Finding the right parental control and monitoring software can feel overwhelming for parents. You want to keep your kids safe online without invading their privacy. At the same time, you need powerful tools to filter harmful content and track their activities.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare and contrast two popular options: Covenant Eyes and Net Nanny. Read on to learn which solution best fits your family’s needs.
What Are Covenant Eyes and Net Nanny?
Covenant Eyes and Net Nanny are both parental control apps designed to monitor and filter your child’s online activity.
Covenant Eyes focuses primarily on fighting porn addiction and promoting accountability. It captures screenshots to detect illicit content and shares reports with an accountability partner. Although it can filter websites, the main draw is its screenshot monitoring engine.
Net Nanny serves as more of a traditional parental control app. It has robust tools to block websites, monitor search terms, track screen time, and view browsing history. You can customize filters and access reports from any device.
While they take different approaches, both aim to protect kids online in an age-appropriate way. Let’s explore how they compare across critical factors:
Key Feature Comparison
Website Blocking and Filtering
- Covenant Eyes – Offers a basic filtering system using CleanBrowsing’s DNS. It blocks known adult sites but cannot read page content. Optional custom URL blocking available.
- Net Nanny – Includes expansive content-aware filtering to block sites based on page content and context. Customize over 60 preset categories or add manual site blocks.
Winner: Net Nanny
Net Nanny has vastly superior filtering capabilities, analyzing page content instead of just blocking against lists of known inappropriate sites.
Screen Monitoring and Accountability
- Covenant Eyes – The signature feature is screenshot monitoring every 4.5 seconds to detect illicit imagery. Accountability partners receive auto-blurred reports.
- Net Nanny – No automated screenshot capturing. You can view browsing history and search terms used, but no visual monitoring.
Winner: Covenant Eyes
Covenant Eyes specializes in visual monitoring and accountability, making it better for those overcoming porn addiction. Net Nanny lacks screenshot capturing.
Time Management and Scheduling
- Covenant Eyes – No built-in time management tools. Relies on device-level parental controls for screen time limits.
- Net Nanny – Robust screen time management tools. Set time limits, schedule offline times, and monitor device usage.
Winner: Net Nanny
Net Nanny has powerful time management options lacking in Covenant Eyes. You can fine-tune when and how long kids access devices.
Social Media Monitoring
- Covenant Eyes – No specialized social media tools. Can optionally block social media sites entirely.
- Net Nanny – Tracks social media activity across platforms. Filters explicit content and reviews posts.
Winner: Net Nanny
Net Nanny surpasses with social media-specific monitoring, visibility into usage, and content filtering.
Mobile Apps and Cross-Platform Support
- Covenant Eyes – Apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. One subscription covers unlimited devices.
- Net Nanny – Apps for iOS, Android, Kindle, Windows, and Mac. Tiered subscription plans by number of devices.
Both support all major platforms without device limits (Covenant) or generous device allowances (Net Nanny).
Ease of Use
Covenant Eyes aims for simplicity with straightforward screening and filtering options. The dashboard summarizes inappropriate content detected across your devices.
Net Nanny offers more granular customization for things like time management and social media rules. The parent portal provides at-a-glance monitoring for all profiles.
Power users may prefer Net Nanny’s broader configuration options. But Covenant provides the essentials in a clean interface. Ease of use is subjective for most parents.
Comes down to personal preference on simplicity vs. advanced controls.
- Covenant Eyes – Options include email, online knowledge base, telephone support, live chat, and community forums.
- Net Nanny – Offers email, knowledge base, and live chat support. No telephone line or community forums.
Both companies provide solid customer service across email, live chat, and self-help resources. Covenant Eyes goes a step further with phone and community support. But most people will have their needs met through Net Nanny’s offerings.
Winner: Covenant Eyes
The addition of telephone and community forum access gives Covenant Eyes an advantage.
These two industry leaders are priced very differently:
- Cost – $17 per month or $184 per year
- Devices allowed – Up to 10 users and Unlimited devices
- Premium features – Access to all premium features
- Premium plan – $54.99 per year for monitoring 5 devices. This unlocks all features.
- Basic plan – $39.99 per year for monitoring just 1 device. Limits you to app blocking on a single device.
