Society is changing quickly with the rapid advancement of technology. While most parents want to instill a sense of independence in their kids, they also want to keep them safe from the horrors of the outside world. Therefore, they venture into technology, seeking a parental control app to help ease digital parenting.
It is no secret that kids of the modern age are far more competent in using the latest technology than their parents because they learn it from a young age. That leads parents to be concerned regarding the safety of their kids’ digital lives and the possibility of seeking parental control apps.
Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 14 minutes
Do I Need a Parental Control App?
We see kids having fun on their devices everywhere we go. We find them playing games, talking to friends, watching videos, etc. It is no secret that parents are concerned about their kids’ well-being and want them to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
The internet is a source of information and learning. However, at the same time, it is a tool that can be manipulated for all the wrong purposes. To that end, a parental control app helps parents provide a safer digital environment for their kids.
Are There Any Good Apps on The Market?
We live in an era where technology and the internet have taken over every aspect of our lives. Parents handing their smartphones and tablets to kids when they want a break from parenting has become the new normal.
The internet has no shortage of violent or inappropriate content. It can ruin your kids’ childhood and take away their innocence in minutes. However, parents can rectify this with due vigilance.
The demand for a top-tier parental control app keeps rising alongside the advancement of technology. Most of these apps offer a variety of features, including location tracking, web filtering, screen-time limitation, app management, call & text monitoring, and so on. Some apps offer a lot more than just basic features.
There are several high-quality apps on the market. Let’s compare some of the best ones that may check all the boxes for you. Here is a list of apps highly recommended by many in the parental community. Take a look and find the one that seems best for your home and wallet.
FamilyTime – Our choice of Parental Control Apps
Source: FamilyTime App
It is recommended as a great app suitable for monitoring the activities of kids and teens alike. FamilyTime parental control app allows parents to protect their kids against several threats, online and otherwise, such as cyberbullying, racism, catfishing, online grooming, sexting, etc. Parents can manage everything remotely from their parental control hub, a.k.a, their own devices. Let’s have a look at what it has to offer.
It offers a free 3-day trial version that parents can avail to test the waters. Other than that, it has four different payment packages that range from $1.15/per month to $2.25/per month and are pretty affordable.
Compatible Operating Systems
FamilyTime works well with both Android and iOS devices.
You can install and use its parent app on an unlimited number of devices. However, the payment plans are designed according to the number of child devices parents want to monitor.
FamilyTime offers a vast array of features that are unique to this app. For instance, the Pick-Me-Up button, TimeBank, FamilyPause, etc., aren’t offered by other apps on the market.
- SOS/Panic Button – It offers an SOS/Panic Button for kids that they press to alert the parents to come to their aid in case of emergencies.
- App Blocker – Parents can manage kids’ apps, including games, social media, and other apps. Kids cannot download and use apps without their parent’s approval.
- YouTube Monitoring – Parents who wish to monitor and manage kids’ YouTube and TikTok usage can now do so with FamilyTime. You can see kids’ YouTube watch, search, and comment history remotely from your parental device.
- Internet Filter – It also offers an exceptional internet filter. You can even block content relating to specific keywords and get notified if your kid tries to search those keywords.
- Location Tracking – No more panic attacks or running around the neighborhood looking for kids if you can’t seem to find them. FamilyTime’s Location Tracking feature is highly praised too. You get to track their location whenever you want.
- Geofence – Using FamilyTime, you can craft a geofence around your kids. That allows you to find out what places they visit and how much time they spend there.
- Pick-Me-Up Button – On the other hand, its Pick-Me-Up Button is a lifesaver for working parents who lose track of time in their busy work schedules. It alerts you to pick up your kid from school or any other location.
- Teen Safe Drive – Another bonus feature is for teenagers who drive. This feature tracks their speed limits and sends alerts to parents if they cross certain speed limits. Parents recommend using FamilyTime because it caters to kids of all ages.
- Screen Time Limit & Schedule – Define how much time kids can spend with their devices in a day. You also get to devise a daily routine to help instill healthy lifestyle habits in kids.
- Call & Text Monitoring – With the call & text monitoring feature, parents can prevent kids from sexting and intervene if they find out their kids are getting bullied or targeted by scammers, sexual predators, etc.
- FamilyPause – This feature allows you to revoke your kids’ screen privileges if needed. The best part is that they cannot sneak behind your back to use their devices.
- Contact Watchlist – Among other features, parents create a watchlist and receive alerts to see if disapproved people try to get in touch with their kids.
