The digital age is truly an amazing time to live in, but it can also be a frightening one. With the amount of cyberbullying and adult content that exists on the web, keeping children safe on the internet is now one of the biggest priorities. For this we need some interferance of parental control apps to monitor online activity.
So, how do you really go about accessing child’s phone, their social networks and apply blockers, and not become overly invasive in looking into their online activity?
Lucky for you, TechVise has taken the time to compile a list of best parental control apps and routers that help keep your child’s location safe from cyberbullying and online predators. These parental control software services and routers range from monitoring specific apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp, SMS, to geofencing, social media monitoring and adding screen time limits to unlimited number of devices by iOS like Apple iPads, iPhones, android devices, Chromebooks, Kindle Fire, and Microsoft devices.
All you have to do is download their apps from Google Play Store or Apple App Store and being monitoring online activities for inappropriate content.
One important thing to note, because these parental control software are geared for parents of underage children (less than 18 years), they comply with strict privacy guidelines and adhere to data privacy and protection laws for the country they sell in.
BEST PARENTAL CONTROL APPS
For the most comprehensive online monitoring experience in United States and Africa, look no further than Bark. This is the end all, be all experience of parental controlling app for your kids’ online activity.
Bark is the perfect monitoring service of child’s activity if you want to protect your kids from adult content to live tracking, app blocking to cyberbullying, web filtering to geofencing and from setting screen time limit to text monitoring.
While Bark monitors all of your childs activity on interent, social media apps etc, and displays it all in a simple overview. If there is suspicious activity, you can dig deeper and find specific app details like SMS and social media interactions.
This is great because the overview gives you a simple check up, without giving too many details about exactly what your child is doing. However, it also records all of this information if you ever want to look into it.
Bark also allows monitoring of school-issued accounts. Bark for Schools is free. It was launched in response to the Parkland school tragedy in 2018.
Bark will cost you $14/Month for the whole family or $99/Year. Bark Jr – a smaller plan with limited features, is available for $5/Month or $49/Year
If you think the app is not what you’re looking for, perhaps look at Bark Home, a small device that you can plug into your router to set up screen time limit, web filters on smart TVs, gaming consoles, PCs and laptops.
There is also a 7 day free trial when you signup for Bark via our link. Or use the following coupon at signup: TECHVISE
Qustodio offers all the basic and enhanced features one could ask for. The free parental control version limits a person to one mobile device and just a few features. You can see the comparison on their site.
The paid version of Qustodio monitors social media apps, calls, SMS, individual app, searches and internet browsing. It further keeps a tab on picture uploads, screen time usage and location tracking. Qustodio has managed to enhance their location tracking feature with geofencing capabilities. This gives alerts when your kids leave and enter saved locations.
Qustodio offers Schools Free Trial. What is this? It facilitates schools´ digital challenges by enabling a digital safe environment for students. Teachers can apply multi-platform web filters, monitor internet activity, and restrict access to specific apps during class hours.
Parents will be able to keep schools devices protected also at home. What’s more is that your child can even activate panic button for alerts and you as a parent are in full control of setting up time limits accessing records for 30 days.
Qustodio is not just for family and school time but businesses as well.
Signup on Qustodio and get great discounts!
For those who want a simple parental control app to monitor children’s online activity, Mobicip is the best app.
In essence, Mobicip is a parental control software that allows you to monitor internet activity, set time limits, filter search settings, block apps, and even see app usage. These features are available on the premium edition, which starts at $47.88 a year.
Mobicip plans are based according to the number of devices they help protect. The small plan supports 5 mobile device, whereas the medium plan supports 10 and X-large 20 devices. All plans come with a 7 day free trial.
If you aren’t looking to pay, you can just as easily download the Mobicip app on your Android or Apple iOS device for the free version. This app is meant to replace the current web browser and has easy app blocker capabilities for inappropriate content, and filter settings. The best thing about this parental control app is the sheer simplicity of it.
Fenced is a very trusted parental control app available on iOS and Android devices. It has several features that help you to monitor your kids’ devices. It also has features that are guaranteed to help develop a kid safe environment on your children’s digital devices.
These features are divided into four major sections: social media monitoring, phone activities monitoring, application and screen monitoring, and alert system.
