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Best Free Parental Control Apps

Jason Turtoga

March 18, 2024

TechyJar contains reviews that were written by industry experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will take into consideration the independent, honest, and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, at no additional cost to them. On listicle pages, we rank vendors based on a system that prioritizes the reviewer’s examination of each service but also considers feedback received from our readers and our commercial agreements with providers.

TechyJar contains reviews that were written by our experts, who examine the products in accordance with our professional standards. The reviews take into account the reviewers’ independent and honest evaluation of each product/service.

The reviews published on TechyJar are written by community reviewers that examine the products according to our strict reviewing standards. Such standards ensure that each review prioritizes the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, and takes into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings we publish may also take into consideration the affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website.

TechyJar is a user-focused website reviewing online privacy digital software such as antivirus, password managers, virtual private networks, parental controls, and other web services. Our professional researchers and technical product reviewers have been helping readers make informed decisions about how to start an online business and online privacy until 2023.

Jason Turtoga

March 18, 2024

TechyJar contains reviews that were written by industry experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will take into consideration the independent, honest, and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, at no additional cost to them. On listicle pages, we rank vendors based on a system that prioritizes the reviewer’s examination of each service but also considers feedback received from our readers and our commercial agreements with providers.

TechyJar contains reviews that were written by our experts, who examine the products in accordance with our professional standards. The reviews take into account the reviewers’ independent and honest evaluation of each product/service.

The reviews published on TechyJar are written by community reviewers that examine the products according to our strict reviewing standards. Such standards ensure that each review prioritizes the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, and takes into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings we publish may also take into consideration the affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website.

TechyJar is a user-focused website reviewing online privacy digital software such as antivirus, password managers, virtual private networks, parental controls, and other web services. Our professional researchers and technical product reviewers have been helping readers make informed decisions about how to start an online business and online privacy until 2023.

EXPERT ADVICE: Numerous free parental control apps exist, yet not all prioritize safety. Some free parental control apps may share data and usage habits from your child’s device with advertisers. This data collection can lead to targeted ads, and privacy infringements. For a secure and reliable solution, we recommend premium parental control software like ESET. Safeguard your children’s online activities with ESET, backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

 

The internet is an integral aspect of our life since it provides a large resource for learning, entertainment, and networking. The vastness of the Internet can be intimidating to parents who worry about their children’s exposure to inappropriate content and unwanted interactions. As responsible adults, we recognise the challenges of monitoring our children’s online activity constantly. The best free parental control apps are useful in this situation.

Table of Contents

These necessary software tools provide a way for parents to effectively control how much internet access their kids attain. These tools empower parents to exercise control over the online experiences of their children, allowing them to block access to unsuitable websites and only permit entry to those deemed safe and educational.

 

Our comprehensive review process involved the rigorous evaluation of these applications, considering various criteria, including features, ease of use, and customer support, among others. Regardless of your child’s age or the type of device they use—be it a mobile device, a Windows PC, or a macOS computer—this article will guide you in selecting the best free parental control app to ensure a secure online environment.

Best Free Parental Control Apps for 2024

1. Qustodio

Compatibility:

Website URL: www.qustodio.com/en

Cost: Free application. Pro price starts from $4.58 per month

Money-Back: Risk-Free

Qustodio Parental Control Rating: 9.1/10

4.5/5

Qustodio stands out as the best free parental control app in 2023, offering a robust set of features to ensure your child’s online safety while granting them a reasonable level of digital independence. With both free and paid versions available, it provides comprehensive parental control tools.

Key Features:

  • Web Filtering: Qustodio excels in restricting access to harmful or distracting websites. It boasts a wide range of predefined website categories, allowing you to block or whitelist specific sites. It even thwarts attempts by VPNs to bypass its filtering, and it offers safe search enforcement for Google, Bing, and YouTube.
  • Screen Time Monitoring: With this best free parental control app for iphone and android, parents can track their children’s device usage to detect signs of excessive screen time, enabling timely intervention.
  • Time Limits: Qustodio offers flexibility in setting screen time limits for each day, with intervals of 15 minutes. Customization options allow you to choose whether to block navigation or lock the device when the allotted time expires.
  • Scheduling: The Restricted Times feature enables you to establish time limits during specific periods, such as meal times or study hours.
  • Activity Reports: Qustodio’s free plan includes daily and weekly email reports, providing insights into your child’s device usage and online activities.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

Cons

2. Norton Family

Compatibility:

Website URL: https://us.norton.com/products/norton-family

Cost: Freemium application. The pro version is available at $29.99 / year.

