TripMode Mac app: A must-have for the iPhone's "Personal Hotspot" feature

TripMode display and program list

With my iPhone contract, I deliberately chose one that included a high data volume before you were throttled to Stone Age speed. However, I only use a small part of the data volume directly with the iPhone, because much more often I use the iPhone on the go as a personal hotspot to access the Internet with my MacBook. The data traffic of the Mac runs via the iPhone and the data consumption generated by the Mac also falls on the iPhone accordingly.

Update 2017: A report on what's new in Trip Mode 2 and 3 you can find here

Many Mac apps access the internet connection in the background

Anyone who has ever connected their Mac to the Internet using the iPhone's personal hotspot function will have noticed how quickly the included volume on the iPhone is shrinking. This is mainly due to MacApps, which are started when the system starts and then access the Internet connection in the background. In my case, these are, for example, synchronizations of iCloud and Dropbox, loading e-mails and also updates of programs that are already loaded in the background and are then ready for installation (with many programs you only get the message AFTER loading that a update is ready for installation).

The TripMode app is available for both Mac (OS X) and PC (Windows).
The TripMode app is available both for the Mac (OS X version on the left) and for the PC (Windows version on the right).

TripMode - monitoring and blocking of the internet connection

In order to save the data volume as much as possible, I got the paid Mac app a few months ago Tripmode Installed. This is installed in the menu bar and offers a button there with which TripMode can be switched on and off. This works with two clicks. If you have activated TripMode, you can very easily allow or deny access for each program in a program list.

Also very helpful is the summary of how many MB of data were used in the last or current session as well as the information on how many MB each individual program has "on its conscience". This allows you to quickly see who the worst culprits are and then specifically disable them. I like looking at the list, because it's so exciting to see which programs are busy sending or receiving data over the network.

The program list can also be sorted according to data consumption with TripMode. In this way, the culprits who use mobile data the most can be found quickly.
The program list can also be sorted according to data consumption with TripMode. In this way, the culprits who use mobile data the most can be found quickly.

Another practical feature is the automatic activation of TripMode. The app remembers the network names and the status of the app in the respective network. Once you have activated TripMode in a network, it will always switch itself on in this network in the future when you connect to the network.

In the TripMode settings you can choose, among other things, that TripMode should always start with the system.
In the TripMode settings you can choose, among other things, that TripMode should always start with the system.

My approach to “saving data”

TripMode is usually activated for me when I surf the net from my iPhone via LTE at home or on the go. Then I basically switch everything off first and then specifically deactivate only those Mac apps that I also use. Dropbox and similar data hogs are usually only activated when I need to do something with them.

Another good tip for saving data volume is the Browser "Opera" with the "Opera Turbo" feature, which I presented in more detail in this article.

Important questions and answers about TripMode

There is a FAQ section on the TripMode homepage. I have briefly translated this for you and included it here so that you can get your open questions answered straight away. If something is still open afterwards, ask me via the comment function - I'll be happy to help.

  • How does TripMode save mobile data for me?
    If TripMode is activated, all data connections that want to open programs are blocked. Now you can specifically enable these programs that you want to allow the connection to. All other programs do not consume a byte of mobile data.
  • Is there TripMode for Windows and Mac cheaper as a bundle?
    Yes there is. It is best to have a look at the FAQ on the developer's website. There is a link to a payment page.
  • Can I use TripMode with any Wi-Fi, 3G / 4G network?
    Yes, simply activate TripMode in the respective network via the menu bar and then it should always activate itself when you come into the respective network. (This also works with the Personal Hotspot, which I mentioned above, because for TripMode this is also a Wi-Fi network like others.)
  • Why isn't TripMode available in the Mac App Store?
    This is because TripMode uses an OS X feature called "Kernel Extension". However, according to Apple's guidelines, apps are not allowed to use this if they want to be listed in the Mac App Store.
  • Will TripMode record my internet data?
    No, TripMode only logs the app and the data volume so that the developers can better optimize the app for everyday use. Internet addresses, content, passwords and logins are not recorded.
TripMode display and program list
TripMode display and program list:

My conclusion on TripMode

I have been an avid user of the TripMode app for months and have had very positive experiences with it. I have already used the app to work with a mini data volume of 500 MB, which I had to add to my smartphone contract last year in order to get internet access in Italy. There was no WiFi in the apartment and TripMode was my salvation. I deactivated it briefly and within a few minutes 250 MB were gone without doing anything useful with it.

The 7,99 USD that the app currently costs can easily be saved in nerves and data volume. :)

You can here with the developers on also get a free demo version as a download. Then you can decide whether you want to buy the app or not.

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2 thoughts on “Mac App TripMode: A Must-Have for iPhone's Personal Hotspot Feature”

  1. Hello .. I downloaded the test version of tripmode as recommended by your site .. unfortunately, when activating tripmode Safari cannot be used .. what could be the reason? When the page is accessed, the message no server is available.

    Otherwise, I have the problem that my iMac is unlikely to pull data. Currently 3,76 GB as of today. Nothing was used except safari.

    Unfortunately we live here in the country and have only a limited amount of data. So the same problem as with mobile data.

    Thank you in advance.


    1. Hello Ines! You have to call up TripMode in the menu bar at the top. There you can approve which program is allowed to use the Internet and which is not. Everything is probably switched off for you at the moment and you have to enable Safari first. With TripMode you can also see which program has used the most data. You can activate everything and then let it run for 10 minutes. Then you can quickly see who has used the most data here. LG! Jens

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