ClassyShark3xodus is reporting that AdAway comes with a tracker called Sentry. Looking at the app’s Preferences, it appears it is for sending crash reports. Is there a version of this app without this feature?
It is opt-in.
Yes, just wondering if there is a version of AdAway without it included that runs on modern android releases? I know the older versions never included it.
Sentry is open-source too.
I’d just prefer to run a version of AdAway without Sentry included, opt-in or not. I’ll go through the older releases one at a time.
I really really would not get too paranoid about it.
I am not too crazy about this telemetry stuff either but it is not inherently bad or evil. Sentry is a rather well known tracker that is intended for developers, not marketing folk. It helps the developers to see what errors occur out in the wild and apparently has a conservative business plan (meaning: they sell a product. Not your data)
if I understand correctly how AdAway works it actually only manages your hosts file. So you don’t have to worry about your browsing behavior somehow making it to Sentry because the actual blocking does not even happen within AdAway. So all Sentry COULD log is your direct interaction with AdAway.
I had a brief look a their code (oh that warm feeling of open source . . . ) and can confirm that at first glance it all looks kosher. If you turn the feature off ( see here ) the Sentry client does not get initialized ( see here ). I am no Android expert but I believe the changes only take effect after a restart of the app or maybe even the phone though.
here is the fun part: your version of AdAway might even be built without Sentry.
First thing I noticed when skimming their code was a stub implementation of the Sentry client (in other words: something that looks like Sentry to the rest of their code but does not do anything).
According to their gradle file this stub implementation is used when there are signing credentials present during a build (look for
I don’t know too much about F-Droid. But I believe that builds have to be signed to make it into F-Droid. This would imply, that only builds WITHOUT Sentry would make it into F-Droid in the first place . . .
It looks to me like they use Sentry only on development builds in order to make debugging easier for themselves.
If the summary of the Sentry/telemetry opt-in switch in your preferences says something like “not supported on this build” you can be very sure that it wasn’t even built with Sentry.
but IMHO don’t worry too much about Sentry in AdAway
I have AdAway 5.9.0 that I believe came from their Github, if I use App Manager’s Scanner feature it’s the only way it spots Sentry(Which uses Exodus). But going through AM I don’t see any signs under Activities, Services, Receivers or Providers and in AdAways options it is Grayed out saying “Not supported on this build”.
But as said above, Sentry is nothing to worry about, especially with AdAway. In Root mode, in only needs to be open to update & generate a Hosts file and then it can be closed as that’s all it needs to do unless you want to log DNS Queries or use it’s local Webserver which I have never seen the need for unless solving an issue.
Have never used the new VPN feature so cannot comment on that.
But, I have never seen AdAway contact any servers other than the ones it’s getting it’s hosts from…
A minor addendum to that part of my “analysis”.
That statement is only correct for the rooted version of AdAway which only manages the
hosts file. There is also a non-rooted version that routes all traffic through a local VPN. I don’t understand how that version works and thus can’t make any statement whether AdAway theoretically could spy on your traffic in that version (the emphasis is on “theoretically” since part C and D in my post are still probably correct)
I just noticed that you said the same thing as I just did. Only 3 weeks earlier and with less words
I will say that it is a local VPN, in which it uses androids vpn api to filter the traffic without leaving your phone. Many other adblockers & firewalls use that method.
These days battery drain is usually unnoticeable but you would have to try it out for yourself.
This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.