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Qustodio

    • Supporting platforms – Windows, iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Kindle, and others
    • Notifications – Sends daily/weekly mail for each child
    • Activity Record – Websites and social activity but not emails
    • Blocking and Filtering – Allows to filter and block online resources, portals, and websites
    • Ease of use – Comparatively easy to install and set up
    • Extra services – Provides text messages and call monitoring on android
4.0 rating based on 1 rating
$54.95

By parentalguru


Qustodio Review

Introduction

Qustodio is one of the market’s leading parental control systems. The product is truly cross platform – unless you use some obscure operating system we haven’t heard of, Qustodio has got you and your children covered. The standard package covers five devices, and parents can customize detailed rules and settings for each device, all from one robust dashboard. Qustodio excels in the time management and web-filtering aspects of child screen management. Detailed reporting allows parents to efficiently monitor screen time, and location tracking provides peace of mind as the mobile app broadcasts the location of your child directly to the dashboard.

Qustodio does have a few problems, but those problems are somewhat unavoidable when using a multi-device product. App monitoring is limited to internet-connected apps, though all apps are subject to your chosen time management settings. Facebook monitoring is also somewhat limited, and communication monitoring is Android-only. Again, these limitation will pretty much affect any product, not just Qustodio.

How to Set Up Qustodio

After you have opened your account, you will be asked to create your child’s profile.

Specify which device you would like to monitor first.

Device specification

Let’s start with desktop. You will be asked to download the Qustodio software. Follow the download instructions, specify if you would like to hide Qustodio, and select the profile associated with the device.

Desktop download

And that’s that for the computer. Now let’s walk through mobile installation.

mobile installation

Find the app in the appstore or google play and install. Once the app is on your child’s phone, select “I have a parent account”, enter the associated username and password, and indicate that the phone belongs to your child. You will next be prompted to install the Qustodio profile, which is another way of saying their “Virtual Private Network”.

qustodio profile

Qustodio works by diverting all traffic through their own servers, where all the rules you configure are applied. This is how Qustodio is able to work so efficiently across multiple devices, but it is also but is also the reason for a few of the shortcomings of Qustodio and other similar products – namely, they have difficulty in monitoring applications that don’t need to be connected to the web, or applications that encrypt communications, like whatsapp.

 

In any event, after you have set up the VPN on your child’s phone, the Qustodio dashboard will immediately begin monitoring and reporting on your child’s activities.

 

OK, now that you have installed Qustodio on your computer and mobile devices, it is time to begin setting the web filters and time management settings. We list below the myriad of different functionalities available when using Qustodio

Web Filters

Categories-based filtering: Qustodio offers 29 different categories of content which parents may either block or receive email notification if accessed.

Even without the email notification, there is a comprehensive breakdown of all site categories visited – as well as a breakdown of every link your child has visited – with specific emphasis placed on “questionable activity:

Website Exceptions: Questionable sites are often difficult to manage, or perhaps belong to categories you would prefer not to entirely block. The website exception feature allows these sites to be allowed/disallowed individually.

You may also block all uncategorized websites, and then add exceptions as your child stumbles upon appropriate sites that have been blocked. Qustodio provides listings of all the searches performed by your child, which is also organized into an intuitive “search bubble” format. You can also find all the urls visited under the web activities tab. Both features are very helpful for identifying if there are any issues with what your child is viewing, and if additional sites need to be blocked.

 

Note that it takes an indeterminate period of time for changes in web filtering to take effect – sometimes as long as an hour – so don’t anticipate being able to immediately block something you notice your child viewing.

Safe Search: Safe search activates the restricted settings available on participating search engines, including google, bing, and youtube. What is displayed is based on the search engine’s determination of appropriateness, not Qustodio’s, and so the categorization has no impact on what can or cannot be seen in search results.

Brand Supporting Platforms Price Go to Site

  • 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

    Time Management

    Qustodio’s provides pretty excellent flexibility in terms of scheduling and time limits by day and device.

    Daily Scheduling: Ability to schedule the hours per day during which your child may use the device. Customizable by each day of the week.

    Daily Time Allowance: Ability to schedule the total hours per day during which your child may use the device. Customizable by day.

    Per Device Scheduling: Daily Scheduling may be customized by each individual device.

    After the time threshold has been reached, you have a few different options:  

    Lock Navigation: Only Internet Locked, so the child may still use applications.

    Lock Device: Prevents on and offline use of device

    Alert: Alerts the parent when the device limit has been reached.

    Qustodio lacks “additional time request” capabilities, in which a child may request the internet be unlocked for a certain amount of time after, for instance, homework is completed.

    Application Features

    Qustodio offers app-based monitoring and time management ONLY for applications requiring an internet connection to operate. Additionally, chat based apps, like whatsapp, cannot be blocked, though time usage is reported.

