Earlier this week I reviewed a popular Mac app that acts as a built-in incoming and outgoing firewall to identify and prevent installed applications from phoning home. It’s called Hands Off! and works well thanks to an extensive feature list.
A alert Mac360 reader pointed me to Radio Silence, yet another Mac utility which prevents installed apps from making outbound internet connections. If all you want to do is to prevent apps from phoning home and not be affected by constant notifications or a laundry list of preferences, this is it.
Run Silent, Run Deep
Radio Silence works on recent macOS versions, and monitors your connected network and locks down the firewall so applications won’t phone home unless you say it’s OK. What you get is more protection, improved privacy, and you can save on bandwidth or data charges.
The app runs in the background on your Mac and doesn’t have confusing settings, so it’s easy to find an app and block any outgoing connection.
Click an app to block outgoing connections. Click again to unblock and allow outgoing connections. The firewall remains active until you click it off, and since it resides in the background and runs all the time you’ll never know it’s there and won’t slow your Mac’s performance.
The Network Monitor option is pretty cool, too, and shows you which apps are using the internet connection so you can see which to keep running and which to block.
Notice the example of Adobe Photoshop above. Yes, Adobe’s apps make more outbound connections than any apps on my Mac. And, yes, you can block them all. Find a connecting app you don’t like and block it.
The Network Monitor works in real time and displays Mac helper apps, other executables, any in memory processes that connect to the network, as well as the standard daemons, XPC services, and other utilities that get on the network from time to time.
If a Mac app that you block in Radio Silence spawns a secondary child process that connects to the internet, then those can be clocked, too. Radio Silence is not as complicated to setup and use as Little Snitch or Hands Off! and it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s also priced accordingly, and well worth the few dollars to add another layer of security to your Mac.