Best Parental Control App Free for Android and iPhone [2023]

As parents, it’s natural to be concerned about what our children are doing with their phones and who they are talking to online. With the increasing use of technology by kids these days, it’s more important than ever to ensure their safety and well-being while they use the internet.

To help with this, software developers have created a variety of parental control apps. These apps come with a range of features, including web filtering, app management, screen time limits, and location tracking. By using these tools, parents can monitor their children’s activity and ensure that they are safe while using technology.

When it comes to choosing the right parental control app, there are a variety of options available, including free apps, apps that require a subscription or payment, and apps that offer a free trial period. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which app is right for you and your family.

To help make the decision easier, this blog will highlight some of the best parental control apps for Android and iPhone. So, if you’re a parent looking for a way to monitor your children’s online activity and ensure their safety, read on to discover more about these helpful tools!

What Is Parental Control App?

Parental control app refers to a software application that allows parents to monitor, restrict, and control their children’s activity on the internet, mobile devices, and computers. These apps usually come with features such as web filtering, app management, screen time limits, and location tracking. The goal of parental control apps is to help parents ensure that their children are safe and secure while using technology and to help them manage their children’s digital usage. The level of control and customization varies among different apps, and parents can choose the one that best fits their needs and the needs of their children.

10 Best Free Parental Control Apps for Android

When it comes to choosing the best parental control app for Android, there are several key factors to consider. Understanding your child’s age and the features you want in an app will help you choose the right one for your family.

First, consider your child’s age. If your child is under 12, you may want to choose an app that restricts access to certain websites. For older children and teenagers, a less restrictive app may be appropriate, but with your permission for objectionable content browsing.

Next, consider the features you want in a parental control app. A good app should have features like location tracking, call and text blocking, web monitoring and filtering, app blocking, and time limits. These features can help you keep track of your child’s activity and ensure their safety online.

Finally, consider the app’s ratings and evaluations. Look for an app that has been tested and rated well by other users. Consider the price, app management, and installation process to make sure the app is a good fit for you and your family.

In conclusion, when choosing the best parental control app for Android, consider your child’s age, the features you need, and the app’s evaluations. Based on these factors, we have compiled a list of the top 10 best free parental control apps to help you make an informed decision.

List of the 10 Best Free Parental Control Apps for Android:

  1. SPY24 Parental Control
  2. Qustodio Parental Control Software
  3. AirDroid Parental Control App
  4. Norton Family Parental Monitoring App
  5. Google Family Link
  6. KidLogger Phone Monitoring App for Parents
  7. FamilyKeeper Parental Control on Android Phone
  8. Safe Lagoon Parental Monitoring Software
  9. OpenDNS Family Shield Parental Control Phone App
  10. IvyMobile AppLock Cell Phone Parental Controls
  11. Kaspersky Safe Kids Cell Phone Monitoring for Parents

1. SPY24: The Ultimate Parental Monitoring Solution on a Global Scale πŸ†

With this app, you can remotely control a cellphone, keeping a close eye on your children’s online activities. The keylogger feature allows you to monitor instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, Messenger, etc. to see what your children are typing before they send it out. Get instant alerts for specific words being sent on the targeted device, ensuring your children’s safety from both online and offline abuses.

With SPY24 analytics, you can view a summarized history of your children’s activities, including call time activity punch cards. Keep track of their emails, online activities, and appointments, and record phone calls and surroundings. View multimedia files, SMS/MMS messages, incoming/outgoing/missed calls, GPS locations, photos, and more. The app even lets you fully control the phone and view the screen without being noticed. Additionally, you can restrict phone usage and access to applications, view visited websites, monitor the calendar, and edit contacts. The analysis tools allow you to generate a report about your children’s activities, including instant messaging and WhatsApp, calls.Β 

The app is available for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Kindle Fire, and offers a free trial version. The Driving Report feature, which helps teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 develop safe driving habits, is an added bonus. All in all, SPY24 provides a comprehensive range of digital protection and is considered to be the best free Android parental control app available.

Discover the Ultimate Parental Control Solution with SPY24 for Android Devices

The SPY24 app is considered the best parental control app for Android devices due to its comprehensive range of features. It is compatible with Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Windows, and Mac and offers real-time location tracking, app blocking, web filtering, social media text monitoring, and driving reports.Β 

The app is easy to install and use, making it a reliable solution for families with children aged 2 to 18. With features like blocking inappropriate websites, detecting dangerous social media texts, monitoring YouTube and TikTok viewing history, and tracking app activity, the SPY24 app provides comprehensive dig protection for families. Additionally, it allows for geofencing, screen time management, and a comprehensive driving report, making it the best choice for parents seeking a comprehensive parental control app.

