NetSession on Mac and how to remove it

NetSession on Mac and how to remove it

If you’ve noticed a “netsession” process running on your Mac then there’s a simple explanation for it, especially if you’re a Netflix user. Like many video-on-demand websites, Netflix uses Akamai NetSession to ensure that streaming of movies is smooth and reliable. This effectively means that your Mac’s resources are being used in a P2P network to deliver high quality video content. Some users may or may not be entirely comfortable with this.

Akamai has servers around the world and content is delivered to you by the closest one to where you are. In addition to this though, Akamai NetSession uses P2P technology to deliver content from other users watching the same content as you in order to spread the data burden.

NetSession isn’t supposed to consume many physical resources and Akamei claim that it poses no security risks:

The Akamai NetSession Interface captures and stores about the same information as a standard web server. The Akamai NetSession Interface is made up of various networking protocols designed to manage the distribution of files over IP networks and is solely used for that function. And just to be clear: The Akamai NetSession Interface is networking software only. Absolutely zero personal information is *ever* captured, shared or stored via the Akamai NetSession Interface.

However, even if you’re not a Netflix user, it’s possible that NetSession has been installed onto your Mac via an Adobe installer. Adobe uses Akamei Download Manager to deliver large software downloads and it uses NetSession to do this.

The other thing to be aware of is that NetSession may also show-up under a different process name on your Mac such as “rsmac” followed by a number – see a discussion here on this.

If you don’t want any Akamei related products on your Mac, go to “/Applications/Akamai/” and simply delete the folder. If that doesn’t work, there are two alternative removal methods suggested by Akamai:

Macintosh Alternative Uninstall

Go to the command line of your computer. In the Application -> Utilities folder, double-left click Terminal.
Go to the Akamai NetSession Interface installation folder, which is normally /Applications/Akamai/
Type the command
AdminTool uninstall -force
Press the Enter (Return) key to complete the command.

Alternative Method Using Launch Unload
This alternative method may be used, for example, if you deleted AdminTool without running the AdminTool uninstall steps described just above. This uninstall involves required steps of manually stopping the client, then removing the installation directory, the automatic startup script, and the preferences panel.

Go to the command line of your computer. In the Application -> Utilities folder, double-left click Terminal.
Go to the Akamai NetSession Interface installation folder, which is normally /Applications/Akamai/.
Type the following lines, and after typing each line, press the Enter (Return) key to complete the command:
launchctl unload ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.akamai.client.plist
rm -rf /Applications/Akamai
rm -rf ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.akamai.client.plist
rm -rf ~/Library/PreferencePanes/AkamaiNetSession.prefPane
If the NetSession client isn’t stopped when you have gone through these steps, restart your computer to complete the operation.

If you’re just unsure about whether to allow Akamai NetSession to run, read the detailed description about exactly what it does on Akamei’s website.

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