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Mobiwol: ET (Don't) Phone Home

Mobiwol is a Firewall program that allows you to prevent applications (or "ET") from calling home. This is needed for bug-fixing as well as to obtain stats on any given application. For example, has App X been paid for? How frequent is App X running in the background? In some cases, apps will relay periodical messages to their developers (or an unknown source) with your personal information. This is known as Malware. The developer or this "unknown source", in this scenario, will sell your information to scam artists, advertising firms, etc. The worst-case scenario is either identity theft or credit card information. This is why it's important to check the permissions of every app you install and make sure the app developer is searchable on Google and sounds reputable.

As seen in the image above, I selected Chrome as a test choice. Mobile and Wi-Fi are checked, which means that it can send and receive data when connected to either network. In this case, if you were to disable "Wi-Fi", Chrome would not load any webpages under your home internet because the firewall would block Chrome.

In theory, this is great because now you're able to use apps that are riddled with ads, ad-free. Just disable Mobile and Wi-Fi so that they can't connect to their ad services. The only trouble that may arise is with apps that require an active connection to function. So internet-connected games won't work if you uncheck the network access.

Once you turn on Mobiwol, the application asks to use your device's VPN (Virtual Private Network) package. Your device will detect this as a warning! This is good, so just hit allow and continue. The VPN that Mobiwol creates on your device is how it gets around needing root access, which is quite brilliant.

Unfortunately, Mobiwol is no longer in development and upon launching the app, you'll get a message warning you that the app was built for an older version of Android, so using it is fine, but it may not work properly. Nevertheless, I think it's an excellent application and it secures your device. I would use it and just turn off network access for apps that really shouldn't have that permission, to begin with.

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