Best Free Trial Parental Control Software for Windows June 9, 2021
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Best (Free Trial) Parental Control Software for Windows

We live in a digital age where children are particularly vulnerable to its numerous threats. From identity thieves to sexual predators, the dangers abound. For sure, most parents can relate to how paranoid I am when it comes to my children’s online and offline safety.

Even more so now than ever, with kids having such easy access to smart devices and gadgets, it is difficult to monitor their online activities. In a lot of cases, kids spend more screen time than needed, to the point that they neglect family and study time.

The best (free trial) parental control software for Windows is a must for parents. I have tried many, but one stands out above the rest- Qustodio. It has robust parental control monitoring features with a user-friendly interface. Not to mention, they are also offering a 30-day money-back guarantee!

For your peace of mind, this article lists down our top picks for the best free trial parental control app for Windows. We’ll focus on those with a free trial or free version, perfect for people on a budget.

Top Parental Control Software for Windows

1.    Qustodio

Qustodio homepage

What I Like:

• Offers both free and premium versions
• User-friendly interface
• Feature-packed monitoring features
• Allows different profiles for every kid
• Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee

The one thing I love the most in Qustodio is that it allows me to set different profiles for different users. I have a 16-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter. I can set up different rules for each of them on a single platform, making the software versatile. I was able to install the program in minutes and create user profiles immediately. The parent dashboard is sleek and user-friendly. The interface has a blue and white scheme, which is pleasant to the eyes.

More than being easy to use, it is feature-packed. I can balance screen time, block inappropriate content, monitor social media accounts, and block games and apps. I can do all of these remotely! Even without physical access to their computers or phone, I am in the loop on what they do online.

By default, the app blocks all websites that are related to pornography, violence, and drugs, among other unwanted categories. You can customize this as they provide more options on what you can restrict.

Most children can find a way to bypass parental controls by downloading unknown browsers, such as Tor and Brave. Fortunately, Qustodio automatically blocks browsers that it does not support.

The price is never an issue with Qustodio. I must admit, it is a bit expensive, but after doing my research and comparing the alternatives, I concluded that it offers the best bang for the buck. There is even a free version but with limited capabilities. Plus, the price is justifiable because it monitors unlimited devices.

I was also almost immediately convinced to choose Qustodio when I read about their 30-day money-back guarantee. There’s nothing to lose. I have one month to try it, and if I am not happy, I can ask for a refund. Trust me, you won’t ever need to consider a refund because it is awesome!

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Or read our Qustodio review

2.    Norton Family

Norton Family parental control app

What I Like:

• Made by a reputable and reliable company
• Allows creation of unlimited profiles
• Powerful features for remote learning
• Comes with a 30-day free trial

The mere fact that this is from Norton is enough to convince me that it is exceptional. Unsurprisingly, it does not fail to deliver on its promises.

Among others, one feature I particularly like in this parental control app is “School Time”. This allows me to create a list of websites that the school requires to be whitelisted. These are the only sites that my kids can access when they are studying.

It also has the typical features I found in other top-notch parental control software. I can set time limits, block websites, and gain insights into what my children have been doing online when I am not next to them.

I also love how it offers flexibility. Especially on weekends when my kids often ask for a few minutes of extension of their screen time. There is an option to ask for permission, and once I accept, they will have a few more minutes to enjoy online activities.

Undecided if this is the right parental control software for your needs? No worries! They have a 30-day free trial.

Try Norton For Free!

Or read our Norton review

3.    Net Nanny

What I Like:

• Uses artificial intelligence
• Has a comprehensive Family Feed
• Allows multiple profiles

I tested lots of parental control software, but none of them uses artificial intelligence except for Net Nanny. It is an innovation that catalogs websites intelligently, making sure that they are age-appropriate.

With powerful social media protection, I have fewer worries with my kids using Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and similar platforms. Net Nanny detects if the social media content is right for my children or not.

