Best Parental Control Apps in 2024

Best Parental Control Apps in 2024.

One major concern for parents in today’s rapidly evolving digital world is safeguarding children’s online experiences. As a parent, I know how important it is to keep an eye on what our kids are doing online. The best parental control apps can help you monitor your child’s activity on social media and video platforms. They can also block access to certain apps and websites that might not be suitable for kids.

These apps give you control and flexibility. You can let your kids explore the digital world safely, without feeling like you’re being too strict. It’s a careful balance, as you don’t want to come across as overbearing.

Many of these apps also offer features like location tracking, alerts, and screen-time monitoring. This helps ensure your children aren’t spending too much time on their devices. We’ve tested the best apps to make sure they work on various platforms, like Windows, Mac, Chromebook, iOS, and Android.

If you’re looking for free options, we have a guide for the best free parental control apps. And if you want extra protection for your family’s personal information, consider looking into the best identity theft protection services.

I’ve found these tools really helpful in keeping my kids safe online. I hope they can help you too.

The internet is a treasure trove of information and entertainment, but it also has risks that need vigilant parental oversight. Parental control apps are invaluable tools that empower parents to manage their children’s digital interactions, ensuring a safer, more balanced online presence.

Key Features of A Good Parental Control Apps

A good parental control app must have the following features:

Content Filtering

Content filtering allows parents to block access to inappropriate websites and apps, ensuring that children are exposed only to age-appropriate material. This feature is crucial in protecting kids from harmful content and online predators.

Screen Time Management

Screen time management tools help parents regulate how long their children spend on their devices. By setting daily or weekly limits. This can prevent digital addiction and encourage more offline activities.

Location Tracking

Location tracking provides real-time updates on a child’s whereabouts. This feature is especially useful for parents of teenagers who are more independent but still need supervision for safety reasons.

Social Media Monitoring

Social media monitoring allows parents to oversee their children’s interactions on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. This helps in identifying cyberbullying, inappropriate behavior, or any other red flags that might require intervention.

App Blocking and Management

App blocking and management enable parents to control which apps their children can download and use. This prevents access to potentially dangerous or distracting applications, fostering a more secure digital environment.

Benefits of Using Parental Control Apps

Enhanced Child Safety

By filtering content and monitoring interactions, parental control apps significantly enhance child safety. Parents can rest easy knowing that their children are shielded from inappropriate material and online threats.

Prevention of Digital Addiction

Managing screen time helps prevent digital addiction. Children learn to balance their online and offline lives, engaging more in physical activities, hobbies, and family interactions.

Improved Focus on Academic Activities

With restricted access to distracting apps and websites, children can focus better on their studies. This leads to improved academic performance and a more disciplined approach to learning.

Peace of Mind for Parents

Parental control apps provide peace of mind for parents. They offer a sense of security, knowing that they can protect their children even when they are not physically present to supervise their online activities.

Best Parental Control Apps in 2024

We have tested the following apps and happy to present our findings.

  • Aura
  • Qustodio
  • Net Nanny
  • Bark
  • FamilyTime


SpecificationsPlatforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chromebook, Kindle
Number of devices: unlimited
Blocking: apps, games, websites
Screen time limiting: yes
Location tracking: yes
PricingQustodio Premium – Basic US$54.95/year
Qustodio Premium – 30 Day Free Trial
Qustodio Premium – Complete US$99.95/year
Why You BuyPerfect content filtering
Easy to use
Intuitive interface, real-time alerts.
Available on multiple platform
Supports up to 15 devices
Why You AvoidPremium App (Expensive)
Does not block VPN usage

We found Qustodio to be a great parental control app. It works excellently in all aspects and has a fantastic free version. It allows you to define restrictions, time schedules, and ban material. It works on a broad range of systems, including the Kindle and Chromebook.

The UI is clean and simple to use. Limiting and filtering content is straightforward. It delivers a full report on your child’s internet behavior, such as the websites they visit, the applications they use, and the social media postings they make.

Qustodio also sends notifications when your child accesses specific websites, such as those that allow file sharing and chat rooms.

