15 Best Free Parental Control Apps for Android
As parents, we cannot stop ourselves from wondering what our children do with their phones, especially when they start keeping some friends or hiding their phones away from us. Luckily, science has made it so that technology can battle technology. Software developers have developed free parental control apps for Android phones.
These apps have become rampant, and getting the best parental control app poses to be a headache.
While some are available for free, free for a period, others require a subscription or a sort of payment to access the app. This post contains some of the best free parental control software for Android. Read on to discover more!
- How to Choose the Best Free Parental Control App for Android
- 15 Best Parental Control Apps for Android
- Tips for Better Phone Use and Effective Free Parental Control Apps
- Potential Issues You Might Face When Using Free Parental Control Apps
- Keeping Up with Digital Trends and Emerging Online Risks
- FAQs about Free Parental Control Software
How to Choose the Best Free Parental Control App for Android
Choosing the right free parental control app for your Android device is an important decision. Generally, when choosing the best parental control app for Android, you should consider a few key factors:
Ease of Use
One crucial aspect to look for in a free parental control app is its user-friendliness.
It should have a simple and intuitive interface that allows parents to monitor and manage their child's device activities easily.
Look for apps with a straightforward setup process and clearly labeled controls and settings.
Age of Your Child Age
The kind of parental control app you choose depends on how old your kid is. If your kid is under 12, consider investing in apps that block specific website access. But if you have teenagers, the restriction is lifted a little, thus allowing them objectionable browsing online with your permission.
The Features of the App
A typical parental control app for Android phones should have the following features; location tracking, call logging/blocking, text blocking, web monitoring/filter, app blocker, time limits, etc.
Test and Rating Dimension
After considering your child's age and the features you want the app to have, the next thing is testing the app. You can do that by evaluating the criteria such as price, app management, app installation, etc.
Affordability is another crucial factor to consider. While you may be looking for a free parental control app, it's important to understand any limitations or restrictions that come with the free version.
Some apps offer basic features for free but require a subscription for advanced functionalities. Take into account your budget and the value provided by the app before making a decision.
Reliability and Privacy
Ensure that the parental control app you choose is reliable and trustworthy. Look for apps with a good reputation and positive user reviews.
Having access to reliable customer support can be beneficial when using a parental control app. Look for apps that provide responsive customer support channels, such as email or live chat, to address any questions or concerns you may have.
Good customer support can make the overall experience of using the app more enjoyable and hassle-free.
In a nutshell, the best parental control apps should have variants for kids of different ages, have the features you need, and have good evaluations. Based on all these, we list the top 15 best free parental control apps for Android phone below.
15 Best Parental Control Apps for Android
Now, we will introduce and review these 15 paid & free parental control apps for Android phones in detail. Hopefully, it will be helpful for you to find the most suitable app.
1 Google Family Link
Google Family Link is a first-option parent control app available for free. Its many features are well integrated with the Android operating system. Some of its features include app monitoring and management, location, phone usage habit, and lock the device.
If you only want to manage apps belonging to Google company, it will be enough.
2 AirDroid Parental Control - Best Parental Control App for Android
AirDroid Parental Control is one of the best comprehensive free parental control apps suitable for families. With it, parents/guardians can remotely monitor and manage kids' Android cell phones. To monitor your kid's cell phone on your computer, please head to webparent.airdroid.com.
Some of its features include; call tracking, screen time limits, keyword detection, location tracking, app limiting, etc. You can have a three-day free trial before paying for a plan. It also has some unique features as below:
- Sync notifications from your child's phone to see if they receive any inappropriate content.
- Customize keywords to monitor your child's activity on social media apps.
- Remotely view and listen to kids' surroundings online to ensure their safety
- Remotely know what kids are doing on their Android devices
- Track app activity and set time limits on certain apps
- Track Android phones for free in real-time and set geofencing
3 FamiSafe Phone Monitor App
FamiSafe is a Wondershare product and one of the top Android monitoring apps. It allows parents to monitor and manage their children's digital activities, including screen time, location, and online safety. It is designed to promote healthy digital habits and protect children from online risks. It comes with a three-day free trial.
It can detect porn content and send alters to parents' phones. But Sometimes it's not able to block all inappropriate content. And the free version only has limited features. In terms of parental control, FamiSafe is an excellent choice. Porn, bullying, excessive screen time, and even speeding citations can all be prevented.
4 Find My Kids
Find My Kids is a comprehensive parental control app that offers real-time GPS tracking of your child's location.
It provides geofencing alerts, allowing you to set safe zones and receive notifications when your child enters or leaves those areas.
The app also includes a panic button feature for emergencies and a history of your child's location movements.
