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Tethered Mac? Your wallet will love this data monitoring app

Glenn Fleishman | May 26, 2015
Ever since it was possible to tether a computer to a cell modem, it's also been possible to blow through one's monthly or service-plan limit and either run out of mobile data, be throttled to a trickle, or face expensive overage fees. TripMode is the first easy-to-use OS X utility to help with that problem. It could do more, but for $8 (or $5 in its current sale), it does plenty.

The software could do more. Allowing blacklisting rather than whitelisting, as well as creating groups and sets for different circumstances or for easier organization, would be nice. I might want a "polite Wi-Fi network user" set when I'm at a local coffeeshop, "mobile throttled" for typical Personal Hotspot use, and "Starbucks Trenta usage" for those mega-coffee outlets equipped with gigabit Internet. Throttling apps could also be useful, though technically more difficult, allowing only a certain throughput or maximum data usage, which can be useful on a home broadband connection with caps or overages.

These are quibbles and room for improvement in future upgrades or as paid in-app additions. What it does is nice at the price. On many American cellular plans, overage fees start at $15 per gigabyte, or three times the sale price of TripMode. TripMode can be used for seven days with its full functionality, after which point it throttles to allow only 15 minutes of use per day if a license isn't purchased.


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