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When using my mobile phone as a wifi hotspot for my laptop, I would like to reduce the amount of traffic generated by non-interactive processes.
I have already changed my Windows Update settings to "check only".

Are there any services or other background tasks that I should disable in order to accomplish this?

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Check every program with an integrated updater and set it to something like "Notify me of updates but do not automatically download them."

  • Firefox, Thunderbird
  • Java
  • Dropbox
  • iTunes
  • Google Chrome

You could also install a software firewall and set it deny everything when on WWWAN. With most products you can specify individual rules for each of your network adapters.

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Antivirus updates can be pretty sizeable (I see BitDefender updates in the region of 4-5MB) so you could set your antivirus application to download updates less frequently or to check with you before doing so. Obviously you'll need to strike a balance between data usage and protection.

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When connected, you should take a look at the detailed network traffic at task manager, through there you could see what is consuming how much traffic! (And you should turn down windows media player connection to internet too, if its the case you use it)

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This is quite a nice tool to see the TCPIP connections on your machine: – Richard Aug 24 '10 at 12:38
Yes, I can also recommend – Niklas Aug 24 '10 at 13:18

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