Money-Back:

Norton Parental Control Rating: 8.9/10

4.4/5

Norton Family is amongst the best free parental control apps that may not offer a free plan, but it provides you with a generous 30-day trial. This trial does not demand credit card details and grants you access to all its features, ensuring ample time to explore its capabilities and suitability for your family.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited Device Coverage: Norton Family stands out by allowing you to monitor an unlimited number of devices. This is a valuable feature for families with multiple children and various devices.
  • Web Filtering: The free parental control app for android offers efficient web filtering, particularly on mobile devices. Even the most formidable VPNs struggle to bypass it. Parents can blacklist sites, and the convenient in-app request system allows kids to seek permission for accessing blacklisted sites or extending screen time.
  • Screen Time Monitoring: Norton Family excels at screen time monitoring, helping parents track their children’s device usage effectively.
  • Time Limits and Scheduling: Parents can set precise time limits for device usage, even during specific time periods, such as school hours.
  • App Filtering: This best free parental control app includes app filtering to ensure children only have access to age-appropriate applications.
  • Location Tracking and Geofencing: Norton Family provides location tracking and geofencing features, helping parents ensure their children’s safety.
  • YouTube Tracking: Parents can monitor their kids’ YouTube activity, including the videos they watch and their search history on the platform.
  • School Time Feature: Norton Family’s School Time feature enables parents to set time limits and blacklist distracting sites during school hours, fostering a focused learning environment.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

Cons

3. Bark

Compatibility:

Website URL: https://www.bark.us/

Cost: Freemium application. Pro plan is available at $6 / month / user.

Money-Back:

Bark Parental Control Rating: 8.7/10

4.3/5

Bark emerges as a standout choice for families seeking effective social media monitoring. While it doesn’t offer a free permanent plan, it does provide a compelling 7-day trial period that requires credit card details. This trial allows you to explore Bark’s features, with a strong focus on social media monitoring, an area where it excels. If you are in need of the best free parental control app for amazon fire tablet, Bark offers a compelling solution.

Key Features:

  • Social Media Monitoring: Bark takes the lead with its ability to monitor over 30 social media apps, including Twitter, Facebook, Discord, YouTube, Steam, Instagram, TikTok, and Kik. It covers a wide range of activities, from direct messages and posts to comments and videos. Bark extends its monitoring to text messages on Android and iOS platforms.
  • Cross-Platform Support: Bark is the best free parental control app for chromebook, iOS, Windows, Android, Amazon Fire Tablets, and macOS ensuring versatility across different devices.
  • Content Analysis: Instead of showing every online action, Bark employs content analysis to detect harmful content such as bullying, depression, violence, and more. When it identifies concerning content, it sends an alert to parents along with recommended steps. This approach is well-suited for older children who need less direct supervision.
  • Scheduling and App/Website Blocking: Bark offers scheduling features and the ability to block specific apps and websites. However, it lacks the feature for setting time limits.
  • Live Location Tracking: Parents can track their child’s real-time location using Bark and define geofenced zones to receive alerts when their child enters or leaves these areas. A unique feature allows parents to request a check-in, prompting their child to share their location using Bark’s dedicated app.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

Cons

4. Mobicip

Compatibility:

Website URL: https://www.mobicip.com/

Money-Back:

Cost: Freemium app. The basic plan is available at $2.99 / month.

Mobicip Parental Control Rating: 8.6/10

4.3/5

Mobicip presents a user-friendly best free parental control app that specializes in effective web filtering. While it does not offer a permanent free plan, you can explore its robust features through a 7-day free trial. Mobicip simplifies the management of your child’s internet activities by allowing you to set permissions for over 15 predefined content categories, making it highly convenient.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive Web Filtering: Mobicip excels in web filtering, enabling parents to manage the websites their children can access effectively. It offers 15+ predefined content categories, including Shopping, Social, and Games, making it easy to tailor access permissions.
  • Real-Time Content Scanning: Mobicip employs advanced AI and machine learning technology to scan web pages in real-time. This ensures that the app remains up-to-date in monitoring online content, considering both content and context.
  • Keyword Blocking: Parents can block specific words and phrases, adding an extra layer of control over their child’s internet experience.
  • Individual App and Site Management: Mobicip allows parents to allow or block individual sites and apps, granting them precise control over the digital landscape their child navigates.
  • Pause Devices: The app features a convenient pause button to immediately suspend access to all devices under monitoring.
  • Social Media Monitoring: Mobicip monitors three prominent social media sites—Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
  • Location Tracking and Geofencing: Mobicip offers accurate location tracking and a geofencing feature, enhancing safety and security measures.
  • Time Management: Mobicip provides time management tools, allowing parents to set device time limits and create custom app and web filters for specific periods.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

