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I'm in NZ, which means my internet is capped at 5GB, which is not funny. I notice on my Windows 7 that even after disabling automatic update (don't worry, I flick it back on during my off peak hours) it still constantly downloads about 1kb per second, which starts to stack up. Apparently, it's svchost.exe, and it doesn't seem to be doing anything important.

How do I stop Windows from stealing all my internet? Please help!

If I may clarify things, is it possible for me to connect to the internet without letting the Operating System itself using bandwidth?

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Silly question but would unplugging/disconnecting the system from the internet be an option? –  Journeyman Geek Aug 18 '12 at 0:13
Well I want to sort of browse the internet without Windows 7 eating up about 40% of my available data. I can't seem to be able to stop it... –  Jack Aug 18 '12 at 5:24
Windows 7 does not normally do that. It could be some piece of software you've got installed (possibly something the OEM preinstalled) or it could be malware. However, if you can't fix the problem any other way, it is possible to configure Windows Firewall to only allow specific applications outbound access. –  Harry Johnston Aug 19 '12 at 4:30
Really? I'll go google how to get Firewall to do that, so thanks for helping me there! If you could answer a method down there as well, that would be helpful. Thanks! –  Jack Aug 20 '12 at 4:00

4 Answers 4

svchost.exe is just the name for a "Service Host Process", which means that it... hosts.... Windows Services.

In other words, any number of different services may be running within an svchost.exe instance. Some of them run only one service; other svchosts can run many different services within one svchost process.

You definitely don't want to go randomly killing svchost processes because you may be killing useful services, like audio, networking, or your virus scanner.

Instead, what you can do is go into Control Panel, under Administrative Tools, under Services, and Stop services one at a time until the data transfer goes away.

Generally you don't want to stop services that are critical to the function of the system, and you will get warnings if you try to stop a service that other services depend upon (hint: stopping these is a pretty bad idea). BUT, you can try stopping them anyway.... here's the process:

  1. Make sure you aren't running any programs with valuable unsaved data

  2. Close all applications

  3. Stop the service

  4. If it breaks your computer, either start it again, or if you are unable to start it, simply reboot the computer and it will operate normally again (the right-click "Stop" function is only until you start it again or reboot, it isn't permanent).

Once you find THE service that is consuming the data, you can permanently disable it either by uninstalling the application it's associated with, or by going into Properties for the service (also in the right-click menu for the service), and changing the value in the drop-down box to Disabled.

P.S. -- Data caps are terrible, I feel bad for you.

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Sysinternal's Process Explorer shows what services are hosted inside a given svchost.exe. –  ultrasawblade Aug 18 '12 at 0:43
Data caps are pretty much unavoidable in Australasia - as of the start of this year, we had something like 3Tb/s of affordable international bandwidth to share between about 10M households, i.e., about a third of a megabit per second per household, even if you ignore business needs. 5GB per household per month works out as about 5% of the theoretical total capacity, which isn't too bad for the lowest available price tier. –  Harry Johnston Aug 19 '12 at 4:57
see also windowstechinfo.com/2015/05/… –  Aravinda May 4 at 4:53

Download the Free version of Net Balancer, run it, it will show you what is using bandwidth and how much, leave it open for a while you will see what is constantly using bandwidth, some of it is an unavoidable consequence of using W7, as it is much more chatty on the network than XP.

If NetBalancer does not help sort it out, Open Task manager, go to the processes tab, tick "show processes for all users", click the "name" header to sort processes by name, then right click on one of the svchost exe entries and select "go to Services", it will open the services tab and automatically highlight all the services running under that one svchost process. Might give you some insight to what can be safely disabled.

Nice information over here on what specific services can be safely disabled.

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Thank you so much, Its helped me to restrict data usage in Windows 8 : ) –  Avinash Singh Jan 15 at 20:40
You are welcome! –  Moab Jan 24 at 14:23
Using netbalancer free, you can set download priority Low/High or even limit traffic speed and apply time based restriction .. Netbalancer is great and having such features windowstechinfo.com/2015/05/… –  Aravinda May 19 at 11:54
  1. Press Winkey + R
  2. In the resultant Run dialog box, type ncpa.cpl - Network Connections dialog will appear.
  3. This is all your network adapters. Presumably you are using some type of cellular data connection? Find the network adapter corresponding to your Internet connection.
  4. Right click and select "Disable."
  5. Repeat the above process, but select "Enable" to re-enable it.

If the network adapter is disabled, nothing can traverse it. You can then reenable updates. In Control Panel -> Windows Updates there is an option to not automatically update - it may be better if you control this.

If you don't use IPv6, disable the IP Helper service. It has something to do with tunneling IPv4 or IPv6 or vice versa or similar.

You may consider getting a cheap dial-up connection if you can get one for like $5USD/mo., and using that for overnight Windows Updates and such.

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It occurs mostly because of BITS(Background Intelligent Transfer Service)

Stop this service.

Go to Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Services - search for BITS and Stop the service by right clicking on it then click on stop. Also in the properties of this service select manual or disable.

You can enable it to update your windows anytime whenever you have an idle connection.

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