for the past week I have been using Netguard to monitor the network traffic of my /e/ phone. My main reason was to get an independent assessment of the state of un-googling of /e/.
In short: my usage of /e/ has been nearly 100% Google free. I say nearly, because there were just a few DNS calls on 22.214.171.124/126.96.36.199, of which I could not determine whether is was /e/ or some app. These calls were not even everyday.
All other calls on Google servers were related to webpages and non-/e/ apps. I have right away uninstalled one app.
I took me a few days to find out the netguard setting that worked for me. To see the log a made a donation. I enlarged to length of PCAP messages to 512. I turned on filtering system apps.
Via the ecloud the files came to my laptop. The dns resolved names are in xml, which a converted to CVS with TreeLine, and imported in LibreOffice Calc. I opened the PCAP in Wireshark, and copied to Calc. I have written some Basic code in Calc to combine the two output files. The combination is not perfect because one ip address can belong to multiple domains. But the combination gives a good idea of the visited sites.
To have a comparison I did the some exercise for one day on a previous stockrom phone, on which I had disabled all the Google apps and removed my Google account. The difference is overwhelming… There were thousands of calls to 188.8.131.52/184.108.40.206, seemingly doubling the same call to the DNS in my network. Many Google domains were called. I can give more details.
Once a day I shut down the network connection, dumped the Netguard network log and the list of resolved domain names and cleared both. Then rebooted /e/ to take the startup into the monitoring. Then started Netguard and opened the network connection. To keep the log within limits I turned of the network connection for most parts of the day.
I am not an expert on network monitoring, and I still have questions, which I would like to discuss further. I want to refrain from statements about /e/, and just stick to what I have seen with my own eyes. What I can say is that I am very pleased with this low (or none?) footprint on Google eco system.
I am a modest smartphone user. No apps that use the playstore. No location.
At this moment I intend to do this monitoring more often, maybe after each release of /e/? I would welcome more persons doing this as a kind of safety net around /e/.
Most time in analysing the Netguard output went in to figuring out trackers in webpages or apps. That was a side benefit of my research question. I am intending to use less apps and make more use of corresponding webpages, with uMatrix and PrivacyBadger als safeguards.
I might keep Netguard running but check it out less frequently. It is very informative about what is going on. And it gives me the feeling I am in control.