Cons

5. Kaspersky Safe Kids

Compatibility:

Cost: With Free version. The pro version starts from $20.99 for the first year for 1 user.

Free Trial:

Kaspersky Safe Kids Rating: 8.6/10

4.3/5

Kaspersky Safe Kids offers a commendable solution for larger families, as it permits the monitoring of an unlimited number of devices. This flexibility is coupled with a 7-day free trial that allows you to evaluate its suitability without financial commitment. Kaspersky Safe Kids is the best free parental control app for android, iOS, Windows, and macOS devices, ensuring compatibility across various platforms.

Key Features:

  • Device Coverage: Kaspersky Safe Kids stands out for its ability to monitor an unlimited number of devices, making it an attractive choice for larger families.
  • Web Filtering: The app includes web filtering, which is effective in ensuring safe browsing. Even robust VPNs struggle to bypass it. However, it offers 10+ predefined website categories, necessitating manual blacklisting of sites not covered by these categories.
  • Time Limits and App Filtering: Kaspersky Safe Kids offers the essential features of setting time limits and app filtering. These features help parents regulate their child’s device usage and access to age-appropriate applications.
  • Safe Search: Kaspersky provides the option to enable Safe Search on popular search engines and YouTube, enhancing the child’s online safety.
  • Geofencing: Kaspersky’s geofencing feature allows parents to define specific zones for their child’s expected location at certain times. It sends alerts if the child departs from these predefined areas.
  • Location Tracking: Parents can track their child’s current location. However, the app lacks a location timeline feature.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

Cons

6. KidLogger

Compatibility:

Website URL: https://kidlogger.net/

Cost: With Free Plan. The Standard Plan starts from $3 per month.

Money Back:

KidLogger Rating: 8.4/10

4.2/5

KidLogger emerges as the best free parental control app for android that goes beyond the basics. This tool not only tracks your children’s keystrokes and visited websites but also keeps records of the programs they use and captures screengrabs of their activities. With options for voice-activated sound recording, KidLogger provides in-depth insights into your children’s online experiences, although some advanced features are reserved for premium editions.

Key Features:

  • Keystroke Tracking: KidLogger monitors your child’s keystrokes, shedding light on their digital interactions.
  • Website and Program Tracking: It records the websites your children visit and the programs they use, providing a comprehensive view of their online activities.
  • Screengrabs: KidLogger takes screenshots, offering visual snapshots of your child’s device usage.
  • Voice-Activated Sound Recorder: While this feature is not available in the free version, it allows voice-activated sound recording for added insights into online conversations.
  • Customizable Monitoring: KidLogger provides flexibility, enabling parents to choose which options to monitor, allowing older and more responsible children to have some privacy.
  • Cross-Platform Support: KidLogger is the best free parental control software for android tablet, Windows, and macOS.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

Cons

Best Premium Parental Control Apps

Certainly, opting for free parental control software is a wise choice for protecting and managing your child’s online activity on a budget. Yet, for individuals prioritizing robust protection, compromising on features isn’t an option.

If you fall into the latter category and seek premium parental control solutions for your child’s device, we’ve curated our top 4 picks. These applications guarantee comprehensive defense, ensuring the security of your child.

1. ESET Parental Control

Compatibility:

Cost: Offers a free trial with premium plans starting at $29.99 per year.

Money Back: 30-Days Guarantee

ESET Parental Control Rating: 9.6

4.8/5

ESET Parental Control is a robust solution designed to empower parents in managing their children’s digital experiences. Compatible with Android and iOS devices, it provides comprehensive control over online activities.

With features like web filtering, app control, and time management, ESET ensures a safe digital environment for children. Its user-friendly interface and effective monitoring tools make it a reliable choice for parents seeking to strike a balance between online exploration and safety.