5 Norton Family Parental Monitoring App
Norton Family is not just one of the best free parental control apps for Android; it is also a tool for learning. The learning features block distracting notifications from popping up while the kid is studying. On the downside, you need to pay after 30 days of use.
It's easy to use for parents. With its help, parents can schedule phone limits and usage on their child's phones. Also, they can choose which web categories are allowed to see and set specific allowed websites and restricted websites.
6 Net Nanny Parental Control Software
Net Nanny is a powerful parental control app that focuses on filtering and blocking inappropriate content. Also, it supports parents to track the location of their child in real time.
It offers web filtering, app blocking, and time management features. With its robust content filtering technology, Net Nanny ensures your child's online safety by blocking access to harmful websites and apps.
7 Bark Parental Control
Bark Parental Control is an advanced app that uses artificial intelligence to keep an eye on your child's online activities across different platforms like social media, messaging apps, and email.
It scans content for potential risks such as cyberbullying, explicit material, and signs of depression.
By alerting you to these potential dangers, Bark helps you protect your child from online threats and maintain their well-being.
8 Qustodio Parental Control Software
Qustodio is an easy-to-use free parental control app for Android. You can set rules and create schedules of when your kids can use their phones and the websites they can visit.
Its features/pros include call and text message monitoring, the time limit for apps, and location tracking. It has a permanently free option. However, you can only get limited controls like app blocking and web filtering.
9 Safe Lagoon Parental Control
If the Google family link is the pro, the Safe Lagoon is considered the lite version. It allows parents to view the app their kids use, find their kids' location, locks the phone, or limit their usage. Think of it as an alternative to the Google family link. It is also available for free.
10 Kaspersky SafeKids with GPS
Kaspersky SafeKids with GPS are available in the free or paid version. Its features include a blacklist to prevent access to certain websites, age restrictions, and screen usage limits.
It also has app management, screen management, and specific extra mobile tools for parents to monitor their kids' phones.
11 KidLogger Phone Monitoring App for Parents
KidLogger is a free and open-source parental control app. In other words, the user can modify the software for free.
It's available on both computer and phone. Parents can set time and usage restrictions on named apps. Meanwhile, parents can monitor the call and text messages that are sent or received on their child's phones.
12 OpenDNS Family Shield Parental Control Phone App
OpenDNS Family Shield blocks your kid's access to a certain website. It changes the DNS in the control panel from the router level. It involves copying and pasting the nameserver provided by the app over that on your system.
Some of its con includes not specifying the website it blocks or blocklisting a website. There is also no screen usage limit or location tracking. Apart from that, OpenDNS is among the best free web filter tools for parents.
13 Aura Parental Control
Aura Parental Control is a comprehensive solution that prioritizes both online and offline safety. Thanks to features like location tracking, app usage monitoring, and content filtering, Aura helps you create a secure online environment for your child.
From GPS tracking and content filtering to advanced monitoring and alert systems, each app offers unique advantages tailored to different parenting needs.
Consider the specific requirements of your family and choose the app that best suits your preferences for ensuring a safe and controlled digital environment for your child.
14 IvyMobile AppLock Cell Phone Parental Controls
IvyMobile AppLock has several monitoring features, which is why it is among our top 10 best parental control apps for Android. It is ideal for parents who want to keep a tight watch on their kids. It is majorly for younger kids. It locks kids out of sensitive apps. It requires a password to unlock the locked apps.
15 FamilyKeeper Parental Control on Android Phone
FamilyKeeper is a free parental control app that requires the installation of the parent app and child app on your and your child's phone, respectively.
Its top pro/feature is real-time location tracking and notification. It uses artificial intelligence to monitor kids' devices and point out treats on social media and chats. The downside is there is no web filter or screen time limitation unless you subscribe.
Tips for Better Phone Use and Effective Free Parental Control Apps
Sometimes, our failures as parents are reflected in our kids. Parental control apps will not completely protect our kids from all the dangers of having a phone. We need to take extra measures to teach kids how to put their phones to good use. Some include;
1 Communicate with Children about Internet Dangers
You can be your child's counselor. Make them understand that the internet is not a big happy place. It contains scammers, the dark web, and other unpleasant tries. When communicating with them, you need to be as gentle as you can be. Allow them to see you as a friend. This way, they get buy-in for your idea and accept it.
2 Education for proper Internet Surfing
Educate your child about safe and responsible Internet use. Teach them about online privacy, the importance of avoiding suspicious websites, and the potential risks of sharing personal information online.
3 Settings Boundaries
Sometimes, talking to them about internet dangers attached to owning a phone is not enough. You need to have rules put in place about phone use. The rule should involve when eating (no phones), when alone (restricted browsing and downloading), etc.
