Last updated on July, 20

🏆 Best Parental Control Software for August 2021

Are you a parent looking for an easy way to monitor your child's internet usage? Parental Control Software is the perfect solution! It allows you to set limits on how much time they can spend on the computer, what sites they can visit, and even which programs they are allowed to use. Try it free now!

What is parental control software

If you have tech-savvy kids, you may worry that your children may spend more time online than anyone else. The internet is a vague place as the web is full of explicit, disturbing, illegal websites and applications that you do not want your little one to encounter—ever. 

That is where parental control software will come to your aid. The services offered by these software and tools help you manage the vast devices that your children use, and it helps you prevent your kids from accessing unsuitable content online.

Why do you need parental control software?

Modern parents, like you, are raising a new generation of techie kids. No matter how beneficial the internet is, it can also be a dangerous place for your children, so you should consider using the best parental control software to ensure your little one's safety. 

Below are the reasons you need to use the best free parental control software for PC or mobile phones to provide a seamless and safe internet experience for your child.

Protect your kids' devices from virus and malware

Your children may be too young to know what to click and not to click. Websites may contain dangerous links that make devices prone to viruses and malware. Parental control software for PC and mobile phones helps you protect your kids' gadgets from any malicious software. 

Monitor your child's social media activity

In today's technological age, it is normal for you to give kids devices, such as tablets and phones, to let them chat with their friends. However, it is no secret that the internet can be a dangerous place for anyone, especially young ones. So, while your kids are learning to be kind netizens and form friendships via the internet, you can do your part as a parent by keeping tabs on their devices. Free parental control software is readily accessible for all types of mobile devices. These software or applications help you monitor your kids' emails, texts, social media posts, profiles, and other cellular functions.

Keep kids safe from predators and explicitness

The internet is an excellent place for learning materials or games your little ones are sure to enjoy. However, with more people diving into the world wide web, there are many online predators or inappropriate things that you do not want your children to encounter. For you to ensure your children's safety, the best free parental control software provides you with a system in place to act as a second set of eyes.

See what your kids find on search engines

There are many search engines available, and these can help you find any information about anything nowadays. However, depending on their age and development stage, access to unlimited content may be inappropriate for your kids. Parental control software for PC and mobile phones helps you see and block inappropriate content, adult pages, explicit videos, images, and websites from the search results. 

Notifies you in case of restriction breaches

No matter how determined or diligent you are to ensure your child's internet experience is safe and secure, and there will be instances where your little one will have access to the internet without you around. These instances can be during their time at school, or when you are at work. The bottom line is that you cannot be everywhere at once. Cell phone parental control software and PC parental software control help you track your kid's internet activity and continuously browsing. Even if you are not around, these applications and software will alarm you when restricted sites are accessed.

Block specific features of different games your children can access

You can also download free parental control software on gaming consoles. These consoles come with internet access that enables your kids to browse the web, converse with other players, and make in-app purchases. With all these accessible features, your kids may find themselves in tough situations where they use your credit cards for purchases and talk with strangers. The parental control software helps you set up user profiles on the console where your children can only access certain features in the game. 

Track your child’s specific location

The best parental control software features provide a GPS function that helps you monitor your children's location and help indicate they are safe, and they are at a safe place. However, it is advisable to talk with your little ones about safety measures regarding places that they should not venture at. 

More control over your child's mobile phone

Kids nowadays are glued to their smartphones, and keeping up with what your kid is doing on their phones all the time is impossible. The free parental control software will be on the lookout for your child when you can't be, especially during sleepovers, school trips, and after-school activities where they are free to use phones during this time. 

Good cyber safety habits with your kids

When reading any parental control software review, you can see that they often warn you about cybercrime. People who do these crimes prey on people's poor cyber habits. That is where your child is most vulnerable since their brain is continuously developing and learning new things. In their quest to discover more, they may engage in risky online behavior, such as sharing information and disclosing too much information. Parental control software helps prevent these incidents from happening, ensuring your kid's safety and the safety of others.

