Today’s kids spend much of their time on phones, tablets, TV, and computers, which can have mixed results. While entertaining, it’s possible for your child to be exposed to something inappropriate. Besides, there should be a limit to how much screen time your child should have. Your child should go outside and avoid screens before bed to ensure the best health possible.
One way you can do this is through a free parental control app that limits what they can do. This post will show you the best parental control app choices to make. Let’s begin.
How to Choose the Best Free Parental Control App
Before you pick an app, having some criteria can allow you to choose the best app for your situation. Here’s what you need to look for in a free parental control app.
Is It Truly Free?
Some apps claim free but lock all the essential features behind a paywall. Sadly, that’s how most apps work. Some let you get a free taste through free trials and money-back guarantees, but others do not.
When choosing a free parental control app, knowing if it’s free or not can help you make a decision. However, with that said, there are cases where paying a little more can benefit you.
How Easy Is It?
As a parent, you might not have the time to learn how to root a phone or navigate through an overly complicated dashboard. Therefore, you want an app that’s easy for anyone to use. Most will have tutorials, and their basic features are easy to figure out.
What Features Does the App Have?
Any free parental control app should be able to block websites and apps that are inappropriate for your child. However, you might want more features out of an app. For example, some can limit the amount of time your child spends on social media, while others have a phone tracker so that you can ensure your child isn’t doing anything they’re not supposed to.
Is It Discreet?
You want an app that your children won’t notice and an app that won’t slow down the device. Modern parental control apps do a great job at being discreet, running quietly in the background.
Is It Hard to Bypass?
Essential parental control apps make it, so your child needs to enter a password or uninstall the app for the effects to disappear. However, good apps tend to have more security features to make removing it difficult, such as two-factor authentication and other ways to keep the app secure.
Do You Need to Jailbreak Your Phone?
Jailbreaking your phone involves the removal of software that restricts how you use your phone. Many people do this to have more freedom with their phones or to install apps not approved by the store. However, jailbreaking an app can be difficult and void your warranty.
Many parental control apps do not require jailbreaking, but some do. Therefore, it’s always vital for you to do your research and see what the requirements are.
Top 6 Advanced Monitoring Tools for iOS
Now, look at the best parental control app for iPhone users. Please note that many apps may also be available for Android and desktop.
This app is one of the most advanced parental control apps, providing everything you want to keep your kids safe. It does everything from limiting certain apps to the amount of time your child spends on them.
In addition, uMobix allows you to monitor text messages, call logs, and track via GPS. It also uses iCloud data, meaning you don’t need to jailbreak a target phone.
Unfortunately, this is not an entirely free parental control app. However, it does provide a demo, helping you to decide if you want it.
Apple’s Screen Time
Sometimes, the solution comes in settings already built into the phone. For example, the iPhone has a Screen Time feature, which lets you monitor how much time your child can be on specific apps. Once the allotted time is reached, your child cannot use the app for the rest of the day. In addition, you can set the screen time on specific days. For instance, you might permit your child to have more screen time on the weekends.
This setting is so helpful; you might want to use it yourself if you feel you’re on social media for too long. Also, this is a genuinely free parental control app. You don’t have to pay for anything or download anything.
Cocospy is similar to uMobix, providing a tracking app that can limit certain apps. It is for Android and iPhone, meaning it should work with your child’s device. Like uMobix, this app also provides a trial, which is not genuinely free.
Because they are so similar, you can try the demo of uMobix and Cocospy to see what you like better. With many of these apps, the better one comes down to preference due to how similar the features are.
Spyic is an app that considers itself a direct competitor to uMobix. On its site, Spyic lists several reasons you should choose it over uMobix, including that one does not need to jailbreak their phone. However, this comparison is dated, as uMobix also does not require jailbreaking nowadays.
Spyic is an advanced app, all things considered, including up-to-date reports and a phone number tracker. It also has a demo, so we say to try it out and see if it’s for you.
Google Family Link for Parents
This app is helpful if you have an Android (or even an iPhone; there is Family Link for iPhone). It’s similar to Apple’s screen time feature but has some advanced features you might want to check out. For example, besides having the typical screen time limitations and basic parental controls, it also lets you see where your child is through its GPS tracking. So while it lacks some of the more advanced features, it’s an excellent free app to monitor child’s phone.
Spyrix is an app for macOS, meaning it works well if you are a Mac owner. This app allows you to view what your child is doing in real-time and control what they can and can’t do. Like the other apps on the list, you can make an account for free and see if it’s for you.
Risks Involved with Using Free Parental Control Apps
There are some risks you take when you use a parental control app. Here are some of them.
- Some parental control apps come at the risk of your child’s data. Once again, it’s vital to read the policy of these apps to see if it’s for you.
- Parental control apps will not block everything. Therefore, you must also monitor your kids if you want to ensure their safety.
- Some kids, significantly if they grew up with tech, can be tech-savvy and know how to bypass parental controls. But, as you might expect, none of them are foolproof.
- Parental control apps can cause trust issues between you and your child. This sentiment applies double as they become teenagers. While every situation is different, we recommend you have a balance between freedom and protection. This balance can be challenging, but being an authoritative parent can give you better results than a permissive or authoritarian.
Proactive Protection with Parental Controls
These parental controls work well if you’re looking for the best protection for your children. They manage to limit screen time, block inappropriate websites, and even allow you to monitor your children discreetly. While not all these apps are free, some provide more advanced features for an extra fee. Google and Apple have decent parental controls built into their devices if you’re searching for a genuinely free app.
What is the best free parental control app?
If you’re searching for free parental control apps and typing in something like “iPad parental control app free,” you might get mixed results. You can use Family Link for Google and Apple’s Screen Time if you want a free app. Both have basic parental controls for no extra charge.
Is it free?
As mentioned, many parental control apps that claim to be free cost money. Many offer free trials or might provide a free version where only the basic features are usable. Always do your research to see if an app is free. If not, weigh the features and see if it’s ideal for you.
Are free parental control apps any good?
Free parental control apps that do not cost anything come with some basic features. For example, you can limit certain apps and the time your child spends on them. However, many will lack more advanced features, such as tracking. It’s up to what you need the app for, as some parents will only want screen time limiters, and others will want to watch what their kids do in real-time.
Does the app slow down the phone or computer?
Modern parental control apps run silently in the background as long as your computers are up-to-date. As a result, your child should not notice any slowdown or anything odd with their phone, helping keep the app discreet. If you’re experiencing a slowdown, look at your system requirements, or free up some space.
Can I monitor my child’s phone with a free parental control app?
If you’re wondering how to monitor kid’s iPhone with an app, many free parental control apps allow you to do so, limiting the apps and how much time your children spend on them. However, if you want to monitor your children in real-time, you might need to pay extra.