The internet can be a great tool to educate our next generation. However, without a proper control and supervision, the internet could become a vicious place. Parents are responsible to filter the content, games, and advertisement that children expose. Accordingly, parental control apps are able to monitor internet activity, block suspicious text messaging, and even set time limits. Here are the best parental control software for Windows, MacOS and mobile devices.
- → Impressive content filtering
- → Set time usage limit
- → Availability on various platforms
The web filtering allows you to stop pornography, violence, drugs and other harmful content from your children’s internet. Moreover, Qustodio is not only for Windows system but also available for Mac, Android, iOS, Kindle and Nook. The paid version offers SMS monitoring, social media features and per-app controls. What’s more, parents are able to track children’s location. By pressing the panic button on the app, they can inform you if they’re in danger.
The only drawbacks are its expensiveness, limited social network monitoring, and its interface. But, these can be overlooked due to its excellent performance overall.
ContentWatch Net Nanny 7
- → Best web filtering
- → Easily customized
- → Clear summary report
When you create a new user (child) you specify an age profile. Based on the specified age, Net Nanny sets the initial configuration for content filtering, Internet time scheduling, and which apps are permitted. For each child, you can instruct Net Nanny to allow or block websites in any of 17 categories. There’s also an option to just warn the child without blocking. While the access to the app is the account details and cannot be uninstalled without the administrative password.
Moreover, the report shows a pie chart and a bar chart for sites that were blocked, warned, or masked. You can see data for the whole family or one child, and you can specify the time period covered.
- → Runs as router level
- → Block things on a wider scale
- → Ready-made blocklists
FamilyShield is a completely free service and it can automatically block the headings of tasteless, proxy/anonymizer, sexuality, or pornography. Parents can apply the content restrictions to your network router and filter all the traffic. By filtering everything at the router level, every device, such as PlayStation or Xbox, on your network benefits from the filters.
One setback is that it cannot tell you which user access which sites. Overall, it is still an excellent defense against malicious sites.
Circle With Disney
- → Knowledge with every connected device in your home
- → Easily set up with app
- → Able to discover insights
Circle with Disney can manage every device on the network and come with an easy use setup. Besides, you can block categories on the web and stop your children from accessing harmful content. Parents can even cut off the internet connections during their homework time and bedtime. Also, filter levels can be set for every individual and compare time spent online for each family member.
However, if you are subscribers, parental controls and filtering do not apply if parents are away from your home network.
- → Monitors Skype chats
- → Tracks keystrokes
- → Cross-platform
This free parental control software can track what type of website your child visited. Also, it can keep a record of which programs they use and any screen-grabs they take.
If you’re concerned about who your kids might be talking to online, there’s even a voice-activated sound recorder. Nevertheless, if your children are a little older and more responsible, you can pick and choose which options to monitor and give them a little privacy.
One disadvantage is that the free version can only cover one device and do not support the function to listen to Skype calls.