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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

TripMode 2: Control your Mac’s data usage

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.


One of my favorite Mac utilities is TripMode, which lets you control which apps have access to your network and alert you to how much data they’re using. I use it primarily to keep bandwidth use low during podcasting sessions so I can prioritize my podcast data, but its most broad use is probably controlling data when you’re using a Mac tethered to a cellular device or other metered data connection.

TripMode 2 was just released, and it’s an upgrade that addresses several of the original version’s shortcomings. Most exciting to me is support for profiles, allowing you to change between different sets of blocks depending on what kind of work you’re doing or the particular network you’re connected to. My settings for doing work on my MacBook Air tethered to my iPhone are quite a bit different for my settings when I’m podcasting, for instance—and with TripMode 2, I can create different profiles for both situations and switch between them.

TripMode 2 also adds a new data-limiting feature that will turn off the spigot of data when you reach a predefined limit, letting you pace yourself and not swamp your data plan. There’s a raft of other features, too, including accessibility and localization support and much more optimized processor and memory usage.

TripMode 2 costs $8, and the upgrade is free for existing TripMode users like me. If you’ve ever been frustrated by your Mac destroying your data plan while tethered to your iPhone, you need to get TripMode.

(And yes, it’s still incredibly frustrating that the Mac is unable to change its behavior when it’s tethered to a cellular data network, a feature that’s been a part of iOS since the beginning. I’m dubious about whether Apple will ever bother to introduce this concept to macOS, but since WWDC is just around the corner, we can at least hope. It would certainly open the door to MacBooks with built-in cellular radios.)

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