My home network is very secure, but my school's wireless network is open, which makes it vulnerable to wireless sniffing (e.g. with Firesheep). I just discovered the Location feature and I think it's really neat, but it doesn't make obvious a way to automatically switch Location based on which wireless network is currently connected.

Is this something which it is capable of, and if so then how do I set this up? Otherwise I guess I will use a program like NetworkLocation to do this; I'd just like to avoid paying for a program if possible.

(I'm using the latest Snow Leopard 10.6.5)

3 Answers 3


Since you mentioned Firesheep, let me put in a plug for Sheepsafe:

Sheepsafe was built to automate the task of switching your network configuration to use a SOCKS proxy whenever you join an untrusted network.

Sheepsafe works by keeping a configuration of known safe wireless networks. When you join an untrusted network, Sheepsafe switches to a network location that has a SOCKS proxy configured and starts a SOCKS proxy by SSH'ing into a remote server, thus protecting your browsing traffic from FireSheep and other snoopers on the local network. When you switch back to a safe network, Sheepsafe switches back to the default, trusted location and shuts down the SOCKS proxy.

  • I actually did eventually find this! Earlier this week I set up Sheepsafe and got it working. It connects to an Amazon EC2 server I set up (which will be free for a year, thanks to Amazon's free usage tier) and I'm rather happy with how it turned out.
    – Ricket
    Commented Dec 11, 2010 at 4:34

There are a number of location switch apps that work along with the Location feature such as NetworkLocation and LocationX. A more recent release you could also try is Airport Location


The Location function doesn't let you automatically switch to the right network configuration.

You have to know that the original Automatic location configuration is a real security hole since it lets all you network interfaces up and doesn't give you a correct information of which one you are riding on. You can always check by looking at Apple > Location > Network Preferences...

This Automatic configuration is also one of the nightmares of any network engineer.

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