The social media monitoring section contains features that facilitate the creation of a safe kids environment. These include tools that help you to monitor your kids’ social media activities. They also allow you to track their chats and collect information on each contact on their WhatsApp.
Further, Fenced helps to monitor your kids’ phone activities, such as calls, SMS, multimedia, etc. It monitors their Wi-Fi activities, including the connected hotspots, the sites they visit, and where they signed in from, among others. Additionally, it helps you to keep tabs on their browser history, the apps they frequently use, their email, etc.
Finally, the app has tools that facilitate location tracking and alerts you when they enter areas you have restricted. It also helps you to view the locations they have visited with their devices in the past.
Fenced offers three plans for Android users: basic, standard, and premium. They cost $1.17, $5.83, and $8.33 monthly. However, they only offer standard and premium plans for iOS users.
Another application we recommend for properly tracking your children’s whereabouts and managing their screen time is FamilyTime. With its numerous and valuable features, it also ranks as one of the best parental control app in the world, alongside the others we have included on this list.
With this Family Time app, you can keep yourself informed on your child’s online activities. More than that, you can regulate their activities to create a safe kids’ environment.
Like similar products, Family Time features content filters that limit the content your child consumes based on age-appropriate ratings. As a result, you can limit your child to watching movies rated PG-13 and below. Also, you can disallow certain services like iTunes and iBooks.
Second, you can schedule a block of time during which your children cannot access their devices. This block is set up on the app as standard Bedtime, Homework Time, and Dinner Time. You can also monitor their texts and calls, thus ensuring you know who your child is in contact with at all times. Moreover, you can set up specific phrases that will notify you when they come up in your child’s conversations.
Third, FamilyTime has an impressive location monitoring system with features like SOS alerts, place alerts, pick me button, among others. With these features, you can easily determine your child’s location, especially when they leave their designated zones.
Finally, FamilyTime is available on iOS and Android device platforms. The app offers a 72-hour trial period, after which you have to subscribe to any of their four subscription plans to continue using the service. Each of these plans depends on the number of child devices you intend to monitor. They are MyFamily2, MyFamily5, MyFamily3, and MyFamily, and they respectively cost $1.46, $1.15, $1.25, and $2.25 monthly.
Google Family Link
Another useful parental control app is the Google Family Link. It contains a suite of tools that helps you monitor your kid’s device and how they use it. To gain access to this software, you need to add your child’s Google account to Family Link. Once this is done, you can monitor and control their activities from wherever you are. Google Family Link prioritizes privacy. Hence, it ensures to notify your kid whenever you make a change to their device.
Google Family Link has a wide range of parental control features that make it easy for you to create a safe space for your kid. It allows you to monitor and limit their screen time, which enables you to track how long they spend on certain apps. It also allows you to set a daily screen time limit for their devices. What’s more? Family Link lets you know where your kids are located due to their geo-location feature.
Additionally, kids are notorious for spending on apps and games. Fortunately, Family Link prevents this by blocking them from making different types of purchases. You can also create blocks of time or set time limits on their texting apps, but you can’t monitor their texts.
The software further limits your concern as a parent by allowing you to restrict some of their activities on Google Chrome. You can monitor their internet use by either blocking explicit sites or approving a list of sites they can access. Bear in mind that your child can get around these restrictions depending on their age
Moreover, Google Family Link is available on Android and iOS devices. Unfortunately, certain features require children to use Android devices. And the best part, Google Family Link is free.
OurPact is a parental control app that does almost everything. These range from GPS tracking to screen time monitoring, live views of your child’s activities, and app and website blocking, among others.
One of the best parental control apps on the market, OurPact is ideal for parents looking to keep their children from engaging in inappropriate activities. It achieves this through its many features, some of which we mention below.
As a parent looking to instill discipline in your kids, OurPact has a scheduled screen time feature. With this feature, you can determine the specific times when your kids can use their devices. Therefore, you can allot different times for your children to study, do their chores, eat, play, etc., all from an on/off toggle on your smartphone. Additionally, the app enables you to take screenshots of their screen to monitor their activity. Thus, you can monitor their activities and talk with them when they do things they shouldn’t.
Further, OurPact enables you to make certain apps inaccessible for your kids. It also allows you to choose the determine how long it will last. Also, it features a text blocker that prevents them from texting at specific times you choose. And that’s not all.
The software has a web filter that prevents your children from accessing inappropriate sites and content, like adult pages and content.