- Should I Buy It?
|Unlimited Parent DevicesA free 3-day trialTimeBank allows kids to save unused device time for future use family Pause Button prevents kids from using their devices SOS/Panic Button-Alerts in case of EmergenciesPick-Me-Up Button-Alerts you when and where to Pick Kids from track Driving Speed Limit for Teenaged kidsUnlimited number of parent devices family Pause Button-Prohibit your kids from using their device for as long as you deem fit.||A few features are still getting developed and improved, not compatible with Windows or Mac Pcs.|
Qstodio – Parental Control App
It is deemed an excellent app for monitoring the activities of little kids.
It offers a free version with basic features. Parents can get a paid/premium version with wide-ranging features. Qustodio allows various payment packages that range from $4.58/per month to $11.5/per month.
Compatible Operating Systems
Qustodio is also famous for its wide range of compatibility. It works well with Android, iOS, Kindle, Windows, and Mac operating systems.
Depending on the payment plan parents choose, you can add 5, 10, or 15 devices.
Qustodio offers various features, and some of them are listed as follows. With this app, you can help prioritize your kids’ health and safety by preventing them from spending a lot of time on their devices. That helps them develop better sleeping habits.
- Screen Time Limit – This feature allows parents to prioritize their kids’ study, sleep, play, and eating habits. You can decide when, where, and how much time they can spend interacting with screens.
- Web Filter – It also offers an excellent web filter that helps parents track what their kids are doing on the internet. With this feature by their side, parents can help their kids stay away from inappropriate content such as porn, profanity, suicidal ideation, gambling, weapons, drugs, etc.
- Calls & Text History – Parents can monitor their kids’ Calls & Text History and always know how they are talking to and whether they are indulging in any hazardous activities (i.e., sexting). They can easily keep an eye on kids’ text messages and call history to see if they are doing something they shouldn’t or are being overtly secretive.
- Location Tracking – Want to know where your kids are at all times? Use its Location Tracking feature and receive alerts on their real-time locations.
- Panic Button – That is not all! Qustodio also offers a Panic Button feature that allows kids to alert parents of their current location when they need immediate help.
- App Blocker – Parents can also manage their games, apps, and a few of their social media platforms by using its App Blocker feature.
Should I Buy It?
|Simple and easy-to-use parent dashboard You get access to former and current locations and offer a free trial service that allows you to set screen time limitations, filter web content, and screen texts and calls in three different price brackets.||Some features only work with Android devices parents cannot screen in-app interactions on social media apps, such as Snapchat.|
Canopy – Protect your Kids Online
Canopy is known best for monitoring the activities of teenagers. Canopy is an excellent app if you want to keep your teenage kids away from indecent content and inappropriate apps or games.
It offers a 30-day free trial version other and three different payment packages, ranging from $7.99/per month to $15.99/per month.
Compatible Operating Systems
The canopy also has an extensive range of compatibility since it works well with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS operating systems.
Based on the selected payment plan – you can add 3, 5, or 10 devices.
Dealing with teenagers is difficult, especially when telling them to refrain from something that is not good for their well-being. It is the age where they explore the world, not knowing or caring for the dangers that lurk around them. Let’s see how Canopy can help parents out.
- Web Filter – Canopy helps parents keep their kids’ innocence intact for as long as possible by blocking websites of pornography, violence, cults, and other indecent materials such as drugs, weapons, etc.
- App Management – It also allows you to manage their games and other applications in real-time remotely.
- SMS Monitoring – It scans and flags their text messages. Parents can receive instant alerts if their kids are sexting, bullied, scammed, etc. You also get to review text messages, images, and videos related to such chats so that you can plan and deal with them accordingly.
- Location Tracking – You can track their locations and see what places they visit to get an idea of their activities outside.
The huge benefit is that the kids cannot uninstall the app or bypass its restrictions, which is an essential feature in parental control apps.
Should I Buy It?
|It offers one of the best web filtering features on the market Sifts through messages, images, and videos to flag sexting, and You can manage apps across various devices, it offers real-time location tracking, and the privacy of your data remains intact.||No screen time limitation features can not filter or block content within social media applications.|
Net Nanny – Complete Protection
Net Nanny is best known for its exceptional web filtering feature. It is highly recommended for parents who worry about their kids’ online protection against inappropriate content.
It offers three payment packages parents can choose from, starting at $50/year up to $130/year.
Compatible Operating Systems
Net Nanny has diverse compatibility and works well with Windows, Macs, iOS, and Android devices.
