Secure WhatsApp in an unrooted FP3

Yes, install Signal as a matter of principle:

@[      kaihsu 

I was wondering why it would not be available from F-Droid?](

Install Signal and tell your lady to do the same.


And here

is the link to direct download of the .apk, in case you don’t want the app from G00gle :wink:

(scroll down to “danger zone”)


it is available on f-droid, though you have to use an unofficial repository.

copy this into F-droid -> settings > repositories -> +

Then reload and you’ll have the stable signal app =)
It also has Firefox Stable, Beta, Preview and Wire in there too

There are more known repos here:

Edit again:
There’s a Universal (non-GSF) version of Signal in another repo called Ember. I don’t know what GSF is, so be cautious with that one. The rfc one is the same signature as the Google Play one, as they can update over each other =)

NetGuard uses a VPN profile for its firewall functionality, as that method does not require root. So you cannot combine it with another application using VPN functionality to filter data, such as Blokada.

You can use a DNS server which does ad blocking though, such as a Pi-Hole, or a publicly available one.

This is also why I don’t use NetGuard; I use the VPN functionality already (WireGuard, to be specific). However, I can set WireGuard up so that network connectivity is down without the VPN being up. On top of that, I use a DNS server on the WireGuard endpoint which utilizes DNSCrypt and Pi-Hole. So the connection is secure regardless of the network, roaming works well (due to WireGuard), and ad blocking works as well. What does not work is firewalling. I’d need root for that (ie. IPTables with AFWall).

I did read something about clustering SOCKS proxies, haven’t looked into it though.

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If you want to use the NetGuard pro features without Google services, please contact me through this contact form (select “NetGuard standalone”).

I still have an old Android phone, which I only turn on to download from Play Store. (Or, if the app in question does not match the old phone, I ask somebody else to download it.) Then I use an app extractor to get the APK, and copy that to my FP2. Some apps thus installed complain about missing Google, but all I encountered so far work well if you acknowledge these messages.

People using it without PlayStore seem still to be an absolute minory. I hoped I could spare the author to invest time in a single purchase but thats all the information I do not have about the app without GooglePlay (even not from his web site)

  • actual cost info
  • terms of the license (one time, abo, how many devices per user etc)
  • how licensing works w/o google at all
  • how this works with updates. Re-applying some code or re-activation after each update would be an usability nightmare

The link on the page is pointing to wikipedia. So you can learn what SOCKS is, but not how to install and set it up on your phone. If someone has a link to a good tutorial, please post here.

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I don’t know either because I bought it via Google Play Store, and I don’t want to buy it twice.

Regarding SOCKS proxy, it is an older protocol but it works well. You can think of capabilities as similar as HTTP proxy, but protocol-agnostic.

as @jeroenh posted I contacted and got Info out on the process of getting Pro Features for F-Droid (or Github) Releases.

The principle
The system works on a per-device base with and ID you send in and get a key to enter into your device to activate the functions. You will get the information by an autogenerated email after submitting a contact from with the correct topic. Your purchase will be connected to the email of your payment service, e.g. Paypal. So if something goes wrong, your purchase is not lost.

I found the price very fair and definetly worth it. Every F-Droid user liking the App shoud checking it. I instantly purchased the maximum option. Acutally I even payed a bit more as a donation…

The procedure

Note: only works with F-Droid or Github version

  • On the website select contact/roduct/NetGuard(without PlayStore)
    – Enter your details. Text does not matter really. Mind the catchpa! (needs scripts)
    – You will get the details infos. Select what you want and Pay for it.
  • on your Phone:
    – select NetGuard/Settings/ProFeatures
    – select Settings/Puzzle (or Challenge)
    – Note your device code. Its case sensitive.
  • On the website again select contact/roduct/NetGuard(without PlayStore)
    – select the topic given in the email
    – enter your code (challenge)
    – you will get your key to activate the purchased features.

Note Your acitvation should remain valid with normal updates. It will be lost with a FactoryReset. Then you repeat the challenge procedure and get a different code without the need for a new purchase.

Hope it helps

Sorry, shelter has a problem, so I can not use it.

The idea to put whatsApp int a sandbox is great, but I means that I can not use NetGuard with it. The workspace concept seems to be incompatible to the use of VPN.

NetGuard can not see any Apps in the workspace. I tried cloning NetGuard to the second workspace, but I had to disable the first one to get the second running at all. Without NetGuard Shelter is a great option, especially since you can put links to your normal desktop - so its quite transparent to use.
Its probably great with AFWall+ when the phone is rooted.

Are there any working FOSS WhatsApp applications out there these days?

You mean WhatsApp compatible / interoperable? Then the answer is no.

Yes, like I thought about yowsup or whatever it was called (working as part of libpurple / bitlbee). Seems it is dead. :frowning:

A post was split to a new topic: How to run WhatsApp through VPN?

NetGuard can not see any Apps in the workspace. I tried cloning NetGuard to the second workspace, but I had to disable the first one to get the second running at all.

For me this is not true. I am running WA within the work profile over shelter on my FP3, cloned NetGuard into the work profile and turned NetGuard on in both (so you have 2 NetGuard-Icons in the status bar, hmm). It seems to work as expected.

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This is probably the easiest solution. Always bonus points for a dev that also provides a Google free option.

I just switched from Whatsapp to Threema with a few friends. You have to pay for it (€1,37 when it was on sale right before New Year, otherwise about double) but I think the quality and care is worth it.

I’m not very good with all the tech explanations, but what I can tell you is that they don’t even force you to give up a phone number or e-mail address to use it and chat with someone.
You can add them by inputting their specific randomly generated user code or by scanning their QR code when you meet up IRL.

Hope some people find this interesting.


I run Threema as well – some of my friends use this, some Signal, some Telegram… all are welcome on my phone. WhatsApp isn’t.


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