10 Parental control apps to keep your child safe online (2021)

Parental control apps to keep your child safe online | Beanstalk Mums

Note: This article is checked regularly to ensure the information is recent and fresh. Last updated in 2021.

Children are going online at an almost frighteningly early age. For this reason, it is essential that parents have a way to monitor what they view and do … as well as when they do it.

Thank goodness for parental control apps.

These tools are an absolute godsend to parents who don’t have time to physically monitor their children’s time online, and quite frankly, who does?

If you’re deliberating over which one best suits the needs of your family, we have you covered. See below our list parental control apps to keep your child safe online, including all the facts you need to make an educated decision.

10 Parental control apps to keep your child safe online

NORTON FAMILY PREMIER

Norton Family Premier is a complete solution when it comes to parental control apps. Made for families with lots of children, the app can be installed on unlimited devices and offers comprehensive features: location tracking, web activity monitoring, text message monitoring (Android and desktop only), time scheduling and website filtering. If you have a Norton Antivirus subscription, Norton Family Premier is free. Otherwise, it costs $49.99 per year.

Norton Family Premier | Beanstalk Single Mums

Available via: Android, Apple, Website

Free version: 30-day free trial

Cost of app: $49.99/year

Pros: Installs on unlimited devices, great for large families and Android users, free if you have a Norton Antivirus subscription

Cons: Expensive if you have a single child, limited iOS features, no geofencing

You will love this app if: You have a Norton Antivirus subscription or you want a relatively affordable and complete parental control app for multiple family members.

NET NANNY

If your family uses both Android and Apple devices, Net Nanny is the parental control app for you. Net Nanny’s intuitive interface is super easy to use and navigate and the app itself is packed with features that work on both iOS and Android. Set time schedules for Internet use, filter websites, track your child’s location and block unwanted apps on their phones. Integration with popular social media apps like YouTube and Instagram lets you screen content without entirely blocking these programs.

Parental Control Apps | Net Nanny | Beanstalk Single Mums

Available via: Android, Apple, Website

Free version: Free basic app with in-app purchases

Cost of app: $54.99/year

Pros: Easy to use, feature-packed, excellent website filtering

Cons: Expensive, no call or text monitoring

You will love this app if: Your primary concern is your kids accessing inappropriate websites.

FAMILY TIME

For families looking for real world as well as online protection for their children, FamilyTime is one of the best parental control apps. It lets you track your kids’ locations easily, set SOS alerts/pick me up options in case of emergency, track calls, block apps, schedule browsing time, track visited pages and more. One downside is that the app is exclusive to mobile devices. You’ll need a separate program to monitor PC and Mac activity.

Family Time | Beanstalk Single Mums

Available via: Android, Apple, Website

Free version: Free basic app with in-app purchases, 3-day free trial on the premium version

Cost of app: Based on the number of devices, from $27/year to $69/year

Pros: Easy to install, real-world protection like SOS and pick me up emergency alerts

Cons: No content filtering, no desktop version, relatively expensive with limited devices covered

You will love this app if: You want both online safety and real-world protection for your kids.

QUSTODIO PARENTAL CONTROL APP

Qustodio is one of the best parental control apps for families using multiple devices. The app is available on iOS, Android, Macs, PCs and even Amazon Fire tablets. Feature-wise, Qustodio has everything parents need and more to track their children’s location and website activity whilst blocking inappropriate apps. Qustodio is highly customisable and lets you set time limits for each app and device. You can also see all your kids’ locations simultaneously at a glance.

Parental Control Apps | Qustodio | Beanstalk Single Mums

 

Available via: Android, Apple, Desktop

Free version: Free basic app with in-app purchases, free 3-day trial on the premium version

Cost of app: Depends on the number of devices, from $54.95/year to $137.95/year

Pros: Feature packed, excellent call and text monitoring on Android, app blocking on desktop and mobile

Cons: Can be expensive for small families, social media tracking limited to Facebook

You will love this app if: You have a large family with kids who use multiple devices.

FAMILY ZONE

Parents worried about their children’s in-game purchases should install Family Zone. You can disable this feature entirely or fine tune restrictions so the kids can have fun whilst you avoid credit card bill surprises. Besides strict monitoring of in-app purchases, Family Zone offers screen time scheduling, app blocking and social media management. Additionally, you can manage all accounts from a single dashboard.