9.9/10
SPY24: The Ultimate Parental Monitoring Solution on a Global Scale
πŸ… Overall Rank 10SPY24
πŸ–₯️ Web & User-Friendly Control PanelYes
⏲️ Remotely Control a Cell phone:Yes
πŸ“ GPS Locations:Yes
πŸ’Έ Starting Price$4.99 / 1 month
πŸ“€ Supported Operating SystemsiOS, Android, Mac, Windows
πŸ“± Number of Devices1
🎁 Free PlanFree / 1 month
πŸ’° Money-Back GuaranteeYes

1. Qustodio Parental Control Software

Qustodio is a user-friendly parental control app for Android, available for free. It allows parents to set rules and schedules for their children’s phone usage, including the websites they can access. The app offers several benefits including monitoring calls and texts, setting limits on app usage, and tracking their location. While it has a permanently free option, it only provides limited control features such as app blocking and web filtering.

Features:

8.4/10
Qustodio
Operating Systems SupportedPrice
Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Android, iPhone & iPad, KindleLarge: $137.95/year

2- AirDroid Parental Control App

AirDroid Parental Control is a top-notch parental control app suitable for families. With this app, parents can remotely monitor and control their children’s Android cell phones.

The app offers various features such as call tracking, screen time limits, location tracking, and app blocking. It provides a three-day free trial before requiring a payment plan.

Some of its unique Features :

8/10
AirDroid Parental Control App
Operating Systems SupportedPrice
iOS, Android$ 59 99 /year

3. Norton Family Parental Monitoring App

Norton Family is considered an excellent and free parental control app for Android devices that doubles as a tool for education. The learning aspect of it blocks interrupting notifications during study time. However, after 30 days of usage, a fee is required.Β 

Some of Its Strengths Are:

7.8/10
Norton Family Parental Monitoring App
Operating Systems SupportedPrice
Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Android, iPhone & iPad, Kindle$99.99Β first yr

4. Google Family Link

Google Family Link is a free parental control app that is a top choice for many users. Its features are seamlessly integrated with the Android operating system, providing monitoring and management of apps, location tracking, monitoring of phone usage habits, and the ability to lock the device. It is sufficient if you only need to manage apps from Google. However, it’s important to note that the location tracking may not be accurate if the child has their Google account logged in on multiple devices.

Features of Google Family Link

7.3/10
4. Google Family Link
Operating Systems SupportedPrice
Android, iOS$69.99

5. KidLogger Phone Monitoring App for Parents

KidLogger is a parental control app that is open-source, meaning the software can be modified by the user. Some of its key features include time and usage restrictions on specific apps, monitoring of calls, and monitoring of text messages. However, it lacks a web filter, but it does keep a record of browsing history. The downside of KidLogger is that it provides limited control over the child’s phone.

Features of KidLogger

7/10
kidlogger4
Operating Systems SupportedPrice
Windows, Mac, Linux, Android$89 / 1 year

6. FamilyKeeper Parental Control on Android Phone

FamilyKeeper is a free parental control app that requires the installation of separate parent and child apps on the respective phones. Its standout feature is real-time location tracking with notifications. It utilizes artificial intelligence to monitor the child’s device and identify any potential threats on social media and chats. However, there is no web filtering or screen time limitations unless you subscribe to the service.

Familykeeper and Features

6.6/10
FamilyKeeper Parental Control on Android Phone
Operating Systems SupportedPrice
Android, iOS$11.00 / month

7. Safe Lagoon Parental Monitoring Software

Safe Lagoon is often seen as the “lite” version of Google Family Link, offering a similar range of parental control features for free. Parents can view their kids’ app usage, track their location, lock the phone, and limit usage. It’s a viable alternative for those looking for a simple and budget-friendly solution for monitoring their children’s device activity. While it may not have the full range of features found in Google Family Link, it still provides essential tools for keeping kids safe and secure online.

