More and more kids own smartphones in this modern day. While this may be of some benefit, it has created additional worries for parents. Who are the kids talking to? What content are they exposing themselves to on the internet? These and many additional questions created then need for parental control apps. These can monitor kids activities on their Smartphone, restrict or block some content, regulate usage, filter some content and even locate the Smartphone owner’s location. However, there are hundreds upon hundreds of these on the internet and choosing the right one may be quite the task. We have compiled a list of what we feel would be the top ten parental control apps.
#10 – Mobile Spy
This is a $ 100 per year app that supports up to three devices. It is perhaps the best app in terms of logging a user’s activities on a Smartphone. However, the app has various glaring weaknesses such as the inability to set time limits and monitor social media activity. The app also alerts the parent when a number calls the child’s phone, a handy feature, especially for suspicious callers.
This is Qustodio’s product for iOS users. The app has great web content filters and a super usable activity timeline. However, unlike its Android counterpart, the app is quite limited and seems quite hard to install. The accuracy of the app’s location tracking is also highly questionable and this is topped with the fact that the app cannot block messages and calls made from other apps other than the inbuilt text messenger.
#8 – My Mobile Watchdog
For $ 14.95 per month, Mobile Watchdog will provide sufficient parental control for your kids’ Smartphone. The app does not allow a new app to run until the p[aren’t has approved it and will even disable an approved app if the kid spends too much time on the app. However, the app lacks geofencing capabilities and has a somewhat cluttered activity log. Unlike cheaper offerings though, Mobile Watchdog does a great job monitoring texts.
#7 – Lock2Learn
This is among the few free parental control apps to make the list. The obvious advantage here is that the app has no paid content and is free for use for as long as you would like. However, this also means that it is pretty limited in features as compared to other apps. It does not provide any kind of monitoring, no curfew feature and uses much data due to the challenges presented to kids. An additional pack of questions will require a $ 2 payment.
#6 – Norton Premier (iOS)
This is a robust app from Norton that allows you to effectively track your kid’s location accurately. The app also provides great content filtering and provides a weekly summary of the sites your child has visited on their phone. However, some features are still missing due to the restrictions placed on third party device managers by the operating system.
#5 – Net Nanny
Net Nanny has what is perhaps the best web filtering feature among the top ten parental control apps. The inbuilt browser also masks profane content even on unrestricted sites. The app also reviews, blocks and screens apps pretty easily. However, like most of the apps, Net Nanny lacks the geofencing capability and cannot set limits for the use of particular apps.
This app gives you parental control over up to five devices at a go. It makes management of multiple devices way simpler than any other app would. There is also the added benefit of setting time limits for each app meaning your kid will not be able to spend more than thirty minutes on that gaming app they really like. The app, however, lacks geofencing features and has relatively poor web content filtering.
This is an easy-to-set-up app with strong app management features. The app supported unlimited devices and only costs $29.99. The app has excellent location tracking and allows app specific time limits. However, despite its excellent tracking, ESET Parental control will not keep a log of the locations and lacks sufficient tools for social media monitoring.
#2 – PhoneSheriff
This app would perhaps have been the best parental control app were it not for its difficult-to-install problem. Phonesheriff offers excellent time limits for each app, logs all browsing and texting activity and includes geo-fencing, a feature missing in almost all other solutions. There is also a panic button that alters the parent about the kid’s whereabouts.
This app has got pretty much everything a parent would ever require to monitor their kid’s Smartphone. For $ 49.99 a year, it is a great app to have. The only downsides are perhaps the relatively limited text monitoring capability and the fact that you cannot limit individual app usage.