Net Nanny has a feature called Family Feed. It is like Facebook Feed, showing everything that my kids have been doing, such as the apps they have recently used and the specific content that has been blocked. It is useful in giving me more comprehensive insights into their online activities.

The live chat support is also impressive. I have tried asking a question and I was immediately connected to a representative. I feel like I am talking to an actual human and not just a bot.

I had 14 days to try Net Nanny. On my tenth day, I requested a refund, and it was immediately processed. I stopped not because I did not like it but because I was already using Qustodio and do not need another one.

4.    Kaspersky Safe Kids

What I Like:

• Uses Safe Search
• Provides advice from psychologists
• Comes with a seven-day free trial

Over 400 million users around the world have been protected by Kaspersky, so I am confident that their parental control software is impressive. You have seven days to try it out. If you are not happy, canceling the subscription is a breeze!

It has Safe Search, a feature that prohibits access to age-inappropriate content in Google and YouTube. The search results are filtered in an instant.

Aside from controlling my children’s online activities, I also like how there are tips shared by child psychologists for understanding kids better.

However, while it has a screen time management feature, it is a bit lacking compared to what I have experienced in other apps. You have to choose from a daily screen limit or daily schedule, but you cannot do both.

5.    Mobicip

What I Like:

• Advanced and dynamic internet filters
• Comprehensive locator
• Protects five to 20 devices
• Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee

I highly recommend this parental control software for large families. Some of its competitors only support one device or computer at a time. With Mobicip, the basic plan supports five devices. On the other hand, the most expensive plan will support 20 devices.

With advanced internet filtering, I can create a safe online environment for my children. It has dynamic and real-time scanning capability of online content, so it quickly determines what is right and what is wrong for young users. It goes beyond keywords and URLs in filtering content.

The location tracker is another notable feature of this option for the best Windows parental control software. If they are not answering my calls or if they lose their laptop, I can easily trace the location with the help of Mobicip.

It also has a powerful screen time management feature. I can set flexible schedules and they can request an extension.

Don’t think twice about trying Mobicip! It has a money-back guarantee for a month. Within this time frame, you can get an unconditional refund if you are unhappy in any way with the features.

6.    McAfee Safe Family

What I Like:

• Supports unlimited number of devices
• Family Request for more flexible rules
• Has location alerts
• Comes with a 30-day free trial

Even if I have only two kids to monitors, I appreciate how this Windows parental control app supports unlimited devices. It offers excellent bang for the buck!

Family Requests is one more well-loved feature of this software. This is handy for making the rules more flexible. Sometimes, I block apps and URLs without fully knowing what they are. My kids explain this to me, and once I am convinced, I can give them access to the app in an instant even if I had it initially restricted.

I can no longer count how many times my kids are unreachable. I worry too much and paranoia kicks in. Good thing, with McAfee Safe Family, I can locate their real-time location. The parent portal shows an interactive map that reflects their location. I can also set up a geofence, which provides immediate alerts when my children leave or arrive at an identified place.

Like many of the options in this guide, it also comes with a 30-day free trial. This way, I am confident that my money won’t go to waste.

7.    KIdLogger

What I Like:

• Comes with a free basic version
• Robust web monitoring
• Has comprehensive email reports

The company claims that it has been trusted by over a million users. It is not as popular as the others mentioned above, so I find this claim to be quite sketchy. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a free parental control app for Windows with basic features, this will suffice.

With web history monitoring, this app logs all websites that my kids visit. It works on multiple browsers. This way, I can have better insights into what they are interested in while also allowing me to intervene when they visit a site that isn’t right for them. The moment I see such a website, I immediately talk to them and explain why they should be visiting it.

This app takes screenshots, so I know exactly what is on the screen. This is a useful feature during Skype conversations, especially when they are on a video call.

8.    Safe Lagoon

What I Like:

• Comes with a free version
• Screen time management feature
• Family GPS tracking

This parent control app for Windows is currently in a beta version, so I do not expect full functionality. The creators are in constant search of improvements. It isn’t as powerful as its more popular competitors. Nonetheless, the free version is good enough for monitoring a single device. The functionality of the free version, however, is limited to web filtering.

