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Restrict apps from using 4G?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by dorlow, Jan 3, 2022.

  1. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    So, my kids have Tracfones. I want them to have 4G when out and about only to make sure location services are working so I can see where they are. I care less if they can check their email or search up a cute cat video. They can do that at home or somewhere else on wifi. They only have a limited amount of data to use.

    Is there a way to restrict apps from using 4G and only work on wifi but make sure the base Android has full access to the 4G?

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  2. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Hadron and ocnbrze like this.
  3. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Most firewalls I've used allow you to limit WiFi and mobile data separately, so yeah, that could do what you want.

    I can't really think of anything else. The OS allows you to restrict apps from using data in the background, but there is no permission to restrict individual apps from using data when the app is open (because many apps only use data for ads, and Google are an advertising company, so that wouldn't be in their interest).
    puppykickr likes this.
  4. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Ok, I just downloaded a firewall app to my own phone to play around with it. It looks like it would do what I need it to do as long as the vpn stays connected. I'm not sure if it will auto re-connect. I'm guessing it will. I'm now wondering how much data the vpn is using while it's constantly connected while I'm out and about. Maybe I'll have to watch the data usage on my phone for a little bit to see how much it uses.
  5. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    You won't be able to use both a VPN app and a firewall app concurrently, you'll need to pick on or the other. All the non-root firewall apps rely upon using a local (running solely on the mobile device) VPN service. It's that local VPN that's used to filter online traffic. The issue being, your Android device will only allow one VPN service to be running (...and it does not matter if it's an external VPN service, a typical VPN service you have an account with, or a local VPN service, like what non-root firewall and ad-blocker apps use. Only one at a time will work.)

    Approximately how old are your kids? If you cannot password-lock the firewall app you've chosen, it could be just a simple matter of the kids just disabling it. A lot of kids are tech savvy or know others who are.
    Have you looked into the Parental Controls option that's already in Android?
    Or Google's more extensive Family Link service might be work out better
    ocnbrze likes this.
  6. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    The firewall app I downloaded uses a vpn to route the traffic through the firewall. That's what I mean. I guess the more I think about it, the vpn is between the app and the phone... so even if it did use a ton of data (which I doubt), it wouldn't be using 4G data.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  7. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.

    Yes, the VPN in a firewall is not a normal VPN as @svim mentioned and it wont use additional 4G data.

    The apps you allow, and Android, will have access to use data when the firewall is on.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  8. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    We use Family Link and also mm guardian. Problem with those is I can't restrict apps accessing only cellular data.

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