Free parental control apps October 7, 2020
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Best Free Parental Control Apps For 2020

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We are living in a digital era in which kids spend most of their time in front of smartphones and laptops. They play online games, send texts, or view videos, most of the time, without adult supervision. With this, it is not enough that you just limit their screen time. It is also crucial to have a parental control app. Luckily, you don’t have to spend on much on it as there are plenty of free parental control apps out there. They are sometimes limited with features compared to the full version but definitely a good start in protecting your kids.

The best free parental control app can provide you with peace of mind although limited but still a good start. Such app can restrict wrong online access of kids. It can block them from certain websites and applications, specifically those that are age-inappropriate. The apps track usage and limit screen time and can be a good way to be in control of what kids are doing using their gadgets.

How Do Free Parental Control Apps Work?

It is a mobile application that you will have to download to the device you would like to monitor and control. Whether it is Android, iOS, or powered by any other software, you have various options for free parental control apps.

After downloading the app, you will need to register an account. You will also download it on your device, not just your kid’s gadget. Once you have downloaded the app, you can now perform different functions, such as blocking payments, web filtering, and limiting screen time. More about  this will be discussed in the next section of this article. These apps may work differently from each other, so research carefully.

BEST DEALS:

QUSTODIO – GRAB ADDITIONAL 10% DISCOUNT FOR ALL THE PREMIUM PLANS. USE COUPON CODE: PARENTAL10

Bark parental control allows you to track over 24 social networks including Facebook of course and is very affordable at $14 a month. To start your free trial click here.

MSPY parental control lets parents block access to websites, content, images, and videos. Also great for monitoring social networks. For EXTRA 20% off  use COUPON CODE PARENTALCONTROL

SAVE $90 off McAfee Total Protection – offering parental controls as well as part of the Family package up to 10 device protection for only $34.99/y. Grab it here.

SAVE $50 with Norton 360 Deluxe which is offering parental controls as well as part of the 5 device protection package for only $49.99/y. Grab it here

Main Features of Free Parental Control Apps

Below are some of the features and functions that you can expect from a free parental control app:

  1. Content Filtering: This allows the app to filter and restrict the contents and apps that the users can access. It filters content that is inappropriate for the users, such as those with themes related to crime, drugs, sex, and violence, among others.
  2. Time Limit: It restricts the duration kids can access a specific app. Once the time has lapsed, the app locks and becomes inaccessible for a certain period or until you turn it back on.
  3. Location Tracking: Through this feature, you will be able to track the geographic location of your kid’s smartphone or gadget, which lets you know where exactly he or she is.
  4. Payment Blocking: This feature makes it possible to prevent kids from making any form of payment, such as in the apps they will download. It also restricts them from buying items in the games they are playing or sending money online.
  5. Text and Call Monitoring: This allows the app to monitor incoming and outgoing texts or calls from your kid’s phone.

Which Free Parental Control Apps are the Best?

There are many choices for top-rated free parental control apps, and below are our favorites.

1. Bark (7 days free):

With Bark you need to look no further. One of the best apps out there, cheap and does a superb job in monitoring your kids activity over social networks. Bark sees itself as the helmet of your kids phone, just like you provide your kid a helmet when n they start riding their bike, you also need to provide your kids the right protection when they start using their phone. Bark’s kid friendly solution provides parents with alerts.

Visit Bark

or read our Bark review 

2. Qustodio.com (Free Trial)

While this software comes with a free version, to unlock its full features, you have to avail one of their paid plans. The cheapest costs of $4.98 monthly, which already covers five devices. The Qustodio app aims to provide a safe and productive digital environment. It monitors social media activities, limits games, blocks inappropriate content, limits screen time, and monitors calls, among others. It is also popular for being user-friendly, so it won’t be a struggle for parents to use the app.

NOTE: GRAB ADDITIONAL 10% DISCOUNT FOR ALL THE PREMIUM PLANS. USE COUPON CODE: PARENTAL10

Visit Qustodio

or read our Qustodio Review

3. Norton Family Premier (30 days free):

The brand name itself can already be enough reason to consider this parental control software. You have 30 days to try it for free. After the initial trial period, you can choose one from their paid subscriptions. You can supervise their web activity, screen time, and mobile app use. The app also supports location supervision and video supervision.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You Can Save $50 with Norton 360 Deluxe which is offering parental controls as well as part of the 5 device protection package for only $49.99. Grab it here

Visit Norton Family Premier

or read our Norton Family Premier review

Brand Features Price Go to Site

  • Allows to block emails and downloads of apps, in app purchases on iOS
  • Geo-fencing with alerts as kids leave or enter places
  • $44.99 Yearly
  • Part of McAfee Total Protection
  • Mcafee

    Tracks the activity and set alerts for various devices that you monitor
  • $49.99 for first year
  • Part of Norton 360 Deluxe 39.99
  • Norton

    4. MMGuardian (14 days free) and after only $1.99 for 1 iOS device

    MMGuardian is a great option for parents who want to be on top of what their kids are doing online. The app is only available for android and ios mobile devices. The app allows parents to monitor text messages and some social media messages, and receive alerts when inappropriate content (text or image) appears in these text messages. The app will send you detailed reports on the usage activities of your kids. In addition you can of course block adult content sites and set up shut down times to limit usage.  If you have one iOS device that you want to monitor this is probably one of the best and most affordable options for you.

