My ISP is down again so I’m back to Verizon tethering. Setting up the network connection I noticed Windows has a metered network option. The docs are very vague, but basically it’s a flag to tell the OS and applications “hey, this network isn’t free”. Windows itself will be a bit more careful; only downloading priority updates for example. There’s also configurable options to not sync OneDrive or download device drivers.
In theory third party apps could also inspect this setting and be smarter on a metered connection. Specifically apps on the new “Universal” platform. In practice I wonder if many apps are that smart. Dropbox isn’t, apparently. It’s all a bit confusing really, and most of the search results you see on Google about metering are “why isn’t stuff updating how do I turn off this metered connection thing?”
Also TIL that Windows 10 enrolls your computer as a peer to peer server in uploading Windows updates to other Windows computers. Yes, by default Microsoft assumes you want to use your upstream bandwidth to serve other customers. That’s some fucking bullshit.