Despite fewer malware threats to Mac systems, there is still a need for data protection. With Little Snitch for Mac, users can prevent personal information from being sent out, although its limited features may not be worth the program's price.
Little Snitch for Mac can be tried out for free for 30 days. After that, $29.95 buys the full version with no restrictions. While it does include a native installer, loading the program proved tricky and required a restart in order for it to work. An extensive and complicated end-user agreement also needed to be accepted. Technical support and updates exist, but the program contained no visible instructions on how to use it. While advanced users would not likely have a problem with this, the potentially complicated permissions needed to tailor the program would be too much for beginners. In terms of function, the program requires little interaction and runs in the background. After setting up defaults, it monitors the user's system for programs that attempt to send data out. This could not be evaluated since we didn't have any applications that tried to do this, although the program indicated it was up and running. While this sounds similar to a firewall, the program claims only to be a privacy application rather than a full security program.
While functional and easy to use for those with security knowledge, Little Snitch for Mac's price may not be worth the limited functioning, and those looking for security may be better off looking elsewhere.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Little Snitch for Mac 3.0.3.
A firewall protects your computer against unwanted guests from the Internet. But who protects your private data from being sent out? Little Snitch does. Little Snitch informs you whenever a program attempts to establish an outgoing Internet connection. You can then choose to allow or deny this connection, or define a rule how to handle similar, future connection attempts. This reliably prevents private data from being sent out without your knowledge. Little Snitch runs inconspicuously in the background and it can also detect network related activity of viruses, trojans and other malware.