- Getting Started
- Is GlassWire Free?
- Common Problems & Solutions
- GlassWire’s Data Usage Graph
- GlassWire’s Persistent Notification
- GlassWire Alerts
- GlassWire Data Plan
- GlassWire’s Android Mobile Firewall
- GlassWire Themes
- GlassWire Settings
Getting Started With GlassWire’s Android Firewall & Data Manager
First download GlassWire’s Data Usage Firewall by searching for it in Google Play (it’s here).
When launching GlassWire you’ll be asked to give GlassWire the Android OS "phone" permission along with a separate "usage" permission. GlassWire needs these permissions to break down your data usage per app, and to show you your phone’s mobile data usage in detail.
We’d love to ask for no permissions at all but the Android OS requires these permissions for GlassWire to function. Please note GlassWire has no network connectivity itself and we could not see your data or app usage information ourselves even if we wanted to because it never leaves your phone. Our company is focused on privacy and security. We’re proud to be an ad-free and tracking-free app!
Still don’t believe us? As a privacy and security company we can respect that. We’re paranoid too! We made a Blog post with technical details here if you want more details: https://blog.glasswire.com/2017/04/18/glasswire-android-permissions/
Is GlassWire Free?
GlassWire for Android will count data and show detailed stats for free. Our app is the most powerful data management application in Google Play even in its free mode. However, if you want to use all our firewall features, all our themes, or our speed meter then we ask for a few dollars per year.
Since GlassWire is an ad-free tracking-free app we ask for a few dollars to support our hard work on this project. We’re grateful to those who support our work so we can continue to update and improve this app.
Paid GlassWire users who support our work can block any apps they want to block with GlassWire’s firewall, plus they can create firewall profiles. A firewall profile allows you to make one profile for mobile usage, and another for WiFi. For example if you have limited mobile data you could make a profile where only a few limited apps are allowed network access. You can also make a profile that blocks all network activity and save it.
The paid version of GlassWire can also show you an alert every time a newly installed app tries to access the network. You can then allow or deny that connection immediately from the GlassWire alert.
Common Problems & Solutions
Having connectivity issues? Go to GlassWire’s firewall and make sure it’s switched to “Off”. If our firewall is off and the issues persist then it’s impossible for GlassWire to be causing the problem. If you find the issue only exists when GlassWire’s firewall is on then perhaps you have blocked an important part of the Android OS with GlassWire’s firewall. Consider making a new profile with the firewall (with nothing blocked) and see if that profile solves the issue.
Have another issue? If GlassWire is giving you any problems at all please go to the bottom right three line GlassWire menu and choose "send feedback". We can then see the logs you sent us and investigate the problem for your phone type, then fix it! We check every email! Your reports help us make GlassWire better. Please try to be as detailed as possible about what’s wrong and include screenshots if you can.
GlassWire’s Data Usage Graph
Once GlassWire is given the Android permissions it needs you’ll be shown the GlassWire graph. The graph represents the incoming and outgoing WiFi and Mobile data your phone is using. The up arrow color is data that is being uploaded, and the down arrow color is data that is being downloaded.
Swipe to your right to go back in time on the graph and see past network usage activity. Cool isn’t it?
You may start to get some "new" GlassWire alerts at this point. One useful feature GlassWire has is the ability to alert you any time a newly installed application starts accessing the network. If you don’t like this feature you can disable it in GlassWire’s settings, or you can choose to only get alerted when apps begin using your mobile data. Just go to the bottom right GlassWire menu to access its settings.
Many GlassWire fans love this feature because it can alert you when a newly installed app starts using up all your data, or slowing your phone by hogging your bandwidth.
Paid GlassWire users can choose to allow or deny newly installed app connections to save data. This feature helps you protect your data from an app that can quickly drain it immediately after being installed.
Below the graph is a list of apps that are listed in order of how much data they are currently using. You can tap the app to see its data usage alone, then tap the settings icon for that app to see system information on that app where you can force stop it if necessary.
