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What is best parental control software in 2021? Using a parental control software for monitoring your kids means you can sleep a bit better, understanding what websites and programs your kid is using is important for parents to keep their kids safe. A full review of the best parental control software available in 2018 and a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of every software. We review the leading software and give you the bottom line, including screenshots and videos.
Picking the right parental control app for parents isn’t a simple task as there are many different parental control softwares and features out there, but that’s where we come in. We constantly review each software to give you impartial, comprehensive reviews to make the process quick and simple.
If you want to keep a sharp eye on your kids’ activities online while they surf the internet, or visit social media sites, and access internet in one way or the other, it is important to have the best parental control software.
In fact, 52% of children in elementary schools have a laptop or desktop at home. The usage increases to 67% for middle and high school. As a parent, how far can you actually keep tabs on what your kids are being exposed to? This is considered to be a major problem by 82% of parents.
Probably because our kids are exposed to a range of threats online, some of them being:
In order to prevent your kids from accessing inappropriate content, having a good parental control software is the need of the hour. With the help of this software, you can monitor your child’s activity online, place filters on the content accessible to them and also monitor the time they spend online.
Let’s have a look at a few features which an ideal parenting control software must have.
Whenever you are looking to get the ideal parental control software for your home, it is best to go for something that facilitates remote reporting. Such a feature allows you to monitor your child’s activity all the time, even when you are not at home.
For instance, if you are out and your child is trying to access a site that is restricted for them, you could control the same from your phone. Or if your child needs an extension of time beyond the usual internet hours and the parental control software needs your approval for this, you can be active through your phone.
Whatever be the requirement, you will always be available to stay updated about your child’s browsing activities. The best parental control software available in the market today like Net Nanny, Qustodio and Norton send notifications to your phone to give you an idea about the status of the activity so that you can take the required action accordingly.
Content filtering is the most basic expectation that you have from a parental control software. After all, the idea behind using such a software is to prevent your child from accessing content that they should not be focusing on.
Most software have several such categories that can handle content filtering in a very effective manner. For instance, if you define certain topics like hatred, violence, pornography, and the likes, you can stop your child from accessing websites based along these lines.
While it is true that you can always go back in the browser history and check your child’s activity, but having the filtering feature on your software means you completely prevent your child from viewing certain pages.
Various software like Norton and Qustodio even notify you if your child tries to access any of the blocked websites. Thus, you can stay assured that your kid is safe online.
Time management is offered only by certain parental control software, but it is a really useful feature to have at your disposal. How does this work? Basically, you can set a certain duration for which your child is allowed to be active online.
For instance, if your child is allowed to spend 2 hours on the system on a particular day, they will be alerted once the time is up. Beyond this, the internet will become inaccessible to the child. This helps you limit their access and usage of the phone or computer.
There might also be times when a child needs some additional minutes in order to complete their current activity on the digital platform. This approval can be given via the software. By making use of this feature, you could grant your child fewer hours during the weekdays and more hours of internet time on the weekends.
Effectively, you would be creating a weekly schedule for them. This feature could also set and assign certain time periods during the day when the children are allowed to use their phones and computers.
This is one feature that is present in almost all the parental control software. This ensures that the parents have complete access to the child’s internet usage log. This would include the sites visited by them, the keywords used by them, the searches made by them, their time online and the likes.
As parents, you can monitor these records and be aware of how your child spends their time on their phones and computers.
After a certain point of time, simply filtering online content for your child might not be sufficient. You would need something more in order to keep tabs on their activity.
Their social media profiles are a good place to start. This is where they get to interact with different people, exchange thoughts, ideas, hold discussions on a number of things and the likes. Thus, it becomes essential to monitor these social media activities.
With the help of a good parental control software, you could know who your child is talking to, what kinds of posts they are engaging in and the likes. This comes in especially handy when you want to monitor your child’s social media messaging platforms.
Even though it would not be right to spy on them through this tool, but you could still supervise their interactions and activities. This also applies to SMS texts.
The pricing mainly depends upon the functions and features offered by the particular parental control software in question. If you want to make your bargain the most effective one, it is best to pay a little more and opt for an unlimited plan whereby you could connect any number of devices to the same software.
This comes in handy when you have more than one child or need to keep adding devices at home. Besides, this is also a very dynamic approach. This means that you do not have to work with a fix set of computers and phones only. The most basic protection is usually offered on a free trial period for everyone. Other than that, there are annual plans and monthly plans that you can choose to go for.
On an average, you can monitor one or two devices by paying between $10 and $30, and this could go as high as $100 if you want to have more than 10 licenses.
However, there are exceptions. For instance, Norton Family and Kaspersky Safe Kids do not put any restrictions on the number of devices.
With this in mind, we would highly recommend you to take some time out to actually research the various parental control software available and make the right choice!
Bark is a comprehensive monitoring tool with over 24 social channels being monitored including Youtube, facebook, Instagram, and tiktok. Bark provides machine-learning-based system to learn your child’s behavior.
Qustodio is a parental control software that is compatible with a range of platforms including Android, Windows, iOS, Mac OS X, and Kindle. Allows to block and monitor sites and apps.
Norton family premier from Symantec is easy to download and install. No specific limit on the number of devices. Now also available as part of Norton 360 Deluxe (5 devices).
MSpy is one of the veterans in the market. With emphasis on monitoring the different social apps. Standout feature is photos monitoring which is quite unique. No time management. Easy installation process.
Mobicip is a parental control software that is compatible with a range of platforms including Android, Windows, iOS, Mac OS, Kindle and chromebook. Mobicip is a pioneer in the parental control software space, having put in more than a decade of work in making the internet safe for our children
Familytime is a perfect parental control for iOS and Android. Now with new filtering options to block access to different websites, content, images, and videos. Familytime lacks of windows support. One of our top choices for affordable parental control app for parents.
McAfee Safe Family is a parental control software with one common application for both the parents and children. Works on an unlimited number of devices and comes with good time management features to restrict your child’s internet usage hours.
ESET parental control for Android is an affordable parenting control software that supports unlimited number of android devices. Great location tracking capabilities but no monitoring for social networking, texts or calls.
Kaspersky Safe Kids is very affordable, has real time notification and location alerts. Great dash board for monitoring and comes with with 14 different categories for content filtering. Easy installation process.
KidLogger is affordable, with emphasis on messenger chat monitoring. Standout feature is voice and video capture which is quite unique. Easy installation process.
MMGuardian is one of the best value for money parental control apps with good social monitoring as well as call and SMS. App supports comprehensive reports on apps usage, web browsing and more. One click shut down button is also available.
Spy Agent is a parental control software that allows you to operate in stealth mode and still record web activity and monitor chats, emails and programs on PC. It does not support Android or iOS.
WebWatcher is a good monitoring tools to track SMS, deleted text and photos. Parents can track website history
call log history as well as incoming messages on the leading social channels.
Net Nanny is a parental control software that is compatible with a range of platforms including Android, Windows, iOS, and Kindle. Allows to block and monitor sites and apps.