Hey Microsoft – let me restrict my network connections better!

I’m sure you know the feeling… you jump online by tethering to your mobile because you want to check a particular website, and all of a sudden you find your connection is being flooded by a Windows Update, or Live Mesh download, or a Sync Framework thing. Perhaps even Outlook is downloading your Junk Mail folder for you.

But all you wanted was to check what the weather was – but it’s just cost you a fortune in download fees.

Situation is that running applications will check for an internet connection, and then take advantage of it – with no consideration about whether it’s going to cost you (per kilobyte!) to use that connection.

I would love to see a way of configuring my network connections (like how it asks me whether I’m at Home, Public or Work) into a profile, along the lines of:

  • Anything connect – all my apps can use this
  • Sometimes connect – apps need to ask me to use the connection before they do
  • Never connect – I would need to explicitly allow an application to use this connection

When I connect using an account that’s limited by size, I don’t want Silverlight to download a ton of images, or Windows Update to pull down a Service Pack. But I would be happy for a particular instance of a browser to connect out.

But when I’m at home, I’m happy for anything to be pulled down.

I’d probably end up using the “Sometimes connect” option a lot, so that my connection is more ‘available’, even when one of my applications decides to pull a ton of information down – but right now, connectivity is either ON or OFF, and I can’t easily stop applications from using it when it’s ON.

Please, Microsoft… let me choose this. It’ll help me feel okay about connecting while my applications are open (and not have to quit Skype/Msgr/LiveMesh before I connect).

One thought on “Hey Microsoft – let me restrict my network connections better!”

  1. Hey Rob… I would see it more like the firewall rules. Something where you could set the connection (speed/type), bandwidth and application/port, but it would need to be app aware. Kind of like a QOS solution. For example, when on 3G, I want Web surfing/MSN and email. When at home, I don’t care what my apps do. But if for example I had a business app and I wanted to allow it to take max bandwidth when on 3G, I should be able to allow that.

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