How To Save Your Data downloading Windows 10

Microsoft has attracted a bit of press around how those who upgrade to Windows 10 may find their internet connection being used to upload the installation files to their neighbours.

It's called peer to peer file sharing and is usually used in the dark corners of the internet to illegally share copyrighted material, such as music, television shows and movies at best, and far worse things other times.

Microsoft's use of it in the biggest rollout of an operating system ever, mainly because it is free to existing genuine Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users until July 28, 2016, has been frowned upon by some for the fact that it users the originating computer's internet connection to upload the Windows 10 installation file from.

But they don't believe in give and take, or in this case take and give.

If you've downloaded Windows 10 to your machine, using the Get Windows 10 app that Microsoft has rolled out on qualifying machines, there's a chance you got the installation files from your neighbour rather than a remote server the other side of the world. The main reason for this is download speed. The closer the place the files comes from the quicker it downloads and the happier the end user.

For that reason it's actually an ingenious move by Microsoft.

And if you haven't disabled the function in Windows 10, once it was installed, there's also the chance that your machine is distributing Windows 10 all over your street, suburb, town, city or even the country. So you might want to turn it off. Otherwise you could end up with your internet connection speed slowing to less than the pace of dialup, or being pinged extra cash for every GB of data that you exceed your limit.

Microsoft has published instructions online, explaining how to turn it off, but be careful you don't got too far in tweaking Windows 10's settings since Microsoft has include the option for computers just connected to your home network to share files including the automatic updates that always seem to arrive when you need your computer the most.

To turn peer to peer file sharing off go to the Start button icon, then Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, and then select Advanced options. On the Advanced options page, select Choose how updates are delivered, and then use the toggle to turn Delivery Optimization off. When turned off, you'll still get updates and apps from Windows Update and from the Windows Store. If you'd just like to stop downloading updates and apps from PCs on the Internet, select PCs on my local network which will share the files just among computer in your home.

While we're giving tips on Windows 10, be wary of a couple of scams that have surfaced with the launch of the new operating system.

The first is emails purporting to be from Microsoft urging you to download files. Read them very closely as they contain spelling errors and foreign letters or characters. The link contains malicious software that will do your computer harm. Only download Windows 10 through the Get Windows 10 app, or from Microsoft's home page.

The second is the old style phone call from someone purporting to be from Microsoft offering to solve a problem you didn't know your computer had, or help you with something. Hang up immediately. Microsoft never rings people touting for business. Those folk are just after your data, or your credit card number.

Carl Beentjes is the owner and manager of Need A Nerd Wellington, including Lower and Upper Hutt, Porirua and the Kapiti Coast.