    Visit MMGuardian

    or read our MMGuardian review

    5. OpenDNS Family Shield

    This internet security app is not only for homes but also for small businesses. OpenDNS Family Shield is free, but there are premium versions for more features. For instance, the OpenDNS Home VIP package is available for only $19.95 per year. You can use it to control routers, computers, smart devices, and servers. It can control the router itself and not just the specific device that your kids may have. The program is already pre-configured to block all adult contents, so there is no need to set it yourself. It also comes with free email support. Beyond such, the features are quite limited.

    6. Kidlogger

    Created for Mac, Windows, and Android, this is another option for the best free parental control app that should be on your radar. It allows parents to know where their kids have been, what photos were taken, who they communicated with, what websites were accessed, and how long they have been using their respective gadgets. It also allows scheduling of email reports for a more detailed snapshot of the usage or online behavior of kids. The basic version of this free parental control app monitors five devices with a disk space of 9mb. You can also choose the standard plan at $29 per year and the professional plan for $89 per year.

    Visit KidLogger

    or read our KidLogger Review

    7. Zoodles

    Designed by parents, made for kids – this is what the company claims. It has a Kid Mode, which creates a safe digital playground. Parents have complete control of the online usage of their kids. There is a dashboard that does not only provide a snapshot of the performance of kids but also allows parents to set limits, block websites, and customize curriculum, among others.

    Visit Zoodles 

    8. Ourpact

    OurPact: Whether your kids have iOS or Android-powered phones, this is another parental control app worth considering. Some of its notable features include app blocking, geo-fencing, screen time allowance, family locator, and porn blocking. One of the best free apps for parental control, it also has a seamless interface. There are Plus and Premium paid versions, which will unlock more features and benefits.

    Visit Ourpact

    or read our ourpact Review

    9. Google family link

    Google Family Link: The mere fact that this is from Google can already be a compelling reason to choose this app over others. It claims to help families in creating healthy digital habits. You can set limits and lock devices to manage the screen time of the users. Google family can also be used for restricting online purchases in the Google Play Store.

    family link
    family link

    Visit Google Family Link

    or read our Google Family Link review

    10. ESET Parental Control for Android ( Download The Free Version)

    If you have an Android device this is one of the best options for you. ESET has over 30 years of experience in cyber protection and it is one of the most recognized security brands in the world. They have many different products for small and big businesses so you need to make sure you check that the software you chose is good for parental control. The free version allows parents to set time limits, web monitoring and apps guard and basic reports which is a pretty good offer from such a strong brand.

    Visit ESET

    or read our ESET review

    10. Safe Lagoon

    Safe Lagoon is another good option for parents to monitor what their kids are doing online. The app is available both for Android and iOS devices as well as for windows. Safe Lagoon is doing a great job (Android Only) in monitoring your kids Instant Messaging communication and see who calls and texts them. If you pay the extra $ you will be able review and download photos and videos from your child’s device,which on one hand can be seen as an act of infiltrating their privacy but on the other hand can protect them from sharing nudity or other inappropriate content. We liked the instant notification and daily email reports that the parents can receive and see the exact behavior of their kids, what sites they try to access and what apps they play. The free version is very limited with features but if you have one device and looking for web filtering this is a good option for you.

    Visit Safe Lagoon

    or read our Safe Lagoon review

    11. ZenScreen

    The ZenScreen app takes a different approach to parental control focusing mainly on screen time monitoring. The people behind the app are promoting the Digital Diet trend which in simple words means, that just like in food once we consume too much we need to go on a diet, same happens with our kids who use the phone too much and need to go on a digital diet and loose some “screen time”. Once installed the app is making our kids take mini Zen brakes from social media or other apps. Good app for screen time management but not much more than that. App is available both for Android and iPhone.

    Visit ZenScreen

    12. SecureKids

    The SecureKids app works only on Android. The basic features on the free version do allow parents to block calls and apps that you don’t want your kids to have access to. It also has a Geo location feature that lets parents know where their kids are at any time. The app free version allows for 1 kid and 1 device so if you have more kids you need to follow you would have to pay. One of the coolest features securekids have is the Alarm option which lets parents set alarms on their kids device to remind them things such as meds to take or where they are supposed to meet them. Another good features that gives parents some peace of mind is the one click emergency button which lets the kids notify parents when in danger.