Choose This✅ You want something easy to use: Despite its many features, Qustodio’s interface is intuitive, and the help center is genuinely helpful.
✅ You want a great free option: The free version of Qustodio is quite comprehensive, and few rivals can match it.
Don’t Choose This❌ Your child knows about VPNs: If your child is familiar with VPNs and knows how to use them, Qustodio will be ineffective since it can’t block VPN usage.
❌ You’re on a budget: The free version protects just one device, and the premium tiers are more expensive than some competitors.
Our Remark🔒 Qustodio is a fantastic parental control app with great filtering functionality and many other features. Just be aware that it won’t help if your child uses a VPN.

Norton Family Premier

Norton Family Premier offers comprehensive features, including robust content filtering, screen time management, and location tracking. It also provides detailed activity reports, giving parents insights into their children’s online behaviors.

Key Features

Norton Family Premier includes web supervision, time supervision, location supervision, and mobile app supervision. It also offers email alerts and detailed reports.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Extensive monitoring tools, easy-to-use interface, real-time location tracking.
Cons: Higher cost compared to some competitors, limited compatibility with certain devices.


Norton Family Premier offers a yearly subscription model, with discounts for multi-year plans. It is priced higher than some alternatives but offers a robust feature set that justifies the cost.


Qustodio is known for its user-friendly interface and extensive monitoring capabilities. It supports multiple devices and offers advanced features like social media tracking and real-time alerts.

Key Features

Qustodio provides web filtering, time management, social media monitoring, and location tracking. It also supports multiple devices and user profiles.

Pros and Cons

Pros: comprehensive feature set, intuitive interface, real-time alerts.
Cons: Premium features are expensive, occasional app crashes have been have been reported.


Qustodio offers several pricing tiers based on the number of devices. While it has a higher price point for premium features, its extensive capabilities offer great value for families with multiple children.

Net Nanny

Net Nanny excels in web filtering and app blocking. It uses artificial intelligence to detect and block inappropriate content in real-time, providing a dynamic and responsive parental control solution.

Key Features

Net Nanny includes dynamic content filtering, screen time management, and app blocking. It also offers family feed and real-time alerts.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Real-time content filtering, user-friendly dashboard, supports multiple platforms.
Cons: Can be expensive, some features require premium subscription.


Net Nanny offers flexible pricing plans based on the number of devices. It provides options for monthly or annual subscriptions, with discounts for long-term commitments.


Bark stands out for its focus on social media and text monitoring. It uses advanced algorithms to detect potential issues like cyberbullying, sexting, and signs of depression, alerting parents to intervene when necessary

Key Features

Bark focuses on monitoring social media, text messages, and emails. It uses AI to detect potential issues and sends alerts to parents.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Excellent for social media monitoring, proactive alerts, easy to set up.
Cons: Limited web filtering, can be intrusive for older teens.


Bark offers a flat monthly fee with access to all features. There is also an annual plan available at a discounted rate, providing comprehensive monitoring at a reasonable cost.


FamilyTime offers customizable screen time limits, geofencing, and app blocking. It also provides SOS alerts and location tracking, making it a well-rounded choice for comprehensive child protection.

Key Features

FamilyTime offers screen time limits, location tracking, geofencing, and app blocking. It also includes features like SOS alerts and homework reminders.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Highly customizable, geofencing and SOS alerts, supports multiple devices.
Cons: Interface can be confusing, premium features are costly.


FamilyTime provides various subscription plans based on the number of devices and features required. It offers a free trial and several paid plans to suit different family needs.

Choosing the Right Parental Control App

Assessing Your Needs

Identify what you need from a parental control app. Consider the age of your children, the types of devices they use, and specific features that are important to you.

Compatibility with Devices

Ensure the app is compatible with your family’s devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers. Some apps support only certain operating systems or brands.

Budget Considerations

Compare pricing plans and choose an app that fits your budget. Remember that the most expensive option is not always the best; look for an app that offers the best value for your needs.

