” errors on the internet. It wasn’t my connection, because all of the other devices — Katie’s computer, tablet, and phone, the old laptop we use as a media server, and my phone — were all connecting just fine are regular speeds. It was only my main laptop. It took me a hot minute to realize that it had started after the update.

Yesterday I wasn’t able to any website at all from my main laptop. Nothing. I rebooted, ran diagnostic, nothing. It said that I was connected. Then I remembered what happened after installing Windows 10 the first time.

Microsoft started doing this peer-to-peer update thing a few years ago. Basically, once you download an update it adds your computer as a node to a file-sharing network, in order to distribute that update more quickly. It’s stealing your bandwidth, to be blunt about it. So while I’m trying to connect to a website, it’s connecting other Windows users to my computer so they can download the update from me. Hence, my connection gets slower, to the point that websites time out.

After I’d installed Windows 10 the first time I had that problem, and turned it off (the instructions are in the link above, and can be found all over the web). Downloading the last update apparently turned it back on, which really pissed me off. I wasn’t trying to surf social media, I was trying to conduct business and do research and work. You know, that think I do to pay my bills.

Updates are essential for security, which is why I accept them and try to install them as soon as possible. But now I know to check all of my settings immediately afterward. I’m all about efficiency, but Microsoft doesn’t get to take benefit at my detriment.

Shares 0

All comments are held for moderation.