Update (September 05): The same problem is now being reported by users of Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 9 smartphone. Take a look at the following Reddit thread:

Samsung Note 9: All VPN Data Counting as Hotspot from tmobile

Original story follows:

Getting a feel that your Samsung Galaxy S9 is counting all your data usage as mobile or hotspot data? Well, you aren’t alone. It’s quite likely that you are on T-Mobile as user reports so far are claiming to confirm that Galaxy S9 units on the magenta carrier’s network are exhibiting this erratic behavior.

There are couple of Reddit threads discussing this problem, with multiple users confirming the issue.

According to the original poster, shortly after they installed an ad-blocker app (ADGuard) on their newly-purchased Galaxy S9+ unit, they received a message saying 80% of their mobile data has been consumed. That was surprising, given that the user’s device didn’t even have the mobile data or hotspot turned on.

As part of debugging, when they turned off the ad-blocking app, they found their usage wasn’t being counted as mobile data or hotspot now. At-least a couple of other Galaxy S9 users on T-Mobile’s network confirmed they are facing the same problem.

Since getting S9+, all data usage counting as hotspot from tmobile

PSA: T-Mobile S9+ - All VPN traffic (even local VPN) counts as hotspot data from GalaxyS9

The discussion on these threads reveal that more than ad-blocking software, the problem could well be because of VPN. While ad-blocking apps use VPN (ADGuard uses a local VPN), at-least one user facing the same issue confirmed they’re using traditional VPN.

I use a VPN for work and it’s counting on my hotspot usage as well. Wtf?

It’s worth mentioning that a Sprint user explicitly confirmed they also use VPN, but aren’t facing this kind of problem. The main complainant also confirmed they never faced such issue with any of their previous phones on T-Mobile, including the Nexus 6P, S7E, S8, Note 8, and LG V30.

All this suggests, it’s the T-Mobile variants of the Galaxy S9/S9+ that are currently affected by this problem. The original poster says they’ve raised the issue with T-Mobile, and an engineering ticket has been created. The carrier hasn’t said anything on the matter so far.

To all those who are facing this issue, rest assured as we’re tracking all related developments, and will provide more updates on the matter as and when they come to our sight. Meanwhile, do share your experience with us in the comments section below.

Stay connected with us on Twitter (@PiunikaWeb) to hear about all related developments as and when they occur



Dr. Aparajita Sharma
1227 Posts

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.

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