In this article we’re going to review one of the familiar parental control applications on the market, namely Qustodio Parental Control. As with all apps on the market, this one also has its own fame and its uniques features can beat up even the future parental control based apps on the market. Qustodio Team had plenty of time to analyze all possible features and create an app that is one step above the competition. With this in mind, let’s we have a indepth review of the app.
Available on a multitude of platforms
The first thing we have noticed in regard to Qustodio is that it’s available on a wide variety of platforms. These platforms are, in their order of availability: Windows, Android, Mac OS X, Kindle and iOS. It’s also to be noted that the OS availability includes smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Thus, regardless of which device(s) your children use, you can always be sure that they are under control. It’s also to be noted that one Qustodio account can manage up to 5 devices at a time, allowing you to control them wirelessly from wherever you may find yourself at.
Easy to Set- Up
Once you download the app from your device’s store it will take you maximum 2-3 minutes to get it up and running. All you have to do is create an account within the app, set a few variables in regard to your kid (his/her age, background, avatar and what he/she can access or not) and then you’re ready to go. Once the parent control track app has been configured it will ask for your password each time your child tries to access forbidden content (all while reporting on your account’s activity stream).
Plenty of advanced features
Albeit the application interface is pretty simple and neat on itself (we tested only Android and iOS), once you log on the web interface you gain access to extremely detailed usage activity as well as highly advanced features. For instance, you get to see exactly which applications your child has used and for how long, which websites has visited and for how long, whom he/she called and for how long. In addition, you get to see which websites the app has blocked and why and check the social activity of your kid including a list of all contacts he/she called or chatted with.
Furthermore, you can see his/her current location or define the blocked apps/websites on-the-go. By comparison, the app interface allows you to set whether to protect device settings, block ‘incognito’ (private browsing) mode or protect the device altogether.
Set specifically which websites your child can access
If you have a child who is not yet of legal age, then you can choose exactly to which websites you grant him/her access or not. By default, Qustodio also provides you with a list of restricted sites, which include violence, weapons, pornography, mature content, tobacco, drugs and so on. You can choose to expand this list to shopping, employment, religion, social networking and a lot more, all with one click. In addition, you can also restrict or allow certain websites with one click. Default values can also be restored on demand.
Set the device’s exact time usage limits
If you want your child to use the device only within a given time frame (e.g. from 2pm to 8pm everyday or only 2 hours per day during weekdays), then you can do that very easy from within the web interface. Aside from the specified interval you may choose to restrict either just online or both online and offline use. You may also choose to be altered whenever your child reaches his/her usage limit.
This was pretty much all on the pros side, now let’s take a look at the downsides of the app. Albeit we couldn’t find much to reproach it, there are few things which are worthy to be noted.
Doesn’t work with all browsers
On the devices we have tested (i.e. an Android tablet, an Android phone and one iPhone) Qustodio blocked webpages on the default ones (here including Google Chrome). The app cant monitor browsing activity on Opera Mini, FlashFox, Puffin Web Browser and the like.
However, parents may choose to restrict the use of these apps altogether if they suspect their children are using it to access forbidden content. Also one thing is quite exciting and unique about what Qustodio on Chrome browser is its ability to detect incognito browsing on chrome and block that if the parent wishes. I think this is a great addition.
With these pros and cons in mind, Qustodio can be declared a winner in the parent control track niche. It provides plenty of features which many paid apps lack, and even if the Premium version asks for an annual subscription you can always choose to resort to the Free version and use it for as long as you like.