How to: ‘Traceroute’ in OS X

Traceroute is an important part of any IT experts toolkit who’s worth his salt.. Traceroute enables you to track down potential routing issues between your Mac/PC/Device to your Router/DNS Servers/Web Host.

If, like me you migrated over to Mac from a PC, you will be used to launching a command prompt and firing off the tracert command. However, in OS X the command is slightly different. Some may say it makes more sense..?

To use OS X Traceroute you need to launch a new terminal session, to do this open Applications > Utilities and click terminal.

When the terminal has launched simply type Traceroute followed by the address you want to trace the route to. So for example, if you wanted to check how your devices browser gets to Google.co.uk you would type:

Your mac will then resolve Google.co.uk to it’s IP address, and then trace each ‘hop’ from your device to the address. This can be very handy when trying to figure out if the routing issue is your equipment, your ISP’s equipment or the web host it’s self.

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iTunes track notifications in the Dock

I think it’s fair to say that iTunes really does split the crowds, some people love it.. Some people hate it with a passion, well I am up there with the ones who love it.. Sure it’s got it’s issues, but I am not sure the iPhone or the mac would be the same without it.

For those of you who do love it, and think it’s here to stay.. Here’s a quick terminal command to enable a hidden feature. The feature gives you a small notification popup each time the iTunes track changes.

In a new terminal window, enter the following command:

Now, the next time iTunes track details changes you will get a popup like the one seen above! Not sure why this isn’t a built in iTunes feature, I personally think it’s pretty cool.

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Set and unset IP Address from Terminal

At work on my desk I have an iMac which I often use for configuring and shipping ADSL Routers, however once I am done it then goes back on the corporate network with a static address. Thus meaning I am often switching back and forth between DHCP and static on the network adapters config.

Which is where the next two terminal commands come in.

The following Terminal command set’s the IPv4 settings to manual then set’s the IP address of the adapter to 10.0.1.2, the subnet mask to 255.255.255.0 and the router to 10.0.1.1

The following Terminal command set’s the IPv4 settings to DHCP and clears the manual settings from the ethernet adapter.

The code above changes the settings on the Ethernet adapter, you will need to change the string entry to the network adapter you want to update.

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Do you know who your Mac is talking to..?

rotecting your Mac from virus infection is as important as wearing your seatbelt when you drive. However, going as far as your everyday antivirus product may not tick all of your boxes. Then check out Private Eye!

Private Eye is a free network monitor for OS X Lion, not only does it monitor inbound and outbound traffic – but it does it in realtime! Thus giving you an instant view of exactly what is going on and where.

Private Eye breaks down the traffic by application, giving you the ability to filter by application at the click of a button.

As you can see from the screenshot below, on the left you can filter by direction of traffic or application. Then on the right hand side you can see the time of connection, the application name, the direction and the destination IP address. In this case below, the help demon is making almost constant connections to 2.19.220.224.

 

Private Eye is the perfect solution if you want to confirm non of your apps are ‘calling home’.

If you locate any applications which cause concern, then you may want to check out Radio Silence Firewall for Mac, which is developed by the same team as Private Eye

Review

Ease of use– Private Eye really couldn’t be easier to use, the simple point and click interface means even my nana could use it!
 
Features – Private Eye packs in everything you really need for a quick and simple overview of your network traffic

You can download your copy of Private Eye from the RadioSilence website, or by clicking this link.

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Apple release OS X Lion v10.7.1 Update

Apple have just released the first update in the OS X Lion series, version 10.7.1 update is available now using the built in Software Update facility. Or can be downloaded direct from Apple’s website using this link.

Before upgrading it’s always advised to ensure all of your backups are up to date, and many people suggest booting into Single User Mode when installing updates to ensure there are no issues with the update process.

The OS X Lion v10.7.1 Update is recommended for all users running OS X Lion and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability and compatibility of your Mac, including fixes that:

  • Address an issue that may cause the system to become unresponsive when playing a video in Safari.
  • Resolve an issue that may cause system audio to stop working when using HDMI or optical audio out.
  • Improve the reliability of Wi-Fi connections.
  • Resolve an issue that prevents transfer of your data, settings, and compatible applications to a new Mac running OS X Lion.
  • Resolve an issue in which an admin user account could be missing after upgrading to OS X Lion.

For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4764.

The download is approximately 17.4 MB and is available now.

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