Reader question: mobile data volume from the surf stick on the Mac is decreasing too quickly

Your Mac slurps away the mobile data volume like mulled wine? Then it's time to research who is sucking too much data in the background!

A few days ago my reader Steve wrote to me who has a Huawei surf stick with a 1 & 1 SIM card with limited data volume. He uses this surf stick on a MacBook Pro and has found that his data volume is decreasing massively despite very little use via Safari and Mail (no YouTube!). It is also astonishing that the ratio of upload to download is around 3: 1, which is very atypical, as the downstream is usually more active when surfing and there is hardly any upload. His question now was how this data usage (800 MB in two days) comes about and how one can find the culprit. His suspicion was that someone was secretly using the surf stick and possibly using up the data volume.

Your Mac slurps away the mobile data volume like mulled wine? Then it's time to research who is sucking too much data in the background!

Your Mac slurps away the mobile data volume like mulled wine? Then it's time to research who is sucking too much data in the background!

Find secret data suction devices with TripMode

My answer: Basically, surf sticks that are plugged into a Mac via USB only provide an Internet connection for the respective Mac. If this does not allow internet sharing for other computers, nobody should be able to "surf" secretly. I would first rule out this suspicion.

In order to find the culprit, we have to install an app that can monitor and restrict the data traffic of the MacBook. This works great with Tripmode (Homepage). An app that i here I have already recommended in connection with the monitoring of the LTE data volume and which is also part of the SetApp subscriptions is when someone booked this by accident.

If the app is installed in the menu bar, it allows a count of the data traffic caused by a certain app on the Mac. You can also prohibit or allow access to the Internet for every app with a simple switch.

It is also possible to manage profiles and limit data usage with TripMode.

It is also possible to manage profiles and limit data usage with TripMode.

Information on the current version of TripMode 2 Is there ... here

Internal processes that cause data traffic

There are some processes on the Mac that can cause heavy data traffic and that usually run in the background or that you may not think about when using a surf stick. The following processes can trigger high traffic:

  • Background updates from macOS (these are often already downloaded and only installed later)
  • iCloud Photo Library: this is also synchronized in the background
  • iCloud data from iOS and macOS apps
  • iOS updates for iPad or iPhone, which are updated via iTunes

Success message: data consumption has normalized

According to my tips, Steve TripMode installed himself and turned off the "Internet juice" of some apps. When monitoring with the app, a page "cactales" also drew negative attention to itself in terms of data consumption. Unfortunately, neither of us could find anything about "cactales" in Google and therefore couldn't clarify what this is or how the call came about, but now the Mac is running without "unnaturally" high data consumption.

Feedback from Steve in the original sound:

So thanks for the tip with TripMode, data usage is normal. Have discovered many followers and "sent" moves after 10 minutes in the kb area and far below "received". Thanks for the tip! The app is worth the money.

If you also have the feeling that your data volume is decreasing faster than it should, then I can only recommend the app to you. Another tip is the Opera browser in turbo mode. I have what this is all about in this article described.

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