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Keep Children Safe Online With Parental Controls Apps

Last Updated on January 24, 2022

There are many parental controls apps on the market, and parental controls space is changing all the time.

Parental controls is a game of Whack-a-Mole:

  • New devices (like Internet of Things) invade our homes and present new threats to our kids
  • New services (any new gaming, video, and social media apps) are developed and parental controls need to catch up
  • New features are introduced by the existing platforms that are not covered by previous parental controls
  • Big tech companies are modifying their platforms, causing software bugs and problems with third-party parental control settings
  • Kids keep discovering new loopholes!

That’s why it is so hard – if not impossible – to claim which parental control app is “the best”. They might be doing great today, but broken by the changes in the tech landscape tomorrow. Or the other way around – they might be performing poorly, but get fixed, upgraded, and become stellar. The best strategy when making a choice is probably to read MOST RECENT reviews from the actual customers – they will reflect the current situation.

TIP: If you see hundreds of 1-star reviews from teenagers starting with words “I hate my parents”, the app definitely works!

We have studied the reviews from actual users: parents who downloaded and used these apps, and confirmed that they do what parents expect them to do: limit screen time, filter content, and develop good digital habits.  

Since Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft all have their own integrated parental controls systems, they can – and often do – limit the functionality of third-party parental controls apps. Which means that the developers of these apps have to work extra hard to stay in business – which for customers usually means great product quality and customer service.


  • This app has a combination of 1-star reviews from outraged teens and 5-star reviews from triumphant parents, a great testimony to its effectiveness!
  • Cost:
    • Bark Jr (younger kids) $5 per month or $49 annually
    • Bark (comprehensive) $14 per month or $99 annually
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Monitors: phones, computers, tablets and other Internet-enabled devices
  • Proactively monitors text messages, YouTube, emails, and 30+ different social networks for potential safety concerns
  • Get alerts for issues like cyberbullying, online predators, suicidal ideation, violence, weapons 
  • Set screen time limits and create schedules
  • Filter content, decide which websites kids can visit
  • Track location of kid’s device

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  • Cost:
    • $3.99 per month (5 devices)
    • $4.99 per month (10 devices)
    • $9.99 per month (20 devices)
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS
  • Supervise videos and set age-appropriate filters for YouTube
  • Set daily screen time limits and schedules
  • Instantly lock all family devices
  • Filter content by age and by category
  • Enforce safe internet search
  • Allow or block websites, restrict keywords
  • Block individual apps, prevent the child from installing new apps
  • Track browsing history
  • Track location in real time

Get a 7-Day Free Trial

Gryphon Homebound

  • What is unique about Gryphon Homebound is that it’s an extension of the Gryphon WiFi System. Superior parental controls of Gryphon WiFi Router can follow your kid’s phone everywhere – even when using cellular data or public WiFi.
  • Pricing: $49.00 per year for up to 5 mobile devices
  • With Homebound App installed on your child’s smartphone, you can now manage them as if they never left the house.
  • Homebound automatically and securely routes all traffic from the phone back through Gryphon Mesh Router for filtering.
  • FREE 90-day trial with the purchase of Gryphon router (on Gryphon website only). Check price on Amazon:


  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Does not cover: Gaming Consoles, Laptops or PCs, Windows or Kindle Fire devices, Smart home devices (Google Home, Amazon Echo)
  • Cost:
    • Free basic version (1 device, limited blocks and schedules) 
    • Plus $1.99/month (10 devices, unlimited blocks and schedules) 
    • Premium $6.99/month (20 devices, unlimited blocks and schedules)
  • Individual App Control
  • Screen Time Allowance
  • iMessage/SMS Blocking
  • Web Browser Blocking
  • New App Install Alerts
  • Content Filtering
  • Website Whitelisting and Blacklisting
  • Device Location Monitoring


  • Cost:
    • Basic $39.99 annual, $3.99 monthly, $79.99 lifetime
    • Premium $59.99 annual, $5.99 monthly, $99.99 lifetime
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows (does not block content).
  • Control iOS devices from Android devices, and vice-versa. Can be managed from a PC as well. 
  • Disable apps individually 
  • Set daily screen time limits and schedules 
  • Track location
  • Differentiate between parent and child modes
  • Filter inappropriate content
  • Block internet access  

ScreenTime Labs

  • Cost:
    • Free version for basic monitoring
    • $6.99 per month to use all features
  • Platforms: Apple, Android and Amazon, some features are Android only
  • Set time limits and schedules
  • Reward kids with screen time for completed tasks
  • Instantly pause kids’ devices
  • Block or restrict specific apps and websites
  • Filter inappropriate content
  • Track location
  • View activity reports


  • Cost:
    • Free basic version (usage monitoring only) 
    • Premium $5/month (annual subscription) 
    • $6.99/month (monthly subscription)  
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, tablets, laptops, Smart TVs
  • Set daily screen time limits and schedules
  • Block individual apps
  • Remotely pause the internet 
  • Reward your kids with more screen time for doing chores
  • Reward your kids with more screen time for being physically active
  • Filter inappropriate content 
  • Assign multiple devices per kid & designate shared family devices
  • Activity reports
  • Control devices anywhere with VPN technology, regardless of WiFi or data they use


  • Cost:
    • Free version (content filter only)
    • $6.95 per month subscription for full features
  • Platforms: iOS, Android (features vary between platforms) 
  • Does not monitor laptops and other Internet-enabled devices
  • Block individual apps
  • Set time limits and schedules
  • Customized content filtering by category using VPN technology
  • Block individual websites
  • Filter YouTube
  • Pause Internet or turn devices off with a timeout feature
  • Disable app installation 
  • Block contacts
  • Disable camera and screenshots

Kaspersky Safe Kids

  • Cost: affordable $14.99 per year
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, Mac. Some features are limited in iOS due to Apple’s restrictions.
  • Set screen time limits and schedules by device
  • Filter inappropriate content
  • Manage access to apps
  • Enforce safe search, including YouTube
  • Manage apps by time, age restrictions or category
  • Track location
  • Track Facebook activity and YouTube search history


  • This app was developed for adults and is about building digital habits for the entire family
  • Cost: Subscription $7.99 per month or $59.99 per year
  • Platforms: iOS, Android 
  • Does not monitor other devices
  • Device Addiction Coaching
  • Establish phone-free times
  • Track usage
  • Track location

Whichever software you end up choosing, we recommend to supplement it by layering several parental controls solutions to achieve optimal results and prevent things slipping through the cracks:

Parental controls layers
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This Post Has One Comment

  1. ...

    I feel that the best way to restrict online activity is to separate kids from screens.

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