Is there a tool that can be used to prohibit internet access for all applications except selected ones (on Mac OS X)?

"Little snitch" can't be the answer, as it doesn't provide a simple "deny all / allow some" rule.

Reason for the question: When tethering / connecting via iPhone's personal hotspot to the internet, Mac OS X will allow all applications to connect. Each app that needs to update or sync will do it and consume your mobile data quota (e.g. 1GB/month) very quickly.

  • Much better after rewrite, and should be reopened. However, do mention that you're already aware of "Little Snitch", since your first version included it.
    – Ben Voigt
    Aug 16 '12 at 14:25

Actually, Little Snitch does allow "deny all"/"allow some". Simply create a new profile and deny every incoming and outgoing connection for "Any Process". Then, add allowed connections for any applications you want to whitelist to the same profile. The allowed applications will override the top-level deny.

  • Thanks, I've tried that! But when I created the new profile, setting everything to forbidden (see dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11320047/snitch.png), it wouldn't kick in. Maybe other (permanent and temporary) rules that are not attached to a profile are overriding the global "deny all" from the profile?
    – Urs
    Dec 26 '13 at 20:57
  • Yes, the default rules and temporary rules will override that setting. The first thing I did when setting up the program was to disable all the bundled rules under "Effective in all profiles". Then (I think) it should work.
    – Archagon
    Dec 27 '13 at 2:55
  • You mean these? dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11320047/snitch2.png ? and then, when you create new rules, do you have to add them to a specific profile too?
    – Urs
    Dec 28 '13 at 9:20

TCPBlock will achieve this for free. Just add Chrome etc to the list of permitted applications and tick the "white list" box. Then everything else is blocked. You need to activate and deactivate the software manually.

(Answer taken from https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/135708/restrict-osx-applications-from-using-the-network)

  • Hey, this is awesome! Exactly what I was looking for - for years! Thank you very much!
    – Urs
    Feb 22 '15 at 20:16
  • According to this website, the app doesn't work for Mac OS Sierra
    – guyarad
    Oct 25 '17 at 4:39

TCPBlock being gone, the one-stop solution for controlling tethering costs and other unwanted inbound traffic is https://www.tripmode.ch/

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