Mac Snitch

Published on March 18th, 2013 | by Praveen Babu


Firewall for Mountain Lion – Little Snitch

Firewall for Mountain Lion – Little Snitch Praveen Babu

Best Mac Firewall

Design & Ease-of-Use
Bloat vs. Performance

Summary: The Little Snitch will snitch away like a good rat and let you keep a firmer grasp on your Mac's network communications. I'd highly recommend you get it.


Zoop on!

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If you’re new to using a Mac the name Little Snitch might seem a bit odd to you. Windows users will find familiar names – Comodo, ZoneAlarm, Kaspersky, McAfee and Norton aren’t part of the feature presentation with macs. Here my favorite has always been the Little Snitch with its solid features that keeps me from worrying too much about whats going on over my Mac Pro or MacBooks.

OS X Mountain Lion’s Built-in Firewall – Permissions

The OS X does have its own built in firewall(s). The most popular being the one you can find under Security & Privacy > Firewall which allows you to control – to a large extent – the traffic streaming in and out of your machine. While this should suit most beginners just fine, it would seem a little too underwhelming to the more hands-on user.


Little Snitch’s Prompt

If you’re like me, you want a firmer grip on whatever is going on. In that case, my recommendation is to go with Austria based Objective Development’s Little Snitch 3.0. This cuts the cheese for me and how. LS comes with its own port filtering program, and its smart enough to alert you when anything kicks in. For example, here to the right is LS alerting me about Skype’s first call home after I just installed it. Apart from the smart & keyboard responsive prompts, it also comes with a real time traffic alert that you can leave running in your status bar. A simple mouse-over this icon pulls up the Network Monitor so you can know exactly what is going on under your Mac’s hood. A couple of days after you install it and you let it learn what apps you want talking to what ports (I even use it to block ads on certain software!), it should reduce the number of prompts and quietly do its work without becoming a pest (ahem).

Well, anyway, this is something I strongly recommend you install and test drive this app and to get to know it a bit better. I’m sure you’ll love it for the kind of control it gives you over your computer’s traffic. For the asking price of $34.95 for a single user license, its quite the good deal too. Whats with all that ‘putting a price on securing your data talk’! If you would like to learn more, and download LS for yourself, click this button below.

The thing about malware is this, the evil-scientists conjuring them up usually go for the most popular systems around, so you’ll have a lot more malware directed at Windows than you would have at the relatively smaller OS X users. So inherently, Mac’s tend to be safer than Windows, but then, that’s not an excuse to let our guard down.

Do let me know your thoughts about LS, or any questions you think I can help you with. Also, if you’re using a firewall that you think is getting the job done better, do share; would be happy to review it myself.

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About the Author

Praveen is CEO & Chief Creative Officer for Altorise Ventures Pvt. Ltd. a creative agency focused on design, technology and data. He also advises many startups on marketing, technology, design and social media. He can be reached on his website at | Facebook | Twitter

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