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.
  • See SuperUser question superuser.com/questions/126642/…
    – user588
    Jan 31, 2011 at 17:14
  • The canonical question on this site appears to be here -> apple.stackexchange.com/questions/24066/…
    – bmike
    Sep 7, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2014 at 19:19
  • You might be able to do some net limiting from your router if you have a good one ...
    – bobobobo
    Apr 18, 2022 at 12:50

7 Answers 7


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 Additional Tools for Xcode.

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 in failing to work on newer OSes.

As for monitoring per-application bandwidth usage, I recommend iStat Menus.

  • *and it fails.... for me anyway :( Mar 26, 2018 at 1:11
  • How can NLC be used to view and control network bandwidth on a per-application basis (per bullet points 3 and 4 in the question)? Jul 2, 2018 at 15:53
  • In 2021 Network Link Conditioner is in the package "Additional Tools for Xcode": developer.apple.com/download/all/?q=network%20link
    – Victor
    Oct 19, 2021 at 10:24

There are multiple ways to do this.

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

  • +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 Feb 1, 2011 at 10:01
  • iftop might be useful for you. Does realtime monitoring (not shaping), and by host (not app).
    – user588
    Feb 1, 2011 at 16:15
  • ipfw is deprecated according to man on Lion. can pfctl be used the same way?
    – adambox
    Jul 4, 2012 at 20:17
  • Yup. And IceFloor is a frontend: hanynet.com/icefloor/index.html
    – user588
    Jul 5, 2012 at 0:06

Since there wasn't a clear answer here.... somebody recommended vellum and that got me looking into it. Turns out velum gives you a license too their other product "snail" which is exactly what the post originally asked for.... so skip vellum just buy snail.



Charles Proxy

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

  • Unfortunately http only
    – Heiko Rupp
    Apr 26, 2012 at 12:44
  • 1
    No you can do HTTPS, it's in the proxy settings I think
    – Jonathan.
    Apr 26, 2012 at 14:47

Waterroof or Noobproof, both free!!

  • 3
    Thanks for your answer, geo! Can you please add more information? How do these applications help the OP?
    – daviesgeek
    Oct 24, 2012 at 5:48

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

  • can you explain how little snitch will be helpful?
    – Daniel
    Sep 18, 2013 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, 2014 at 12:45

In 10.15 and above, try: Vallum

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