Unlike many apps, OurPact does not offer any trial period. However, it has a free subscription tier that offers you access to limited features. Apart from the free plan, it has three different payment plans. The first plan, known as OurPact Plus, costs $1.99 monthly. The second plan, OurPact Premium, costs $6.99 monthly, while OurPact Premium+ costs $9.99 monthly.
Net Nanny remains one of the best parental control apps in the business despite being one of the oldest. Like other parental control apps on the list, Net Nanny offers numerous features that make it ideal for keeping track of your kids’ activities. It also works on iOS and Android devices.
Net Nanny provides advanced web filtering options with 14 basic category filtering. This enables it to analyze the content of each web page your child visits. As a result, it allows you to see through the filters used by each inappropriate web page.
Furthermore, it has an array of time management features that allows you to restrict their screen time. You can allot blocks of time at specific times of the day for your kids to be on their gadgets. You can also set daily time allotments, schedules to pause and stop internet access, and overall usage limits. As a result, your kids will spend less time on their phones.
Also, it offers a range of location tracking features, including location history, live tracking, and geolocation, among others. Unfortunately, Net Nanny does not offer call or text management, which is common in several parental control apps on the market.
Net Nanny provides a trial period of 14 days, which is mind-blowing, especially since other apps offer a maximum of seven days. After the trial period, you can subscribe to any of their subscription plans. The one-device plan costs $39.99 per year while the five-device plan costs $54.99 per year. Lastly, the 20-device plan costs $89.99 per year.
Best Parental Control App Final Summary
That’s our list for now. All of these app blocker & devices are great because they give parents the peace of mind that their child is safe online. Most of them also offer the freedom that so many children desire. So choose according to your budget, requirement and number of devices.
Keep in mind that the trade off between a monitoring app and a filtering / parental control device is that the app monitors children’s internet activity on the device itself regardless of the network it is connected to. Whereas an internet filtering device can only monitor and protect your kids when they are in your home. If they’re using another network, they are out of any monitoring range.
Do you know of any other great parental control app for monitoring real-time activity? Let us know in the comments below.
The settings are exclusive to Microsoft devices and will not cover other devices or device types your family uses.
Which settings or app are you talking about? We’ve mostly covered apps and physical devices that work across multiple devices
Monitoring kids’ activities on the internet are necessary in this digital era. Every parent use monitoring software & any other monitoring devices to monitor their kids’ activities on the internet.
I am an educator and my school system uses GoGuardian for school accounts. Are there any apps or programs like GoGuardian for home/parent use? I cannot sit and watch my child throughout the day he’s on the computer at home to monitor what’s going on…I do have other parental responsibilities. What can you recommend I can use that gives me remote monitoring access for PC’s and tablets (just like GoGuardian)?
Hmmm… something like GoGuardian… I would have gone with Mobicip. First option on the list. You could also look at Qustodio
I would like to see another updated list of the best apps. I used few with free trial so far and either are complicated or don’t seem to work perfectly. The last one that I used is Surfie app and its pretty good and easy to use.
and i have to agree with Alice Su that is really important to watch kids
Thank you for the feedback, can you just reply back with maybe 1 line about each app/device you used. Would really help
It’s really important to watch kids
What about Chrome incognito mode image tab? It’s a complete bypass of most parental controls. Which routers enforce safe search something like option 3 in this link?
BUC has changed name to Kibosh. Blocksi and Kibosh both enforce safe search. But I haven’t found an explicit from either that they work with incognito mode.
Hi Jonathan, thanks for the update on the name. To understand how incognito mode works, take a look here: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95464?hl=en
In a nutshell, it only works on the host browser itself i.e. not saving any browsing patterns, cookies etc. And just in the instance that If you visit a malware riddled site, your anti-malware or antivirus software will block that site/software from infecting your computer regardless of what mode you’re in; Any hardware enabled at the edge of your network or software working independent of your browser will continue to do its work.
I contacted customer support for both Kibosh (formerly BUC) and Blocksi. They both definitively enforce safe search mode even during incognito and in private modes. A third option I found is pcWRT.
If you are tech savvy, but don’t want to setup your own separate DNS server, another approach is to buy a router that supports or comes with dd-wrt, and use the hosts file settings on the router.
I hope someday that an option to enable forcesafesearch on routers becomes standard.