For the paid versions, I can enjoy more robust functions. I can set screen time limits and schedules, which is a great way to prevent screen addiction. The scheduling interface is easy to configure.

Another feature I like is the Family GPS tracking. I am always in the loop about my kids’ whereabouts. They cannot lie about their location as I can monitor through the parental app where they are.

 

How to Choose the Best Free Trial Parental Control Software for Windows

With the plethora of options, deciding what to pick is overwhelming. I had to try them out individually and read online reviews. Over the past months, I have evaluated the choices for the best free trial parental control software for Windows based on the things mentioned below.

Parental Control Features

This is perhaps the most important consideration. I personally prefer one that packs plenty of features for my own peace of mind. Among others, below are some of the most important features:

Screen Time Management: Depending on the age of my kids, I set specific time limits to manage their use of any device. I give them more time to use screens on weekends. On weekdays, I want them more focused on studying.

Web Filter: I love to have the option to filter the web content that my kids can access. It must allow me to prohibit certain URLs and keywords, especially those with age-inappropriate content. It gives me better control of what my kids can see when they are online.

Activity Records: It keeps a record of every content my kids access when they are online. It also shows how long they have been online for a specific day. This is a good way to have a snapshot of my children’s online activities.

Location Tracking: Children lie about their true location a lot of times. More so, there are instances when we cannot reach them, and we instantly turn paranoid when we do not know their real-time location. This feature is the solution to such a problem.

Social Media Monitoring: From Facebook to Twitter, kids are all over social media. They can meet strangers and be victims of bullying and sexual harassment, among others. I love to have the option to remotely monitor what’s happening on their social media accounts.

Ease of Use

A user-friendly interface separates the good options from the bad ones. I always pay attention to how seamless it is to navigate the app or software. I love a clean interface, making everything simple. The installation should be a snap. I also look at the parental control dashboard, especially the layout.

Free Trial

Who does not love a free trial? This is an opportunity to try the service before being charged for a subscription. This is a chance for me to see how one software fares over the others, making it easier to narrow down the possibilities.

Customer Support

I easily get annoyed when I cannot get in touch with a company’s customer support representative. I tested parental control apps and software based on how fast the response is. I prefer those with live chat support since they often reply in an instant. Phone support also helps. While it is nice to have email support, I do not prefer such as it is often slow. It is also good if there is an FAQ section, which allows me to resolve some issues on my own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before I wrap this guide, allow me to answer a few questions some of you might have.

Is the built-in Windows parental control not enough?

Windows has a built-in parental control, which is for free. While I appreciate it, sadly, it does not live up to my expectations. I have tried it on my children’s laptops, but it was not enough. It does not offer comprehensive protection. It also lacks configurability. I can only do a few things. Hence, it does not give me peace of mind.

Will my children know they are being monitored?

Some apps are designed to be undetectable and discreet and will not show up on their home screens. As long as you choose an excellent choice for the best parental control app for Windows, kids will never know that you are spying on their activities.

Do I need physical access to the device to be monitored?

It depends on the specific software you will choose. However, in most cases, you will need to access the monitored device to complete the installation. After which, you can monitor it remotely through a parent dashboard.

Does it interfere with the programs ran by a computer?

It will not interfere with the computer programs. It will run discreetly in the background. It does not negatively impact the speed or performance of the websites and apps that are being monitored.

Wrapping Up

The best parental control software for Windows with free trials are a lifesaver! From managing screen time to blocking age-inappropriate searches, it has powerful features that will provide peace of mind to any parent.

With the long list of possibilities, Qustodio reigns supreme. I can personally attest to its powerful features. The 30-day satisfaction guarantee should be more than enough reason to give it a shot!

     1. Qustodio – User Friendly, limits screen time, games, social media activities, blocks inappropriate content.

     2. Norton – Full online security suite, limits screen time, block and filter inappropriate content.

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