Is there a way to set data speed limit on android device(Samsung Galaxy GTi9003,Gingerbread 2.3.6)? Note :this is different from data limit.

I want to use 3G network 300MB/month plan which I think can only be achieved by limiting data speed and also limiting net access to various apps


  • Maybe you edit your question and include what exactly you want to achieve? That would provide some pointers and maybe create associations otherwise overlooked. – Izzy Oct 27 '13 at 8:37

Not usefully.

If you root the device, you can use a tool such as iptables to configure a rate limit, but the only way for that to work on downloads is to drop network packets above a certain limit. The effect of this will be that the apps on your phone see slower downloads, but the overall use of your Wi-Fi or mobile data connection will be greater, because the server has to keep re-sending packets that have reached your phone but been dropped.

This isn't an Android-specific problem: it's just how the internet works. Desktop machines have just the same problem with rate-limiting. It's just worse on mobile: because wireless network connections genuinely do lose packets more often, they're usually set up to re-send more aggressively than wired connections.

The exception to this is if you have a particular app whose network protocol supports rate negotiation. BitTorrent is one example. In that case, you should set the appropriate setting in the app you want to limit.

  • In case of UDP, dropping packets using iptables won't help with reducing incoming network traffic, but for TCP, this will work just fine. It may not be accurate but it will reduce the incoming traffic (and not just what the app sees) because sender's TCP stack will notice the packet losses and will lower its transmission rate. – Mansour Aug 14 '14 at 18:00
  • @Mansour It'll reduce the rate in the short term, but overall you've transferred more packets to download the same app (or whatever file), so it'll make you hit your 300 MB limit earlier. – Dan Hulme Aug 14 '14 at 19:59
  • Please elaborate what you mean by short term. Also, yes you'll hit your limit earlier, but not by a large margin. It also depends on the kind of traffic. This iptables rule favors long running downloads, like when you're watching a youtube video. The point I'm making here is that it's practical, but it's not perfect. You will waste some of your DL quota. – Mansour Aug 14 '14 at 21:36
  • I think I understand the point you're making, but I don't think you understand the point I'm making. Packet-dropping can be useful for some goals, but staying inside a monthly quota is not one of them. – Dan Hulme Aug 14 '14 at 21:48
  • If the solution results in lower usage (which packet dropping helps achieve), then it's useful. I'm not sure how else to say it. – Mansour Aug 15 '14 at 1:27

If your only worry is about being on the correct data plan, you should not have to do anything.

For CDMA carriers like Verizon or Sprint, your ESN will be registered with correct access speeds when you sign up for service with those companies.

For GSM carriers (like AT&T and T-mobile, for example) there are different APN settings for various data speed tiers (e.g. 2G only, 3G HSPA, 4G HSPA+, 4G LTE, etc.) When signing up for a particular plan with these companies, you will be given the appropriate settings that will limit your line's data speed appropriately. Even using the wrong APN settings won't do any harm, since your account is associated with the correct tier. The data connection simply won't work unless the correct settings are restored.

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