A parental management software that solely runs on your loved ones PC is almost ineffective within the trendy, multi-device world. In that mild, Qustodio’s assist for Home windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Kindle gadgets is notable. This spectacular parental control software boasts nearly each characteristic you may want, together with net content material filtering, strong app blocking, and an in depth exercise log. You deal with all configuration and monitoring both by way of Qustodio’s on-line dashboard or the mum or dad app, which implies you possibly can set guidelines and consider a toddler’s exercise from virtually wherever. Though it lacks strong social media monitoring, Qustodio’s wide selection of options and glorious customizability safe it an Editors’ Alternative award for parental management software program.
Pricing and Platforms
Qustodio for Households is an costly parental management app, however it does have a completely free possibility. The free model limits monitoring to only a single gadget and retains seven days of exercise historical past. You additionally get fundamental controls like net filtering and time quotas for sure actions. Qustodio buildings its paid subscription plans round household dimension, with Small (5 gadgets), Medium (10 gadgets), and Massive (15 gadgets) choices. These plans respectively value $54.95, $96.95, and $137.95 per yr. Some benefits over the free model are 30 days of exercise historical past, application-based restrictions, and site monitoring.
Be aware that this product is only one a part of Qustodio’s product line. Qustodio for Faculties goals to maintain college students on monitor when utilizing faculty computer systems, whereas Qustodio for Enterprise is designed to verify staff are working, not watching cat movies—or worse. These merchandise have comparable options to Qustodio for Households. The largest distinction is within the pricing.
Norton Family Premier is extra inexpensive, at solely $49.99 per yr. The value is very enticing provided that it doesn’t restrict the variety of gadgets you possibly can monitor. Nonetheless, NetNanny’s least expensive FamilyPass subscription (5 gadgets), at $74.95 per yr, prices greater than Qustodio’s.
As talked about, Qustodio impressively runs on Home windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Kindle, and even Nook gadgets. This broad vary of assist alone makes Qustodio nicely value your cash. Needless to say some options are platform-specific and that the iOS app is rather more restricted than its Android counterpart—as is widespread, given how locked down iOS is. We examined Qustodio utilizing a Home windows 10 PC and a Nexus 5X.
Setup and Gadgets
As soon as you have bought your subscription, it’s good to set up an area consumer on each gadget you plan to trace and assign it to a toddler’s profile. For Mac and Home windows installations, you possibly can select to use configuration settings to all person accounts on a pc or configure every login account individually.
There may be an possibility to cover the Qustodio set up on Home windows, however this feels sneaky. The kid can nonetheless see the itemizing within the management panel or the method in Process Supervisor, however there isn’t any icon within the notification tray. We want Norton’s strategy, which does not have a silent set up possibility in any respect. With Norton, a toddler can simply entry the principles and restrictions no matter their gadget. There is a fantastic line between spying and parenting. Dialog and transparency may help you keep on the fitting aspect of the divide.
Qustodio’s on-line net portal seems to be dated. A lot of the components use antiquated design practices akin to synthetic depth, shade gradients, or outstanding borders. Moreover, it opts for a boring blue and grey shade scheme, which calls to thoughts Fb, circa 2010. The headers and menu gadgets are additionally inconsistently capitalized and even redundant in some locations. On the high left, there’s a hyperlink to the Account Heart and the Assist Heart. From the Account Heart, you possibly can handle your account info, related youngster profiles, and linked gadgets. The Assist Heart is nicely designed, with easy-to-access classes, available person guides, and a search bar.
Beneath the Assist Heart, the primary navigation header menu is organized right into a collection of tabs. To the left, it lists the entire youngster accounts you could have added to your profile within the order that you simply added them. Annoyingly, you possibly can’t reorganize these tabs in any means. The opposite two devoted tabs are for including a brand new profile or including extra gadgets to your account.
If you add a toddler to your account, it’s good to specify a reputation, gender, and beginning yr, after which select an avatar. Norton helps you to add a profile picture, however Qustodio doesn’t have this selection. Including a tool is simple. You both obtain the software program to the present gadget or ship a obtain hyperlink to a different gadget.
By default, you get a day by day exercise abstract for every youngster by e mail, however you possibly can choose out or set it to a weekly schedule. Alternatively, you possibly can simply go on to the web dashboard for up-to-date studies.
By default, the exercise abstract breaks down your kid’s exercise in a pie chart and reveals an summary of search, net, social, app, and gadget exercise on the backside. Most of these things are interactive. For instance, you possibly can click on on an app or web site to dam it. Nonetheless, you can’t dig deeper into the search phrases or gadget utilization information.
The subsequent tab over, Social Exercise, is the place you possibly can monitor a toddler’s interactions on Fb (extra on this later). The Net exercise part reveals a slideshow of visited web sites, together with security info from Net of Belief (WOT) and the total URL of every web page visited. Nonetheless, a 2016 report confirmed that the WOT extension collects extensive user data, so we hope that Qustodio reconsiders utilizing this service. There’s additionally a brand new Exercise timeline view, which mixes all of a kid’s exercise into one stream of data, organized in reverse-chronological order. Switching between all these views feels convoluted, particularly since many sections present the identical info.
The rightmost tab, Guidelines, is the place you configure issues akin to net shopping guidelines, software guidelines, and time utilization limits. These classes are organized in an additional set of nested tabs, however they need to make a extra outstanding look.
