Android Content Filter
Android Filtering for Mass Distribution
Why does Comvigo currently use a browser for Android Filtering?
Short Answer: Because a browser the best way, given the current Android mobile carrier technology ecosystem, to make a mass distributable app.
For the detailed answer, please read on…
“Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler” – Albert Einstein
How is internet traffic routed?
When not connected to a WiFi, internet traffic requests (browsers and apps) are generally routed from a mobile device directly to the carrier. LTE, 3G, 4G, browser http requests (website browsing) is going directly from your mobile phone or tablet to the carrier (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, etc.) and their servers then deliver the page back to your browser.
If you are using WiFi, the traffic goes from your mobile device browser (or App) to the WiFi router. The WiFi router is the device in your home (or at Starbucks, the book store, the internet cafe, etc.) which takes request from your connected device, and then routes the http request to the ISP (internet service provider), who then directs the request to their server, and brings you back the web page you typed in. You can see this gives the router a chance to look at the request, and decide whether to send it along, or to filter it. The same applies to the ISP.
WiFi based Internet Filtering
There are several ways to filter internet requests if your device is connected by WiFi. For example, you can install a router on your internet connection, and use the router software to whitelist or blacklist websites. Most routers have minimum capabilities of doing this, and the user interfaces tend to be geared towards technical people. Also, these interfaces only provide minimal functionality. You can also redirect your home router traffic through an internet based filtering service which could have an interface to filter categories of websites. However, once you are away from your home WiFi, this filtering will not happen on the device. When you leave WiFi range, your device automatically will jump to carrier based internet traffic, and there will be no filtering. So, unless you restrict use of the device to WiFi home internet, there needs to be a solution for carrier based internet traffic.
Carrier Based Filtering
The primary demand for an app like ours (Comvigo Browser) is for an Android device (phone or tablet) that is connecting via the carrier (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, etc.) without WiFi. Our browser filters just as well with a WiFi connection, but the carrier based internet filtering is our exclusive domain. A Wifi based filter cannot work if the user is connected directly to the telco carrier network. I’m also talking in general terms about providing a usable solution that can be dispensed on a mass basis to the majority of users who want a plug and play solution from the Google Play app store, or similar public download site, or a carrier’s store. This means that the app needs to be easily