Microsoft released Windows 8 with both PCs and tablets in mind, meaning that the operating system will be used on a huge variety of devices that are connected to either wired or wireless networks. I consider this quite an important aspect, so I decided to show you how to monitor bandwidth (data) usage in Windows 8 if you are on a data cap based internet service.
Sure, you can install a third party app that can monitor your internet connection usage but why would you do that when Windows 8 comes with a really good built-in feature for the task? Moreover, you can monitor bandwidth (data) usage in Windows 8 in a cumulative way, meaning that Windows can display what is the total number of bytes used by the apps for your Windows session.
In order to monitor bandwidth (data) usage in Windows 8 you will have to open the Network Connections menu. You can do this by clicking on the desktop icon from the Windows 8 Start Screen and then on the small network icon on the right, at the bottom of the taskbar. You should now see the redesigned Network Connections options window.
The Network Connections displays information such as Airplane mode on/off, available and connected networks, wireless network signal power along with a disconnect button to end your current connection.
If you right click on the network name that you are currently connected to and then select the Show estimated data usage, you will be able to monitor bandwidth (data) usage in Windows 8. This will open a small window for the network connection where you can clearly see in real time how much data was used so far. Along with monitoring data usage in Windows 8, here you also have the option to reset the data counter, a feature quite useful if you’re at the end of the month for your paid subscription Internet service.
The same Network Connections menu allows you to enable the ‘Set as metered connection’ option for your current connection. Enabling this options will restrict third party applications or software update programs to access the internet. This really proves that Microsoft took their time in developing Windows 8 to be compatible with various devices, because you always have to monitor bandwidth (data) usage in Windows 8 to not go over your internet data cap.
If you would like to monitor how much data an application is using, you can do this by using the new Task Manager that is able to display data history for individual applications. This will give you an idea on how much data do the new Metro apps use to synchronize and get their updates from the server.