In today’s multi-device environment, a parental control solution that only runs on your family PC is nearly useless. This article will provide you with a review of Qustodio, the best parental control app for Android, iPhone, and other devices.
What is Qustodio?
Qustodio is one of the best parental control and digital well-being applications for PCs, tablets, and smartphones. It allows you to keep track of your children’s screen time and protect them from inappropriate content. Via this phone tracking app, you can monitor their device usage history and set particular filters and time limits for websites and apps they use.
Qustodio is an easy-to-manage and highly configurable parental control software for Chromebook, Android, macOS, Windows, iOS, and even Kindle devices that comes at a hefty price tag. It may be pricey, but many parents feel that it offers them much more control over what their children do online than other platforms.
It has additional functions such as a panic button and SMS monitoring, making it ideal for fighting against cyberbullying. In addition, you can monitor text messages and social media posts and ban contacts from certain phone numbers with SMS and social media tracking. Qustodio likewise has a user-friendly UI, location monitoring, and geofencing but lacks a tamper-alert feature.
Qustodio isn’t just for parents and kids. Qustodio for Schools seeks to keep pupils on task when using school computers. In contrast, Qustodio for Business ensures that employees are focused on their work rather than watching random videos—or worse. These items are similar to Qustodio for Families in terms of features. The most significant distinction is in pricing.
Qustodio Pros And Cons
What We Like
- Ingenious web interface
- Does not require extra hardware
- Configurable and easy to use
- Advanced content filters
- Location monitoring and geofencing
- Comprehensive-time restrictions
- App blocking on mobile and desktop platforms
- Cross-platform support
- Intuitive apps
- Comprehensive social media tracking
What We Don’t Like
- No tamper-alert feature
- On both desktop and mobile devices, VPN bypasses the web filter
- Antivirus software conflicts
- Social media tracking (Facebook only)
- No uninstall protection
- Less compatibility with iOS devices
Qustodio has one of the most comprehensive feature lists of any parental control software suite we’ve encountered. Web content screening, powerful app banning, and a complete activity record are just a few of the features you’ll find in this web and mobile application. Furthermore, all settings and monitoring are done through Qustodio’s web dashboard or the parental mode of its mobile apps, allowing you to create and set rules and monitor your child’s text messages and other activities from anywhere. The comprehensive feature set and excellent customizability of Qustodio exceed the hefty price tag and absence of robust social media tracking tools.
Qustodio is compatible with many platforms, including Mac OS X, Android, iOS, Kindle, Chromebook, and Windows PCs, while Windows phones are not supported. Qustodio, like every other application, has various pricing and subscription options.
The Qustodio Free plan is a good start, but if you have more than one device or kid, Premium versions are essential for comprehensive protection and monitoring across all of your kids’ devices. The following features are standard with a yearly premium subscription (with any device count):
- Internet and mobile app monitoring and blocking
- Time limit control settings
- Web filtering capabilities
- YouTube search monitoring (Android, Mac, and Windows only)
- Location tracking (Android or iOS device only)
- Social media monitoring (Facebook only)
- Panic button (Android only)
- SMS and Call monitoring and blocking (Android only)
- History reports dating back to 30 days
- Online reporting dashboard
Because of privacy restrictions, certain functions are not available on particular devices, but this is a problem that applies to nearly every parental control software. It’s beyond Qustodio’s control.
Qustodio Usability and Alerts
The Qustodio interface is simple and very easy to use, so even less tech-savvy parents should encounter no difficulties setting distinct limitations for their children’s gadgets. It also contains some interesting functions, including the Activity Timeline and Panic Button.
Most parental control applications, for example, treat their location tools simply as a way for parents to keep an eye on their children. If a youngster needs assistance, Qustodio’s SOS button sends a location-based email or SMS alert to a list of trusted contacts. If your child is displeased that you have installed any parental controls system at all, this may persuade them that they, too, may benefit from the app.
As the name implies, the Activity Timeline displays a minute-by-minute breakdown of your child’s device usage, including apps they use, websites they visit, and social media posts they make.
The Qustodio app may notify you if a kid accesses a certain sort of website, such as file-sharing or chat sites, in addition to allowing or preventing specific categories of websites. This allows kids to browse some potentially hazardous—but not unsafe—sites but lets you monitor their behavior.