Safe Lagoon and Features

6/10
Safe Lagoon Parental Monitoring Software ​
Operating Systems SupportedPrice
Android, iOS$7.46

8- OpenDNS Family Shield Parental Control Phone App

OpenDNS Family Shield is a tool for blocking specific websites from children’s access. It operates by changing the DNS in the control panel at the router level, which involves copying and pasting the nameserver provided by the app into your system. However, it has some limitations, including not specifying which websites are blocked or the ability to blacklist certain websites. Additionally, it lacks features such as screen usage limit and location tracking, making it a more basic option for parental control. Nevertheless, OpenDNS Family Shield provides a straightforward solution for those looking to restrict access to specific websites for their kids.

OpenDNS and Features

5.7/10
OpenDNS Family Shield Parental Control Phone App
Operating Systems SupportedPrice
Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iPad$20/user

9. IvyMobile AppLock Cell Phone Parental Controls

The software boasts multiple monitoring capabilities, making it a top choice among parents who want to closely supervise their children. It is particularly suited for younger kids and offers a secure way to lock access to sensitive applications. Parents can set a password to unlock the restricted apps. Additionally, it provides more advanced features that enhance the parental control experience.

IvyMobile and Features

4/10
IvyMobile AppLock Cell Phone Parental Controls
Operating Systems SupportedPrice
Android

FREE

10. Kaspersky Safe Kids Cell Phone Monitoring for Parents

Kaspersky Safe Kids is offered in both a free and paid version. The app comes with a range of features designed to keep children safe while they’re online. These features include the ability to blacklist certain websites, set age-appropriate restrictions, and limit screen time. In addition to these features, Kaspersky Safe Kids also offers app management and screen management tools, as well as additional mobile tools to enhance the overall user experience.

Kaspersky Safe and Features

5/10
kaspersky
Operating Systems SupportedPrice
Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Android, iPhone & iPad, Kindle

$19.95Β 

Comprehensive Digital Parenting with SPY24: The Best Parental Control App for iPhone and iOS

According to our research, SPY24 is the ideal solution for parents who want to keep an eye on their children’s digital activities. The app offers a complete set of features, including tracking the child’s location, setting screen time limits, filtering web content, and identifying potentially harmful texts and images. With its innovative design and advanced filtering capabilities, including a SafeSearch feature, SPY24 stands out as one of the best parental control apps available. The app is compatible with multiple devices and platforms including iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, and Kindle Fire, and provides a free trial version. Additionally, the app’s Driving Report feature, which helps teens aged 16 to 18 develop safe driving habits, is an added value. Overall, SPY24 provides a complete digital protection solution.

The Best Parental Control App for iPhone and iPad

  1. Qustodio
  2. Net Nanny
  3. Boomerang
  4. Mobicip
  5. Bark
  6. Canopy
  7. Screen Time
  8. Norton Family

1. Qustodio

Qustodio is a widely popular parental control app that offers a range of features. It has a limited free plan, multi-platform support, and many features across all paid plans. However, some features, like the panic button and contact blocking, are not available on iOS.

With Qustodio, parents can filter out inappropriate apps, games, and websites, and be notified if their child tries to access blocked content. Time limits for specific apps and schedules for blocking device use at certain times can also be set. Parents can also monitor their child’s location, geofencing, calls, and texts.

The app provides a real-time dashboard that allows parents to keep track of their child’s online activities, including browsing history, social media activity, and time spent on the device. Parents can also receive daily, weekly, or monthly emails summarizing their child’s activities.

Qustodio offers four pricing plans, starting at $4.58 per month for five devices and reaching $11.50 per month for 15 devices. The premium plan is available for a 30-day free trial, and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. The free plan is limited to one device and does not include game and app restrictions, YouTube and social media tracking, or 30-day reporting.

Pros of Qustodio:

Cons of Qustodio:

4/10
uMobix – Telegram Spy Apps for Android

2. Net Nanny

Net Nanny is a parental control app that offers a range of features accessible through a user-friendly parent dashboard. It provides a “family feed” section that gives an overview of the children’s online activity, including apps they have used, their online searches, and YouTube usage.Β 

The app allows you to block access to 14 categories of inappropriate content, specific websites, and apps, including social media apps. If your child accesses inappropriate content, you can instantly stop further access to that category, and you can even block internet access altogether. Net Nanny provides tools for limiting screen time and tracking your child’s location with real-time updates, location history, and arrival/departure alerts. However, it doesn’t offer contact blocking, emergency assistance or call/text monitoring. It costs $4.58 per month for a 12-month plan covering five devices and can be found on netnanny.com.

