Windows 10 has a new feature built-in called Windows Update Delivery Optimization (WUDO). It’s a peer-to-peer Sharing model that lets you get Windows updates and Windows store apps from other computers over the Internet. And, also uses your PC to send chunks of downloaded security patches and updates to other PCs online.
This is intended to help minimize the amount of bandwidth that’s consumed for updates and save time. For example, instead of each PC downloading updates individually, it gets pieces of updates form other PCs that have already downloaded them.
Here is how Microsoft explains the feature:
Windows Update Delivery Optimization lets you get Windows updates and Windows Store apps from sources in addition to Microsoft. This can help you get updates and apps more quickly if you have a limited or unreliable Internet connection. And if you own more than one PC, it can reduce the amount of Internet bandwidth needed to keep all of your PCs up-to-date. Delivery Optimization also sends updates and apps from your PC to other PCs on your local network or PCs on the Internet.
Now, while this makes sense on a local network, you might not like the idea of using your bandwidth to help random PCs on the Internet.
The WUDO feature, by default, is set to send parts of your previously downloaded updates and apps. If you don’t want to waste your bandwidth (although this could in theory save you bandwidth) sharing updates with PCs over the Internet, you have a few of options.
Turn off WUDO in Windows 10
Open Windows Update by going to Settings > Update & Security and from there select Advanced Options.
Scroll down and select Choose how updates are delivered.
Here you can turn WUDO completely, have it only send updates to other PCs on your local (home) network, or keep the default setting.
Again, if you have multiple Windows 10 devices on your home network, keeping the feature: PCs on my local network will save you time getting updates rolled out to all of them.
If this is your only PC, or you have any hesitations or doubts about WUDO, just turn it off.
A Few More Things
I don’t see this as a security or privacy issue. Personally, I use the second option since I have a lot of different Windows 10 devices, and want updates to go as quickly as possible to all of my systems.
My problem with this, and a lot of other Windows 10 users, is that you’re opted into sharing automatically, and the settings to opt-out are buried.
Microsoft says the sharing is secure, and other PCs can’t access you local files. Think of it as BitTorrent for Windows 10 updates. The bits downloaded to your system are secure, too.
Microsoft says in its WUDO FAQ page: “Delivery Optimization uses the same security measures as Windows Update and the Windows Store…Delivery Optimization also checks the authenticity of each part of an update or app that it downloads from other PCs before installing it.”
And it continues to state: “Delivery Optimization doesn’t access your personal files or folders or change any files on your PC.”
Here’s something else I found out that’s interesting. The default setting to share updates on your local network and PCs on the Internet is only turned on for Windows 10 Home and Pro versions. Windows 10 Education and Enterprise editions default to just sharing the update bits to other PCs on a local network.
The bottom line here is that if you don’t want to share your Windows updates and app updates with other random computers, or receive chunks of the updates from random PCs, just turn the setting off, following the guide above, and you won’t need to think about it again.
What is your take on this WUDO and the fact that consumers are automatically opted into it by default? Leave your thoughts on this in the comment section below.