Limit your kid's internet access remotely

The best parental control software enables you to manage your child's internet experience remotely and your child's devices as it is suitable for your family. It lets you schedule specific times that your children are allowed to use the internet or set a certain number of hours of internet usage per day. 

Set specific screen time limits

Screen time for anyone can be addictive, and it may be tough for children to break free from their favorite cartoon or video game. Too much screen time for children can result in poor eyesight, bad posture, lack of physical activity, and inadequate sleep. The best free parental control software helps you set boundaries by setting time limits on the types of media children to engage with and for how long. 

Back up data

Your little ones will likely use the internet to complete projects and homework. It's essential to back up their data in a safe and reliable place and teach your kids the importance of saving and storing data. Most free parental control software services offer storage services. Aside from school-related files, children may have pictures, texts, or emails. They want to keep for the future.

Core features of parental control software

Installing reliable parental control software on all devices is essential, and it can help you and your children navigate the digital world safely and securely. To make it easier for you, we have highlighted the features that you must consider before choosing the best parental control software.

Content Filtering

The best parental control software offers you a handy content filtering feature that restricts access to certain websites that are inappropriate or explicit. However, you should know that content filtering works best with secure sites. Without Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) filtering, a teenager may easily bypass the system using a different web browser. But if you have toddlers, you can filter every inappropriate thing on the internet effectively. 

Remote Management

You can manage everything online where you have excellent control over activity reports and restrictions on your children's devices. When your kids try accessing a restricted site, making a post using bad language, or bending the rules, the best parental control software sends you a notification to your preferred channel. Any changes you make should be implemented to your children's devices when they connect to the internet. 

Access Scheduling

Some of the best free parental control software lets you set a daily or weekly schedule for your children's device usage. This feature can help you limit your child's usage of these devices and force them to read more books or have fun outdoors. 

Time Limits

Internet parental control software lets you restrict the amount of time your little one spends on the internet. It allows you to set time schedules throughout the day, helping you balance fun and learning in your child's routine. This feature limits the usage of children who have a habit of playing games or using social media apps when they are doing homework. 

Application Blocking

Cell phone parental control software should enable you to have the option of blocking applications as needed. Parental controls let you block apps that are inappropriate for your kid and shopping applications that may result in an unexpected $500 credit card charge on an online store. You can also block specific applications temporarily and give you the chance of blocking and unblocking apps as needed. This feature lets you have seamless control over the application privilege your little one has, ensuring their safety and security.

Streamlined Account

Your kids may possess several devices, such as a smartphone or tablet, and managing different accounts on their vast devices can overwhelm you fast. The best parental control software won't make you log into various accounts to check on different devices by providing you with a streamlined family account. A streamlined account allows you to log in and seamlessly manage all your children's devices, giving you a hassle-free and convenient managing process.

Watchlist Contacts

This feature allows you to place people you do not want to contact your child to a watchlist contact list where you will receive notifications or alarms when they send a message or call your kid's phone. 

YouTube Monitoring

If you are a parent and rely on YouTube to keep your little ones distracted while you do chores around the house or work, you may worry that they may have watched inappropriate content on the platform. You don't have to worry since this feature provides you with a detailed report of what your child has viewed. 

Geofencing

This feature is a more accurate version of the location reporting since it provides you with detailed virtual boundaries surrounding a particular geographical location your child might be in. It allows you to have a more precise location idea where your child might be residing in.

Monitoring Messages

Most parental control software allows you to monitor the contacts and messages your children send. Helping you keep an eye out for potentially dangerous or unsanctioned situations. This feature primarily applies to SMS texts and will enable you to block new connections and read messages that your kids send to their friends. 

Tracking Social Media

Social media tracking can also provide a glimpse into your child's social life, ensuring they are posting appropriate content for their age. However, if you want to track your kid's social media profile on any platform, you should know your little one's login credentials. You can also install the parental control software application on their phones, laptops, or desktop computers.

Pornographic Websites Blocker

Parental control software applications enable you to block all pornography-related websites on the internet, helping you protect your little one from unwanted exposure to adult content on different devices. 