Key Features:

  • App Control: ESET Parental Control empowers parents to oversee the apps, games, and websites their children interact with, ensuring age-appropriate content.
  • Time Limits: Set time restrictions on your child’s smartphone or tablet usage, helping them maintain a healthy balance between screen time and other activities.
  • Location Tracking: Keep track of your child’s location, providing peace of mind and enhancing their safety.
  • Rules and Exceptions: Configure specific rules, both for websites and apps, tailoring the online experience to your child’s needs.
  • Basic Reports: Access reports on web usage, activity, and app usage to monitor your child’s digital interactions.
  • Instant Blocking: Instantly block your child’s device when needed, offering quick control over their online presence.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

Cons

2. ClevGuard

Compatibility:

Cost: Premium plans start at $9.99 / month.

Money-Back: 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Kaspersky Safe Kids Rating: 9.6/10

4.8/5

ClevGuard, known as KidsGuard Pro, stands as a versatile parental control app for Android and iOS. Offering a blend of advanced monitoring and user-friendly features, it enables parents to safeguard their children’s digital journeys.

With functionalities like real-time location tracking, app monitoring, and content filtering, ClevGuard empowers parents to foster a secure online environment. Its commitment to balancing protection with independence makes it a compelling choice for families.

Key Features:

  • Call and SMS Monitoring: ClevGuard empowers parents to block specific phone numbers, monitor SMS, and record phone conversations and calls, ensuring complete communication oversight.
  • Social Media Monitoring: The app grants access to your child’s chat logs on popular social media platforms, including Whatsapp, Tinder, WeChat, TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Web Monitoring: Parents gain insight into all the websites their child visits, enabling them to ensure a safe online environment.
  • Remote Device Controls: ClevGuard allows parents to take screenshots, capture photos, and record audio from their child’s device remotely, providing a comprehensive view of their digital interactions.
  • Check Phone Files: Access to your child’s photos, videos, and calendars allows for a holistic understanding of their device usage.
  • Keylogger: ClevGuard records all keystrokes typed on the device, offering a complete record of textual interactions.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

Cons

3. SentryPC

Compatibility:

Website URL: www.sentrypc.com/home/

Cost: Basic plan starting from $69.95 / year *$29.95 each additional license.

Money-Back:

SentryPC Rating: 9.4/10

4.7/5

SentryPC emerges as a comprehensive parental control solution tailored for Windows devices. Aimed at promoting responsible and safe digital usage, SentryPC offers features like website filtering, time management, and activity monitoring.

With a user-friendly interface, it allows parents to track their children’s online activities efficiently. SentryPC’s focus on customization and real-time insights ensures a proactive approach to parental control on the Windows platform.

Key Features:

  • Advanced Monitoring: SentryPC excels in monitoring by capturing screenshots of each computer action, recording every keystroke, and logging search and browsing history.
  • Application Blocking: Parents can effectively restrict access to specific applications, preventing children from using apps that may not be suitable.
  • Web Filtering: SentryPC offers web filtering capabilities, allowing parents to block access to websites with inappropriate or harmful content.
  • Time Management: The application provides the ability to set time limits for computer usage, ensuring that children don’t spend excessive time on their devices.
  • Alerts and Notifications: SentryPC can send alerts and notifications to parents when specific activities or keywords are detected, ensuring that parents stay informed about their child’s online actions.
  • Cloud-Based Dashboard: All the monitored data is conveniently accessible through a cloud-based dashboard, offering a comprehensive overview of the child’s online activities.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

Cons

4. FamilyTime

Compatibility:

Website URL: https://familytime.io/

Cost: MyFamily plan starts from $2.41 / month for 1 child devices.

Money-Back: 3-Days Money-Back Guarantee

FamilyTime Rating: 9.0/10

4.5/5

FamilyTime, dedicated to iOS and Android, delivers a holistic parental control experience. This paid software offers an array of features, including app blocking, location tracking, and screen time management. Its user-friendly interface simplifies the navigation of essential tools, providing parents with effective control over their child’s digital interactions.

With FamilyTime, parents can strike a balance between fostering independence and ensuring a secure online environment, making it a valuable asset for families seeking comprehensive digital parenting solutions.

