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I'm looking for a bandwidth/packet throttle/shaper program with the following features:

  • Similar to Windows-based Netlimiter.
  • GUI based and not terminal or command line.
  • Shows list of all applications communicating over network its connections, transfer rates and more.
  • Set download or upload transfer rate limits for applications, connections or groups of them.
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See SuperUser question superuser.com/questions/126642/… –  user588 Jan 31 '11 at 17:14
The canonical question on this site appears to be here -> apple.stackexchange.com/questions/24066/… –  bmike Sep 7 '12 at 18:39
I read all the above answers, and still I agree that nobody found the solution. We are looking for an exact alternative of netlimiter for windows. So a GUI based software that easily allows to monitor and also limit the download/upload of each application, not ports, but applications. For example if I am using JAKSTA to download videos that will use all the available bandwidth leaving me stuck and unable to surf the web while I download the videos. So, Any valid alternative for the mac? –  user34212 Nov 6 '12 at 18:11
2014: The status seems to still be the same as above commenter. No apps (not even saying good apps), for limiting bandwidth based on apps and not ports. –  jason Jan 16 at 19:19
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5 Answers

For those on 10.7 or newer, the easiest solution to the bandwidth limiting part of the question is Apple's Network Link Conditioner (NLC), a free utility that was originally included with Xcode. Then Apple got all sandbox-happy, so now it's a separate download from Apple's developer web site, called the Hardware IO Tools for Xcode.

If you're still on 10.6 or older, you can get the same effect from the command line by adding a limited-bandwidth pipe to the firewall.

The important points going for NLC are that it's from Apple, it's got a very straightforward UI, and it works. Some of the other suggestions given in other answers fail some or all of these criteria, particularly on Mountain Lion. The ipfw fall-back fails the "straightforward" criterion, but it does still succeed on the other two.

As for monitoring per-application bandwidth usage, I recommend Rubbernet. I've tested it on Mavericks...it still works. :)

Beware that if you're using the App Store version of Rubbernet, you also need to install a daemon to do the monitoring. (Another end-around the sandbox mess, I'm afraid.)

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There are multiple ways to do this.

For example, using ipfw, pf, or trickle, or GUI front ends to these, such as:

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+1 For those. Sadly none really does what the OP wants which is real time monitoring of network traffic by App. Been looking for this myself for some time to no avail :S –  Martín Marconcini Feb 1 '11 at 10:01
iftop might be useful for you. Does realtime monitoring (not shaping), and by host (not app). –  user588 Feb 1 '11 at 16:15
+1 for Speed Limit –  jmlumpkin Feb 2 '11 at 13:02
ipfw is deprecated according to man on Lion. can pfctl be used the same way? –  adambox Jul 4 '12 at 20:17
Yup. And IceFloor is a frontend: hanynet.com/icefloor/index.html –  user588 Jul 5 '12 at 0:06
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Charles Proxy

Limit the bandwidth and see requests, responses in real time.
Charles Proxy has quite a nice GUI.

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Unfortunately http only –  Heiko Rupp Apr 26 '12 at 12:44
No you can do HTTPS, it's in the proxy settings I think –  Jonathan. Apr 26 '12 at 14:47
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Waterroof or Noobproof, both free!!

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Thanks for your answer, geo! Can you please add more information? How do these applications help the OP? –  daviesgeek Oct 24 '12 at 5:48
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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

take a look at little snitch: http://www.obdev.at/products/littlesnitch/index.html

Little Snitch features real-time network monitoring. It started as a nice GUI for adding per-application access rules and has grown into a bandwidth tool as well. I don't know how to use it to shape bandwidth. It's mostly an all-or-nothing, accept/reject network access monitor.

Still, it will certainly help you find out which processes are spiking your Mac's network activity.

menu snitch

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can you explain how little snitch will be helpful? –  Daniel Lawson Sep 18 '13 at 19:44
This is a partially useful answer, in that identifying per-app traffic on Macs is not that easy. Having shaping in same tool is ideal but not sure if that exists. –  RichVel Mar 20 at 12:45
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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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