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Unable to access google and some other websites when not using WiFi. Virus??


Userlevel 1
I'm having problems accessing Google and some other websites when I am not using a WiFi connection. I'm a Koodo prepaid customer and I have a data bundle that has barely been touched. I've only just started trying to access the internet away from a WiFi network since I don't often need internet access when I'm away from WiFi. It worked when I tried to check some directions on maps.google.ca the other day but then a day or two later, when I was waiting for a prescription at the pharmacy, it wouldn't connect. Today, I went to the Koodo store at my nearest mall and they said all the settings for accessing data outside of WiFi range were fine. However, when the Koodo employee tried to access some websites, including Google, he got a message saying he had no internet connection. Some websites came up fine though. He suggested I had a virus!

This seems unlikely to me since I've never seen a virus *block* some websites but I'm a lot more familiar with desktops and laptops than smartphones. I was hoping someone here could tell me if a virus was a plausible suggestion for my symptoms? For what it's worth, I can access Google just fine when I am using WiFi. Is it plausible that someone would write a virus that allows me to access Google when I'm on WiFi but then blocks me when I'm using Data??

If a virus is NOT a plausible suggestion, could you tell me what is a more likely cause of the problem? If a virus IS plausible, what is my best approach to getting rid of it? I assumed installing an antivirus program and running a scan would solve the problem but the Koodo employee said that could make it worse and might *add* viruses to my phone. THAT seems particularly unlikely to me but I'm still relatively new to smartphones so I thought I'd check here.

I'm using an HTC Desire 320 running Android 4.4.2. The Koodo employee tried rebooting the phone but the problem persisted. He suggested I do a factory reset (after backing up my important data). Is that what YOU experts would do?

18 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Do you have mobile data disables for your web browser? Is Google the only website not working? I know you said Google Maps does, but was this a separate app or on your browser?
Userlevel 1
I don't understand your first question. Are you saying it's possible to block data access for my browser alone when I'm using a Data connection instead of WiFi? If so, I wasn't aware of that and certainly didn't do it deliberately if it is possible. In any case, I'm almost certain that I have NOT blocked the browser because he was able to access *some* websites via the Data connection. He had trouble with Google and one or two other sites but I'm not sure what the other sites where. At one point he said that it seemed to be impossible to access any URL starting with 'g' or 'h'; as soon as he typed the first letter of the URL, he got a message saying there was no connection.

As for *my* successful access of Google last week,  that was with Chrome, not the Google Maps app. I simply used the browser to go to maps.google.ca.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Ahh I see, in that situation, you haven't blocked data for a specific app (ie. the browser). Just out of curiosity, could you please try another web browser to see if the problem persists? You should have another one on your phone.
Userlevel 1
Interesting. I'm now able to reproduce the problem the Koodo employee saw in the store. It seems he was using the built-in browser app for Android, rather than Google Chrome. When I launch *that* browser, it opens on the website for my bookclub just fine. But if I tried to type the URL for Google, it pops up a message after typing just the letter 'g' and says "Unfortunately, Browser has stopped." THAT is the message he was seeing when he tried to access the internet in the store. I've just tried it several times and it pops up that message *REGARDLESS* of which letter you type for the URL and always does so on the FIRST letter you type. I did almost the entire alphabet and it never failed to crash. But if I click on links on my bookclub page, which seems to be the default home page, they work okay.

I should make clear that I'm at home now, using WiFi, NOT my data connection.

Does this make sense to you yet? I'm not quite understanding what is happening here beyond "Browser" not behaving properly.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4

I did almost the entire alphabet and it never failed to crash.

So it always crashed with the Android browser? If so, does it always crash with Chrome as well?
Userlevel 1
No, Chrome seems fine. I can pull up any website I want with Chrome, regardless of the length of the URL. Again, I am on WiFi at the moment.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Does it do the same thing on data? Could you just give it a try to see if the browser is the problem?
Userlevel 1
I was afraid you were going to ask me that. 🙂 I'm dislodging the cat on my lap, putting on my coat and going out into the cold for you now. Do you want me to try both browsers on data? Or just Chrome? I'm going to be surprised if Browser app suddenly starts working on data when it has been crashing on WiFi but I suppose it would make sense to try it anyway....
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
No need to get outside, just close your wi-fi and try it in your house!! Try both, just in case.