Pros of Net Nanny:

Cons of Net Nanny:

Limited Premium Features

Net Nanny offers three pricing plans, which all include the same features. The least expensive plan is $39.99 per year and is only available for one desktop device, not for mobile devices. The other two plans, costing $54.99 per year for 5 devices and $89.99 per year for 20 devices, do allow for use on mobile devices. A free 30-day trial is available for up to 5 devices, and there is a 14-day refund period. However, Net Nanny doesn’t offer the ability to monitor calls and texts, block specific contacts or have an emergency assistance feature that allows the child to contact the parent in case of an uncomfortable situation.

4.5/10
Net Nanny

3. Boomerang

Boomerang has some features missing on its iOS app, such as monitoring of text messages, call and contact blocking, geofencing, control over installed apps, and monitoring of YouTube history and searches. The reporting feature on iOS is also limited to web history. Additionally, the iOS app doesn’t allow for blocking access to devise settings or uninstalling Boomerang. However, Boomerang still provides basic features like screen time limits, schedules, location tracking, and web filtering. The SPIN Safe Browser is also available on iOS, which filters harmful content and provides safe search results. Boomerang offers an affordable option for managing screen time and filtering content, with prices starting at $15.99 per year for one device and a free 14-day trial.

Pros of Boomerang:

Cons of Boomerang:

5/10
Boomerang

4. Mobicip

Mobicip is a parental control app that offers several options to manage your child’s screen time. You can set schedules, time limits for specific apps, and daily screen time limits. It also allows you to filter content, block inappropriate websites and apps, and even pause all devices when necessary.Β 

The app provides access to usage reports and monitors your child’s online activity, including social media usage. Additionally, it features a child dashboard that lets your child monitor their own device usage. Location tracking and geofencing are included, however, some features such as the SOS panic button are not yet available. A goals and rewards system is planned for the future. The app starts at $2.99 per month for the Lite version for one device and goes up to $7.99 per month for the Premium plan with 20 devices. Mobicip offers a seven-day free trial and has a seven-day refund policy for monthly plans and 30 days for annual plans, but the refund must be requested through support.

Pros of Mobicip

Cons of Mobicip

3.9/10
mobicip

5. Bark

Bark is a parental control app that focuses on identifying potential online dangers for children such as cyberbullying, drug use, online predators, and suicidal thoughts. Unlike other apps, it does not offer complete device activity monitoring but still allows monitoring of text messages, emails, YouTube, and social media. Bark is designed to balance privacy for the child while still providing protection. Parents can set filters for web content and block websites and can even completely shut off the internet if they feel their child needs some time offline.

Bark offers two pricing plans: Bark Jr. and Bark Premium. Bark Jr. costs $49 per year and includes features such as screen time management, website filtering, and geofencing. Bark Premium, which costs $99 per year, includes additional monitoring and alert features. Both plans allow for unlimited children and devices, and a free seven-day trial of Bark Premium is available.

Pros of Bark:

Cons of Bark:

4/10
bark

6. Canopy

Canopy is an excellent app management and content-filtering service. However, it does have one drawback, which is the lack of screen time limitation features. Canopy’s focus is on ensuring the safety of your children, rather than managing the time they spend on their devices. But this is not a major issue as Apple has its own screen time management settings.

The canopy uses AI to scan websites and identify harmful content. Instead of automatically blocking a website that has some inappropriate content, it gives you control over the level of blocking you want to implement. You can even block images of lingerie. Canopy replaces any inappropriate content with a white rectangle, allowing your child to view the rest of the webpage.

The filtering feature extends beyond websites and also applies to some apps, such as TikTok. Additionally, Canopy has a sexting prevention feature that alerts you of any potentially inappropriate images, whether they are downloaded or taken by your child, and gives you the option to block them. You can also track your child’s location and prevent them from uninstalling the app.

Canopy offers three plans with varying pricing, depending on the number of devices you want to install it on. The cost ranges from $7.99 per month for three devices to $15.99 per month for 10 devices. There is also a 30-day free trial available for up to 10 devices.

Pros of Canopy

Cons of Canopy

2.9/10
Screen Time

7. Screen Time

Screen Time by Screen Time Labs is a separate service from Apple’s screen time feature on iOS. While it has many of the same features as other parental control apps, not all of them are available on iOS.

Despite this, Screen Time still offers some unique benefits. It allows you to limit screen time by setting time limits or schedules, approve or deny app downloads, and receive daily reports on your child’s internet activity. You can also track your child’s location in real-time and receive notifications when they arrive at or leave certain places.

