Long version: I’ve had shonky internet for close on a month. I’d be good for about an hour, and then my Mac would set web proxies to 127.0.0.1 – its own internal LAN address. This meant I lost the ability to use my browser. I’d have to manually untick the proxies, apply the change, and then I had about 25 seconds to go to the website I wanted before the proxies reapplied themselves.
It turns out this exact problem is caused by a well-known piece of malware which appeared on Macs in 2011, bringing to an end the era in which Mac owners could chuckle lightheartedly at the despair of malware-ridden PC owners.
I wasted a lot of hours trying various solutions to detect and remove the malware, which was stressful because I have very few skills. Nothing helped. I kept having to reset my Mac every hour, and it sucked. I finally bit the bullet and called a technician to come and solve the problem for me, for $125.
To prepare for the technician’s visit I deactivated my Freedom website blocker. I love Freedom. I rely on it to substitute for will power. I set it so I can’t go on YouTube or Twitch except from 00:00 to 00:10. I can only watch them from my PS4, so I don’t get tempted to waste time while I’m writing.
The second I removed Freedom my malware issue disappeared. There was no malware. I was happily paying for a service that was doing this to me. I’ve used Freedom for years and never had this problem before, so I guess there was a recent update that fucked with my whole internet, not just the sites I had it set to.
I didn’t find any hint of this when I googled to solve the problem, so I’m sharing in case anyone else encounters the same issue.
Now my problem is that there’s nothing stopping me watching YouTube ALL THE TIME. I’m listening to a video right now. It’s 12.22pm. Here’s an actual photo of my productivity for the day.
Maybe I should reinstall Freedom and embrace the isolation of no internet, just so I can make some work. If you don’t hear from me for a month, you’ll know I’ve fallen into the bottomless pit of Dead By Daylight playthroughs and the strangely hypnotizing calm of Plan With Me‘s.