Read more: Bark Parental Control App Review
How to Set-up Qustodio
Setting up Qustodio is quite easy, and you can manage everything from a web browser or mobile apps. You must install a local client on each device you want to track after purchasing a Qustodio membership. Installing Windows and macOS is simple. Download and run the installer, login, and give the device a name.
You can use the online interface to apply configuration settings to all user accounts on a computer, or you can set up each login account independently. However, we still despise Qustodio’s silent installation choice, which hides Qustodio from the monitored user because this setup looks more like spying than informed monitoring.
On the App Store and Google Play Store, there is only one Qustodio app, and you must select whether you are using a parent or a child device during setup. We prefer the single app approach rather than several versions because it is easier for parents to find.
On Android, you’ll need to grant Qustodio a variety of rights, including Apps with usage access, device-level access, and Accessibility access (SMS, calls, contacts, location, and media), as well as allowing it to serve as a device admin app. To properly configure Qustodio on iOS, An MDM device profile, as well as a VPN, must be downloaded and installed.
Any full-featured parental control app for mobile devices should meet these requirements. Remember to password-protect the Android settings and delete the guest account, exempting it from Qustodio’s restrictions and guidelines. If you don’t remove the option to create new users via Android’s Quick Settings pull-down menu, kids can access this generic account even if the device’s time limit has expired.
Complete Installation Process
To get started, go to Qustodio.com and create an account (directly from the homepage). Then, you’ll be taken to the Qustodio online portal. A three-day free trial of the Premium plan is automatically supplied to new users. The benefit of this free trial is that you don’t have to provide any financial information.
- You must first add a child’s profile by providing their name, birth year, and gender.
- Select a device to add. Choose between a smartphone, a desktop computer, or a tablet.
- If it’s the device you’re using right now, you’ll be prompted to confirm. If so, select Yes to be taken to a page where you may download the app. Select Protect This Device, and the client will download (assuming you’re on a desktop).
- If not, and you choose No, you’ll be directed to the Qustodio download page on the device you want to secure using a browser on that device. All browser tabs must be closed before installing the Qustodio app.
Qustodio can be downloaded from the app store for your smartphone. During installation, a setup wizard walks you through several stages to help you get started. You can check the box labeled Don’t let others notice Qustodio has been installed on this computer throughout the desktop install process. This stops the Qustodio app from showing up anywhere on the user’s profile, allowing you to use the monitoring software without your child seeing it.
After you’ve completed the setup and have your profiles loaded and ready to use, it’s time to investigate the application itself to see what it can do. Go to Your Family, select your child, and choose Rules on the web portal to finish the setting.
Qustodio recommends letting your child go wild for a while first and then setting up limits depending on the stuff they viewed when they were unrestrained after a few hours or a day of stealthy monitoring.
This makes it much easier to identify which apps they’re using and how much time they’re spending on them, as well as which websites they’re browsing and which social features they’re utilizing. After you’ve logged these, you can go back in and set separate rules for each application. You can better determine what boundaries are appropriate for everyone involved because you have a rough notion of how kids spend playing a game or browsing certain websites.
Once you’ve compiled a list of the child’s favorite shows, you may assign each one its own set of daily limits. For example, you can put a one-hour time limit on Minecraft on weeknights but increase it to three hours on weekends in the Games & Apps menu, and so on. You can also establish daily screen time restrictions and restrict usage at specific times in the Daily Time Limits tab and Restricted Times tab. These areas are extremely user-friendly and simple enough for even the most technologically challenged parents to comprehend.
It’s worth noting that there are two separate Qustodio mobile apps: one for monitoring and one for monitoring your child’s device. The mobile app for parental to monitor kids phone is nearly equivalent to the web interface. This is advantageous because it reduces the learning curve if you want to use both.
Qustodio Plans and Pricing
Qustodio is available in both a free and a paid version. The free version only covers one device and has restricted activity tracking capabilities.
Regardless of whether you intend to purchase or not, all new Qustodio accounts are immediately upgraded to a three-day premium membership. Here’s how the subscription model works if you choose a paid plan.
