Block All Applications From Network Except Safari

Discussion in 'macOS' started by leefisher, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. leefisher macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2010
    Hey guys,

    Just a quick question. I use my iPhone whilst working abroad to use the internet and often tether to my mac, however having only a meagre 25mb/day allowance until I get charged per megabyte, if I tether to my Mac that 25mb can only last minutes at times because of background applications using the connection. Is there a way so that I can block all of these applications using the connection and only allow Safari?

    Also, similarly, there is a process now PhotoStreamAgent, which I cannot find to block in LittleSnitch, does anybody know where this is located?

    Kindest regards,

  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    LittleSnitch is one thing I didn't bring back after upgrading to Lion. In your situation, I would certainly use LS. You should be able to shut down photostream sharing in system preferences and turn it back on when you have a lower cost connection. I found out the hard way I had to shut this down as I went in iPhoto to import some older photos from 2009 and they started getting pushed to all my devices because iPhoto thought they were "new", despite file dates that were 2 years old. I shut down photo sharing on my Mac and I believe I can still manually push iPhoto events to photostream but I successfully added another 2009 event to iPhoto without losing anything.

    Reset photostream...
    Another approach is to log in to iCloud in a browser and click your user name. This brings up a rather minimalist preferences pane. Click advanced. Click reset photostream. This removes all photos from your photostream but leaves them on any devices where they have already been pushed. If you do this before you travel, and disable photostream uploads on all your devices, you shouldn't get hit with data usage. However this brings up another problem. When you get home and turn photostream back on, the photos you took while out of the country aren't "new" any more and I'm not aware of any way to force them to get pushed to photostream.

    At this point, you can resort to a... cough cough... usb cable and use image capture to pull photos that were taken while photostream was disabled off your iPhone old school style.

    Side Note: iPhoto is NOT a suitable repository. You should export whatever has been downloaded via photostream on a weekly (daily?) basis. I'll probably be working on an applescript for this as I don't trust iPhoto Library as a suitable storage container for anything but the metadata iPhoto adds to my photos (faces and places). Another concern is that over the years using photostream, iPhoto will grow out of control. I deleted mine when it got to 67 GB and kept crashing. Now that I have a 500 GB internal drive, I don't have the same pressure but at the rate I take photos, (about 30 GB a year), I have a decision to make about 18 months from now.

    More bandwidth conservation...
    I don't think you should shut off contacts sync. Those don't use much bandwidth if you aren't importing dozens of new contacts every day. Also if you let the developer know that LS isn't catching the photostream task, they should issue an update for it. Another thing to do is turn off downloading images in Safari. I know it's counter intuitive to make a desktop browser look like WAP but 25 mb is way too small to get through a day of desktop browsing with images and flash enabled. Flashblock and Adblock are absolutely necessary to control bandwidth. Also many pages that only have a few K of text may have hundreds of K of javascript and CSS behind the scenes. Disabling javascript is something to consider if you are still seeing high data usage but very few pages will even work without javascript. Lastly you might consider using manual email fetch on your Mac. If you've already read it on your iPhone, there is no reason to "pay" to download it again to unless you need to.

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