What the NetSession Interface is:

  • Software that helps deliver faster, more reliable downloads on demand
  • An extension of Akamai's global server network that helps companies and their customers complete more downloads more easily
  • Extremely secure, supporting best-in-class HTTPS/SSL security

What the NetSession Interface isn't:

  • It is not spyware, malware, or other intrusive software
  • It is not a security threat, and does not view or share any private data on your machine
  • It is not permanently installed on your machine; you have the option to remove it at any time

Where it resides:

  • If you have NetSession installed, you have a view into the service on your machine through the Windows Control Panel or Mac OS X System Preferences pane.
  • On Windows, open your Windows Control Panel, then click the icon or link to the Akamai NetSession Interface Control Panel.
  • On Mac OS X, the Akamai extension icon is found under Other --> Akamai on the System Preferences pane.

What is the Akamai NetSession Interface?

The Akamai NetSession Interface is a secure application that may be installed on your computer to improve the speed, reliability, and efficiency for downloads and streams from the Internet. It is used by many software and media publishers to deliver files or streams to you.

If the software or media publisher uses the feature and if you enable it, NetSession can also use a small amount of your upload bandwidth to enable other users of the NetSession Interface to download pieces of the publisher's content from your computer. The NetSession Interface runs in the background and uses a negligible amount of your computer resources or upload bandwidth when you are not actively downloading content.

How can I see what it does and control its activity?

NetSession provides a console that gives you the ability to review your NetSession activity and manage settings.

  • On Windows, open your Windows Control Panel, then click the icon or link to the Akamai NetSession Interface Control Panel.
  • On Mac OS X, the Akamai extension icon is found under Other --> Akamai on the System Preferences pane.

Does NetSession harm my computer or violate my privacy?
(Is it malware?)

No. The NetSession Interface is safe and secure and does not contain spyware, adware, or a virus. It does not gather and transmit your personal information, nor does it harm your computer. Its purpose is to be a tool to improve the speed, reliability, and efficiency for downloads and streams.

Does NetSession Interface deliver content to me without my requesting it?

No. Akamai NetSession Interface downloads or streams content to you only after you have requested it from your software or media publishers.

Some content providers may provide you the ability to sign-up for background-delivered content. For example, a sports site may offer highlights delivered automatically. If you signed up, the highlights will be pre-delivered to your system as they are available.

Does this software affect my upload or download speed?

NetSession Interface runs in the background and uses a negligible amount of your computer resources or upload bandwidth when you are not actively downloading content. There should not be a noticeable impact on your computing.

There have been some cases in which a particular busy computer with high bandwidth usage has experienced reduced download performance. If you suspect that to be the case, and if you have the upload capability enabled for NetSession, you can pause or disable uploads and see if that makes a difference. Run the Control Panel/System Preferences as described above. Select the Preferences tab and then pause or disable uploads.

If you disable uploads, uploading will not resume until you re-enable it. Note that some software or media publishers may request that you enable uploads in the course of using their service.

NetSession seems to upload something on occasion even though I'm not uploading anything. Why is that?

When you download or stream, your Akamai NetSession Interface needs to communicate with the download or streaming source to request more data or to let the source know that the data was received successfully, and to inform the source server that NetSession is “alive and well.” A small amount of uploading always occurs when streams or downloads are delivered.

I'm having some trouble downloading or streaming?
What should I do?

If your problem turns out to be a simple one, you may resolve it by running a troubleshooting report that NetSession provides. You can run the troubleshooter as follows:

  1. Open the NetSession Control Panel / System Preferences as described above.
  2. Choose the Support tab in the NetSession Control Panel and run the Troubleshooting Report. As the report is generated, it will tell you if it finds any simple problems occurring.

If that doesn't resolve your issue, select the Applications tab in the Control Panel and contact the Customer Support for the application you were attempting to download or stream.

If your issue doesn't involve any application – that is, it doesn't involve a download or stream -- you can report your issue to Akamai and we will help you resolve it if we can. Click here

Can I stop NetSession temporarily?

