NetGuard allows you to pick which apps have internet access, as well as block ads (GitHub version) on non-rooted phones.
Worried about data theft? Is your privacy a priority? You may want to check out NetGuard. What NetGuard does is allow you to pick and choose which apps have internet access and which don’t while it is turned on. A firewall for your phone. It is a bit daunting at first, but as long as you have a device running Android 5.0 or later, and enough space to download the app, you should have no problem getting it to work after following this tutorial.
- Download the app off of the Play Store. Unlike most of these sorts of apps, your phone can be unrooted and it will still work.
- Go through the disclaimers, and then turn NetGuard on by hitting the white slider, which will then turn orange. Notice that once the app is on, there will be a key symbol up in your status bar.
- Now you will be facing the list of apps on your phone. Here is the easy part. You see the two symbols next to each one? Well, the cone shaped one is wi-ﬁ, and the triangle is mobile data. All you need to do is click on either one to disable it. When disabled it will turn orange, and then the app will not be allowed to access the internet through whichever way you decided to block. It’s that simple!
- If you look in the drop down menu for each app, you will be able to see the average amount of data per day it uses. Both upload and download are shown.
- The drop down menu also allows you to select certain conditions per app. For example, you can tell Facebook to allow wi-ﬁ only when the screen is on, instead of blocking access to the internet at all times.
- Last but not least, you can also choose to enable logging and ﬁltering for each app, though you have to turn them on in the settings ﬁrst. A nice touch if you want to track how often you are using the app.
Now, downloading the app off of Github or somewhere aside from the Play Store allows for the additional feature of ad-blocking. If interested in that, read on.
- Go into Advanced Settings and turn on the “Filter Trafﬁc” setting.
- Though it is enabled by default, check that “Block Domain Names” is on.
- Go to”Backup” in settings, and either import a hosts file that you have. previously acquired, or download NetGuard’s by selecting “Download hosts file”.
- You will then want to go to your browser and make sure that browser compression is turned off, and then wait ten minutes to allow for the Android DNS cache to time out.
- Once the ten minutes are up, go to this link to test if it works. If so, the page will say “Ad blocking works” in green.
If NetGuard isn’t your style, there are a few other ad-blockers to check out as well, which we will discuss and compare next time.
AdGuard: blocks YouTube natively, also a non-root version. Also, the VPN is on your device rather than a remote server, so there are no
privacy concerns. Pay monthly or a lifetime license.
Block This: Free, works with many apps and browsers. Blocks by DNS.
AdClear: Also free. Also features a local VPN. Uses lots of RAM.
Overall, there are tons of choices for ad-blockers on Android, even if your phone is unrooted. Hopefully the tutorial for NetGuard helped you, and be sure to check out the other apps as well to see which one suits you best!
NetGuard official website
GitHub version (upgrades possible via Google Play)
Google Play version (no adblocker)