Question about wi-fi network controls on new(er) phones


#1

First time poster, longtime forum stalker:

I’m considering upgrading my phone (Moto G1), but wanted some additional info on newer phones that use Republic Wireless: Is there any finer granularity of control for wi-fi networks? For instance, settings that can control if calls are ‘allowed’ to route over a network or, more specifically, not be allowed to go over wi-fi, while still being able to use that network for data usage?

Hopefully that question is clear enough, but my reason for asking is that my phone always tries (and is successful) to connect to open wi-fi networks (particularly Xfinity wi-fi open networks - and I’m in a city, so this and others are literally everywhere). The problem is that if I’m moving, or the connection isn’t great, any calls that come though to me will inevitably get dropped, or I/my caller won’t be able to hear each other. This seems to happen for every phone call I receive, and thus my use of Republic is not reliable as a phone service.

I get that I can disable certain wi-fi networks completely, but it’s nice to be able to connect to them if I’m out and need to use the wi-fi for data (I’m on a no-data plan).

Thanks in advance for any help!

  • Steve

#2

Hi @mr.clean,

I think I understand your specific question, however, if so, the answer is no. It’s not possible to restrict use of specific WiFI networks to data while forcing calls to cell on newer phones supported by Republic via a toggle or switch.


#3

Hi @mr.clean,

Thanks for coming out of the shadows and posting! It’s a great first-time question!

@rolandh, I haven’t had any time to do any testing and having kept up with the app’s compatibility on newer flavors of Android - do you have any idea of the third-party firewall workaround that Community used to recommend is an option on the newer phones?

@louisdi, @coreyk, any thoughts?


#4

The third party solutions continue to work to block certain apps from accessing the internet. I’m not sure if that’s the question though.

There are two possible questions, the way I read above:

  1. Can I keep my phone from connecting to open public networks. The answer to this is yes, using the built-in Android functionality. If you’ve connected to the network before, go to Settings – Wifi and “Forget” the network in question, and your phone won’t auto-connect.

or

  1. Can I have my phone connect to these networks for data, but force my calls to always be routed over cellular when connected to these networks. In this case, the answer is that there isn’t a way to do that at this time, although that if the network performance is bad enough, the call should be handed off the cellular automatically or not start on wifi in the first place.

#5

If you’re referring to the method formerly described on Modern Defrag, I have tried but failed to get that working on newer phones.

@louisdi has planted a seed by referring to degraded network performance. Use of a VPN might introduce enough latency to cause Republic’s app to hand calls off to cell while leaving data on the WiFi network. Perhaps, something like this:


#6

Yes, thank you. That’s what I’m remembering. It would specifically disable calling over Wi-Fi while allowing data.


#7

Thank you all for the responses.

For clarity, louisdl (+ others), the second option that you listed is what I’m asking about (“Can I have my phone connect to these networks for data, but force my calls to always be routed over cellular when connected to these networks.”).

The handoff to cellular, for me, is either not working well, or not working well enough for my tastes. I can see on my screen that the calls being made or received are over a poor wi-fi signal, and they inevitably end in frustration for me. Everyone always jokes that they always have to call me twice - and I just have to hope that I can quickly disable my wi-fi before that second call comes in so I can actually converse with them.

It doesn’t sound like there is an answer here for me and the hunt for a new phone may lead me to digitally greener pastures. Maybe something to look at for the Republic Team in the future, as I have to assume that this must be a frustrating recurrence for at least a portion of customers.

Thanks again,
Steve


#8

I would be a bit surprised to find that level of granularity become accessible to the casual user in Android, since it would likely create more problems and service tickets than it would be worth to allow this level of control.


#9

In my mind, it would just be another slider/toggle switch on each wi-fi networks details/options screen, which would obviously be switched to ‘allow calls’ by default.

I have absolutely no idea how much work this would entail, or if it’s even possible, from a technical standpoint, though.


#10

The moderndrag link that I had to disabling WiFi calling is no longer than so I can’t even test it anymore. I wonder if there is any firewall apps that would block the necessary ports that would disable WiFi calling, but still enable data. @mr.clean, I will test this later today and get back to you.


#11

@mr.clean, I think I have a solution for you. With this app I was able to toggle off WiFi access to the Republic app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=app.greyshirts.firewall&hl=en&rdid=app.greyshirts.firewall

This is what the screen looks like when you go into it.

From there click on Apps and check the boxes you want to have cell and WiFi data and put X’s for the ones you don’t. Here is a picture of that. You will have to go through them all if you want to use them on WiFI and cell with the VPN on. There is no way to toggle them all one way or the other.

Next, click on Global Filters and you will get this page.

Then click on New Pre-Filter and click on WiFi on the box below WiFi to put an X and then click on New Pre Filter.

Then click on the down arrow next to address and click on the star (that is for all). Then click on port and type in 5090. You will do the same thing on post filter.

Finally, go back to the main screen and click on Start. That should force calls over cell.


#12

@mr.clean: This doesn’t answer your question directly as others seem to have already done this, but I’d like to offer information about changing from the old to the new.

I used a Moto X2 for almost 3 years, switching a few weeks ago because he battery life degraded to the point of being unusable after the last firmware update–and clearing caches provided only a minuscule improvement. Since my screen had been broken for over a year it was just time for me to move on. –I had to older “unlimited” plan and never switched to the Refund plan, though I really should have.

I’m using a Moto Z Play on a 3.0 plan and the call quality and cell/WiFi handoff is substantially better than what I had before. I experienced everything that you describe and experienced it often, yet I continued to hang in there with the service and with the phone for several reasons. Four things are different in my new setup–updated phone hardware, GSM, LTE, and 3.0 service via the new platform. I don’t know which of these makes the biggest difference for me now, and I don’t really care. The improvement is a night and day difference so far, and I’ve tested the handoff quite a bit so far. Call quality in general is also vastly improved with my new setup on both cellular and WiFi–literally a night and day difference.

I hope that you get the information that you need and that your experience moving forward is a good one.