Digital risks are hiding all over your electronic devices, especially with the attention-demanding internet world that never sleeps. This can be very challenging for parents who have kids with smartphones.
Parental-control apps for smartphones can help kids understand the importance of limits while keeping them safe from texting with strangers or accessing adult content.
Although there is no such thing as a perfect parental-control service, Norton Family Premier seems to offer the best combination of app management, location tracking, and web filtering, particularly when installed on Android devices.
To rate the apps, we focused on Installation, App Management, Filtering, Texting Management, Location tracking, and Price.
Norton Family Premier (Android): Best Overall Parental-Control App
– Ability to block individual apps
– Restrictions and profiles are easy to configure
– Excellent location tracking features
– Can’t put time limits on specific apps
– Limited message monitoring
Norton’s great parental-monitoring service delivers helpful location-tracking features, good filtering tools, and informative reports about what your kids are up to on their smartphones. The app can cost you $49.99.
– Great location features, including a panic button which alerts contacts to the kid’s whereabouts.
– Large-scale browsing and texting logs
– Granular time-limit controls
– Filters can be hit-or-miss and blocking websites is bulky.
– Not easy to install
The app is particularly amazing when it comes to location tracking, text monitoring, and app management. This makes it a fantastic option for parents who want to have some control over their kid’s mobile activity. You can get PhoneSheriff for $89.
ESET Parental Control for Android: Best Value
– Rapid location tracking
– Support for unlimited Android smartphones
– Powerful app-management tools
– web filters and time limits are easy to set up
– Time limits lack precise control over individual apps
– Lack of tools for monitoring contacts or social networks
– Doesn’t log location history
ESET Parental Control comes at an affordable price while offering good parental-control tools. It’s especially interesting for its easy setup, in addition to its filtering and time-limit features. The app is worth-considering for parents who are worried about the amount of time their kids spend on their Android devices, as well as the websites and apps they’re using. Get ESET for only $29.99
Qustodio for Families Premium: Good for Homes with Multiple Devices
– Detailed text and call logs.
– Per-app time limits.
– Easy multi-user management.
– Web-filtering performance is poor.
– No geofencing
Qustodio is a great parental control option in households with multiple devices thanks to its ability to manage devices on several platforms, as well as its detailed app management features.
Although it can’t match Norton Family Premier or PhoneSheriff, Qustodio is an alternative that’s worth considering, particularly for parents who need to monitor and manage many Android phones at once.
Net Nanny for Android: Best for Single-Device Homes
– The user-friendly interface makes it easy to set time filters and block apps
– Age-based profiles accelerate setup
– Mobile browser can hide obscenity on non-restricted websites
– Doesn’t include geofencing
– Time limits can’t be set on specific uses
The app comes with the best Web filtering features of all parental control programs. Actually, Net Nanny is a bargain for parents who only got one Android device to monitor and control. Not only does it block inappropriate images and websites, it also allows you to warn your kid about the content of a website rather than blocking it altogether.
You can get Net Nanny for $59.99/year on Amazon
Norton Family Premier (iOS): Best iPhone Web Monitor
– Age-based profiles that make creating web filters a snap
– Potent web content filters
– Excellent location tracking
– Inability to block contacts
– Inability restrict app usage or place time limits
This is the iOS version of Norton’s monitoring service that keeps parents informed about what their kids’ activity on their iPhones. It’s an excellent option for parents who are concerned about protecting their kids against dubious content on the web.
You can get Norton Family Premier for iOS for $49.99
Lock2Learn: Limited App Manager
– Option to add profiles for different ages
– Offers kids challenging math and English questions
– Affordable tool for limiting app access
– Requires too much personal data
– Lack of a curfew feature to restrict use after hours
– Lack of monitoring functionality
Lock2Learn is a smart, affordable option for parents who want to simply control access to apps on Android devices and limit app usage.
You can get Lock2Learn for FREE on Google Play.
My Mobile Watchdog: Limited Control Features
– The blocking feature is temporary
– Installation process is simple
– Web browsing history can be easily reviewed
– Crowded activity log
– Bulky app-management tools
– Lack of geofencing
This potent program offers basic abilities to monitor a kid’s mobile phone. Even though rival services deliver somewhat better features, My Mobile Watchdog offers some appealing abilities with the possibility to manage 5 smartphones at once.
You can get My Mobile Watchdog for $99.99/year
Qustodio Parental Control for iPhone and iPad: Expanded, Yet Limited
– Informative activity timeline
– Fantastic web content filters
– Location-tracking features are inaccurate
– Inability to block texts or calls from apps, except for Messages
– Management tools are limited to a few apps
Although the app has included additional features in its iOS version, the user is still quite limited when it comes to how much can be monitored. However, parents can check out their kid’s online activity and take advantage of impressive web-filtering tools.
You can get Qustodio for $54.95
Mobile Spy Basic Version 7: Concentrates on Activity Logs
– Offers alerts for when the device leaves a certain area or when a selected contact calls the child’s phone.
– Extensive logging abilities.
– Inability to set time limits on apps
– Inability to block specific callers
– the installation process is challenging
Mobile Spy offers detailed activity logs, as well as a potent location-tracking and geofencing features, but it doesn’t allow the parent to manage the way their kid uses their device.
You can get Mobile Spy for $99.97