Covenant Eyes uses a flat monthly fee structure with unlimited cross-device support. Net Nanny offers discounted annual pricing tied to a number of devices covered.
Looking at the 10 device plans over a full year:
- Covenant Eyes costs $184/year
- Net Nanny costs $90/year
Net Nanny provides significant savings for large families managing many devices. Covenant Eyes is better for small families that value simplicity and cross-device flexibility.
Winner: Net Nanny
Annual pricing and device allowances make Net Nanny more affordable, especially at higher subscription tiers.
While both apps have benefits, Net Nanny is the winner overall for effective parental controls at a reasonable price.
The combination of expansive website filtering, time management tools, social media visibility, and affordable plans makes Net Nanny hard to beat for traditional oversight needs.
However, Covenant Eyes stands out if visual monitoring and accountability are priorities. Its specialized screenshot capturing fills a different niche, namely supporting those overcoming porn addiction.
For a comparison between Covenant Eyes and Qustodio, see this guide on Covenant Eyes vs Qustodio.
- For traditional parental controls – Net Nanny is the better choice.
- For screenshot monitoring and accountability – Go with Covenant Eyes.
Install a free trial of both apps to see which one resonates with your family’s needs. With the right solution, you can strike a healthy balance of protection and freedom online.
- Net Nanny has superior website blocking, time management tools, and social media monitoring compared to Covenant Eyes.
- Covenant Eyes specializes in screenshot capturing and accountability reporting for combating porn addiction.
- Net Nanny is more affordable, especially for larger families with many devices to cover.
- Both support the major platforms – Windows, Mac, iOS, Android. Net Nanny also covers Kindle.
- Net Nanny is the best choice for robust parental controls at a reasonable price.
- Covenant Eyes fills a unique niche with visual monitoring for accountability.
See how Covenant Eyes compares to Bark for parental controls in this Covenant Eyes vs Bark guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Net Nanny work on iPhone?
Yes, Net Nanny has an iOS app compatible with iPhone. One subscription can support both iOS and Android devices.
Can Covenant Eyes monitor WhatsApp?
No, Covenant Eyes does not offer specialized monitoring for apps like WhatsApp. Its focus is on web activity through browsers.
Do these tools slow down my computer?
In most cases, you will not notice significant performance impacts from running either Net Nanny or Covenant Eyes in the background. They are designed to use minimal system resources.
What happens when my subscription ends?
If your subscription lapses, the apps will cease filtering and monitoring functionality. However, the software remains installed until manually uninstalled.
Can kids bypass the blocks and filters?
These tools are designed to minimize bypassing, like trying to access blocked content through a VPN or proxy. But tech-savvy kids may still find creative workarounds if they are determined.
Are there ways to monitor activity on iOS without an app?
Apple’s tight control over iOS makes it difficult to monitor usage without installing a profile. Going device-free is easier on Android. On iOS, a monitoring app is typically required.
How do I choose the right parental control software?
Consider your primary concerns – is it access to inappropriate content? Screen time limits? Social media usage? Then match features to your needs, looking at aspects like filtering, time management tools, etc.
What happens if my child tries to uninstall the app?
The apps will notify you if an uninstall is attempted. Covenant Eyes makes it harder by requiring an uninstall code. Monitoring will cease if the app is removed.
Can these apps monitor activity across multiple devices?
Yes, you can install the software on all your family’s devices and centralize monitoring. Covenant Eyes includes unlimited cross-device support. Net Nanny ties installs to your subscription plan devices allotment.
Do these work on game consoles like Nintendo Switch?
Currently, neither Net Nanny nor Covenant Eyes supports game consoles. For those devices, you’ll need to utilize the console’s built-in parental controls.
In Summary: Prioritize Your Child’s Online Safety
We hope this guide has demystified the Covenant Eyes vs Net Nanny debate. While they excel in different areas, both tools aim to protect children online.
Take time to evaluate your family’s needs and comfort level. Features like time management, content filtering, location tracking, and monitoring all have benefits and drawbacks.
Above all, maintain open communication with your kids about developing healthy digital habits. With reasonable safeguards in place, the internet can be an amazing place for them to explore and learn.