I currently use Little Snitch to control network traffic on my Macbook Pro, and see what my apps are connecting to.

Unfortunately, Little Snitch only shows you the hostname that an app is connecting to. Is there a tool which will show you the full URL of the requests that apps are making? Even better if you can view the headers.


The most full featured way to peek into web traffic is to install and configure your system to use a web proxy.

The mitmproxy proxy (and mitmdump tool) is mature, reliable and well documented so I would start there unless you have another that meets your specific needs.

Also, widely used, superbly documented and well regarded is Charles Proxy

Image from mitmproxy.org/images/mitmproxy.png


Sounds like you need a packet sniffer.

Wireshark will log and do full disassembly on all traffic going through your network interface.

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In other words, it will not just show you the full URLs of each request, but it will let you look inside all the packets, so you can see the headers and content too (except in SSL connections, as they are encrypted).

It works on just about every platform out there, including Macs.

  • 1
    How do you see the URLs? There's so much traffic that I can't see the URLs.
    – daviesgeek
    Feb 15 '12 at 23:38
  • 1
    @daviesgeek - Add a filter for GET requests. That will let you just see the requests for HTTP requests. Alternatively, you can filter for whatever type of traffic you are looking for, if you're not just looking for HTTP. It should also be able to filter for DNS requests.
    – Fake Name
    Feb 15 '12 at 23:41
  • Also, you're going to want to turn off anything else running in the background, if you can. Since wireshark shows you everything, reducing the volume of traffic you're not interested in helps tremendously.
    – Fake Name
    Feb 15 '12 at 23:42

Whilst it won't give you the full URL, if you're a fan of the command line, then iftop also comes in quite handy and shows you both incoming and outgoing hosts, port numbers (names for well known ports) and cumulative totals for each - as well as live updating "graphs" on the command line :-)

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is very similar to Little Snitch. I've explained differences in an answer here.

The network monitor shows hostnames, but it will distinguish them if they have different IPs. Via right-click you can get the specific IP address - you don't get to see the full URL request. But the IP address is more specific anyway.

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The developers are open to feature requests. You might see such a feature added in the future.

  • In the picture you see several entries for api.tweetdeck.com (in total it's about a dozen). Each IP has it's own entry.
    – gentmatt
    Feb 15 '12 at 19:41

A newer application which is available now is Proxie.

Compared to Charles Proxy, which is $50, Proxie is only $10. (Charles Proxy does have a demo available, and is an excellent app, but Proxie has worked very well for me.)

You can use Proxie to see both http and https URLs. There is a fairly simple process required to setup the https monitoring (you need to generate and install a certificate), but it only has to be done once, and the instructions are quite straight-forward.

I believe that this is the easiest solution to the OP’s question.

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