Based on the selected payment plan, you can add 1, 5, or 20 devices you wish to monitor.
It packs a lot of quality features for parents if you have a lower budget range. Parents can choose when and for what features that wish to receive alerts. Here are some of its features that make digital parenting easier.
- Web Filter – Its website filtering feature is top-notch, and you can block specific sites down to keywords. In case your kid types in that keyword, you get instant alerts.
- App Blocker – Managing your kids’ digital life becomes a breeze as you can approve what apps they use, limit and schedule their screen times, track their locations, and more.
- Search History – In addition to all this, you can choose to get either a weekly or monthly report on your kid’s search history. Parents get a detailed report on what their kids are searching for online. For instance, you will be alerted if your kid tries to access information on weapons, violent games, drugs, or pornographic material. It allows parents to see what the kids have been up to and whether they need to step in and steer them to the right path.
Should I Buy It?
|The website filtering feature is highly praised. You can schedule and limit kids’ screen time and keep an eye on physical and virtual locationsApp management features are available, allowing you to manage social media apps such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc.||No monthly payment offers are available. I can’t screen offline calls and text messages.|
Net Nanny App on Android and iOS is very close regarding features and look. As most other apps have more features on Android compared to iOS, but Net Nanny has changed this and done this well
The bark is famous for allowing social media and content monitoring. Many parents use it to monitor the digital activities of their teens.
Bark offers a 7-day free trial that parents can avail of if they wish. Otherwise, they can purchase its premium/paid version for $99/year or $14/month.
Compatible Operating Systems
It works well with Android and iOS systems. Parents need to use a computer to set it up initially.
Parents can use it across varying devices. If kids own Android devices and parents use iPhones, Bark will still function well, and parents won’t have any problems.
For parents on a limited budget, this app offers Bark Jr. for $5/month. It offers many security features, some of which are listed as follows.
- Location Tracking – Keep track of your kids’ whereabouts when they are not in your line of sight.
- Website Filter – Block access to all inappropriate websites and content, including images, videos, and text.
- Social Media Management – Manage all social media apps and restrict access to the ones you find unfit for your kids’ use easily from your parent devices.
- Screen Time Limit – You can lock your kids out of their devices and strip them of their access if needed. You can use this feature to motivate them to improve concentration on studies, family events, meal times, etc.
Apart from all these services, you can choose to get weekly/monthly reports of your kids’ online activities and make changes to their routines accordingly.
Should I Buy It?
|Monthly payment plans You can manage devices with different operating systems’ user-friendly parent dashboards. You can choose to try it for free for 7 days.||You can only block apps on mobile devices. It is slightly on the expensive side.|
Apart from the dedicated apps we mentioned above, some security apps like anti-virus software also have parental control features, like Notorn or Kaspersky. They both have a decent amount of parental control and protection built in.
Kaspersky safe kids have a feature where you can track the activity of your kids not only on smartphones but also supports the monitoring of PCs and Mac operating system. Kaspersky also doesn’t limit the number of child accounts or devices you can have.
They have a premium plan for around $15 only, and you can add unlimited child devices to the Kaspersky free plan. to set time limits and manage or filter apps or websites.
You can create a parent dashboard on any number of devices you want. Kaspersky safe kids deserve mention, and their features are second to none. We highly recommend checking Kaspersky paid plan.
Norton Family also has some decent features when it comes to security and protection. Norton, the parental control app, has been updated recently with some cool features like geofencing, automatic location alerts, and many other customization alerts.
Web filtering and monitoring capabilities come standard on iOS and android both. However, App management doesn’t work with iOS apps, and time allowance is limited to android and windows software. We highly recommend trying Norton family anti-virus software with parental control unless your kids are using Macs!
Word of Advice!
Before you decide which app to choose, make a list of your requirements and see which app checks all the boxes. Think about the features you want, the age of your kids, and your budget, before making the final decision. If you want the best option available, consider the FamilyTime app. It offers the highest number of features without making a massive dent in your wallet.
Pro Tip: No matter what app or software you will use, Android will consistently outperform iOS devices when it comes to monitoring your kid’s iOS very stringent in terms of device tracking and limitation, whereas android allows apps owners to full creativity so you can have much more clear picture and detailed tracking with Android
FamilyTime is an excellent app overall as it offers many features that aren’t available with many other parental control apps on the market. It is pretty affordable and checks all the boxes you can think of. It is the perfect fit for all households with kids of any age.
We highly recommend you to use VPN as well on your main device to secure and safeguard your privacy. You can read more about it here.