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In Android, is it possible to block apps from accessing the Internet? Many apps will often connect to remote servers in the background, including Google's own apps or system services. Over time this can eat away at a user's data limit set by a mobile carrier. Does Android allow an app to act as a firewall whereby the user can select which apps have access to the Internet? Or does the device have to be rooted to have that ability?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 6 '13 at 13:40

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

possible duplicate of How can I prevent my phone from using any kind of internet? –  Al E. Mar 6 '13 at 14:30
The closest duplicate we have is Preventing mobile data use for select apps on non-rooted phone?. But this explicitly asks for a non-root solution. Here we do not have this constraint. –  Flow Mar 6 '13 at 16:25

5 Answers 5

Well I would personally have a service running where I can get the currently running application like here

Also what you can do is that you can turn the mobile packet data off if the activity is the one which you want to block

like here in this example

How to disable Mobile Data on Android

except for this method I don't think there is a easy way you can deny internet to a application because it requested for it at the time of download itself.

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

If you don't have root access on the device, then you can use mobiwol to control the access various apps have to the Internet. Mobiwol creates a 'virtual' VPN connection on the device which allows control of the individual app connections. However, although the app starts when the device starts it is possible that there may be a brief period prior to Mobiwol executing in which apps could get Internet access despite the Mobiwol configuration.

If you have root access, there are more alternatives:

  • Remove the 'internet' permission using an app like Permissions Denied
  • If your kernel supports IPTables, you can use an app such as AFWall+ to control which apps have access to the internet.
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That's amazing. I spent time searching Google Play and could not find any apps, other than those that required rooting. Yet this app claims to be the only app that can do it without rooting. I'll give it a try. Is it possible in Android to arrange the order in which some apps boot up when the system starts? –  AndroidDev Mar 6 '13 at 5:54
Unfortunately, you can't change the sequence in which apps start on phone start-up and since the device isn't rooted you can't actually block apps from loading on start-up. The safest bet is to simply disable your mobile data and wifi prior to restarting your device, and then re-enable it once the device has restarted. –  SimeonJM Mar 6 '13 at 6:01

I use Easy Battery Saver. Choose super power mode and configure the apps that allowed to accessing network.

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A link to the app would be useful. Could you make it clear whether this app needs root? –  Dan Hulme Aug 27 '13 at 17:33

Easy battery saver, as stated above, is a good option. You can get it at google play store. No need to root your device.

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Can you edit your answer to provide a link to the app? –  Mr. Buster Sep 20 '13 at 1:18
You could just upvote the existing answer, instead of giving the same answer. :) –  geffchang Sep 20 '13 at 1:59

You can also control which apps may access Internet with LostNet Firewall: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lostnet.fw.free

While your requirements are pretty simple and many apps can satisfy your needs, with LostNet Firewall you can do a little research on the countries your apps connect to and, may be, you will completely block access to certain countries.

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Please read the documentation regarding self-promotion in the Help Center. –  onik Feb 10 '14 at 10:58

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