Being a parent can often be tiresome and stressful. Raising a healthy kid requires social, financial, and physical support for an extended time and keeping a balance between giving your children freedom and controlling their actions to keep them safe. Parenting gets even more difficult if you’re a single mom or dad since home duties and upbringing become your sole responsibility.  

Fortunately, modern technologies make a great effort to simplify parenting for anyone with a smartphone in their pocket. Modern children and especially teenagers are used to tech solutions. They communicate, have fun and educate, pretty much relying only on devices. According to PewResearch, among the 60% of US parents whose child younger than 12 uses smartphones, six in ten say their kids’ smartphone interaction began before the age of five.

That’s where apps for parental control come in handy. Installing parental control software and having a personal GPS tracker can solve at least three problems without any family drama and unnecessary live stalking.

Discover the top seven apps for parental control and kids’ safety to consider installing.

Top Uses of Apps for Parental Control

Physical Safety

The first is physical safety. Most of the apps for parental control have a personal GPS tracker. That makes it much easier to track your child’s physical location so you can tell if they don’t skip school or hang out somewhere. The world is dangerous, and GPS location tracking must be the top priority for those who care about their kid’s health and safety.

Digital Safety

Second is, of course, digital safety. Despite being a blessing for society, the modern web is a playground for scams and fakes, and you never know who can contact your child with malicious intent. You also never know what sites your kids use and if the site’s content is appropriate. And yes, it is essential to explain the basics of online behavior to your kids, but keeping track of this with the apps for parental control by yourself is always a safer option. The best parental control apps even have advanced systems of web-filtering that work in real-time, making the Internet a little bit safer for your child.

Time Management

The third is, of course, time management. Children are distracted even more easily than us adults. That’s why it is helpful to track and limit their digital activity. Apps for parental control can set time limits for app usage, so you are sure that your child does their homework instead of browsing Instagram or building farms in Minecraft. You can easily monitor your child and improve their educational performance.

Seven Best Parental Control App Options

We attempted to choose the best parental control app among the most popular options for Android and iOS devices. It is important to note that Android device owners have more control, information, and features here. Apple has a strict privacy policy that doesn’t let you limit all of the available AppStore apps or limit their functions properly.

1. NetNanny

One of the best parental control apps is NetNanny. We choose NetNanny for its multi-platform usage as it can be used on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS devices, and even Kindle. It gathers everything needed for apps for parental control:

  • It has a personal GPS tracker, app restrictions, and timers for app usage, with a specific usage timeline for children.
  • It supports content screening within social media, which can be helpful when restricting content.
  • The best feature of NetNanny is probably AI which analyzes a website’s content to see if its content is appropriate for child usage.

Its primary disadvantage is a restricted subscription plan that only supports annual payments and its high price. 

2. Norton Family Parental Control

Norton Family is probably one of the best parental control apps remaining the cheapest one. It has most of NetNanny’s features but lacks social media tracking. Its website filtering is a bit worse, but overall, it’s the best bang for the buck.

Note that you cannot use it on Mac computers, and it has limited functions for PCs. Besides, the app has only an annual subscription plan. At least there is a trial method to compensate for that.

3. OurPact

OurPact is the only software in our list of apps for parental control that features a free mode. It has flexible subscription plans but lacks some features of its competitors. Its monitoring is limited, and it only blocks porn. The UI in the time management section is quite unintuitive. 

Yet its GPS tracker is one of the best. Besides, you can block chats and calls with this app.

4. Google Family Link

It is also worth mentioning Google Family Link. Like most of the best stuff Google does, the Family link is free. It suits the needs of app restriction, which even lets you take control over system permissions, a feature that every app on our list lacks. 

Google Family Link doesn’t have an iOS child app, and time-management and web-content filters work a bit primitive compared to competitors. But it is the best parental control app in the role of the supportive app, which is completely free and doesn’t demand much settings adjustment. It also has an intuitive personal GPS tracker. 

5. Canopy

If your child is a teenager that may get sexually harassed or spammed, Canopy is the best parental control app. It has less control and restrictions than other apps for parental control, and its web filters primarily prevent porn and any sexual content appearance. You can’t secretly delete it as any rebellious teen would do. Moreover, Canopy has very convenient subscription plans.

6. Locategy

As you can guess from its name, Locategy is the best parental control app in terms of a personal GPS tracker and probably the app design. It lacks social media monitoring and has limited web filtering, which doesn’t work on all the browsers. It doesn’t have Mac and PC versions, but at least there is a trial. It is the best free mode we’ve used, but we advise choosing Locategy if your top priority is your child’s location.

7. AllsWell Alert

One of the most unusual apps for parental control on the list is AllsWell which primarily focuses on your child’s personal safety. It doesn’t monitor your kid’s actions or restrict the website content but does something much more critical – checks if your child is safe.

AllsWell supports a panic button and a unique feature called inactivity monitoring. Depending on the situation, the kid can activate panic alerts with the button, or the app will send them automatically after a prolonged inactivity period.

You set up BED/WAKE time and INACTIVE PERIOD. If the child is inactive during wake hours, the app starts a countdown to alert the parent after the specified time passes.

AllsWell has an advanced data encryption system so that nobody can access your kid’s info. Its personal GPS tracker is as good as Locategy’s. Combined with a panic button & inactivity monitoring, we can easily consider AllsWell Alert to be the best parental control app for those who care about their child’s safety.

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Last Update: 20 March 2024