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Programs that Assume a High Bandwidth Link

In addition to Windows updates, many other programs and services assume that bandwidth is not a problem, and therefore consume bandwidth for reasons the user might not predict. For example, anti-virus packages (such as Norton AntiVirus) periodically update themselves automatically and directly from the Internet. It is better if these updates are distributed from a local server.

Other programs, such as the RealNetworks video player, automatically download updates and advertisements, as well as upload usage patterns back to a site on the Internet. Innocuous looking applets (like Konfabulator and Dashboard widgets) continually poll Internet hosts for updated information. These can be low bandwidth requests (like weather or news updates), or very high bandwidth requests (such as webcams). These applications may need to be throttled or blocked altogether.

The latest versions of Windows and Mac OS X also have a time synchronization service. This keeps the computer clock accurate by connecting to time servers on the Internet. It is better to install a local time server and distribute accurate time from there, rather than to tie up the Internet link with these requests.

Last Update: 2007-01-18