Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Forum

Support How to prevent connecting to untrusted wifi networks?

Is there a way to prevent the Galaxy S7 edge from connecting to open wi-fi networks?

Most Android phones have an explicit option for this, but, as far as I can tell, the S7 doesn’t. Who’s the genius who thought this would be a good idea?? Is it a feature that Samsung removed, or that Google removed from Android 7? It’s annoying because you end up losing connection (e.g. the phone connects to a network that requires some kind of registration), plus it’s a security risk.

There is an option to “restrict networks” but it's useless:

  • It only applies to networks the phone has already encountered. You may block OpenWiFiA but iftomorrow you encounter OpenWifiB, the phone will connect to it.
  • Quite simply, it doesn’t always work: e.g. I have blocked “O2 Wifi” but the phone keeps connecting to it.

I have a dual-sim Galaxy s7 edge SM-G935FD on which I installed the UK firmware. The build number is now G935FXXU1DQJ3. However, AFAIK this issue applies to all S7s, regardless of firmware: S7 standard, S7 edge, single-sim, dual-sim.

I am testing the Llama app to automatically enable wifi when I am home or at work, and to disable it when I leave. The app learns about the areas you define based on cell tower connections, so it should consume less battery than something based on GPS.




#1 cdl, Dec 7, 2017
#2 cdl, Dec 7, 2017
Is there not an advanced setting that says something like "automatically switch between wifi and mobile data and save frequently used wifi networks"? My Note8 only switches to wifi networks that I have approved. It doesn't even ask for open wifi network access unless I specifically search.
#3 kokiangel, Dec 7, 2017
There is a smart network switch option, but that seems to work only when the wifi connection is poor. For some reason, it doesn’t seem to work when the wifi signal is strong, but there is no internet connection because the wifi requires you to register/sign in from a webpage.

There is another option not to reconnect to specific networks automatically, but, again, that’s annoying because it only applies to networks I have already encountered.

Who on Earth decided that removing the option not to connect to untrusted networks was a good idea???
#4 cdl, Dec 7, 2017
Fffxcv vgg gfsdchhh
#5 keklou1er, Dec 7, 2017
From my experience those webpage sign-ins are from hospitals and colleges. Lots of both in Boston, MA. What other kinds of places use that cdl?
#6 dontpanicbobby, Dec 7, 2017
Here in London they're everywhere. Cafes, restaurants, the tube, train stations, airports, offices, banks, shops... It's not uncommon to be in the range of 3-4 at the same time. Yesterday, during a short bus journey in central London, I paid attention to how many open networks the phone connected to, and I counted 3 in 10 minutes.
#7 cdl, Dec 7, 2017
Connected to or could connect to? If you didn't agree to the terms of service you shouldn't have connected.
#8 dontpanicbobby, Dec 7, 2017
The situation is this: as soon as I am within reach of a new open wifi network, i.e. one I haven’t connected to in the past, and as long as of course wifi is on, the phone connects to the wifi. I have not found a way to prevent this, other than keeping wifi off.

Note that this happens without any notification; if the phone is in my pocket, this may happen multiple times without me realising. I typically realise when I am doing something online and internet dies out of the blue. It dies because the phone is now connected to a wifi network, but it has no internet access because I have not done whatever the wifi network requires in order to get internet access: log in from a website, accept their terms and conditions, etc.

Note the difference between being connected to the wifi and having internet access: the former does not imply the latter. If I set up a router in my room, which is not connected to any modem, I can connect my phone to the router, the connection would be excellent, but I’d still have no internet access.
#9 cdl, Dec 7, 2017
You agreed to the terms of service at those places that do have internet access.
Is it draining your battery? Are apps updating when you pass by?
#10 dontpanicbobby, Dec 7, 2017
I guess I have not explained myself. Like I have already said:
  • No, I did not agree to anything. Unless you believe that my phone automatically connecting to networks I don't want it to connect to implies my agreement to something. Once the phone is connected to one of these networks, if I try to open any page in a browser I typically get redirected to a screen asking me for my data, for my agreement to terms and conditions etc. Note I never ever ever ever ever ever ever agree to this stuff, nor do I ever click on these pages. Any clearer now?
  • It's an annoyance because it makes me lose internet connectivity: precisely because I have no intention of using these networks, agreeing to their terms, etc., the phone stays in this limbo in which it is connected to the wifi but has no internet access.
  • Not sure about battery drain - hard to isolate the impact of this from everything else that's running in the background.
#11 cdl, Dec 7, 2017
Use your mobile data when traveling. Turn off Wi-Fi when commuting.
#12 dontpanicbobby, Dec 7, 2017
PS There must be a real communication issue here between the two of us! I CONNECT TO THESE WIFI NETWORKS BUT HAVE NO INTERNET CONNECTIVITY because I do not agree to their terms, have no intention of using these networks, etc. There is, therefore, no way any app could possibly update!
#13 cdl, Dec 7, 2017
So you are saying there is no way (other than disabling wifi, thanks a lot...) to now automatically prevent connecting to these networks? A basic feature which was present in older versions of Android? What the... ?
#14 cdl, Dec 7, 2017
I'll explain.

You do not have to leave Wi-Fi on all the time.
Swipe down from the top of your screen and look for a pie slice looking icon
Tap on that icon until it turns grey. (Usually 1 tap)

Wi-Fi won't be an issue until you tap on it again

I can't believe it took me this long to post. Hmm.

I'm not saying that. That was just works for me.
#15 dontpanicbobby, Dec 7, 2017
I completely get what cdl is saying... I just came in here to see if there was an answer.

In an ideal world* I could leave WiFi on so it would sign into networks that I wanted it to seamlessly, without open WiFi hotspots and portals hijacking my connection because I am walking past them.

At the moment I'm just turning off WiFi and wishing there was a better way.

*or something similar
#16 psionandy, Dec 7, 2017
What is crazy is that there used to be a way in previous versions of Android, but someone in his infinite wisdom has decided to remove it. Classic example of newer software having fewer features!
#17 cdl, Dec 7, 2017
It's definitely undesirable behaviour for a phone AFAIK. I've never had a phone do that at all, and in fact the only time I've read about that happening is here on AF, with some Sprint version phones in the US apparently. And there are a few threads about that.

There's a lot of open WiFi around my area, and most of them have a landings page, where you must register or login before you get internet access. I've had phones give notifications about open WiFi being within range, but that's not connecting to them at all.
#18 mikedt, Dec 7, 2017
#19 tonymddn, Dec 7, 2017 Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
I am not sure if there is one, but you might try looking for an app that will do this.
#20 The Gummy Bear Chronicles, Dec 11, 2017