The Best Parental Control Software

The online world is a great place but can also be a scary one for many parents of young children. You want to make sure your child is using the internet in the safest way possible whilst still having fun! So, to ensure this is the case, there have been some great apps created to assist you - luckily, we're here to help you find the right app.

Last updated: 3rd Sep 2020 at 2:16pm

Qustodio | Kaspersky | Net Nanny | Norton Family Premier | Open DNS Family Shield | KidLogger

 

Brand

Free Version

Advanced Cost

Qustodio

Yes

£35.95

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Yes

£14.99

Net Nanny

No

£49.99

Norton Family Premier

No

£29.99

OpenDNS FamilyShield

Yes

£15.00

KidLogger

Yes

£23.13 ($29)

 

 

Qustodio

Readily available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Amazon Fire devices, Qustodio covers all platforms and provides a full set of parental control tools to monitor and protect your children. It works by installing the app on your child's device and using your device to control different functionalities, like setting general time limits for daily use.

The filters installed on this app prevents access to inappropriate content. You can also see how much time your child is spending on social media sites, which you also have the option to block. Qustodio allows you to see your child's calls and texts, as well as the option to read their SMS messages (Android devices only) and block any contacts. This could be considered invasive to some parents, but for other families, this option may be necessary to keep their child safe online.

For the basic blocking and monitoring features, this software is entirely free. However, for the more advanced tools, you will need to sign up to the annual plan costing £35.95, which covers five devices. While it might not be the cheapest software online to buy, the controls and safety options are well worth the price.

 

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Similar to other control apps, Kaspersky allows you to set restrictions on the type of content your child can access. As a parent, you can filter out websites with rude or inappropriate content - there is also a new feature set for blocking explicit material from appearing in major search engines. Safe Kids will display a warning and notify you if your child ignores this.

Installing Safe Kids on your child's mobile phone or tablet will allow you to utilise the location monitoring feature. With this, you can check your child's location at any time to make sure they are safe. This app also offers a further feature - geofencing. This tool lets you decide where your child can travel, and notifies you if they stray outside of that region.

Additional noteworthy parental control tools include more mobile-specific settings, like a battery tracker that informs you if your child’s phone is about to go flat, and restrictions on the type of categories they can access on certain days - if you don’t want them losing sleep over playing a game at night.

Kaspersky is a strong candidate for parental control software, and the apps are available for PC, macOS, Android and iOS, so all platforms can be protected. For the great price of £14.99 with the advanced features it offers, this software is definitely a viable option.

 

Net Nanny

Net Nanny is a well-known parental control software that aims to keep children safe online. One unique feature to Net Nanny is its mask profanity feature - you can either mask the offending words by overlaying symbols onto them or bar access to the page entirely. If your child is accessing a website that's not risky, but may still contain explicit language, this will be blocked.

Net Nanny Social (an extension of Net Nanny), includes a language detection function that will monitor messages posted on your child's social profiles. Within this element, it highlights keywords and phrases that show signs of cyberbullying, or interaction with suspicious profiles. You will be notified of any dangers via email. This is a good tool that could stop potentially dangerous situations from becoming a reality.

Using this parental control app, you can also limit how long your child spends on the internet per day, by setting allowed times for access. This is great for reducing your child's screen time, and encouraging them to spend more time with the family. Access to the apps will be locked after bedtime to ensure your child is not still playing into the night. . Despite being priced at slightly higher than other competitors out there at £49.99, Net Nanny does offer great advanced features compared to some other apps. 

 

Norton Family Premier

As we know, Norton is a reputable brand when it comes to the Antivirus protection world. This family package offers an advanced set of tools to protect younger members using the internet.

There are 22 filter categories you can monitor, including topics such as weapons and gaming. When the filter has been enabled, it will completely block the site so that they cannot access that type of material. If your child tries to visit a restricted site, they will be informed as to why the website is blocked. This activity is then recorded for you to review later, which is a useful tool to keep track of your child’s behaviour and intentions while online.

Priced at £29.99 per year, Norton’s software is a reliable product to assist in your child's online safety. It may not necessarily be as advanced as other competitors, but if you are a Norton fan, you may prefer to stick with the same reputable brand.

With a selection of these services free of charge, with advanced features costing a small annual fee, it may be worth purchasing if you’re ever worried about the online world.

 

OpenDNS Family Shield

Similar to many of the other parental control softwares out there today, FamilyShield allows you to block domains that feature inappropriate content that you wouldn’t want your child exposed to. The difference with this software is that the feature is already set up to automatically monitor risky sites, so you don’t have to worry about finding them or setting them up yourself. 

An advantage of this software is that it can be applied directly to your network router, as well as PCs and mobile phones. This option means that every device attached to that network will act according to the filters, so you don’t have to apply separately to each device. 

OpenDNS FamilyShield offers a modest free version with multiple parental tools, but for even more features, there is a premium version available to purchase at a generous £15 per year. 

 

KidLogger

Operating on Windows, macOS, Linux, BlackBerry, and Android devices, KidLogger is the ultimate all-seeing-eye for keeping track of your child’s activity online. 

This software has multiple features included in both the free and premium packages. While you can only attach it to one device with the free option, paying a little extra (at £23 per year) allows you to actively listen and monitor conversations your child may be having online. 

If you are worried about who they are talking to, KidLogger gives you the option to monitor WhatsApp and Skype interactions. While this feature may seem intrusive to some parents, KidLogger is an invaluable tool if you are concerned about your child’s safety online. 

 

There are a number of options online, with each software tailoring to meet different needs. So whatever your reason for purchasing a parental control tool, your child will be safer when browsing the internet, learning, or playing, giving you greater peace of mind.

Looking after your child digitally doesn't have to stop with security - why not take a look at some sanity-saving apps that every parent could do with using.

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