    Visit Securekids

    13. Screen Time Labs

    Sreentime by screentime labs is a great parental control app that work both for Android and for iPhone. It is feature rich and has screen time management, monitoring, filtering and tracking options. One of thier finest features is the pause now function where parents can just pause anything their kid is doing on their phone at a given time. The free version is very basic and if you have iPhone it is has zero value but for Android devices it lets parents track what their kids are watching on Youtube, web history and monitoring of social nerworks.

    Visit Screen Time

    or read our Screen Time review

    14. Keepers

    Keepers is a good option for free parental control, it does have in app purchases for certain features). The app is available on both Android and for iPhone. It has most of the basic features such as time managment and location tracking as well as internet filtering. They pride them selves for tracking most of the popular social networks so if your kids are spending most of their time on facebook or instagram this app can definitely help you be in the know. One of the features we liked most is the battery alarm which notifies the parents right before the battery of the child phone is dead so you can communicate beforehand and not worry when not needed.

    Visit Keepers

    Free vs Paid Parental Control Apps

    Some of you might think that free parental control app is not as good as their premium counterparts. Yes, this can be true but not in all cases. Most of the time, these free apps are a good first aid solution. You just have to know where to look and which one to download.

    We highly recommend that before you decide on the app you want to commit to, try to find a free version of the parental control app. In some cases the trial period is limited, yet it can deliver some great functionality and an option to test the service before the long term monthly/yearly commitment. However, in some cases, the free version might be limited, for example it will only show you how it monitors Facebook but not sms etc. The scope of premium parental control apps is usually much wider and will present a broader solution. The full versions usually allow you to track more than one device and gives the parents a better visibility to the online activities and whereabouts of their children.

    BEST DEALS:

    QUSTODIO – GRAB ADDITIONAL 10% DISCOUNT FOR ALL THE PREMIUM PLANS. USE COUPON CODE: PARENTAL10

    Bark parental control allows you to track over 24 social networks including Facebook of course and is very affordable at $14 a month. To start your free trial click here.

    MSPY parental control lets parents block access to websites, content, images, and videos. Also great for monitoring social networks. For EXTRA 20% off  use COUPON CODE PARENTALCONTROL

    What about Free Parental Control apps on smart devices?

    Free parental apps on mobile and smart devices will work like their counterparts on desktop computers and laptops. The best free parental control apps have mobile-friendly versions. This means that they are automatically optimized to adjust based on the screen of the device that you are using to ensure a seamless and intuitive user experience. Make sure to read our detailed reviews to make sure that the apps support the operating system that you wish to monitor.

    Why should you consider free parental control apps?

    Just like you would take a car for a test drive, the best way to decide what parental control app suits your needs is to first use its free version. In most of the apps you will be able to follow the online activities of your children. You can also help prevent cyberbullying to some extent.

    Free Parental Control Apps Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    1. Manage the screen time of kids
    2. Prevent cyber-bullying
    3. Track their location
    4. Block inappropriate content
    5. Prevent making unauthorized online purchases

    Cons:

    1. A lot of the free versions have limited functions
    2. Kids may see it as an intrusion of their privacy
    3. Malicious tools can harm your devices

    Free Parental Control Apps for Consoles and Gaming Platforms

    Free parental control software can also help in limiting kids’ use of popular gaming consoles and platforms, such as PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. Most platforms allow you to set up some kind of parental control inside the console. The best way is to create different profiles for each user but you can also look for Family Mode and set a pin or password. Some of the app might also provide a feature to control and limit time spent online and in-game purchases.

    Conclusion

    The best parental control app free is an excellent way to manage the device usage of your kids. It is useful in monitoring the websites they visit, blocking payments, and limiting their screen time, among other things. The free apps listed above are some of the most effective in monitoring and controlling the behavior and activities of kids.

    Brand Features Supporting Platforms Price Go to Site

    Best for social networks monitoring
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Chromebook
    • Amazon Devices
  • $9.99
  • Bark

    Tracks the activity and set alerts for various devices that you monitor
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • $49.99 for first year
  • Part of Norton 360 Deluxe 39.99
  • Norton

    Tracks the activity on Websites and social activity but not emails
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Five Devices: $54.95
    • Ten Devices: $96.95
    • 15 Devices: $137.95
    • Basic Option: Free. One device, limited settings.
    Qustodio

  • Allows to block emails and downloads of apps, in app purchases on iOS
  • Geo-fencing with alerts as kids leave or enter places
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • $44.99 Yearly
  • Part of McAfee Total Protection
  • Mcafee

  • Monitors calls & text messages on Android devices
  • Real time alerts when accessing bad sites & apps & geo fencing
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
  • Unlimited: $14.99
  • Kaspersky