Location Reporting

Useful cell phone parental control software applications should be able to keep track of your child's current location and historical location. It's also essential for these applications to offer control over notifications and the frequency of location reporting, to avoid bombarding you with useless data. This feature lets you keep track of your kid's location at all times, letting you know where they are and ensuring their safety. 

Activity Record

This feature ensures you will have access to all of your child's internet usage log, such as sites visited by them, the keywords used by them, the searches made by them, their time online, and the likes. You can monitor these activity records and have an insight into what your child does on their devices.

Pricing and Platforms

The pricing of parental control software depends on the functions and features they offer. If you want affordability and quality in one application, it is best to pay more and choose an unlimited plan whereby you could connect any devices to the same parental control software.

Emergency or SOS Button

This feature allows your child to alert you or any other members of your family with a single press of a button. The notification alert that parental control software sends includes the time, exact location information, and will keep broadcasting said data until your child deactivates the alarm or you disables it from your account. This feature works regardless of platform and even if your child has run out of their allotted time. 

Types of parental control software

Today's society has unlimited access to information via the internet. However, when you have a kid, that information comes with a price. The influence the internet and video games have on your child can affect their development. Parental control software is a tool that allows you to filter the information your child sees. Below are the different types of parental control software.

Content Filters Parental Control

Content filters allow you to limit the age-inappropriate information that your child has access to. For example, the software or parent can filter out websites that reference violence, gambling, or adult content. This type of parental control software lets you filter content to incoming and outgoing chats, social media, email, and downloaded materials.

Pro #1: It Can Filter Specific Content

This type of parental control software allows you to filter certain content that you don't want your child to come across with, such as websites that reference bad behaviors. 

Pro #2: You Can Use It On Different Platforms

The software is not only limited to inappropriate websites, but you can also filter out content from standard video streaming sites or social media platforms. 

Con #1: You Have To Filter Out The Content Manually

You have to choose what content you do not want your child to see manually, which can be time-consuming. 

Con #2: Your Children May Still Have Access to Certain Websites

Since this type of parental control focuses on filtering specific content, some websites may have loopholes and get through your strict filtering process and still be accessed by your kid.

Usage Controls Parental Control

This parental control is recommended if your children spend copious amounts of time on their electronic devices. The usage controls provide you with special software to limit your kids' access to these devices, helping you balance their learning and fun via technology.

Pro #1: It Automatically Limits The Usage of Your Children

You just have to set the time limit or create a schedule or plan regarding the usage of electronic devices or the internet for your little ones.

Pro #2: It Can Be Implemented On Different Devices 

The limiting feature of this type of parental control is not limited to mobile phones. You can also place time limits on laptops, desktop computers, and gaming consoles.

Con #1: It Doesn't Restrict or Filter Any Content On The Internet

Your child will be given access to all websites that the internet has to offer since this type of parental control only aims to limit your child's device usage.

Computer Usage Management Tools Parental Control

This type of parental control enables you to choose software that your children's electronic devices can only use. It forces the devices of your kids only to use the software of your choice.

Pro #1: It Provides Sturdy Security

The computer usage management tools parental control provides better security to your children's devices since it can only use the software you have chosen.

Pro #2: It Lets You Monitor Your Child's Activities Easier

Computer management tools allow you to view your child's internet activity easily, allowing you to monitor your child's internet usage seamlessly.

Con #1: It Doesn't Restrict Other Content

Although you instilled the software of your choice on your kid's device, it doesn't necessarily restrict inappropriate content or website. It still gives your child the freedom to see the darker side of the internet.

Monitoring Parental Control

It lets you track your kid's location and activity and helps you monitor your little ones' activity or even teenagers. However, it is essential to set some boundaries when using this type of parental control software because you don't want to deprive your children of their freedom altogether. 

Pro #1: It Provides You With A More Detailed Overview Of Your Child's Location and Other Activities

This type of parental control lets you have a more detailed insight into where your kid is anytime and anywhere. So, if they get lost, you can easily track them. 

