Data Freeze not always working

Moto G Plus
1GB Data/Talk/Text


Issue Description

I have had Data Freeze active on my phone since Jul 23. Yesterday, Jul 28, I had one app (Amazon Alexa) use 188 MB of cellular data. I am sure it occurred during a short video chat with my family–while on a Wi-Fi connection. With Data Freeze, there should be no cellular data loss like this.
What happened? I would prefer to not have to go into the airplane mode just to be sure that my video chats are occurring on Wi-Fi only.

Hi @davidw,

Is it possible you have Data Saver turned on and not Data Freeze? :thinking:
See if these articles help :slight_smile:

Note: When Data Freeze is on it has a little “key” icon on the top of your screen.

I definitely have Data Freeze turned on in the Republic app, and no, the key icon is not visible. I normally keep Data Freeze turned on and rarely see the key icon. As I understand it, the only time the key icon is visible is when there is no Wi-Fi, and cellular data is blocked with Data Freeze, except for the data RW uses.

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Again today, I made certain that DATA FREEZE was turned on in the RW app, then placed a video call via Wi-Fi to my daughter using the Alexa app. After the 20 minute call I checked and found that I used 203MB of cellular data during that short call. If Data Freeze isn’t going to work with all apps, perhaps RW could provide a list of apps that bypass the data freeze function.


This happened earlier in the month with this same app.

If the key isn’t showing, then Data Freeze isn’t properly active. In order for Data Freeze to work the local VPN must be active and the key must be showing. If it is not, then data freeze isn’t active.

Apps have been know to turn off VPNs, and it is possible that the Alexa app is doing that for some reason. That said, there are a bit over 600,000 Apps in the Play Store, how would you suggest Republic evaluate which of these are doing things that prevent data freeze from working?

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If you would provide the Google Play link to the Amazon Video Calling app you are using, some of us could possibly test along with you.
Remember, there can only be one VPN active at a time, and the RW Data Freeze uses an internal VPN to allow/prevent data flow … hence the key Icon that @louisdi mentions must be visible, else Data Freeze either hasn’t kicked or has been overidded by an external VPN … this is what we can test with you.

Hi. Thanks for the reply.

The Amazon Alexa app in the Play store is here:

We use it to communicate with an Echo Show (with a screen) but it can also be used to communicate to another phone (IOS or Android) running the same app, for a result similar to Facetime.

Regarding the visible key icon, I have only seen it when in the Data Freeze mode when there is no Wi-Fi signal. When there is Wi-Fi, the key is not visible even though the Data Freeze switch is turned on. Should it be showing even with a Wi-Fi data connection? Maybe this is part of the problem? I know that I can use the same app running under Wi-Fi by first going into the Airplane mode and then turning Wi-Fi back on. Unfortunately that only works when I’m calling them. When they call me, it’s too late to break the Wi-Fi connection and re-establish it in the Airplane mode. Another possibility is that the connection begins totally in Wi-Fi, and at some point (as I wander through the house) the Wi-Fi signal deteriorates and it hands over to cellular-even though Data Freeze is on.

Sorry for the delayed response, but it sounds like you might benefit from some tune up on your WiFi?
#1 is Not applicable to video calling per feedback from RW

  1. Hopefully you have adjusted the RW app to disallow handover to cell when connected to your home WiFi? (as a test, as this prevents the blended cell/WiFi function from providing the best signal for you)
    • Republic App / :settingsicon: Settings / Advanced settings / Enable handover on networks
  2. If that helps, but you loose connectivity as you roam about the house, then check out WiFi Help - Internet connectivity - COVID-19 and the current times for some stuff that has been collected to assist in WiFi connectivity

Hey @davidw, you’re right about when the key is visible vs invisible. For the Data Freeze feature, we use a VPN to block traffic that is going over the cell network which would count towards your data bucket each month. Since traffic over WiFi doesn’t count towards your data usage, there’s no need for the VPN when you’re on WiFi, so we don’t turn it on yet which is why you don’t usually see the key icon on WiFi. Once WiFi is turned off, or has such a weak signal that your phone switches to sending traffic over cell, we turn the VPN on which triggers that key icon to show. While it is possible to see the key while connected to WiFi, it’s pretty unlikely because Android does a pretty good job at using WiFi whenever possible rather than cell.

Like others have said in this thread, it’s possible that the app you’re using is attempting to use its own VPN in which case the RW VPN for Data Freeze wouldn’t be active anymore since your phone can only have 1 active at a time. Have you had this issue with that particular app before? How long ago did you install it?

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Hey @jben, great suggestion about strengthening your wifi connection! I just wanted to clarify here that the “Enable handover on networks” setting actually only applies to voice calls that use Android’s built-in calling APIs, so since @davidw was video calling his daughter we unfortunately are not able to choose which network to use. Depending on how the Amazon Alexa app instruments calls internally, we may not even be able choose where to route voice-only calls from that app if they aren’t using the standard call flow.

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Hi @cwiley,
Thanks for the clarifications and extra info your adding to this thread, unfortunately many of us end up resorting to trying to explain things based on our limited knowledge and how we ‘believe’ it might be working :frowning:

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Of course! And I totally understand, I’m happy to help give insight where I can :slight_smile:

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