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  1. #1
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    Is Microsoft Stealing My Data?

    At the beginning of this year, I reported a very large download from MS as a consequence of adopting Windows 10. Since then things have quietened down a bit (though there have been a couple of similar downloads which were followed by an update on shut-down, so I assume that they were related and nothing much to worry about). However ,on 25th March, a very strange event occurred. My provider's usage report indicated that there had been an UPLOAD of 1.1 GBytes. I run a program called Netlimiter which tracks all uploads and downloads. It is turned on automatically when the computer is turned on and is turned off on Shutdown. However, Netlimiter did not report any upload at all. In fact, if you subtract that particular upload from the usage report, all of the uploads and downloads correspond exactly. I did note that, the same evening, the shutdown process was extended, but there was no message such as one gets with updates

    I checked with my provider (Telstra) to see whether they had initiated the upload, but they said that they had not. I then tried to contact Microsoft, but could not find any way of sending them an inquiry. Their support seems to be limited to very expensive chatting, reading FAQs or talking to other users. In the last case, I could not find a topic that I could open a conversation with!

    Any advice from you clever people out there?

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    It sounds like Windows backing up your files to OneDrive. That would explain a large upload after installing W10 and only smaller incremental uploads afterwards.

  3. #3
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    It could also be MS using your bandwidth to distribute updates to other machines.

    This article will show you how to disable that feature in Win 10 - http://www.howtogeek.com/224981/how-...-the-internet/

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  5. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    It could also be MS using your bandwidth to distribute updates to other machines.

    This article will show you how to disable that feature in Win 10 - http://www.howtogeek.com/224981/how-...-the-internet/
    I really like the feature of downloading updates to one computer on my network, then installing the updates to all computers on my network.

    I DO NOT like the idea that my computer is either sending or receiving updates with other computers on the internet which are outside of my network. According to the linked article, this is the default. This is a huge security hole in my network. Imagine a virus making its payload appear to be a Windows update, and then that payload getting distributed around to other computers. I would not be surprised if a sophisticated programmer could pull that off, although I've never heard of it happening.

  6. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I use SpyBot Anti-beacon to disable the P2P updates, along with may other pests.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  7. #6
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    Did anyone else find confusing initially, the above-cited How-to Geek article's interchangeable use of "download" (which I thought meant, from server to client) and "upload" (which I thought meant, from client to server)?

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidHLevin View Post
    Did anyone else find confusing initially, the above-cited How-to Geek article's interchangeable use of "download" (which I thought meant, from server to client) and "upload" (which I thought meant, from client to server)?
    Well, not really. Those definitions of the role of server and client are rather flexible (and especially so when we speak of peer-to-peer networks). As mentioned in the article, your computer may play the role of a server when another computer needs to acquire a Microsoft Windows 10 file your computer has already.
    Unless you change that default Windows 10 setting, another computer somewhere on the Internet may receive a Microsoft Windows 10 file as a copy from your computer.

  9. #8
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    Many thanks, Sudo15. I think you were right on the button! While I think it absolutely disgraceful that Microsoft should use our machines to update the computers of total strangers at our expense (the event I reported used up more than 15% of my monthly data allowance), it is not totally bad. There is a setting which allows MS to use your machine to update other machines only in your personal network. I live out in the country and have a WIFI connection, so it is quite nice to have my tablets, etc. updated automatically. I don't think I lose any data privileges either, as any subsidiary downloads are from one of my machines to another.
    Regards,
    Jim W.

  10. #9
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    If you disable the P2P feature and it doesn't reoccur then you'll know that it was cheeky MS that was pinching your bandwidth.

    On the plus side, you could be receiving your updates easier because of other users

  11. #10
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    Hi RockE,
    The way that the terms "server" and "client" were being used made sense to me. What didn't make sense to me was the article's use of the term "upload," which I'd thought would apply, for example, to a hypothetical cloud backup service in which files on one user's computer were sent to another user's computer and from there to the cloud server (an admittedly unrealistic scenario).

    Dave

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