Key Features:

  • Web and App Filtering: FamilyTime equips parents with essential web and app filtering capabilities, enabling them to manage their child’s online activities effectively.
  • Daily Time Limits: Parents can set daily time limits, ensuring that their children’s screen time remains within healthy boundaries.
  • Location Tracking: FamilyTime provides location tracking, allowing parents to monitor their child’s whereabouts, enhancing safety and security.
  • Activity Reports: The app generates detailed activity reports, offering insights into your child’s digital interactions.
  • Scheduling: Parents can establish schedules to manage their child’s device usage during specific periods.
  • YouTube and TikTok Monitoring: FamilyTime enables parents to monitor the videos their children watch on YouTube and TikTok.
  • Panic Button: The app features a Panic Button, offering children the ability to send an SOS alert with a single tap.
  • Teen Safe Drive: Parents can define speed limits for their teens and receive alerts if their child exceeds these limits.
  • TimeBank/FunTime: FamilyTime includes the TimeBank/FunTime feature, allowing children to transfer minutes from their Daily Time Limit to FunTime.
  • Call & SMS Tracker: Parents can monitor their child’s call history, contacts, and text messages, ensuring their safety.
  • Browser History/Bookmark Tracker: The app logs the websites your children visit and keeps track of their bookmarked sites.
  • PickMeUp Alerts: Parents receive alerts when it’s time to pick up their children, enhancing real-time communication.
  • FamilyPause: FamilyTime provides the ability to lock your child’s mobile device remotely.

Pros & Cons:

Pros

Cons

Conclusion

The need for effective parental control apps has never been more significant. These tools, each with its unique strengths, offer solutions to keep our children safe and responsible online. Whether it’s robust social media monitoring, comprehensive web filtering, or versatile cross-platform support, the best free parental control apps empower parents to ensure a secure and controlled online environment for their children.

Frequently Asked Questions

The use of free parental control software may come with certain risks and disadvantages. Some merely monitor, so they’ll let you know if there’s a problem but won’t actually block anything. Some essential features may be locked behind paywalls. It’s possible that these apps only work on iOS. Also, some free services may divulge your child’s information to advertisers, jeopardizing privacy. It’s necessary to thoroughly analyze the limitations and risks of free parental control programmes.

The needs of your family will determine the viability of a free parental control app. In general, free or low-cost software only has the most fundamental functions available, so if you need more sophisticated capabilities, you may need to spring for a premium service. Paid apps give a granular approach to monitoring and controlling your child’s activity, which might be beneficial. However, free options like the iOS Screen Time settings or browser extensions can work just fine if you only need basic restrictions and you have faith that your child won’t get around them.

There are free parental control apps, but they typically have less features than their commercial counterparts. It might also be simpler for kids to avoid free versions. Premium parental control apps often have free or trial versions so you can see if they meet your needs. In general, paid apps provide more features for in-depth monitoring, making them a good option for those who lack technological ability. It’s important to strike a balance between your needs and the constraints of free apps.

When it comes to iOS devices, parental controls can be implemented with the help of Content & Privacy Restrictions. Qustodio and Apple Screen Time are two apps that can help you keep track of how much time your iPhone user spends staring at a screen. These apps have you covered from the ground up, and some even let you try out their premium features for free. They may work for blocking inappropriate content on iOS devices used by kids.

Qustodio is a free option for limiting your child’s screen time because it offers a free trial for 3 days. Free parental control tools from Google and Microsoft are a decent, although rather limited, option for limiting kids’ time in front of the screen.

You can use parental control apps to keep tabs on your child’s phone without their knowing. You can monitor your child’s whereabouts, text messages, and social media use, as well as restrict access to certain websites and safeguard them from making any unauthorized purchases, with the help of one of these applications. The vast majority of parental monitoring tools are imperceptible to children. You can explore our article on the Best Parental Control Apps of 2023 to find the app that best suits your needs for discreet monitoring.

Best Premium Parental Control Apps in 2024

9.8

4.6/5

With Free-Trial

9.7

4.5/5

30-Days for Free

9.7

4.5/5

40% Off

9.6

4.5/5

Includes 1 License

9.6

4.5/5

30-Day Free-Trial

Best Premium Parental Control Apps in 2024

9.8

4.8/5

With Free-Trial

9.7

4.7/5

30-Days for FREE

9.7

4.6/5

40% Off

9.6

4.5/5

Includes 1 License

9.6

4.5/5

30-Day Free-Trial

Jason Turtoga

About the Author

Jason Turtoga is a full-time digital marketer, a blogger, and affiliate marketing expert with 10 years of experience. Before starting this blog, Jason managed a small digital marketing team for a large number of affiliate, SaaS and product review blogs.

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