Product Review – I had read about TripMode, but it was a discussion of it as a recommended utility on the Mac Power Users podcast #386 Must Have Utilities that convinced me to purchase it. TripMode is a Mac utility that allows you to (per their website) “Easily block unwanted apps from accessing the Internet the second you connect to a hotspot“.
The utility is very useful when you are operating your MacBook over a hotspot instead of WiFi (IEEE 802.11). As I have found while traveling, there are many Mac software packages that are constantly trying to use the Internet. If you have a limited monthly data allocation for your hotspot device, you can very quickly find it used up in just a few days. I recently found that I had used 90% of my monthly 15G allowance in just six days! While my connectivity doesn’t end when I hit the 15G limit, my access speed is severely constrained.
TripMode seems to be the answer. I purchased ($7.99 from their website) it yesterday and put it to work on my MacBook. With TripMode in place, I was able to both monitor and control my data usage.
Data monitoring is an option not enabled by default, but I wanted to see how much the various applications were using so I enabled it through the TripMode settings.
You can create as many profiles as you like, giving each a separate name. You have can then choose which Apps are allowed to access the Internet in the profile by checking those you want in the list (Safari is selected in the image above).
TripMode shows up in the Menubar at the top of your screen. The icon blinks red every time an App attempts to access the Internet and is blocked. When the TripMode icon is clicked you get a drop-down list of the Apps with an indication of which are enabled in the current profile and their data usage. This drop-down also lets you switch between profiles (the profile currently in use in the image above is ‘writing’.
You can set up the usage monitoring to start on any day of the month and to last for periods of a single day, a week or a month. Using TripMode I have been able to keep working over my hotspot, yet limit which Apps are using the limited resource. TripMode remembers which WiFi access points it has been turned on for in the past and automatically activates when one of those access points is used in the future.
Now that I have used this App, I consider it a must-have App for my MacBook. If you ever use a hotspot while traveling, this is an App you need to consider.
- Easy to install and configure
- Multiple profiles user definable
- Profiles for different operating situations
- TripMode starts as soon as you connect to Wifi
- Vendor claims there is no tracking of Internet sites visited
- An abbreviated user manual is available through the App
- The $7.99 seemed a little high, but it was worth it
- No indication of which App is being blocked when the icon flashes red
See my other macOS articles