Qustodio evaluate: Parental management software program to restrict youngsters’ display screen time

Qustodio review: Parental control software to limit kids' screen time

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Qustodio review: Parental control software to limit kids' screen time

Simon Hill/INSIDER

  • With good parental controls, you possibly can set display screen closing dates, regulate how your little one makes use of the web, and even observe their location on some gadgets.
  • Qustodio provides you granular management over your kid’s machine time with the choice to dam or restrict particular apps or video games, filter out objectionable content material, and hold a detailed eye on all their on-line exercise. 
  • The Qustodio software program works nicely throughout quite a lot of platforms and gadgets together with Android, Kindle, Home windows, and Mac OS, however iOS performance could be very restricted and there isn’t any Chromebook assist.
  • An annual subscription to Qustodio will value you $49.46 for 5 gadgets, $87.26 for 10 gadgets, or $124.16 for 15 gadgets.
  • In our exams, we discovered it to be too invasive and it lacked some options present in free parental management software program, making it arduous to justify the excessive value.
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Youngsters have a world of leisure at their fingertips these days, and most will spend hours every day on-line or enjoying video games … should you allow them to. To maintain your youngsters secure, it is vital to contemplate parental controls that may filter out objectionable content material, restrict general display screen time, and provide you with some perception into what they’re getting as much as on the web. Qustodio goals to do precisely that, providing an in-depth have a look at on-line exercise, net filtering controls, display screen closing dates, and extra.

Whereas the highest machine producers all provide some type of parental management, they do not play properly collectively. Third-party choices like Qustodio goal to bridge that hole by providing a single level of oversight and management that may cowl your kid’s telephone, pill, and laptop computer or desktop pc. The software program is simple to make use of and it provides you granular management and actual perception into what your youngsters are doing, however it does not work nicely on each platform, it raises some privateness issues, and the subscription is dear. 

As the daddy of an 11-year-old boy with a severe “Fortnite” behavior and an 8-year-old lady who is commonly on-line, I used to be to attempt Qustodio. I used to be supplied with a yr’s premium subscription to check Qustodio for this evaluate.

Qustodio works on the next platforms:

  • Home windows (Home windows 7 SP1 or later)
  • Mac OS X (Mavericks 10.9 or later)
  • Android (Android OS 4.Four or later)
  • iOS (iOS 11 or later)
  • Kindle (Kindle OS 4.0.three or later)

The net filtering is proscribed to the next browsers:

  • Home windows computer systems: Google Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.
  • Mac computer systems: Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox.
  • Android gadgets: Google Chrome and Firefox.
  • Kindle gadgets: Amazon Silk Browser.
  • iOS gadgets: Google Chrome and Safari.

Qustodio review


To get began, you will log in by yourself pc and create profiles on your youngsters. The Qustodio app have to be put in on each machine that you just wish to monitor. You’ll be able to mark gadgets as parental or belonging to youngsters and add them to the related little one profile through the setup course of. It is comparatively easy on most gadgets, however you’ll need to grant a variety of permissions on Android, which takes a bit longer. 

You’ll be able to select to cover the Qustodio app on Home windows or Mac OS computer systems, however not on cell gadgets. 

Qustodio provides you a variety of management. You’ll be able to set day by day closing dates for general display screen time, and you’ll schedule occasions when gadgets cannot be used. It is necessary to notice that it is advisable to select what occurs when the restrict is reached. I discovered that it solely locked net shopping and web entry by default, so my son was capable of proceed gaming past the restrict. You can even select to fully lock the machine or just set off an alert to let you realize they’ve hit their restrict. 

For those who select to lock the machine, your little one will see a message telling them time’s up when the restrict is reached, they usually’ll be unable to make use of the machine till the subsequent day. I like to recommend going with the alert as an alternative, because the block will lower them off in the course of no matter they had been doing, which might trigger upset in the event that they had been chatting to a pal or in the course of a sport. 

Qustodio additionally presents in-depth categorized net filtering controls that block pornography, playing, weapons, medicine, and some other forms of content material. You’ll be able to select which classes you wish to block or enable, and you’ll arrange exceptions to all the time block or enable particular web sites. By default, Qustodio will block the set up of any unsupported browser. The net filtering appeared to work nicely and efficiently blocked most objectionable content material after I examined it, although not all. 

