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Unfortunately my carrier charges €0.10 per MB of data -- and I've found out the hard way that Android is a data hog.

As a result I keep my mobile data almost exclusively off.

Is there a way, perhaps through an app, to only allow some apps to use mobile data? For example I'd like to be able to use Whatsapp and Opera Mini, but disable every other service.

I've found that without wanting to, apps like eBuddy and (especially) Google Talk always want to re-connect, even when they haven't been directly run.

I am aware that as from 2.2, Google tightened security on app capabilities (especially task managers and home screen selectors). For what it's worth, my device is rooted and running CyanogenMod7 RC4 (based on Gingerbread) so this might break compatibility with pre-2.2 apps.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

As you are rooted, you can use DroidWall to control network access on a per app basis.

From the Market page:

Front-end application for the iptables Linux firewall.
Allows you to restrict which apps can access the network.
This is the perfect solution if you don't have an unlimited data plan, or just wants to see your battery lasting longer.

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Apologies for the delay in setting your answer as the accepted one. I read from the reviews that DroidWall doesn't always work flawlessly, so I tried it out over a few days on my device (ZTE Blade) and I'm glad to report it does. –  Redandwhite Apr 11 '11 at 17:05

Since the current answer is a few years old and the app it recommends is no longer being updated, AFWall+ is another firewall app (actually a fork of DroidWall).

Its features are:

Features

  • Easy to install & simple to use
  • Free and open source
  • No advertisements
  • Choose your preferred language
  • Search for installed applications
  • Get a notification about new installed application
  • Blocked packets notification and filter
  • Device Admin Support (Protect AFWall+ from uninstall)
  • Easy to manage your rules with a custom script
  • For any (stock) variant of Android version 2.2 - 4.4.4 (ICS, JellyBean, KitKat)
  • Ipv4/Ipv6 support
  • LAN-, VPN-, Tether-, Roaming-Control support
  • Tasker and Locale support
  • Firewall Logs service
  • Multi-User (multiple-profiles) support
  • Build-In Iptables/Busybox
  • Export and Import rules (Import All Rules needs donate version)
  • Option to prevent data leaks during boot (REQUIRES init.d support or S-OFF)
  • Supports MIPS/x86/ARM

https://github.com/ukanth/afwall/

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