Advanced Features

Screen Time has the ability to block access to its settings and requires a password to uninstall. It also has a “pause” feature that lets you temporarily disable your child’s phone.

Additionally, you can set tasks for your child to complete, such as homework or cleaning, in exchange for extra screen time. You determine the task, reward it, and approve it when it has been completed.

However, Screen Time falls short as it does not offer content filtering, history tracking, social media monitoring, text monitoring, or photo monitoring on iOS. While there is a limited free version, most of its features are only available for Android devices. Screen Time Premium is only useful if you want more control over your child’s device usage time and locations.

Pros of Screen Time

Cons of Screen Time

3.5/10
Screen Time

8. Norton Family

Norton offers more than just antivirus and VPN software with its Norton Family service, which provides online family protection. It allows you to easily set screen time limits or schedules, monitor your child’s activity, and block access to harmful or inappropriate content. However, its app supervision feature for controlling which apps your child can install is not available on iOS. Norton Family also offers geofencing and location tracking, with a 30-day location history, as well as a unique feature called School Time that lets you control your child’s working environment by granting access to only specific websites for schoolwork.Β 

If you’re a Norton 360 Deluxe or Norton 360 with LifeLock member, you have access to Norton Family. Otherwise, it costs $49.99 per year for unlimited children and devices, with a 30-day free trial available.

Pros of Norton Family

Cons of Norton Family

3.5/10
Norton Family Parental Monitoring App

You are now aware of the leading parental control apps for iPhone and iPad. The app you choose will largely depend on the specific features you require. Regrettably, many of the paid options have limitations on their features for iOS devices. In most cases, monitoring of calls, texts, contact blocking, and SOS buttons are not available for iPad and iPhones.

Among the options, Qustodio, Net Nanny, and Mobicip provide the most comprehensive packages. There are other services on the list that offer additional features that may interest you, such as Norton Family’s School Time or the ability to monitor multiple devices. Fortunately, there are many free trials and money-back guarantees that you can use to test the various options before making a final decision.

How We Evaluate And Rank the Best Parental Control Applications

When evaluating and ranking the best parental control apps, our focus was on applications that encourage parents to establish filters and limits before their child starts using a smartphone, rather than simply tracking their activity retrospectively. During our thorough testing process, we considered the following key factors:

Price: The cost of the service and the number of children/devices it covers.

Installation: The ease of installation and setup of the app on each device.

App Management: The level of control the app provides for monitoring, blocking, or restricting smartphone usage, and the ability to view all the other apps on the child’s device.

Filtering: The availability of filtering tools and the effectiveness of filtering out inappropriate content.

Time Management: The tools provided for limiting screen time.

Texting and Messaging Management: The ability to view the content of the child’s text messages, create rules or block specific contacts, receive notifications of new contacts, and control beyond built-in messaging apps or the ability to block messaging apps altogether.

Location Tracking: The ability to find the child in an emergency, log their previous locations, and create geofenced areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best parental control app for Apple?

A: The best parental control apps for Apple devices are Qustodio, Net Nanny, and Mobicip. These apps offer similar features at similar costs, while other parental control apps like Bark and Canopy are good but have less extensive features.

How can I monitor my child’s iPhone?

A: You can use a parental control app, such as Qustodio or Net Nanny, to monitor your child’s online activities, filter content, control screen time, and more. These apps usually cost less than $5 per month.

Is there an app better than Bark?

A: Bark is a great parental control app, but for complete monitoring abilities on your child’s phone, consider using Qustodio, Net Nanny, or Mobicip.

Can I prevent my child from deleting text messages on his iPhone?

A: No, you can’t prevent your child from deleting text messages on their iPhone. Parental control apps allow you to monitor text messages and calls, but these features are not available for iOS due to Apple’s strict operating system.

Is there a completely free parental control app?

No, there is no fully free parental control app. Some apps may offer limited free services before requiring a subscription.

Does Android have built-in parental controls?

Yes, Android phones come with built-in parental controls that can be managed through your Google account.

Should I monitor my kids?

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to monitor your children’s activities and protect them from potential dangers.

How can I protect my kids from online dangers?

By using parental control apps, you can limit your child’s access to harmful or inappropriate content, monitor their activities and ensure their safety online.

What is the best app to monitor my child’s phone without them knowing?

The best app for monitoring your child’s phone without them knowing is AirDroid. This app provides parental control services while also remaining undetected by the child.

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