Parenting is not an easy task. With digital safety for kids being a critical issue that modern-day parents need to worry about, parenting has become even harder. As modern problems require modern solutions, parental controls are one of the best solutions for parents to monitor and supervise their kid’s online activities and ensure their digital safety. 65% of young children aged 11-16 favor parental controls. So, why do parents need parental controls? What kinds of devices, software, and internet filters can you use for parental controls?
- To monitor your kid’s online conversations and social media history and prevent cyberbullying or online predatory activities
- To keep a solid track of your kid’s online internet activity anytime from anywhere
- To manage your kid’s internet searches
- To restrict your kid’s screen time by setting up time limits
- To keep track of your kid’s online purchasing habits and set up spending limits
- To restrict inappropriate content
Best parental control devices
These are some of the best hardware devices that contain parental control systems. These devices can be mesh routers or some simple devices that you plug into your home’s wi-fi router to enable parental controls.
1. Gryphon Guardian Smart Mesh Router and Parental Control System
Gryphon Guardian is a mesh wi-fi system with a good amount of focus on parental control. Primarily a mesh router, its parental control features are also top-notch.
- Features to monitor, manage, and filter the usage time of the devices connected to the wi-fi mesh system
- Has ad blocking, storing browser history, and features of blocking sites
- Comes with an app for remote device monitoring
- A customizable feature to block or restrict kid’s access to certain websites or apps at different timeframes
- The system allows kids to request access to the sites you have blocked
- Compatible with platforms like PCs, Smartphones, Smart TVs, etc.
- Protects your devices from network intrusion, malware, and other threats 24/7 with its Advanced Internet Protection Subscription
- No advanced features like location tracking
- No social media and text message monitoring
The 1-pack Gryphon Guardian costs $99 while the 3-pack Gryphon Guardian costs $239.
2. Circle Home Plus Parental Control System
The Circle Home Plus is a parental control platform to monitor your kid’s devices and track whether they are using the internet inappropriately. The system works when you plug in the device with your existing router. This eliminates the need for any extra wi-fi router.
- A content filtering and time usage tracking feature to track your time and filter your content
- A feature that shows the browsing history
- Location tracking feature to track your kid’s location
- Reward features like additional time for an app to reward your kid
- It is very easy to set up
- It supports any number of devices
- It has a reliable restriction for web apps and time usage
- Does not have a Geofencing feature
- It is expensive
The pricing plan starts from $69 for three months, $129 for a year, to $349 for a lifetime.
3. TigerMom Parental Control System
The TigerMom is a full parental control solution to provide a safe internet browsing environment for families with children. The TigerMom system comes with the parental control device, instruction manual, an adapter, a USB cable, and an ethernet cable. There is also a TigerMom app that can be download on both Android and iOS smartphones.
- Search filtering feature to filter searches from major search engines like Google, Bing, and YouTube
- Feature to block inappropriate websites like pornography, gambling, crime, and violence-related sites
- The application control feature controls the time when kids can access games, social media, shopping sites, and video streaming sites
- App restriction features on 21 most popular apps like TikTok, Netflix, Facebook, YouTube, and games like World of Warcraft
- Has an automatic filtering technology to filter out pornographic, violent, and crime-related content
- Has features to analyze and monitor internet time statistics on the kid’s devices
- Has a quick setup process to plug the device into the wi-fi router and manage the parental control activities
- The device will experience some occasional connectivity issues
- TigerMom devices may also conflict with the wi-fi router sometimes
The TigerMom subscription plan starts at $4.99 a month. It also has a one-time payment plan of $99.99 for the full package.
Best parental control softwares
The following are the best software applications that you can install on your device for parental control. Each of them has various features, advantages, and disadvantages.
Qustodio is one of the great parental control software in the market. It has a well-designed interface, is compatible with all platforms like Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, has great features, and provides quality service.
- Web filtering to block inappropriate websites
- Time limit feature on various apps and a lock feature to lock the device after the time limit is up
- App blocking feature to restrict access to various apps and games
- Location tracking to track your target device’s location remotely
- Compatible with all platforms
- Has intuitive apps that you can easily navigate
- Users cannot bypass web filters on mobile devices with VPNs
- It is expensive
- Users can bypass web filters on desktops with VPNs
- Poor social media monitoring feature limited only to Facebook
- The small plan (for five devices) costs US$54.95/year
- The Medium plan (for ten devices) costs US$ 96.95/year
- The Large plan (for 15 devices) costs US$ 137.95/year
Fenced.ai can be considered one of the best parental control systems available. It has a parental control solution for children, schools, and a business monitoring app. It is a non-intrusive app with some of the best features that you can use to monitor your child’s online activity.
- Tracking of calls, SMS, and contacts
- Social media monitoring
- Screen time, apps, and browser history monitoring feature
- Geofence alert, keyword alert, wi-fi change alert, and uninstall alert features
- Photos and video monitoring along with application usage and email monitoring
- Easy to set up
- Has free and demo versions
- Has an attractive and user-friendly interface
- Has real-time content filtering and location tracking features
- Poor geofencing feature
- Limited features on the free version
Fenced.ai has free plans along with a Basic plan ($5.83/month), and a Premium plan ($8.33/month).
Parental control guide to internet filters
Internet filters are applications or services that filter out the internet for any inappropriate content by blocking or restricting websites from internet access. Apart from the parental control solutions providing internet filtering features, here are two of the other best internet filters for parents.
OpenDNS is an internet protection application that protects your internet from any harmful content by filtering out inappropriate content. It is a web security and internet solution to make your internet faster, safer, and more reliable through the cloud-based DNS service. The OpenDNS Home from OpenDNS is a parental control and internet filter that helps parents maintain a safe and healthy environment at home.
- Content filtering feature to filter inappropriate content
- Malware protection feature to keep your devices safe from viruses
- Phishing protection to ensure that your devices remain safe from phishing attacks
- Website restrictions feature to restrict potentially harmful sites
- Easy to set up
- Provides a safe internet browsing experience
- User-friendly interface
- It is highly expensive
- May interfere with normal internet browsing
The DNSFilter is AI-powered threat protection and internet filtering solution that is fully API-driven. The internet filtering application is easy, accurate, and reliable and uses the DNS to block harmful content and malicious websites.
- It has a user-friendly design
- It has a great web content filtering feature
- The platform generates activity reports, security threats reports, and query logs for its users
- The solution is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android
- The software is easy to use
- The UI is responsive and reliable
- The solution provides a reliable and accurate website filtering service
- The system is not transparent when choosing a particular category to block
- The report feature needs improvement
DNSFilter has a 14 day’ free trial offer along with a Basic plan (US$20/month) and a Pro plan ($50/month).
It’s hard to be a parent, especially in this digital age. Parent’s constant worry arises from the potential threat of children being targeted by predators and threats online. Software is more suitable because parental control software is reliable, effective, easy to set up, and also more affordable considering the service they give.
You do not have to spend money on any extra physical device or manage your network settings with parental control software. Also, you can also ask your Internet Service provider to block various websites to your home internet network or use other filtering services like Google SafeSearch to filter the internet contents.