The Small plan, which costs $54.95 a year and covers five devices, is the first option. The Medium ($96.95 per year) plan protects up to 10 devices, while the Large ($137.95 per year) plan protects 15 devices.
If you need to add more devices to your plan at any point, Qustodio has an easy upgrade process that only charges you for the difference between your old and new subscriptions, rather than forcing you to pay for a new membership upfront.
Schools and corporations can use Qustodio’s services as well. These plans range in price from €28.95 ($35.04) per month for up to five devices to €173.95 ($210.54) per month for up to 100. In addition, Qustodio can provide a tailored quote for extra devices.
Qustodio Customer Support
On its website, Qustodio has a help page/section. This section mostly offers setup tutorials and a variety of FAQs on topics such as settings, subscriptions, features, and customization. You can contact Qustodio’s customer service team if you can’t find what you’re searching for here. It’s worth mentioning, though, that sending a support request requires you to be a premium subscriber.
Qustodio Free Trial and Refund Policy
Qustodio offers a free 3 day trial for all its paid plans that is not available for the free version. In addition, when you download the app, you get a three-day free trial of the Premium version. Unlike many free trials, which require a credit card number, the Qustodio Premium trial does not, so you don’t have to worry about canceling after the three free days.
If you buy the premium subscription after the free 3-day trial and you are not satisfied with this parental control software, you can cancel your subscription at any time. If you change your mind and want to cancel your Qustodio plan within 30 days of purchase, you can contact the Customer Support Team to get a refund.
Qustodio Review – Verdict
Qustodio is a wonderful choice if you want to go beyond basic pornography prevention and want software that will assist you to keep your kids safe from cyberbullying on social media.
The software has an industry-leading control dashboard, a strong user interface, a long number of features, and excellent performance. Yes, it’s pricey, but you get what you pay for here, in my opinion. So don’t wait any longer if you’ve been on the fence about parental control.
It includes some of the most extensive text messaging, and social media account monitoring software available. Its time limit restrictions also assist in preventing children from becoming addicted to screens. However, keep in mind that it is more expensive than other parental control alternatives, and it doesn’t always work with iOS devices.
The panic button is a feature that sets Qustodio apart from its competitors. It’s not a replacement for official services, but it’s a terrific way to notify trusted individuals. In addition, the user interface is fantastic. It’s simple to use, and all of the information is provided undoubtedly.
|Price||Free to $138/year|
|Number of devices||1 to 15|
|Platforms||Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Mac, Windows, Chrome OS|
|Web portal for parents||Yes|
|App blocker||Yes (limited on iOS)|
What can Qustodio see?
Qustodio can see everything your child does on their device. Qustodio is an all-in-one parental control software, so it’s able to track any activity you’d like. Categories of the things Qustodio tracks include:
- Websites visited
- Social media apps, groups, and users
- Apps installed or used by your child
- Blocking specific contacts
- Access to text messages and calls
Can Qustodio be bypassed?
Yes, Qustodio is one of the many parental control programs that have flaws. A short Google search will turn up a video demonstrating how to get around the software. However, the fundamental problem is that Qustodio fails to report when a user is stopped or removed.
It can be uninstalled from mobile phones, and an Android Guest account can be used to get around it. Even if you check your child’s phone, the program will display everything in order.
Can Qustodio see deleted messages?
Qustodio does not have access to communications that have been removed. You can see all of your child’s phone conversations and text messages using Qustodio.
When it comes to recovering deleted texts, more invasive software is available. You can also contact the phone carrier to obtain access to deleted messages. Keep in mind that you’ll need to show proof that you’re paying for the phone number.
How much does Qustodio cost?
Although Qustodio for Families is pricey, it does provide a perpetually free option. The free version allows you to monitor only one device and maintains only seven days of activity information. Basic restrictions such as site blocking and time quotas for specific activities are also available.
Qustodio’s premium subscription plans are divided into three categories: Small (five devices), Medium (10 devices), and Large (15 devices). The annual fees for these plans are $54.95, $96.95, and $137.95, respectively. Up to 30 days of activity history, application-based time restrictions, and location tracking are some of the benefits of these plans above the free version.