Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Little Snitch Mini 1.0

Objective Development:

It shows you each and every Internet connection of all apps on your Mac. And if you don’t like what you see, you simply push the Stop-Button.


Choose from a curated collection of blocklists covering thousands of ad servers, tracking servers and much more. They are kept up-to-date automatically, for optimal protection of your privacy.


The network monitoring functionality, including the real-time connection list, traffic diagrams and the animated map view can be used for free!

The full feature set, including connection blocking, extended traffic history time ranges, advanced display and filtering options and more is available as an in-app purchase.

Great idea to make a simplified version of Little Snitch. It’s $13.49/year vs. $69.


Update (2023-03-23): See also: Hacker News.

Nate Silva:

The new @littlesnitch Mini blocks and reports in the same way that the original Little Snitch did, but it does this by using blocklists. Like an ad blocker, but for the whole system. I guess that makes it like a proxy, but easier to set up and manage. So far, it’s great.

Would like to hear about the blocklists that people use. I think apps could use a blocklist that isn’t as focused on web browser privacy.

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Can’t help but think they missed an opportunity coming up with a more clever name.

This is something of a digression, but god do I want something like this for Windows. Hell, I'd take something as complex as the full version of Little Snitch for Windows too. But I've tried several of Windows firewall apps, and none of them seem to be either as capable as Little Snitch or have anywhere near as good of a UI. One of the most basic lacking features in the ones I've tried (namely Windows Firewall Control and simplewall) is the ability to resolve IP addresses to useful hostnames. If anyone has any recommendations there I'm all ears!

Mac software has been on the decline lately, but there are still some key examples of exemplary software for it. Little Snitch is still the best!

I'm using a couple of there suggested lists. Works great.

This introduction of block lists makes it more like AdGuard desktop now. If I hadn't already purchased a lifetime license for that, I would probably use this.

Reminder too that LuLu is an open source app that can block on a per-app basis for free. It supports at least 1 blocklist (never tried adding more than one) though the interface leaves something to be desired.

@Bri You're right, your best bet is just parsing the events in the log after the fact. There really isn't good UI. OTOH, paradoxically, at least Windows has the functionality in the box in the first place, like the antivirus, even though this has meant a typically corporate-focussed emphasis on difficult and obscure automated configurability at the expense of use cases for power-user types. The days of home-grown packet filters are over, even though they're more needed now than ever!

As to Little Snitch, it disabled VoiceOver in the past, making it a difficult proposition. I used Hands Off! for a while, but nowadays I'd consider something else that was much more minimal and just put a front-end onto a daemon interface to the new network filtering extension interface. All I really want to do is audit, not block. Blocking is a hopeless game and one we've long lost without legislative action, IMO.

I use Dan Pollock's .hosts list at since it is just about the most comprehensive block list I know. It's updated about every two weeks and there is an RSS feed to check for updates.

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