Net Nanny is one of the best parental control apps available in 2023. This in-depth net nanny review covers everything you need to know about using net nanny parental control to manage your child's screen time and online activity.
With its powerful app blocking, content filtering, and screen time limits, Net Nanny gives parents granular control over their kids' digital lives. I recently tested Net Nanny for several weeks and found it to be an effective parental control software that’s easy to set up and use.
Read on for a detailed review of Net Nanny's features, pricing, and how it compares to alternatives like Qustodio. By the end, you'll know if Net Nanny is the right parental control app for your family this year.
How Does Net Nanny Parental Control Work?
Net Nanny uses a combination of app blocking, screen time limits, content filters, and real-time activity monitoring to control what kids can access on their iOS and Android devices.
The main way Net Nanny works is by installing a child app on your kid's phone that runs in the background and communicates with Net Nanny's web dashboard. This is where parents can configure all of Net Nanny's parental control settings and view activity reports.
Once installed, the Net Nanny child app uses Net Nanny's content filters to block inappropriate apps, websites, text messages, and images. The app also shuts down the entire device when screen time limits are exceeded.
From the parent dashboard, you can also see your child's real-time location using Net Nanny's geofencing feature. Overall, Net Nanny takes a multilayered approach to give parents total command over their kid’s app and web use.
App Blocking and Detailed Activity Reports
One of Net Nanny’s standout features is its advanced app blocking capabilities.
Within the web dashboard, parents can completely block access to any apps on their kid's Android or iOS device. Net Nanny's app advisor includes risk ratings and descriptions for popular apps to help you decide which ones to block.
The app blocking worked flawlessly in my testing. Whenever my child tried to open a blocked app, Net Nanny displayed a message explaining that the app was restricted. This applied to system apps like the iOS App Store as well as third-party apps like YouTube or TikTok.
Net Nanny also provides detailed activity reports showing your child’s app and web usage, calls, texts, location history, and more. You can drill down to see which websites your child visited and what they searched for. These activity reports are essential for staying up-to-date on your kid’s digital behavior.
Granular Screen Time Limits and Scheduling
Managing your child’s screen time is easy with Net Nanny’s flexible time limits and schedules.
Parents can set daily or weekly time restrictions for the entire device. You can also limit screen time for individual apps like TikTok or YouTube. Once a time limit is reached, Net Nanny completely locks the device or app until the next day.
In addition to screen limits, you can set time windows for when your child is allowed to use their device. Bedtimes, school hours, and family time can all be enforced this way.
Net Nanny makes it simple to establish healthy screen time habits for your kids. The schedules and time limits worked exactly as configured during my testing.
Powerful and Accurate Content Filtering
One of the core functions of Net Nanny is blocking inappropriate content across websites, apps, text messages, and images.
Net Nanny's content filters use AI and machine learning to identify and block millions of porn, gambling, violence, and hate speech URLs. The filters can scan content in over 55 languages.
Beyond websites, Net Nanny also filters inappropriate content within apps like Google Search or YouTube. I tested this by attempting some risqué image searches which were promptly blocked.
Text message filtering is another useful feature in Net Nanny. It scans every message on your child's device for inappropriate words or pictures. Suspicious texts can be flagged for parent review or automatically deleted.
Overall, Net Nanny's content filters were highly accurate in my testing. They successfully blocked inappropriate content while allowing benign websites and apps.
Geofencing, SSL Encryption, and Offline Access
Some of Net Nanny's advanced parental control features include:
- Geofencing – Setup safe boundaries and get alerts when your child leaves or enters an area.
- SSL encryption – Net Nanny uses bank-level encryption to keep your data secure as it transmits between devices and servers.
- Offline access – The apps blockers and filters will continue working for up to 14 days if the device loses internet connectivity.
Net Nanny also has a unique “app removal protection” that prevents kids from uninstalling the child app without the parent password. This ensures your children can’t circumvent Net Nanny’s restrictions.
These features provide additional layers of protection and control beyond the basics like app blocking and screen limits.
Net Nanny Pricing and Subscription Plans
Net Nanny rolled out a new pricing structure in 2022 with two main subscription plans:
- 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.
One bonus is that Net Nanny offers a 30-day free trial so you can test it risk-free.
There are also discounted multi-year plans. Overall, Net Nanny provides good value given the robust parental controls you get. However, there are cheaper alternatives out there.
What Devices Does Net Nanny Support?
Net Nanny is available for both Android and iOS devices, along with Windows and Mac computers. Whether your child uses an iOS device or an Android, Net Nanny has apps that are compatible. However, some features may not be available across all platforms, so it's important to consider your family’s device landscape when opting for Net Nanny.
Net Nanny: Where Could It Improve?
No software is perfect, and Net Nanny is no exception. While it offers a broad range of features, it could improve in areas like real-time tracking and more detailed reporting features. Understanding these limitations can help you make a more informed decision when choosing your parental control app.
Alternative Parental Control Apps
Net Nanny isn’t your only option for iOS and Android parental controls in 2023. Here are two top competitors:
- Qustodio – More affordable but has limited app blocking. Plans start at $54.95 for 5 devices.
- Bark – Specializes in social media and text monitoring. Plans from $9 per month.
I would choose Net Nanny over Qustodio for its unrivaled app blocking. But Bark could be a better choice if you’re mostly worried about social media and messaging.
Ultimately, the best parental control app depends on your needs and budget. Each family is different.
FAQ about Using Net Nanny Parental Controls
Is Net Nanny easy to set up?
Yes, Net Nanny is easy to set up. Just create your parent account, then download the Net Nanny child app on your kid's device. The app works discreetly in the background after the initial install.
Does Net Nanny work on all devices?
Net Nanny has apps for both Android and iOS. You can monitor and control Android phones, iPhones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Net Nanny used to support desktops but discontinued its Windows and Mac software.
Can Net Nanny monitor social media?
Net Nanny has limited social media monitoring capabilities. While it can block apps like Instagram or TikTok entirely, it can't see your child's feeds or messages within those apps. For fuller social media supervision, a service like Bark may be better.
How do I get around Net Nanny restrictions?
Kids should not attempt to circumvent Net Nanny's parental controls. The app has designed its restrictions so they can't be bypassed without the parent password. Removing Net Nanny requires factory resetting the device which will erase all your child's data.
Does Net Nanny work when a device is offline?
Yes, Net Nanny will continue to block apps and filter content even when offline for up to 14 days. This ensures your parental controls remain active even when your child doesn't have internet access.
Can Net Nanny be hidden from my kid?
The Net Nanny child app can't be completely hidden. However, it runs silently in the background without an app icon on the home screen. Net Nanny also won't display any notifications, so many kids forget it's even installed.
The Bottom Line – Net Nanny Delivers Robust Parental Controls
Net Nanny lives up to its reputation as one of the premier parental control apps. With its excellent app blocking, content filters, and activity monitoring, Net Nanny provides complete parental supervision.
While the pricing sits at the higher end, Net Nanny justifies the cost with its unparalleled feature set. For families seeking rock-solid parental controls across Android and iOS, Net Nanny should be at the top of your list for 2023.