Ask LH: How Can I Stop My Mac From Syncing When On 4G?

Hi Lifehacker, I am about to visit a holiday home from friends and I will be using their 4G connection while I'm there. However, I have my Mac set up so it syncs with Dropbox and Google Drive. Is there an app out there which will let me switch on/off which apps I allow to use bandwidth so I don't use their 4G data needlessly? Thanks, Bandwidth Buster

Picture: Getty Images

Dear BB,

The easiest way to do this is to take advantage of the Pause option for your file-sync service. Both Google Drive and Dropbox have a "Pause" option so that you can halt syncing without turning the respective apps off.

Although it's not automated, it does work.

It's also with noting that unless you're editing or adding files to your Dropbox or Google Drive folders that they won’t be using any bandwidth. You're more likely to be burning through the bits with email, assuming you're using IMAP.

If you're looking for a more automated option, Little Snitch might be worth a look. It allows you to create locations that can be configured to only let certain applications access the Internet.

So, you could create a location called "Holiday House" and set it to deny network access for applications like Dropbox and Google Drive.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    So I will await the incoming flame war from my comment. But I do have to give epic Kudos to Symantec's Firewall for OSX. It does location aware REALLY well and I have found it to have a good mix of simplicity mixed with the location aware firewall (along with Antivirus etc).

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