Qustodio Review: Is It the Best Parental Control App
Many parents always search for the best parental control app because they worry about what your kids are doing online. However, it is hard to try out various parental monitoring apps to determine which one serves their needs the best. That’s why we bring this fair and unbiased Qustodio review.
Let’s dive right in.
What is Qustodio?
Qustodio is a cross-platform parental control application that helps them to keep an eye on the online activities of their children. It’s available in 8 languages including English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese. The firm was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, with an American office in Redondo Beach, California.
Qustodio provides the full spectrum of monitoring opportunities, such as viewing text messages, calls logs, locations, installed apps, and other activities on a child’s phone.
How Does Qustodio Work?
You need to set up and install Qustodio first. Installing Qustodio is actually really simple. You can download Qustodio on your computer or mobile phones.
Well, to use Qustodio on your PC or Mac, these are the system requirements:
- RAM with a memory of 1GB or more.
- Hard disk space of at least 1.6GB
- CPU with a minimum processing speed of 1.8GHz
- PC OS: Windows 10, 8, and 7
- macOS: OS X Mavericks 10.9 onwards.
Also, if you want to install it on any Android, iOS device or Kindle, then make sure they fulfill the given requirements:
- Android: 4.4 or higher
- iOS: iOS 11 or later
As of the browsers, Qustodio can block and report activities and sites on:
- PC: Google Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge
- Mac: Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox
- Android: Google Chrome and Firefox
- iOS: Google Chrome and Safari
- Kindle: Amazon Silk Browser
When installing Qustodio, you will be asked whether you want to install as a parent or child device. The parent’s device is used to control and monitor Qustodio, whereas the child’s device is the one that is monitored and limited as needed.
As a parent, once you’ve created an account you then create a profile for your child with basic information: their name (or nickname), age, and gender. You can select an avatar for your child but you can’t upload a photo like some other profile systems.
If the app is on your child’s phone, select “I have a parent account”, enter the associated username and password, and indicate that the phone belongs to your child.
Qustodio Features: What Does Qustodio Monitor?
Now, let’s discuss the most important question: what does Qustodio monitor and track?
In this Qustodio review, we focused mainly on the Android apps. If your child has an iPhone, then there are fewer features available because of the restrictions Apple puts in place. Also, Qustodio uses a VPN to monitor activity on iOS and this can cause problems.
- Prevent Screen Time Addiction with Daily Limits
With Qustodio, you will be able to set restrictions on when your child can use a certain device. You can set this in two ways; on a weekly basis and on a daily basis. For the weekly schedule, you can decide which hours on which days your child can use their device. For the daily schedule, you can decide exactly how long your child can use their device. Once your child reaches the end of their allotted time, you can choose to either by notified, to lock the navigation of the device, or to completely lock down the device.
- Set Rules for Each App and Game
Qustodio allows you to block applications that you don’t want your child using. You can also set time limits for different applications and games too.
- Monitor Social Networks
You can monitor the time spent on most major social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While it can track Facebook usage, you can know who your child talks to, but not what they say to each other.
- Monitor Call & SMS
Qustodio can monitor almost anything, and that includes calls and SMS on your child’s phone. This means that you’ll be able to block certain incoming and outgoing calls, or you can just simply keep eye on everything.
However, you should know that Call and SMS monitoring only works with Android devices.
- YouTube Monitoring
YouTube Monitoring by Qustodio is something really impressive. So what you can do is enable/disable the complete access to YouTube on desktop or through the YouTube mobile app.
What I have to point out is that many parental control tools cannot monitor YouTube and Qustodio is an exception.
- Web Filtering
Qustodio blocks all access to websites matching any of ten undesirable categories by default, among them Drugs, Gambling, Pornography, Proxies/Loopholes, and Violence. Another 19 more categories, including Social Network and File Sharing, are available for parents who want to fine-tune web content filtering.
- Track Your Kids in Real-Time
When using this application to monitor mobile phones, you can track that phone using its GPS. This seems like a great way for parents to have peace of mind about where their children are. The backside is while Qustodio can show you the GPS location of your child’s device, there is no option to attach rules to specific places, so you can’t automatically block certain apps while your child is at school.
There is also a SOS feature. The idea is that if your child is in an unsafe environment, they can press the “Panic” button, and a “trusted contact” will be notified.
- Activity reports
When you select a child in the app, you’ll see a map with their last recorded location and a timeline of their activity. At the top you can see how much screen time they’ve had, plus a bar chart of their activity throughout the day. Swipe left and you can see the breakdown of which apps they’ve used the most, any ‘questionable’ activity and their YouTube watch history (on Android).
With Qustodio there is a free tier that allows you to protect one device. This is a great way to get started with the application, but doesn’t include some of the more advanced features such as location and SMS tracking.
The paid premium plans vary in price depending on the number of devices you wish to protect. Assuming that a typical child has a phone, tablet and a personal computer to protect, most families would be fine with the Premium Small or Medium plan.
|Free||Premium Small||Premium Medium||Premium Large|
|Number of Devices||1||5||10||15|
|Internet and Applications Monitoring||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Social Media Monitoring||N||Y||Y||Y|
|Time Limit Controls||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Game and Application Blocking||N||Y||Y||Y|
|Call and SMS Monitoring/Blocking||N||Y||Y||Y|
|Advanced Facebook Monitoring||N||Y||Y||Y|
|Detailed Activity History||N||30 days||30 days||30 days|
|Priority Technical Support||N||Y||Y||Y|
Qustodio Review: The Verdict
I’d like to conclude this Qustodio review by saying that if you are looking for a parental control software that works out of the box, Qustodio is a good option. It is relatively easy and straightforward to use, and it offers a huge range of options and is considered one of the most complete parental software most people have tried.
Now, I would recommend you to try out the free version first. This will give you a feel for the app and how it works. Then, if you like it you can upgrade to a paid plan.
Last but not the least, most children may feel uncomfortable if you use such kind of prenatal control apps to monitor their activities. If you decide to use parental controls, talk to your kids about why you’re using them (to help keep them safe) and how your ultimate goal is for them to learn how to interact online responsibly and regulate their own usage independently. Also, you should know that it doesn’t mean your kids will immediately understand the benefits. Start with a conversation, create agreement and be patient!