The video games and apps part means that you can set particular day by day closing dates for particular person apps or video games, although you possibly can solely configure them as soon as your little one makes use of the app or sport for the primary time after putting in Qustodio. There’s additionally a particular YouTube monitoring tab. Qustodio means that you can see all of the movies your little one watches and what they looked for in YouTube. The Calls & SMS tab reveals a name log and you’ll even have it present your kid’s SMS messages on Android telephones, however this characteristic does not work on iPhones. There’s a social media monitoring choice, however it solely covers Fb.

The situation tab reveals your kid’s final identified location for Android telephones or iPhones, supplied their telephone is on and linked to the web. It appears pretty correct once they’re someplace for some time, however it’s commonplace for it to be anyplace as much as 100 toes out, relying on the situation and how briskly they’re shifting.  

Your kid’s abstract tab reveals you ways they spend their time every day and flags questionable exercise. It is easy to evaluate at a look and offers you all of the pertinent particulars. You get a day by day report through e-mail that reveals the identical data. If you wish to dig deeper, there’s an exercise timeline that logs each single motion, together with time spent in apps or video games, net searches, net pages visited, and placement data for Android telephones or iPhones.

Qustodio review


What makes it stand out

A lot of the options that Qustodio presents, together with display screen, app, and sport closing dates, net filtering, and placement monitoring, will be discovered without spending a dime in software program like Google Household Hyperlink, Microsoft Household Security, Amazon Parental Controls, or Apple Display Time. By leaping by way of just a few hoops, you may also see their net and search historical past. These firms have all vastly improved their parental controls lately, so the necessity for third-party software program is questionable. 

One drawback is, in case your little one owns an iPhone, a Hearth pill, and a Home windows pc, for instance, you will need to use three completely different units of parental controls. What Qustodio means that you can do, is ready one restrict that applies throughout all gadgets from completely different producers. It supplies a straightforward to make use of, one-stop interface, provides you an entire operating commentary of all the things they do on their gadgets, and presents finer management in sure areas, equivalent to net filtering by class.

Whereas Qustodio is simple to make use of, it did not work nicely for our household. My daughter has a Chromebook and there isn’t any Chromebook assist in any respect. Qustodio can also be very restricted on iOS, so you possibly can’t set particular closing dates for a lot of apps or video games on iPhones or observe calls and SMS messages. In comparison with Google’s Household Hyperlink, which I presently use essentially the most, Qustodio does not provide an important deal additional. Actually, it lacks a straightforward system for granting bonus time or locking down a tool immediately.

Each guardian should make their very own choices about easy methods to monitor their kid’s on-line exercise, however I discover Qustodio to be a bit too invasive for my tastes. The choice to cover the software program on computer systems or to learn the content material of your kid’s textual content messages on Android reveals a elementary lack of belief that no little one will reply nicely to. Even should you do determine that it is advisable to evaluate your kid’s on-line communications, the truth that Qustodio solely tracks SMS and Fb renders it fairly ineffective for that function. Most children use messaging apps to talk with associates these days.

It is also necessary to notice that Qustodio is simply capable of present you particulars of your kid’s on-line exercise since you are successfully routing their on-line visitors by way of Qustodio’s servers. You might be placing a variety of belief on this firm. I like to recommend studying the privateness coverage to determine whether or not you might be snug with this. You might be basically establishing a VPN (digital personal community) with Qustodio. 

Whereas Qustodio is simple to make use of, includes a good set of granular controls, and supplies plenty of perception into your kid’s on-line exercise, I’ve reservations about how invasive it’s. Maybe if you would like parental controls which are easy to make use of throughout a mixture of Android, Kindle, Home windows, and Mac OS gadgets, Qustodio will go well with you. The constraints on iOS make it more durable to suggest for youths with iPhones.

Technically, there’s a free model of Qustodio, however the characteristic set is proscribed, and it solely works with one machine, so you will wish to pay for the Premium subscription. Qustodio is dear with annual subscriptions priced at $49.46 for 5 gadgets, $87.26 for 10 gadgets, or $124.16 for 15 gadgets. Contemplating that the parental controls supplied by Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon are fully free and provide you with nearly the identical performance, that value is simply too excessive for us to suggest you purchase it. 

Professionals: Net filtering, display screen closing dates, app and sport limits, full shopping and search historical past, location monitoring, simple to make use of

Cons: Costly, restricted iOS assist, no Chromebook assist, privateness issues