Con #1: The GPS Function On Your Child's Phone Must Be Active

You can only find your kid's specific location if the GPS (Global Positioning System) feature on their phone is active.

Who needs parental control software?

Parents who want to monitor their child's internet activity in all electronic devices

In this day and age, most kids are glued to their phones, and often, the internet or mobile applications can contain inappropriate content for young children. If you are a parent who wants to monitor your child's internet activity on all their gadgets to ensure their safety and security, you can do that by using the best parental control software. It helps you track all web searches, videos watched, games they played, and other internet activities across a wide variety of websites with ease.

Parents who want to create a white list for their toddlers

The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for your toddlers (5 years and below). By using parental control software, you can personally choose several websites that you deem safe and appropriate for your little one and plug them in the devices your kid uses.

Parents who want to ensure their children have a safe online experience

The internet is full of predators, and most of them prey on clueless individuals, including your children. These criminals may coax your kid into sharing personal information, which can be dangerous for your child and your family. The best free internet computer parental control software services offer you numerous benefits that ensure your children's safety and security when they venture on the internet. 

Parents who want to monitor their child's activity on their laptops or desktop computers

If you have a teenager or a child with their own laptops or desktop computers, monitoring their internet activities and endeavors manually can be a challenge. Downloading network parental control software on their devices enables you to monitor their activity.

Parents who want to regulate their child's usage of electronic devices

Because of the normalization of electronic gadgets, the children of this day and age are accustomed to using these. That can be a problem since it may hinder your child's learning through conventional methods, such as reading physical books, writing using a pen and paper, and more. You can balance your child's education and fun with free parental time control software by allowing you to regulate your child's usage of their gadgets. You can set up schedules and screen time limits.

Parents who want to regulate their child's usage of the internet

If you notice your child is spending too much of their time on the internet for reasons, it is time to use parental internet control software applications. Iit gives you the chance to regulate your kid's usage of the internet by setting up internet limits daily or setting up daily or weekly schedules. 

Step-by-step guide on installing parental control software on popular electronic devices

Computer (General)
Step 1: Go to your computer's control panel. 

Go to the Start menu on your computer's taskbar. Look for your computer's control panel on the start menu and open it.

Step 2:  Set up parental controls. 

In the control panel, look for the user accounts and family safety settings. Select these settings and choose the option to set up parental controls for any user.

Step 3: Place the parental controls under your child's account. 

Look for your kid's account and select it. Under the parental controls, look for the (enforce) current settings and choose it.

Step 4: Place restrictions on inappropriate websites under your kid's account.

Under activity reposting, look for information about your computer usage setting and select it. Choose what websites or platforms you want to filter content out with or restrict your child's access to it.

Smart Television
Step 1: Open your TV and go to its settings.

Press the home button on the remote of your smart TV. Go to settings and look for parental controls.

Step 2: Place restrictions on channels you think are inappropriate.

You can choose between restricted rated programs or guidance. After choosing, set the age level restriction.

Step 3: Place a PIN for channels that need a higher age level to access.  

Set up a PIN using the TV's remote, for shows that require a higher age level.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, parental control software works because it can prevent children from doing things they should not consider when using a computer or a mobile phone. These parental controls also ensure the safety of your children when they're browsing online.

Although your kids can hide their search histories from you, you can still check their browsing histories on their different devices using a computer parental control software monitoring or computer management tool. These types of parental control software let you check your kid's computer internet history and find out what websites your children have been visiting. 

It lets you limit the allowed time your kid spends online, monitor the internet activity of your child, and restrict access to specific applications or websites. It can also help you set schedules of internet and device usage of your children. 

You can monitor your child's computer activity by using parental control software for both computers and mobile phones to let you have control of your child's behavior. The software allows you to monitor your child's activity with features like a geofencing or location tracker. You should also make a parental control software comparison to see what is the most compatible on your kid’s computer.

Go to your router web-based configuration pages and quickly set up the PC parental control software for your network. Most routers offer parental controls, most do not, but you can put parental controls using home internet using OpenDNS to set up parental controls on any router.