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Restrict apps from using 4G?


Android Enthusiast
Jan 2, 2014
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?
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).
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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.
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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
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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.
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.
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