By default, Qustodio blocks all entry to web sites matching any of ten undesirable classes, amongst them Playing, Pornography, Medicine, and Violence. One other 19 classes, together with Social Community and File Sharing, can be found for folks who need to fine-tune net content material filtering. We want it included brief descriptions of every class to make it simpler to decide on, however most are self-explanatory. There are further choices for blocking uncategorized web sites, enabling Secure Search, and opting into notifications when it blocks a website.
Qustodio’s content material filtering is browser-independent, so youngsters cannot simply set up a separate browser to get round restrictions. Like Net Nanny and some others, Qustodio dietary supplements its class database with real-time evaluation. For instance, we discovered that it was sensible sufficient to dam solely erotic tales on a brief story web site.
Qustodio can block safe (HTTPS) web sites in the event that they match a banned class, so your intelligent teen will not be capable of evade its discover by utilizing a safe anonymizing proxy web site. It logged and blocked each HTTPS websites throughout we tried, no matter whether or not we used Edge, Opera, or Chrome. Even when you turned off blocking of what it calls Loopholes (a class that features safe anonymizing proxies) your teen nonetheless would not be capable of entry inappropriate content material. Whereas Qustodio does present why a website is blocked, we want it had a Request Entry possibility built-in straight. Nonetheless, this browser-independent safety is one in all Qustodio’s strongest options, particularly since not all parental management software program, together with Norton Household, can declare the identical performance.
Time Utilization Limits
You’ll be able to outline a weekly schedule for when every youngster is allowed on-line, in one-hour increments on a per-device foundation. There’s additionally an choice to set a day by day most for every day. We confirmed that tweaking the system time has no impact on the utilization limits. Nonetheless, in case your purpose is to restrict general display time, you merely flip off per-device settings. Now your youngster cannot, say, use the pc for 2 hours, after which swap to a pill for an additional two.
Whereas Qustodio defaults to blocking solely web entry, it’s also possible to lock down the gadget fully after the allotted time expires on any platform. Additional, you possibly can set Qustodio to provide you with a warning when your youngster hits that point restrict.
Versatile Utility Management
Every software that your youngster launches
You may, for instance, permit a specific recreation
Qustodio has a devoted tab for social-media monitoring, however it may possibly solely monitor Fb exercise. Since trendy youngsters typically disdain Fb and as an alternative use a variety of different social media websites, akin to Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter, this isn’t very useful. Nonetheless, it is one thing. The kid has to go online to Fb at the very least as soon as on the desktop to allow the monitoring plug-in, however after that, it tracks their exercise on the positioning, whatever the gadget they use to entry it. Qustodio is intelligent in the best way it enforces monitoring; a toddler can not entry Fb if the plug-in is disabled or eliminated.
From the web dashboard, you possibly can see an entire timeline of your kid’s Fb wall exercise. This consists of posts, footage, and feedback, in addition to the identification of any pals concerned in on-line chats. In a nod to sustaining some extent of privateness, Qustodio does not report the content material of these chats, simply the pal’s title and when the dialog happens.
Qustodio provides apps for each Android and iOS gadgets, although the iOS providing is much extra restricted than its Android counterpart. That mentioned, third-party parental management software program is hard to implement on iOS gadgets, since Apple blocks most interactions between purposes on its cell gadgets. Apple does supply a local set of parental management options.
Relating to shopping the net on cell, Qustodio works whatever the browser you utilize on Android, however on iOS, your youngster has to make use of the included Secure Browser. Qustodio gives detailed directions on find out how to stop a toddler from utilizing or putting in a distinct browser on iOS. In both case, Qustodio maintains the identical guidelines for net shopping on cell because it does on the desktop.
Qustodio additionally consists of location-reporting options on each platforms, which you should utilize to report your kid’s location periodically. By default, it performs this activity as soon as per hour, however you possibly can enhance this frequency to as typically as each 5 minutes.
On an Android gadget, Qustodio can monitor all calls and SMS messages. Dad and mom may even select to file the content material of every textual content, block all outgoing or incoming calls, in addition to prohibit or permit particular contacts. Norton Household Premier provides comparable options. Needless to say these monitoring options don’t apply to third-party messaging apps akin to WhatsApp or Snapchat.
One other characteristic particular to Android is the Panic Button. To start out utilizing it, you outline as much as 4 trusted contacts, every with an e mail tackle or cell phone quantity. A baby who’s misplaced or in bother can faucet the SOS bubble from inside the Qustodio app. As soon as activated, it sends the kid’s location and an alert to these contacts. The app will proceed to broadcast the kid’s location each 5 minutes till the kid turns off the panic mode or it’s deactivated through the net portal.
Qustodio additionally has an app for Kindle gadgets that features most of the similar options. You’ll be able to block sure apps, set time utilization limits, and preserve the identical content material filters as on different gadgets. Qustodio is without doubt one of the few companies that assist Kindle gadgets in any respect, however it’s nonetheless lacking just a few options, akin to location monitoring and the panic button.
A Positive Winner
Qustodio lets mother and father take exact management over their kid’s exercise throughout desktop and cell gadgets. Amongst its greatest options are in depth cross-platform assist, strong net safety, easy app blocking, and extremely customizable closing dates. Its drawbacks are its costliness, its restricted social community monitoring, and its dated interface, however these are minor considerations given its general excellence. For these causes, Qustodio retains its Editors’ Alternative ranking alongside the equally strong Internet Nanny.
Should you’re actually solely involved with monitoring your post-PC youngsters’s exercise on their smartphones, try the best parental control apps for your mobile devices.