I'm not very computer savvy. I recently got my MacBook back after getting a new hard drive. I've now just starting using Time Machine to back up everything. I live in rural Texas and I only have 10 GB of satellite internet data to use each month and I've used it all in 2 days while barely using the internet.

Does Time Machine use data? If not, any ideas on what could be eating all of my data up? My Wi-Fi is secure, even if it wasn't there is no one around to use it anyway.


I feel your pain. I spent the past few years on satellite and it was very unpleasant.

Your best bet for monitoring and controling your Internet usage is buy LittleSnitch. It will monitor your Mac and tell you every time that it is trying to make a connection, allowing you to allow or deny the request.

For some apps (such as email, web browser, etc), you may want to allow access anytime it wants it so you don’t have to approve each time.

The first few days of using LittleSnitch will be frustrating, as you start to set rules and tell it what to do, but after you get past that, it will be a big help in keeping your usage in check.

Unfortunately OS X is not very good about telling you everything that it is doing, and it assumes that any available Wi-Fi connection can be used without limits. Until recently iOS was much better about this, but it now allows much more background activity, so if you have an iPad and/or iPhone/iPod touch you need to watch out for those as well.

When you are not using MacBook, I recommend closing the lid so that it will sleep.

  • Ok. I'm going to try getting little snitch to see what's going on. I definitely took time warner for granted when I had it. Thanks! – Amelia Oct 14 '14 at 15:23

Time Machine does not use the internet, but iCloud does. If you use an iPhone or iPad, iCloud will backup the images to iPhoto, and that can use significant bandwidth.

Calendar, Mail, Contacts, Messages, Notifications, Twitter, etc all use bandwidth, and all are on by default. iCloud will also backup your documents and data, if you have configured this. If you have more than 10GB of files in your Documents folder, iCloud could be simply backing them up from the new hard drive.

  • Ok. When I go to settings to turn off icloud it says that it'll delete all of my icloud contacts/photos/documents etc that are on my mac. I guess I should double check that everything is backed up onto my external drive, right? Also, should I turn off my icloud settings on my phone too? Or since everything was just backed up is it over and done with or does it just keeping backing up that 10GB of documents or whatever. Sorry, I'm REALLY not good with computers. I'm just scared that I'm going to lose everything. – Amelia Oct 14 '14 at 13:54
  • 2
    You probably do NOT have 10GB worth of documents in your iCloud, because iCloud only comes with 5GB of storage to begin with. Syncing your contacts and calendar isn’t eating up a significant amount of your quota, but backing up photos, or using Photostream does. Turning off your iCloud backup is only advisable if you make sure to backup to iTunes regularly. – TJ Luoma Oct 14 '14 at 14:32

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