Tap any graph bar to see what apps used your data during that time period.
At the top left of the graph you’ll see "Day". This is the timeline shown in the graph. Tap the down arrow to show different timelines, for example "1 hour" or "1 day".
If you have created a data plan to track your data in detail, you’ll see that plan will exist under the top left menu. You can then choose to watch your plan on the graph (just choose it in the menu) and see what apps were responsible for using your data.
Are you not seeing any data on your graph? Make sure your phone is accessing the network. If you have Android’s "Data Saver" option in the Android settings switched on be sure to white list GlassWire there. Does it still not work? Consider rebooting your phone and reinstall GlassWire by accepting all required permissions. Sometimes phone updates can break our permissions and cause issues.
Would you like to choose what type of data usage you see by network type? Tap the top right "Mobile and WiFi" menu to set the data to WiFi only or Mobile data only. You can then monitor only Mobile or WiFi data if you prefer. Monitoring only Mobile data is useful when keeping tabs on your mobile data plan. And of course some people also have limited WiFi plans due to satellite Internet, or other situations.
Now, turn your phone sideways to see GlassWire’s graph so it uses your full screen! You can swipe to your right on the graph to see past data on the graph. The graph will then move over for you so you can continue to go back in time and see what used your phone’s data.
GlassWire’s Persistent Notification
GlassWire keeps a persistent notification open on your phone to help you easily keep track of your network usage. Google requires any apps that run in the background have a persistent notification for security and privacy reasons. However, with Android Oreo and newer OS versions of Android you can hard press the persistent notification to hide it with some phone types.
We realize many apps actually do break this rule, but if you report them to Google they might be removed from Google Play. We agree with Google’s idea on this because it helps protect your privacy and security so we follow this rule carefully even though others don’t care.
If you’re curious what your current mobile or WiFi data speed is look at GlassWire’s persistent notification to see our mobile speed meter. This paid feature is helpful to catch apps using all your mobile data when you least expect it.
Go to GlassWire’s settings on the bottom right to choose what you want to see on our persistent notification screen. You can choose to always have access to your data plan with the persistent notification. Paid users can choose to see our speed meter feature which will show you the constant bandwidth speed your phone is using.
A list of all of GlassWire’s alerts will appear under the alert screen. Tap the top right three dot menu to clear your alerts. Go to the top right three dot menu to choose what type of alerts you want to see there. For example, GlassWire can tell you every time a new app accesses the network (WiFi or mobile), or specifically if it accesses your mobile data if you prefer. Set up the alerts however you want to best protect your mobile data usage.
GlassWire Data Plan
Want a data plan to keep track of your mobile data usage so you won’t go over? GlassWire can help! Tap the bottom middle stop watch icon to set up a data plan.
Next tap the big round plus button. Tap under “Name” to name your plan whatever you want. For example, you can name it after the mobile provider you use like Verizon, Jio, or AT&T.
Enter your data plan limit, then tap "recurring" to choose your data plan type (if your plan is recurring). You can then set your duration to monthly, weekly, or another duration type. If your start date isn’t on the first of the month it’s OK, just select in the start date where it says "start date" by tapping the calendar icon.
Does your mobile provider not count data from certain social or video apps? Tap "zero rated apps" to make a list of apps that GlassWire should not count towards your data plan.
Have you already used some data this month? Enter your data under the "data usage" option to make it where GlassWire is already up to date. Look under “You’ve already used” to see how much data you have already used this time period so you already know what to add there.
GlassWire can also make even more complex data plans based on WiFi usage. Go back to the main "Data Plan" screen, then tap the "+" circle. You can make multiple data plans, and even make data plans for WiFi only if you prefer. For example if you’re on a metered WiFi connection GlassWire will monitor your WiFi usage and let you know when you get close to going over your limit. You can also make recurring alerts with this option that always warn you over and over if needed.
But what if I have an unlimited data plan? Did you know many ‘unlimited’ plans actually have limits where they start to throttle you if you go over them?
