The balance between letting your child discover the magic of technology and keeping them safe from its dark side is a hard one to strike. Internet addiction, attention problems, eating and sleeping disorders are well-known consequences of inadequate screen time limitations. The answer to this very real struggle is another app, surprisingly: Parental monitoring software helps parents filter their children’s contact with the internet to preserve their safety and mental health. In our Net Nanny review, we’ll showcase one of the best solutions this market has to offer.
- Customizable filters
- App blocking
- Screen time management
Things we liked / disliked:
- Easy-to-use interface
- Powerful content filters
- Parent Dashboard
- Easily bypassed with Tor
As one of the first companies that developed internet filtering software, Net Nanny has been on the front line for more than two decades, pioneering methods to keep children safe online.
Pricing was our first criterion: If you compare the Net Nanny price with other child monitoring apps out there, you’ll immediately notice that it’s a high-end product. Fortunately, Net Nanny’s payment plans are versatile, so you can use it on a single computer, five computers and mobile devices, or twenty of them, depending on what you pay for.
The plans will cost you $39.99 per year, $54.99 per year, or $89.99 a year, respectively. The five-device plan will easily fit most families, but if you have a lot of kids with a lot of gadgets, you might decide to purchase Net Nanny to cover twenty bases, just in case.
The cheapest plan works only on PCs and Macs, but both multi-device plans work on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Fire OS. Unfortunately, there is no free trial available for any of them.
Net Nanny’s features can protect your children from negative internet influences. It will help you set up screen time rules, prevent the installation or use of specific apps, and select which, if any, social media networks your child can use and for how long.
Let’s go over the options in detail to see why Net Nanny is one of the best apps for parental control out there.
Parental control is the primary purpose of this tool. Net Nanny automates all online parental monitoring that would otherwise have to be done manually. It ensures that your kids are browsing safely, limiting their viewing to appropriate content only.
The dynamic filter contextually analyzes every site your child visits. In other words, Net Nanny’s filtering technology lets you exclude adult content in real time and manage the YouTube channels they watch; it will even send you alerts about your child’s online activity. All things considered, Net Nanny takes the cake for the best internet filtering – something all parents want.
Screen Time Management
Limiting your child’s screen time is a must; however, literally taking a device out of their hands is an ordeal, especially as children get older and start spending more and more time in online social spaces. Thankfully, with Net Nanny, these troubles will become a thing of the past.
You can create a time schedule for each of your children, set up rules, and cut their time in front of the screen short with a single click from the Parent Dashboard. According to our Net Nanny review comparison, parents find that to be the easiest way to encourage their children to use their time on the internet more creatively.
The app lets you establish specific hours during which your children can use their phones, as well as cooldown periods. You can pause their device use or disconnect them from the internet – Net Nanny stops arguments about screen time with a couple of clicks.
App blocking on children’s phones is a fantastic parenting aid. It’s the best app to monitor your child’s iPhone – or any other device they use – and block their access to harmful software.
The Parent Dashboard shows you all the apps installed on a particular device, and you can block any of them with a single click. Whether your child can’t stop using Netflix, Uber, or Snapchat, you can quickly end the burgeoning addiction.
You will also receive alerts when your child installs a new app on their phone. Take advantage of Net Nanny’s App Advisor to learn what said app does, and save yourself the trouble of keeping in touch with the latest trends to prevent your child from partaking in them. Our Net Nanny review confirmed that this is a great help with managing your child’s app usage.
YouTube is a rabbit hole: You start with one video, and then, three hours later, you’re watching your sixtieth makeup tutorial.
Still, you’re an adult, and that should mean you have impulse control. On the other hand, kids are unlikely to be able to stop themselves from watching exciting and amusing videos, with new ones being uploaded every second.
You can block YouTube altogether with the app blocker, but you would be robbing your children of the useful YouTube content too. This is another situation where Net Nanny’s best internet filters can save the day. You can set up a profanity filter for light monitoring, track what your kids are searching for on the platform, review videos they’ve watched, etc. Combined with screen time management, it’s an excellent solution for keeping your children entertained without crossing any boundaries.
Social Media Monitoring
Social media monitoring is the solution all parents have been praying for. Social media has become a staple in everyone’s daily life, especially in recent times, but it can become dangerous for easily influenced younglings. At the time of writing this Net Nanny software review, there are dozens of hazardous challenges and games circulating on TikTok and Instagram, and your kid could easily be tempted to try one of them out.
However, you can’t isolate them from their friends either. Luckily, with Net Nanny, you can block or apply filters to social media apps on your children’s devices. That way, you don’t have to worry about dubious content that might pop up while they’re socializing – Net Nanny will block it before your kids can see it.
The fact that its content filters work on social media makes Net Nanny the best parental control app out there, especially since you don’t need to know your kids’ account passwords to keep them protected. Some of the social media platforms you can monitor and manage with Net Nanny are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. Of course, for very small kids or very worried parents, the option to block these apps altogether is always there.