Family Zone | Beanstalk Single Mums

Available via: Apple, Android

Free version: Free basic app with in-app purchases, premium version free for 30 days

Cost of app: $69/year

Pros: Excellent monitoring of in-app purchases and downloads, view all accounts from one dashboard, get advice from cyber experts

Cons: Setup and customisation can take some time

You will love this app if: Your have kids who love playing games and downloading paid content on their smartphones.

PARENTAL CONTROL SOFTWARE (CONT.)

ESET

Looking for parental control apps with unlimited coverage for Android devices? Try ESET Parental Control. ESET comes with strong app management, time scheduling, location tracking and geofencing features (premium version) for multiple phones and devices. The app also has a helpful SOS emergency feature that lets kids send a message to you with a single tap. We recommend the 30-day day free trial to see if the app is a good fit for your family.

Parental Control Apps | Eset | Beanstalk Single Mums

Available via: Android, Windows Desktop

Free version: Free basic features with in-app purchases, free 30-day trial on the premium version

Cost of app: $39.99/year

Pros: Install on unlimited devices, strong location tracking

Cons: Only available on Android, no call or text monitoring, user interface could be improved

You will love this app if: Your family only uses Android devices and you want an affordable parental control app.

WEBWATCHER

Stealthy parental control apps have their uses. If you need a tamper-proof app that won’t accidentally be uninstalled by your kids, give WebWatcher a try. WebWatcher lets you monitor and record phone activity, including keystrokes, screenshots, text messages, websites, social media, photos and location. You get an email alert each time risky activity is detected so you can view the details and take appropriate action. WebWatcher is available on multiple devices and can be installed in a few minutes even if you’re not tech savvy.

WebWatcher | Beanstalk Single Mums

Available via: Apple, Android, Desktop

Free version: Free 7-day trial

Cost of app: $129.95/year

Pros: Multi-platform functionality, remote device blocking, stealth mode that sends browsing and other activity discreetly to parent accounts, tamper proof to prevent uninstall

Cons: App blocking could be improved, dashboard available only on the Premium version, doesn’t work on all browsers

You will love this app if: You are looking for a stealthy app that lets you monitor kids’ risky behavior without their knowledge.

KASPERSKY SAFE KIDS

Kaspersky Safe Kids is the one of the best parental control apps in terms of value for money. For only $14.99 a year, you can install the app on unlimited devices including desktops and Macs. Even the free version is packed with strong features like screen time scheduling, website filters and app management. The premium version also lets you block bad YouTube searches and review search history, track your kids’ location and get notifications on their online activity.

Parental Control Apps | Kaspersky Safe Kids | Beanstalk Single Mums

Available via: Apple, Android, Desktop

Free version: Free basic app, 7-day free trial on the premium version

Cost of app: $14.99/year

Pros: Affordable, lots of free features, get tips from child psychologists

Cons: User interface can be confusing, no call or text monitoring on iOS

You will love this app if: You are a budget-conscious mum who needs a robust but affordable parental control app.

OUR PACT

Our Pact used to be the only parental control app that could block any Apple app, probably why it was kicked out of the App Store in 2018. It has since been reinstated and parents can use it to manage all their children’s online activity and even get the kids involved in budgeting their own screen time. Other features are app blocking, multi-device installation (up to 20), family locator, text messaging management, web filters and on-demand screenshots.

Parental Control Apps | Our Pact | Beanstalk Single Mums

Available via: Apple, Android

Free version: Free basic app with 1 schedule

Cost of app: $6.99 to $9.99/month (1 device)

Pros: Easy to use and navigate, gets the kids involved in setting their own screen time

Cons: No call monitoring, limited web filters, can be expensive for large families with multiple devices

You will love this app if: You want your kids (great for older kids and teens) to be involved in managing their own screen time and online activity.

SCREEN TIME

Screen Time is one of the best parental control apps for encouraging responsible online behaviour in children. Kids get extra screen time whenever they do good deeds or complete tasks as scheduled. Apart from the great task/reward system, the premium app comes with a long list of features like daily reports, daily time limits, chores, schedules, free play mode, web filters and location tracking. The iOS version is pretty limited even with the paid version, however. You can’t block some apps or view web and search history.

Screen Time | Beanstalk Single Mums

Available via: Android, Apple

Free version: Free basic app, 7-day free trial on the premium version

Cost of app: $6.99/month (up to 5 devices per account)

Pros: User-friendly, rewards kids with extra screen time for good behaviour

Cons: No call or text monitoring, app blocking and web filters only on Android, location tracking and web filters only on Premium

You will love this app if: You are a fan of the task/reward system and want to reward good online behaviour with extra screen time.

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