For my unlimited plan I found that I’d be throttled if I used over 15GB or data, so I set a 15GB plan to know when I go over that threshold. I’ll then immediately get a notification from GlassWire when I started to get throttled by Verizon, AT&T, Vodaphone, Jio, TMobile, etc…
With the new 5G phones and networks it’s unfortunately very easy to go over your data limit very quickly!
Do you have a data rollover plan? Just tap “Additional options” to set that up for your plan. “Additional options” also has an option for “Roaming” if it applies to your plan.
GlassWire’s Android Mobile Firewall
Tap the bottom shield icon to start using GlassWire’s Firewall to begin blocking app network connections. The GlassWire firewall is off by default. Tap the "Off" button to "On" to turn on the firewall.
If you’re a free user you may asked to pay a few dollars. GlassWire has no advertisements, and never tracks you so we ask for a few dollars to support our hard work on this project.
Did you know that many ‘free’ data manager apps exist solely to track what apps you use and how often, then they sell this personal data about you to third parties? Scary isn’t it! GlassWire NEVER does that, in fact we could never see your app usage even if we were asked to reveal it under court order because your data never leaves your phone at all and we can NEVER see it.
Have you ever used or downloaded an app you’d rather the world not know about? Unfortunately, one of these ‘free’ data manager apps may have your private info in a database already along with every app you’ve ever used. How long do you think it will be before that database is hacked, or has it been hacked already? It’s sad but true...
You can use GlassWire’s firewall to block spying and data wasting apps (like the ones described above), and you can be sure our own app uses NONE of your precious mobile or WiFi data itself. We specifically designed our app to never send/receive any data over the network at all. Feel free to check it with a third party app to confirm this.
Are you ready to try out GlassWire’s Firewall? First switch it on. After you turn on GlassWire’s firewall you will then be asked to start a local VPN connection on your phone. Please note this connection is local and only sends your data through your own phone and never leaves your device.
Once you OK the VPN connection you can begin blocking apps. If you'd like to block newly installed apps from automatically accessing the network and using your data you can tap the slider on in the middle of the screen. If this feature is on then newly installed apps can no longer send data unless you allow them to. GlassWire will send a notification that asks if you allow or deny an app to access the network. If you don't allow the app then it cannot access the network.
Below the slider switch you'll see a list of "All Apps" you can block, or allow. You’ll also notice there is an option to make a profile. You can make one profile for mobile data use, then another for WiFi. For your mobile profile you can block all apps but ones you only really need, to limit mobile data use. You can even make a mobile profile that completely blocks all network activity if you prefer and name it something like “Block All”.
If you don't want to block any apps for some reason (maybe you are at home only using WiFi) you can tap the firewall On/Off button and turn it "Off" and all apps will be unblocked. GlassWire will continue to monitor your network activity even if its local VPN is disabled, and even if its firewall is completely turned off.
Go to GlassWire’s themes option at the bottom right three line menu to choose different GlassWire colored themes. Looking for a cool Android dark theme? We have them! Any themes you buy go towards helping us improve GlassWire for the future. Thanks for your support!
We know dark themes are important to some people so we provide one free dark theme at no charge for everyone.
Tap the bottom right three line GlassWire menu to access GlassWire’s settings. Here you can adjust the types of alerts GlassWire shows you, along with only showing mobile-centric alerts. You can also disable all of GlassWire’s alerts completely if you prefer.
The GlassWire settings also allow you to set your persistent notification view, choose a GlassWire theme, change your update interval to decrease battery usage, and to clear your GlassWire history. You can also show our speed meter if you’re a paid user.
Thanks for using GlassWire for Android. We hope we’re able to help you avoid going over expensive data limits, plus we hope we can protect your privacy from spying apps that have no business accessing the network at all!
Want more tips to save mobile or WiFi data usage? Check out this handy data usage guide for Android and Windows users.
Sincerely, The GlassWire Team