Yes. But if you do, please note that any currently NetSession downloading or streaming will be interrupted until you restart the service or restart your computer.

To temporarily stop NetSession:

  1. Run the Control Panel/System Preferences interface as described above.
  2. Select the Preferences tab
  3. Under Service, click the Stop button.

The button will change to “Start,” and you can click the Start button to restart the service at any time. The service automatically starts up again when you reboot or restart your machine.

How can I uninstall NetSession?

Before you uninstall, consider that if you do not have a serious need to uninstall the service, it may be better not to, since other downloads or streams may later require NetSession.

Also, the Akamai NetSession Interface is a shared network library that may be used by multiple applications. It will uninstall correctly only when other applications using the interface are uninstalled. Other applications may not perform correctly if they look for but do not find the NetSession Interface.

If you do decide to uninstall this service, you will delete files downloaded to the NetSession cache folder. If you don't want to delete those files, copy or move them to a different folder before you uninstall. Normally, you will find the downloaded files on On Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Akamai or, On Windows Vista and Windows 7: C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Akamai or, On Macintosh OS X: /Users/<user name>/Applications/Akamai

Windows Uninstall

  1. In the Windows Control Panel, run Add or Remove Programs.
  2. Select Akamai NetSession Interface
  3. Click Change/Remove, then click Yes to confirm your choice.

Macintosh Uninstall

  1. Use the Finder to go to the NetSession Interface installation folder, which is normally ~/Applications/Akamai/,
  2. Double-click the uninstaller app and confirm your decision.

If these preferred methods do not work for some reason, you can try the following alternative.

On Windows:

  1. Select Command Prompt from the Start menu, or select Run on the Start menu, type "cmd" into the Open text box, then click OK.
  2. Go to the NetSession installation folder. This is the same location as described above (i.e., the location of the Cache folder).
  3. Type the command:
    admintool.exe uninstall -force
  4. Press the Enter key to complete the task.

On Mac OS:

  1. In the Application -> Utilities folder, double-left click Terminal.
  2. Go to the Akamai NetSession Interface installation folder, which is normally ~/Applications/Akamai/.
  3. Type the command
    ./admintool uninstall -force
  4. Press the Enter (Return) key to complete the task.

Another alternative method on Mac OS in case the above fails, for example, due to corrupted or missing admintool:

  1. In the Application -> Utilities folder, double-left click Terminal.2.
    Go to the Akamai NetSession Interface installation folder, which is normally ~/Applications/Akamai/.
  2. 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.single-user-client.plist
    rm -rf ~/Library/PreferencePanes/AkamaiNetSession.prefPane
  3. If the NetSession client isn't stopped when you have gone through these steps, restart your computer to complete the operation.

How can I check if a NetSession component file is really from Akamai and unchanged?

On Windows:

  1. Go to the NetSession installation folder, which is normally either
    C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Akamai (on newer versions of Windows) or
    C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Akamai (on older versions of Windows).
  2. Right-click the component file in question and choose Properties from the menu that appears.
  3. Select the Digital Signatures tab and check that there is listed a signature from "Akamai NetSession Client, Akamai Technologies, Inc." and that the signature is marked as OK.

On Mac OS X:

  1. In the Applications -> Utilities folder, double-click Terminal.
  2. Go to the NetSession installation folder, which is normally
    "~/Applications/Akamai/" by entering the command
    cd ~/Applications/Akamai
  3. Check if the component file in question has a valid signature. For example, let's check netsession_mac. Enter command:
    codesign -vvR '= anchor trusted' netsession_mac
  4. Check that the command provided output similar to the following:
    netsession_mac: valid on disk
    netsession_mac: satisfies its Designated Requirement
    netsession_mac: explicit requirement satisfied
  5. Check if the component file has been released by Akamai. Enter command:
    codesign -dvv netsession_mac 2>&1 | grep ^Authority | head -n 1
  6. Check that the command provided output similar to the following:
    Authority=Akamai NetSession Client, Akamai Technologies, Inc.
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