Setting Up Parental Control Apps

Installation Guides

Follow the installation guide provided by the app. This typically involves downloading the app, creating an account, and setting up profiles for each child.

Initial Configuration

Configure the app according to your family’s needs. Set up content filters, screen time limits, and location tracking preferences during the initial setup.

Customizing Settings

Customize settings to reflect your child’s age and maturity level. Regularly review and adjust settings as your child grows and their digital habits change.

Educating Your Child About Parental Controls

Open Communication

Discuss with your child why you are using parental control apps. Explain the importance of safety and responsible online behavior.

Setting Expectations

Set clear expectations about internet use and the rules enforced by the parental control app. Make sure your child understands the

consequences of breaking these rules.

Balancing Privacy and Safety

Respect your child’s privacy while ensuring their safety. Encourage them to come to you with any concerns or questions about their online experiences.

Maintaining Digital Balance

Encouraging Offline Activities

Encourage your child to participate in offline activities like sports, reading, and hobbies. This helps to maintain a healthy balance between screen time and real-world interactions.

Monitoring Screen Time

Regularly monitor your child’s screen time and make adjustments as necessary. Ensure they have enough time for schoolwork, physical activity, and family interactions.

Promoting Healthy Digital Habits

Teach your child about healthy digital habits, such as taking regular breaks from screens, avoiding excessive use of social media, and prioritizing offline relationships.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Privacy Concerns

Be mindful of privacy concerns when using parental control apps. Ensure that the app complies with privacy regulations and that your child’s data is secure.

Legal Implications

Understand the legal implications of monitoring your child’s online activity. Some regions have strict laws about privacy and data collection that you need to be aware of.

Ethical Use of Monitoring Tools

Use monitoring tools ethically. Aim to protect and guide your child, rather than invading their privacy or over-controlling their behavior.

Future of Parental Control Apps

Technological Advancements

Look forward to technological advancements in parental control apps, such as enhanced AI for better content filtering and predictive analytics to foresee potential issues.

Integration with Smart Home Devices

Expect greater integration with smart home devices, allowing for seamless control and monitoring across various platforms and environments.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics will help parents anticipate potential problems before they arise, providing more proactive and effective child protection.

Alternatives to Parental Control Apps

Device Settings and Restrictions

Utilize built-in device settings and restrictions to control what your child can access. Many devices offer robust parental controls without the need for additional apps.

Internet Service Provider Controls

Check if your internet service provider offers parental control features. These can provide an additional layer of protection at the network level.

Manual Monitoring Techniques

Stay involved in your child’s digital life through manual monitoring. Regularly check their device usage and engage in open discussions about their online activities.

Real-life Testimonials

Success Stories from Parents

Hear from parents who have successfully used parental control apps to manage their children’s digital lives. These stories provide practical insights and inspiration.

Challenges Faced and Overcome

Learn about the challenges other parents have faced when using parental control apps and how they overcame them. This can help you navigate similar issues more effectively.

Common Challenges with Parental Control Apps

Resistance from Children

Children may resist the use of parental control apps. Address their concerns through open communication and explain the importance of these tools for their safety.

Technical Issues

Technical issues can arise, such as app crashes or compatibility problems. Stay patient and seek support from the app’s customer service when needed.

Balancing Control and Trust

Finding the right balance between control and trust is crucial. Aim to use parental control apps as a tool for guidance rather than strict surveillance.

Tips for Effective Digital Parenting

Setting a Good Example

Model good digital behavior for your children. Show them how to use technology responsibly and manage screen time effectively.

Staying Updated with Digital Trends

Stay informed about the latest digital trends and threats. This knowledge helps you better understand and protect your child’s online activities.

Building a Support Network

Build a support network with other parents and educators. Share experiences, tips, and resources to collectively improve your digital parenting strategies.


Parental control apps offer a plethora of benefits, from enhanced child safety to peace of mind for parents. By carefully selecting and utilizing these tools, you can ensure your child’s online experiences are safe, balanced, and enriching. Embrace proactive parenting in the digital age and guide your children towards responsible and healthy digital habits.