I'm pretty much sure that if Android browser crashes on wifi, it will continue crashing on data, but if Chrome doesn't crash on wifi it's supposed to work on data as well.
Userlevel 1
Yeah, I thought of that once I got my coat on and was opening the door 🙂 Which is good, it's -3 here right now....

Same behaviour as on WiFi - Chrome works fine for anywhere I try to go; Browser crashes on the first letter entered into the address bar.

The thing is, I was failing to access websites (or my Words by Post game) from the pharmacy with Chrome and correct settings for my Data the other day. I was unable to access the internet from my truck the other day too (pulled over at the side of the road). I don't get what's changed to make Chrome work again now but I suppose I shouldn't look a.gift horse in the mouth. Hmm. The Koodo employee *did* turn Data off and then on again; maybe *that* fixed it?

So, what, if anything do I do about Browser? As long as Chrome works, I'm unlikely to use Browser anyway so I don't suppose it matters much. Mind you, if the Koodo guy was right and there's a virus on here, I *would* like to remove it for fear of it doing other bad things....

Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Happy to see that your problem has been solved (permanently I hope). As to what may have caused this? I'm not sure... I've had some problem with my data sometimes but they always stopped after I turned airplane mode on for 30 sec and then off. So may you have this problem again, try doing that?

As for virus, I'd suggest installing Malware Bytes (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.malwarebytes.antimalware&hl=fr_CA). One of the only tools I used to erase some virus on my phone when I had one. Try it and please come back to tell us if it was indeed a virus or if your phone is clean. 

If you have some spare time
Maybe it's related? Didn't read through all.
Userlevel 1
I use Malware Bytes on my laptops so I know it does a good job. My only challenge is that this phone does not have nearly enough memory. Android seems to use most of the 2 GB of onboard memory for itself so every time I want to install an app, I have to remove something, which is a pain in the a**. (And yes, I bought a 64 GB memory card and installed it but almost every app I've ever put on refuses to be installed on the memory card and insists on being in the main memory.) This is sufficiently exasperating that I'm thinking seriously of getting a new phone with more main memory. It's my first cell so I thought I'd start with a cheap one to see whether I'd actually enjoy having one but now that I find it useful, I suppose I should spend more money and get a better phone.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Well, MB is not a big application, so you could install it and give it a try to see if there's a virus or not, no?
Userlevel 1
I just tried it; Malware Bytes in 56 MB and I'd have to take two or three apps that I use every day off just to install it. THAT's what I find so aggravating about this phone; every time I want to add an app I have to take two or three others off. If they were apps I never use, that would be fine but I don't have many that I don't use aside from things in Android itself - like Korean input - but I can't figure out how to remove those. (I'm also afraid to remove things like that for fear of it breaking Android.) I just tried several other antiviruses and they are either nearly as big or bigger than Malware Bytes.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Ohhh I see your problem. Have you tried moving all your apps to SD card? (https://www.tomsguide.com/us/move-android-apps-to-sd-card,news-21279.html)
Userlevel 1
I did that months ago with all the apps I had then. I just looked at the newer apps and none of them seem to give the option of moving to the SD card (which turns out to be 32 GB, not 64 GB, not that it matters because I have less than a GB of data on the SD card). Unfortunately, it seems most developers have chosen not to let their apps run on the add-on SD cards. And I'm on Android 4.4.2 which doesn't have the Flex Storage option that began with Android 6.

It looks like I really need to upgrade to a newer phone with a more recent Android - at least Android 6 - and then acquire a fast enough SD card for it that it will work properly.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Oh well, then I'm out of solution for you 😕 Maybe delete or transfer some photos ouf of the phone?
Userlevel 1
I'll give that a whirl tomorrow and see if it releases significant space. Otherwise, I just have to live with the limitations of this phone until I get a better one. Thanks for all your help!

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