Back in the day, there was no way to check whether your kid was going where they said they would. You had to trust that they were at a sleepover, not a crazy party. Some parents would follow their teens around – many of you are reading this review of Net Nanny for the same reason.
Knowing where your child is at all times is a must, whether they consider it a violation of their privacy or not. However, instead of stalking them on foot, you can now download and install the Net Nanny Child app on their phone, which will allow you to check where your kid – and their phone, which is basically the same thing – is at all times.
This feature is another reason Net Nanny is the best phone-monitoring app for worried parents. You can locate your kids with total precision in real time or track their location history, as the app lets you display their movements within a certain time frame on a map. Still, this shouldn’t stop you from communicating with your child about trust and boundaries – you can just rely on Nanny’s Track Location feature to see how those talks are sinking in.
Net Nanny consists of two different apps. The Net Nanny Child app doesn’t have many options, and it just serves to show them the screen time they spent and how much they have left. This app enables the app removal protection from the Parent Dashboard – a.k.a. The second Net Nanny app.
For this Net Nanny review, we compared it to other parental monitoring apps. Among them, Net Nanny is the only one with separate apps, which significantly lowers the chances of your child bypassing their limitations.
Net Nanny’s Parent Dashboard is every parent’s dream come true: They can stay updated about the child’s internet usage and keep an eye on their kids with a social-media-like dashboard. Your Family Feed displays the activity of all tracked family members and the device-usage information you need.
This is why Net Nanny is the best parental control app there is. Within the dashboard, you will be able to see your family members’ location, the amount of time they spent on their devices, and how much time they have left to use them. You can customize the rules for each member, too.
The “New events” tab in the notification section shows which applications your kids used, what kind of application it was, but also what search terms they used, and whether some of the results contained explicit content. This is also where the links to the YouTube videos they’re watching will appear.
Net Nanny for Mobile – A Review
As mentioned before, Net Nanny is compatible with almost all operating systems, both on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. The program comes in two forms, one for kids and one for parents. While this makes the installation procedure a bit complicated, once Net Nanny is installed, this separation is hugely beneficial for the users.
You might be wondering why we dedicated a whole section to the mobile version of Net Nanny. Well, the app is so well thought out that we concluded that the best parental control software for Android users, and plenty of iOS users, too, merited an independent review.
The user interface is beautifully designed, and you can grasp its full functionality within minutes. The social-media-inspired feed grants you an excellent activity overview with timely and detailed notifications.
However, the apps don’t have a great reputation on Google Play or the App Store. Net Nanny’s scores on both are pretty disappointing, as a result of the “you either love it or hate it” impression it seems to leave with users.
On the plus side, every positive Net-Nanny-for-iPhone review says that this app brought parents the peace of mind they needed about their kid’s internet access, how it was easy to understand and use, and that it worked perfectly. On the other hand, negative reviews were also plentiful and complained about the app’s glitches, poor blocking performance, and the general slowdown it causes on the devices it’s installed on. Reviews for the Android version follow the same pattern.
However, Net Nanny’s customer support seems to have addressed many of these issues and offered further aid to anyone who needed it. Considering there is no Net Nanny free trial, we’re not very happy about the hit-or-miss experience this paid app seems to provide.
If things go south with your monitoring, Net Nanny’s customer support representatives can be reached via live chat or email. Since live chat is only available during working hours, sending an email is a safer bet.
What Can Net Nanny Do Better?
In theory, Net Nanny is an excellent way to ensure your children’s safety on the internet. However, while it performed admirably on our own tests, we can’t disregard the fact that the Net Nanny parental control left many users wanting. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that, while it served us excellently, the app leaves plenty of room for optimization.
For example, a trial version would be a welcome addition, so potential users could judge for themselves whether it’s worth the relatively high price. For a product aiming to offer peace of mind, this lack of guaranteed performance and testing opportunities seems like a poor marketing choice.
Things we liked / disliked:
- Easy-to-use interface
- Powerful content filters
- Parent Dashboard
- Easily bypassed with Tor
How much does Net Nanny cost?
Net Nanny has yearly plans for one, five, and twenty devices, for $39.99, $54.99, and $89.99, respectively.
Can Net Nanny be bypassed?
Is Net Nanny any good?
Net Nanny is an excellent solution for parents looking to filter the content their kids are exposed to and monitor their activities online. For example, Net Nanny will notify you if your child is trying to open blocked content. We tested its capabilities as part of our Net Nanny review, so we can confidently say that, yes, Net Nanny does its job quite well.
How does Net Nanny work?
Net Nanny employs smart contextual filters that go through every page accessed on a networked device in real-time, rather than relying on a list of websites with inappropriate content. This is its edge over the competition, as it’s better at recognizing and protecting against content kids shouldn’t have access to.