4 Monitoring and Supervision
Regularly monitor and supervise your child's phone activities. Stay involved in their digital world by reviewing their browsing history, social media interactions, and app usage. This helps you identify any potential red flags or concerning behavior that may require intervention.
5 Customizing Settings
Take advantage of the customization options available in parental control apps. Set appropriate restrictions, such as time limits, app access, and content filtering, based on your child's age and maturity level. Adjust the settings as needed to strike a balance between protection and independence.
6 Balancing Control and Trust
While it's important to establish boundaries and set limits, it's equally crucial to foster trust with your child. Maintain open communication and explain the reasons behind your parental control measures. Encourage discussions about responsible phone use and address any concerns or questions they may have.
7 Leading by Example
Be a positive role model by demonstrating responsible phone usage yourself. Show your child how to use technology mindfully and maintain a healthy balance between screen time and other activities. By setting a good example, you reinforce the importance of responsible phone use.
8 Fostering Offline Activities & Socializing
Encourage your child to engage in offline activities and spend time socializing with friends and family. Promote a well-rounded lifestyle that includes hobbies, physical activities, and face-to-face interactions. By providing alternatives to constant phone use, you help your child develop a healthy relationship with technology.
9 Spend Quality Time with Your Child
If you create time for them, your kids will not feel obligated to glue their eyes and fingers to the phone. Hence, it would help if you spent quality time with them. When they are relaxed enough, they will not remember their Android cell phone unless to take pictures of the moment.
Potential Issues You Might Face When Using Free Parental Control Apps
While free parental control apps can be beneficial, it's important to be aware of potential risks and drawbacks. Here are some factors to consider when using these apps:
Free versions of parental control apps often have limited features compared to their premium counterparts. Some advanced functionalities, such as detailed reporting or advanced content filtering, may only be available in paid versions. Evaluate the features provided in the free app to ensure they meet your specific requirements.
Free apps are typically ad-supported, which means you may encounter intrusive advertisements while using the app. These ads can be distracting and potentially disrupt your experience. Consider whether the frequency and type of ads are acceptable for you and your child.
Free apps may experience performance issues due to limited resources or optimization. This could result in slower response times, occasional crashes, or other technical glitches. Test the app on your device to ensure it functions smoothly and doesn't negatively impact your child's device performance.
Lack of Customer Service
Free apps often provide limited customer support options compared to paid versions. You may not have access to dedicated customer service or prompt assistance if you encounter any issues or have questions. Consider whether the available support channels, such as community forums or knowledge bases, are sufficient for your needs.
Keeping Up with Digital Trends and Emerging Online Risks
In today's ever-evolving digital landscape, it's crucial for parents to stay informed about the latest apps, platforms, and online risks that their children may encounter.
Here are some actionable ways to stay updated and effectively navigate the digital world:
Staying informed about the latest apps, platforms, and online risks.
Regularly educate yourself about popular apps, social media platforms, and emerging online risks. Follow reputable sources, such as tech news websites and parenting blogs, that provide insights and updates on digital trends. Join online communities or forums where parents share information and experiences.
Adapting your digital parenting strategy as your child grows and technology evolves.
As your child grows older and technology advances, it's essential to adapt your digital parenting strategy accordingly. Review and update your rules and guidelines to reflect their age, maturity level, and changing digital landscape. Be open to learning about new technologies and be willing to adjust your approach as needed.
Engaging in ongoing conversations with your child about their online experiences.
Maintain open and ongoing conversations with your child about their online experiences. Create a safe and non-judgmental space for them to share their concerns, challenges, and triumphs. Encourage them to ask questions and discuss any issues they encounter online. By actively listening and engaging in dialogue, you can provide guidance and support.
Honestly, software companies will only develop a partial feature of free parental control apps for Android phones or iPhones. It either comes free for a while or has ads running inside until you upgrade to premium.
Software performance is the most important thing to look for in parental control software for Android. That is why we recommend AirDroid Parental Control. It is not forever free, but it gives a complete insight into your kids' activities with their Android devices.
FAQs about Free Parental Control Software
These apps are designed with enhanced security measures to prevent unauthorized removal. They often require a password or PIN code to uninstall, ensuring that the parental control features remain intact and effective.
When choosing a free parental control app, you can look for features like "uninstall protection" or "app lock" to ensure that it cannot be easily bypassed or removed without your knowledge.
Hidden parental control apps often have features like stealth mode or hidden icons, making them difficult for children to detect.
However, it's important to note that the use of hidden apps should be approached with caution and used responsibly, respecting privacy and trust within the parent-child relationship.
Open and honest communication with your child about the purpose and benefits of parental control apps is always encouraged.