The Best Parental Control Software of 2018

Enterprise Security


Open Zip files and attachments, and manage them straight on your iOS device. Most also have the option to permanently enable SafeSearch. Just don't expect a full range of Yep… the old double standard: The latter concerns me. Kaspersky Safe Kids Review.

Publisher's Description


The Internet is good for two things: The latter concerns me. OpenDNS is a free service that can be used on any type of network. I could go to deeper and deeper technical levels of DNS but I will defer those topics to other resources on the web that devote lots of time to explaining the finer points of its engineering.

I needed content filtering. Various software systems available for this purpose never seem to deliver what they promise. I have tried many. I found them too top-heavy and memory hogs also. Open DNS was easy to setup. Your system in my case no longer uses the DNS servers hosted by Comcast but instead, now routes your traffic through a new server. Once reported, our staff will be notified and the comment will be reviewed. Security that works where you do. Umbrella protects nomadic workers, and will enable you to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots with confidence and experience safer, more reliable browsing over Wi-Fi and cellular data networks.

This application is meant to be used by registered Umbrella account holders. You are logged in as. Thank You for Submitting Your Review,! Note that your submission may not appear immediately on our site. Since you've already submitted a review for this product, this submission will be added as an update to your original review.

That said, parental control software is no substitute for good communication. If you don't want your kids to visit unsafe, unsavory, or inappropriate sites, talk to them about your concerns. We recommend that you also take the time to convince your older kids that you'll respect their privacy while still monitoring their online actions, a promise you should strive to uphold.

We prefer software that embraces this kind of collaborative approach, rather than apps that covertly spy on kids. If your kids see you as big brother, it's a safe bet that they'll find ways to outsmart you and evade even the most sophisticated systems. As tech addiction increasingly becomes a problem, it's important to instill the value of good device habits on to your children as well.

Long gone are the days when a single parental control utility on the family PC was sufficient for keeping your kids safe and productive. Modern kids use all kinds of internet-connected devices, and modern parental control systems must keep up.

Before settling on a particular parental control utility, you need to make sure that it supports all the device types in your household.

That said, Apple has recently announced the new Screen Time feature for the upcoming iOS 12 , a set of tools for monitoring and controlling app and device usage. Taken alongside iOS' existing Restrictions settings, when iOS 12 releases Apple will offer a free set of parental controls tools comparable to these paid alternatives, with the added benefit of first-party support.

Check, too, that any limits on the number of child profiles or devices won't be a problem. Large families, for example, will appreciate that Norton Family works on an unlimited number of devices. Most parental control software operates as a subscription service, so pricing tiers tend to align with device limits, though some offer free versions for basic protection on a limited number of devices. If your kids are strictly smartphone users, take a look at our roundup of mobile parental control apps.

If getting parental control coverage installed on each of your family's devices starts to seem too difficult, consider a whole-network solution, such as Circle With Disney or Open DNS. These systems perform content filtering at the router level, so your settings affect every device on the network. Naturally, you don't get the same fine level of control and detailed monitoring that you get with a local agent on each device, but this is a much broader solution.

At the very least, a good parental control tool features content filtering—the ability to block access to websites matching categories such as hate, violence, and porn. This type of filtering only really works if it's browser-independent and works with secure HTTPS sites. With no HTTPS filtering, a smart teen could bypass the system using a secure anonymizing proxy website or even a different web browser in some cases. Most also have the option to permanently enable SafeSearch.

Of course, the most capable solutions also keep a detailed log of your child's web activity. Access scheduling is another very common feature.

Some applications let parents set a weekly schedule for device usage, some control internet use in general, and others offer a combination of the two.

A daily or weekly cap on internet usage can also be handy, especially if it applies to all your kids' devices. The best services apply these two ideas to individual desktop and mobile applications as well.

Qustodio, for example, can block apps entirely and set time usage limits. This is particularly useful for children who have a habit of playing games or using social media apps when they should be doing homework. As kids get older, content filtering may start to seem pointless. Hey, you let them watch Game of Thrones , right?

At some point, you start to worry more about their interaction with the wider world. Sure, if their friends come over in person, you can at least meet them, but what about friends on social media and other contacts your child never mentions? Who are they, really, and what are your kids discussing with them? Although some supervision is acceptable, you still need to respect your child's basic right to privacy and encourage open discussion, rather than using parental control software as spyware.

Many services let you monitor contacts and messages and keep an eye out for potentially dangerous or unsanctioned situations. You can even block new contacts or view message content with some parental control software. Keep in mind that this primarily applies to SMS texts; messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Snapchat typically do not fall under the same scope. Social media tracking can also provide a glimpse into your child's social life, though many services now only monitor Facebook.

This kind of oversight usually requires that you either know your child's login credentials or convince them to log in and install the tracker's app. Disabling this kind of data collection is a snap for the child, so here, more than ever, you need to be on the same page. Most kids are on mobile devices at least some of the time, and many are almost exclusively accessing the internet on their phones.

Fortunately, many parental control services offer a companion app that lets you view your child's activity, set basic rules, and view notifications as they arrive—NetNanny is a particularly noteworthy example. This kind of companion app is particularly useful for responding to access or time-extension requests on the go.

Otherwise, you manage everything online, where you have fine control over activity reports and restrictions. Any changes you make should propagate to your children's devices when they connect to the internet. When your child tries to visit a blocked site, makes a post using iffy language, or otherwise bends the rules it sends you a notification to your preferred channel, such as via the app, web, email, text, or some combination of those options.

When you get beyond the basics, parental control systems start to diverge, with many advanced features to help them stand out from the crowd. Among these standout features are the ability to track your child's YouTube and Hulu viewing history, check your child's location, or even remotely lock down a device to force them to divert their attention. You'll also find advanced versions of standard features. For example, the best content filters don't just use a database of categories.

screenshots