Throttling iCloud’s upload: here is the IP subnet

TL;DR 54.231.0.0/16

For those of us with limited upload bandwidth, just plugging an iPhone in for a charge while on home wifi can bring our connection to its knees. As convenient as automatic online backups are, they tend to monopolize all the available bandwidth, and saturating your upload means crippling the download as well (it has to do with buffer bloat, delayed ACKs, and other stuff).

iCloudThrottle

Through some Google-fu I found (one of) the subnet(s) used by iCloud, so that I can easily throttle the upload traffic without imposing a limit on all the upload coming from iOS devices. The subnet is 54.231.0.0/16.

Thanks to my pfSense router, I put together a nifty set of rules that throttles uploads to that subnet from 8 am to midnight, limiting it to 50% of my available bandwidth. During the night, it is unlimited.

Just a quick overview of what’s needed to do that on pfSense (not a full tutorial, sorry):

  • A schedule that defines the times you want the limit to be enabled
  • Trafic shaping with a dedicated upload queue with a fixed maximum rate, in addidition the default ones
  • A floating rule of type Pass, applied on both WAN and LAN, TCP protocol, destination 54.231.0.0/16, active during the day, sent to the queue you created earlier w/ the limit enabled.

Actually I have 2 schedules, one for the day and the other for the night, an additional queue for unthrottled iCloud backups and an additional floating rule that is identical to the one above apart from the fact that it is enabled during the night and sends traffic to the unthrottled queue. This allows me to have nice graphs that show only iCloud traffic. Definitely not necessary, but cool.

pfSenseQueues

Get rid of the “Open from iCloud” window in Mavericks

Since the introduction of iCloud in many OS X apps in Mountain Lion, we’ve had to live with the pointless “Open from iCloud” window every time we launched these apps. I’m speaking mainly of TextEdit and Preview, but recently even more apps got this useful feature, such as Automator and AppleScript Editor.

iCloud for TextEdit - we all hate this.

This. We all hate this.

But last month Apple released Mavericks, which came to save us from this hell. It offers a great solution: the ability to enable/disable iCloud on a per-app basis, thus allowing us to only have it on apps that benefit from it (Pages and Byword, for example).

Without further ado, let’s go and kill iCloud for TextEdit & co.

It’s pretty easy: just go to System Preferences/iCloud and click the “Options…” button next to “Documents & Data.

System Preferences/iCloud/Documents & Data/Options…A nice popover will appear and it will let you chose the apps in which iCloud documents will be available. Deselect any apps you wish, and then click “Done”.

DIsable iCloud documents in unnecessay appsFreedom. Enjoy the sense of freedom that comes from your apps being iCloud-free again, like in the good ol’ days.

Now, the next time you open TextEdit, you will be greeted with a glorious empty document, ready to be filled with your awesome words.

TextEdit is now iCloud-free