    Per App Time Limit: Time Limits may be set on internet-connected individual apps.

    Applications Rules

    Allow/Disallow by App: Limited to internet-connected apps.

    Prevent App Download: No

    Prevent In App Purchase: No

    Limit Videos by Age Appropriate Rating: No

    In general, application management is probably where Qustodio is weakest. There are obvious limitations on features, and things feel a bit clunky. While time management and web-filtering works great on both Android and iOS, if you need a more robust app-focused solution, you might need to supplement Qustodio, or choose a different product altogether.

    Activity Record

    Qustodio keeps a close eye on all the websites visited along with social network activity, chat sessions and online searches performed. However, the tool would not be able to read emails that your child receives or sends, but it comes equipped with some high-end algorithms which could help you in determining if your child is being cyberbullied or harassed sexually.

    Social Monitoring

    Social monitoring is limited to facebook. Parents may track all timeline activity from the dashboard – pictures, timeline posts, and who is commenting – but are unable to see private messages or a list of your child’s friends.

    In order to set up the facebook monitoring, your child will need to accept the Qustodio plug in; the request will automatically be sent once you enable facebook tracking from the dashboard. This is a one-time thing; Qustodio will run on facebook unseen after permission is granted.

    Communication Monitoring

    SMS and call logging and monitoring is available on Android devices. While an iphone solution is notably absent, this affects all of the parental control softwares, and is entirely on Apple. There are solutions that log your child’s keystrokes to construct their SMS conversation, and “bug” the phone for call recording, that is serious spy stuff and pretty far outside the main.

     

    SMS and Call Monitoring: Android Only

    Block incoming calls: Yes

    Block outgoing calls:Yes

    Individual Number Exception: Yes

    Video Call Monitoring: No

    Blocking and Filtering

    In addition to keeping a close track of your child’s online activity, Qustodio also helps you filter and block online resources, portals, and websites which you think are unfit for your child.

    You can do so by logging into the software. Next, create a unique user ID for your children. Once done, under the Settings, adjust the website categories your child is given access to. This way you can be sure of what all websites your child is allowed to visit and browse.

    That said, you can easily bar categories like violence, drugs, gambling, alcohol. Mature content, social networks and so on.

    Brand Supporting Platforms Price Go to Site

  • 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

    Location Tracking

    Qustodio activates a geolocation feature that provides the current location of your child – or at least the current location of their phone. This is updated in an ongoing fashion, and a click from the dashboard shows the exact location on an embedded google maps display.

    Location Notification: Yes

    GeoParameter: No

    Panic Button: Android Only

    The Geolocation features are somewhat limited. Qustodio does not offer geofencing, which notifies parents when the child ventures outside of a predetermined geographical area. Particular locations of interest are not programmable – other apps allow notifications to be triggered when a child arrives or departs from such locations.

    Mobile Compatibility

    Qustodio is available for both android and iOS users, Talking about the android app, it is clean, clear and precise.

    The default page shows icons for all the children who are associated with your account. In here, you can also add another user profile by providing the required details.

    However, you cannot remove a user profile from the android app and for that, you would need to visit the web portal. When installed on an android smartphone, the tool can help you in tracking SMS messages, calls and can even help the parents block certain incoming and outgoing calls.

    Talking about iPhone, most features remain the same as for android. However, since iOS doesn’t let the third party software to blend well with it, Qustodio on iPhone won’t help you in monitoring calls and texts.

    Pricing

    Qustodio offers two versions – Free and Premium. The free version covers just one device, and the features are limited. The premium model offers three different plans. Cover five devices for $54.95 annually, 10 devices for $96.95, or 15 devices for $137.95.

    Qustodio is currently running a super discount with 10% off on all premium plans, just use the coupon BTS10 on checkout.

    Conclusion

    Qustodio offers a truly multi-device product, with highly configurable web-filtering and time-management capabilities. The dashboard and reporting functionalities provide a valuable tool for parents to both mold and monitor how children interact with the web and web-connected devices.  While there are some feature gaps when it comes to social media monitoring and app-based restrictions, these gaps affect the entire market, although sometimes to a slightly lesser extent.

    Bottom line: Qustodio is one of the top parental control apps in the market, and worth the $54 annual fee for five devices.

    Watch this Qustodio parental control software review to learn more about how to set up Qustodio

  • OK app.

    This is an ok app. I have had to reinstall it several times (from the website) to be able to read text messages on my child’s phone. It will work for about ten messages and then it quits showing me the full text. Very frustrating. I will not renew when my subscription is up. Location is off, but not by much. I do like the scheduling.

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    • Feature
    • Devices Supported
    • Content Filtering
    • Social Network Monitoring
    • Remote Management
    • Location Tracking
    • Time Limits
    • Price
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