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I know that Android leaks during startup, before it has loaded iptables from a firewall. This of course is a big issue when trying to hide the true IP from an app in Orbot / Orwall.

This might sound odd, but if these leaks only happen during startup, wouldn't it be possible to just wrap the phone in some standard tinfoil if you need to reboot it (which is like once a month for a lot of people)? Would this suffice to prevent any connections until it's booted and iptables are loaded? If this actually works, it would prevent a lot of headaches trying to fix the impossible.

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no, the problem is in the phone's startup sequence: it boots up and brings the devices up first - like any Linux(Android is Linux-based). The only way is to make it work through something else, i.e. the routing middlebox. OrangePi PC or RaspberryPi are perfect fit for it. The only way to fix it "in one device" is to make a physical switch that will be switched off on reboots automatically and after a boot-up and starting it will be manually turned on, powering up the wireless modules and attaching them to the system. And as far as I know the modern board design trends - they're made in the way that makes it nearly-impossible. even if you will manage to make a bga-adapter for the wireless chips - you will have no place to physically place it inside a phone case: you will need at least 1 extra milimeter to place it.

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