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Mobile data app to control usage

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by Robkblue, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Robkblue

    Robkblue Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hi,

    I was hoping that someone had some good advice for an App that gives you much greater granular control of what Apps and system processes access the phones data connection to the internet. I am happy to pay for one that achieves my needs.

    I want to be able to have a much greater control over what uses my data allowance on my phone plan when I don't have access to Wi-Fi. I am about to come off a very generous plan to a much smaller one and know for a fact that my phone chews a significant amount of data even when I am not doing much in the way of browsing, streaming etc. Certain apps seem to chew a lot of data just sitting there, it seems to be much more than what you'd expect for push notifications and such.

    Thanks.
     

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  2. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    You might want to try installing a firewall app. This will give you that granular control you're seeking -- you can selectively block individual apps and background services from any online connectivity via WiFi and/or via mobile data.

    If your phone is rooted, I can't say enough nice things about 'AFWall+'
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=dev.ukanth.ufirewall&hl=en
    If your phone isn't rooted, there are several non-root options too. I've been using 'NoRoot Data Firewall' on one of my phones and like it quite a bit, the only problem being it hasn't seen an update for a couple of years now.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jianjia.firewall&hl=en
    Looking at possibly switching to 'NetGuard', it's an Open Source app and is actively maintained and developed. (it does include ads though).
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.faircode.netguard
     
    Unforgiven likes this.
  3. Robkblue

    Robkblue Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hey thanks for replying to my question svim. I found some of the software you suggested. One question I have which is a concern is that I see the only way to firewall a non-rooted Android device is through a VPN which NetGuard and the like use. I wonder how safe this is in terms of your data being harvested as it is funnelled through a known and controlled service presumably by the NetGuard folk.

    Comments?
     
  4. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Yeah, now that VPNs are becoming more popular there is a glut of very dodgy VPN services, making it more work to sort through and find the reputable ones. IP leakage and data mining is now a big issue with VPNs.
    On NoRoot Data Firewall's page, there is a disclaimer, "If you still think it's not secure, please DO NOT install it." If you don't want to trust in their assurances about privacy than just follow that statement. I've done a few tests ( ipleak.net is a good place to start) and it doesn't 'appear' (knock on wood) to be an IP leakage problem. Using an app called Sockstat, it's sole purpose is just to check active UDP/TCP sockets, there's typically a handful of port numbers tied to apps I'm actually using and a constant string of numerous port numbers always tied just to the firewall app, all indications of that VPN service.
    If neither NoRoot nor NetGuard seem palatable to you, another option you might want to look into is Mobiwol:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netspark.firewall
    There's a more expansive statement about VPN usage on their page.
    If this VPN issue really irks you though, never mind on this suggestion of a firewall app (or there's the involved matter of rooting your phone. Root-only firewall apps like AFWall+ have direct access to the integral Linux iptables firewall.)

    Also, depending on what version of Android you have, there are now a lot of data restriction settings you can enable by just going into Settings menu.
     
    Unforgiven likes this.
  5. Robkblue

    Robkblue Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Wow, you've certainly done your homework, that all sounds pretty reasonable to me. I am aware of the native restriction abilities but definitely want the more granular and centralised control, I'm not a privacy nark but since this is the first time I've looked into these sort of apps, the VPN thing flagged for me as I am from an ICT background.
     
    Unforgiven likes this.
  6. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

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