How to go easy on your data plan with OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by melb00m, May 17, 2015.

  1. melb00m macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    After traveling mainly with the iPad for a while -- badly missing true multitasking, a great keyboard, and "grown up" applications -- I was thrilled when watching the Retina MacBook keynote presentation, and bought it as my on-the-go iPad replacement on the spot.

    I just came home from my first trip, and am very happy with my new companion so far. However, there are two downsides in comparison to the iPad:
    1- No built-in 4G, and tethering kills my iPhone battery
    2- OS X eats up my data plan for breakfast

    I plan on solving problem #1 with a 4G stick, so that's not a biggie.

    But that won't solve problem #2. Once the Mac connects to the internet, a lot of services start syncing, looking for updates, and the like. 100 MB were gone in just a few minutes, thanks to LTE. I'm mildly disappointed that OS X doesn't prohibit such behavior out of the box, as it can tell I'm on a mobile data plan when connecting via Instant Hotspot.

    In my desperation, I found out there's handy tool called "TripMode" ( which allows you to choose which apps and services will be granted internet access. That helped out quite a bit.

    But many websites still often eat up to a few megabytes for rendering a single page, which is quite insane -- could be those huge retina images. I found out Google has a Chrome extension called "Data Saver", which uses the same proxy-based compression technology that the iOS counterpart uses. Not bad, but it's only for Chrome -- so I have to choose between higher mobile data efficiency and longer battery life.

    Any hints or tips how to use the Mac more data-plan-friendly when traveling?
  2. Naio macrumors member


    Apr 2, 2015
    You could consider trying Opera. They have a mode called 'Turbo' that does what you want. However, I do not know how efficient (or not) Opera on when it comes to battery performance.
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    For Safari you can try switching your user agent. Then identify as an iPad or iPhone. Then you'll get website versions for mobile devices. Which should be less data intensive. iPad would be a better option.

    Further you could install the Adblock Plus extension in Safari to further reduce the data you download. Then further enhance it with the Malware Domains and Spam404 lists. This extension with the aforementioned lists will also add some security.

    You can do the same with Firefox and Chrome. With Firefox and Chrome you can also install Flashblock to further reduce load by preventing Flash ads from loading. You can also add NoScript to Firefox to really reduce overhead.
  4. alextethompson macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2015
    AdBlock Chrome Extension
    Magic Actions for YouTube Chrome Extension

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