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Austrian developer Objective Development has announced Little Snitch 6, the latest evolution of its popular firewall and network monitoring utility on the Mac. Whenever an app attempts to connect to a server on the internet, Little Snitch shows a connection alert, allowing you to decide whether to allow or deny the connection.

little-snitch-6.jpg

The key new features include DNS encryption, easier access to blocklists, a redesigned interactive traffic chart, a new Control Center in the menu bar, new hierarchical grouping options in the connection list, new sound notifications, and an overhauled user interface. The full advertised features list is as follows:
  • DNS Encryption: Let Little Snitch encrypt your server name queries to shield your online activities from prying eyes.
  • Integrated Blocklists: Effortlessly select from a curated list of blocklists. Install them with a single click to add an extra layer of protection against unwanted connections.
  • Control Center in Menu Bar: Quickly access essential network information, recent activity charts, and recently blocked connections at a glance, directly from the menu bar.
  • Interactive Traffic Chart: Enjoy a redesigned, intuitive real-time traffic chart for a clearer visualization and analysis of network activity.
  • Hierarchical Connection Grouping: Group connections by application, domain, server, or country to gain deeper insights into network traffic.
  • Advanced Search and Filters: Swiftly locate specific connections or firewall rules with enhanced search capabilities.
  • Usage Statistics: Track and optimize your firewall rules based on usage frequency.
  • Sound Notifications: Stay informed about network activities through customizable acoustic notifications, just by listening. Make connections not only visible but also audible!
  • Rule Groups: Organize firewall rules by topic to conveniently turn related rules on or off together.
  • Enhanced Web Application Support: Gain better and more precise control over external connections initiated by websites.
  • Improved Firewall Rules: Use of cryptographic code signing identifiers for better process identification, resistant to renaming or moving of apps.
  • Simplified Setup: Automatically create rules for installed applications to streamline initial configuration.
  • Enhanced Xcode Simulator Support: Enjoy smoother development experiences with improved handling of processes in Xcode's Simulator app.
Little Snitch 6 supports macOS Sonoma and is available from the Objective Development website for $59 per single license. Existing users can upgrade at a discounted price starting at $39.

Licenses that have been purchased after January 1, 2024, are already valid for Little Snitch 6 at no additional cost. A free demo mode is also included, which offers full functionality for three hours per session and can be reactivated as often as desired.

Article Link: Little Snitch 6 Released for macOS Sonoma With DNS Encryption, Integrated Blocklists, New Traffic Chart, and More
 
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JippaLippa

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2013
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is this mainly used to block software from contacting registration servers? what is the main reason to have it? i am interested but doesn't mac os x provide enough privacy?
macOS does not automatically filter the connections.
A network manager like little snitch allows you to take control of what your computer connects too.
For example I block all the telemetry IPs I can find (among other things)
 

wanha

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2020
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is this mainly used to block software from contacting registration servers? what is the main reason to have it? i am interested but doesn't mac os x provide enough privacy?

There are countless apps and other bits of software on your Mac that are constantly communicating with the outside world of which you and MacOS know nothing.

Little Snitch gives you the ability to see what software is communicating to where and allows you to easily allow or deny the requests - i.e. an application firewall.

LS's blocklists are also a fantastic way to block known trackers, advertisers, and malware sites.

The app is a bit complicated to get started, but imo its flexibility and usefulness more than make up for it.
 
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alchemistmuffin

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2007
758
798
Why do they always charge users for upgrade...ugh. Companies like them and Parallels are the reason why people pirate.
Because they haven’t had major release for while. Plus they need the income to keep developing.

At least they have not switched to subscription model where app needs server connection all the time (Which would defeat the purpose of Little Snitch here).
 

wanha

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2020
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Excuse me for a second while I dream of Little Snitch 7 that incorporates AI to help fix (read: access) sites that my LS blocklists have broken.

I abhor doing the manual detective work to figure out which particular connection I've denied on a particular site that broke it, as it's painfully slow, arduous work and I'd rather not just allow every connection for the site.

That said, I'm a big fan of LS - but I am also a man with dreams :)
 
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iMean

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Oct 26, 2023
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is this mainly used to block software from contacting registration servers? what is the main reason to have it? i am interested but doesn't mac os x provide enough privacy?
- I use it to block ads. This way you don't need another extension in your browser (which often can read all data on any website you are visiting).
- Also you block any ads and any pictures or scripts of ads for ALL programs (Mail, Other Browsers) you use, not just your add on augmented primary browser.
- Trojans, malware etc. can NOT communicate home without you knowing it.
- You block certain countries from all communication (Russia, China, etc.)
- You learn a lot about which data goes where
- You learn and know where your colleagues are working (or slacking). This works at least for MS Teams when you do a phone or video call.

These are just a few examples.
 

wanha

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2020
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- I use it to block ads. This way you don't need another extension in your browser (which often can read all data on any website you are visiting).
- Also you block any ads and any pictures or scripts of ads for ALL programs (Mail, Other Browsers) you use, not just your add on augmented primary browser.
- Trojans, malware etc. can NOT communicate home without you knowing it.
- You block certain countries from all communication (Russia, China, etc.)
- You learn a lot about which data goes where
- You learn and know where your colleagues are working (or slacking). This works at least for MS Teams when you do a phone or video call.

These are just a few examples.
Awesome list of tangible benefits 👍
 

H2SO4

macrumors 603
Nov 4, 2008
5,693
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is this mainly used to block software from contacting registration servers? what is the main reason to have it? i am interested but doesn't mac os x provide enough privacy?
No, it's used to block communications from anywhere you don't like. Anywhere - even Apple servers unless they have implemented shenanigans at a low level to circumvent.
There a large number of places that a website connects to when you click that link and you have the power to limit that.
There are blocklists where somebody has done the hard work to block known tracker IP addresses.
 
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ninethirty

macrumors 68000
Mar 1, 2006
1,541
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Why do they always charge users for upgrade...ugh. Companies like them and Parallels are the reason why people pirate.

This will sound crazy, so bear with me, but when people spend time working on something, generally they like to be paid for doing that.

I will never understand why people today think that because they paid the $60 for a video game, or $20 for some small piece of software, that it doesn't come with free updates for life, including newer versions with newly designed features/content.

The people who spent time to design and build that thing you bought.. they continued to have rent/mortgage, bills, and you know, trying to live life, etc. If you enjoy the work that they do, compensate them for it.

Good grief.
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,903
4,238
Milwaukee Area
Why do they always charge users for upgrade...ugh. Companies like them and Parallels are the reason why people pirate.
LittleSnitch is one of a handful of apps that I both use and love enough that I’m happy to kick them some cashola every once in a while to keep them working on it. Worth every penny. Their pay if/when you want to upgrade is a way for you to get something extra for your extra $, entirely voluntary on your part. That relationship changes once it switches to a subscription model, and companies like parallels force you to spend more $ to continue to use software you already bought or they they break your existing install, like old mob tactics.
 
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SanderEvers

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2010
405
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Netherlands
Why do they always charge users for upgrade...ugh. Companies like them and Parallels are the reason why people pirate.

Do you have a job? Do you get paid for the work you do? Even if that work is on something you've worked on before?
Charging (a reduced) fee for an upgrade is very nice way for developers to get paid. Honestly it's better then force users into a subscription model.
 

cheetabrad

macrumors newbie
May 9, 2023
6
1
St. Louis, MO
I am not sure I get the appeal of this app. If you are this interested in network security, you'll probably already have a robust firewall for your entire network and this would be mostly redundant.
There’s also PiHole that works for all network devices.
 
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