OurPact vs Bark: Which Parental Control App is Better for Your Family?

April 7, 2024

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In today’s digital world, most kids have access to the internet and mobile devices from a very young age. While this provides many benefits, it also exposes children to potential dangers like inappropriate content, cyberbullying, predators, and excessive screen time.

This is why parental control apps have become a popular solution for many parents trying to keep their kids safe online. However, with so many options available, it can be tricky to determine which one is the best fit for your family’s needs.

That’s where this comprehensive comparison guide comes in. We’ll be taking an in-depth look at two leading parental control apps – OurPact and Bark – to help you decide which one offers the right mix of features, functionality, and value for monitoring and managing your child’s digital activities.

Key Takeaways: OurPact vs Bark Comparison

  • OurPact excels at robust screen time management and limiting access to apps and websites. Bark specializes in monitoring online communications for safety. You can also compare it to Covenant Eyes.
  • OurPact has superior web filtering capabilities, app blocking, and time limits. Bark has more advanced social media and text message monitoring.
  • Bark’s AI-driven alert system provides real-time warnings about potential issues detected in messages and posts. OurPact lacks this intelligent monitoring system.
  • Both offer essentials like location tracking, but OurPact has more powerful time management tools while Bark focuses on building trust.
  • OurPact is quick and easy to set up on iOS devices. Bark has simpler cross-platform installation.
  • OurPact is competitively priced but charges extra for full features. Bark is more expensive but comprehensive.
  • For families focused on well-rounded parental controls, OurPact generally provides better value. Bark is ideal if social media safety is the primary concern.

Next, we’ll take a detailed look at how these two popular parental control apps compare across a range of key factors:

Quick Overview: OurPact vs Bark at a Glance

Before we dive into the details, here’s a high-level overview of how OurPact and Bark stack up against each other:

OurPactBark
FocusScreen time management and restricting access to contentMonitoring communication and online activity for safety
Platforms SupportediOS, AndroidiOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Chromebook
Pricing$1.99 – $9.99/month$9 – $14/month
Free VersionYesYes
# of Devices SupportedUp to 20Unlimited
Social Media MonitoringNoYes
Text Message MonitoringNoYes
Web FilteringRobustBasic
Time Management ToolsExtensive apps and schedulesSome limits and schedules
Location TrackingYesCheck-ins only
Alert SystemApp use alertsAI-monitoring alerts

Now let’s explore some of these key differences in more detail:

OurPact Overview

OurPact Logo

OurPact is one of the most full-featured parental control apps available, offering a wealth of tools to manage screen time access on your child’s iOS or Android devices.

It allows you to easily limit daily use with flexible schedules, enforce app and website blocking, and track real-time location. OurPact gives you robust insights into your child’s activity while still maintaining an open line of communication.

Some of the key features of OurPact include:

  • Screen time schedules – Set daily limits and configure “always allowed” or “always blocked” periods. Bedtime lockdown is available.
  • App blocking – Granularly control app access based on age ratings or your custom rules. Block games, social media, etc.
  • Web filtering – Block adult content or specific websites and monitor browsing history.
  • Location tracking – See your child’s location on a map in real-time or historial data. Receive alerts when they arrive/leave set areas.
  • Usage insights – Review detailed reports on apps used, websites visited and daily screen time stats.
  • Family communication – Built-in messaging allows kids to request extra time and parents to approve or deny.

OurPact manages the tension between giving kids freedom while still maintaining parental guardrails through flexible app control and open communication tools. It gets more restrictive features than Bark but aims for family balance.

OurPact Pros:

  • Very simple to set up and use, especially on iOS
  • Excellent screen time management and scheduling tools
  • Allows blocking of individual apps and websites
  • More robust web filtering than competitors
  • Real-time location tracking and geofencing alerts
  • Fosters family communication and accountability

OurPact Cons:

  • Requires more initial setup time on Android devices
  • Must pay for premium features like web filtering
  • Less monitoring of social media and chat compared to Bark
  • No AI-driven alert system for detected concerns

Bark Overview

Bark

Bark takes a different approach from OurPact, focusing more on using AI to monitor for warning signs in your child’s online communications and activities rather than blocking access.

It scans texts, emails, social media, and photos using natural language processing algorithms to detect potential issues like cyberbullying, depression, violence, or sexual content. Parents receive alerts about any concerning content so they can address it. You can also compare Bark to mSpy and Qustodio.

Some of Bark’s key features include:

  • Message scanning – Monitors texts, email, social media communications using AI and keywords.
  • Alert system – Sends parents alerts on potential issues identified from machine learning analysis.
  • Web/app limits – Can block sites and apps by category and set some time limits.
  • Location check-ins – Kids can share their location or parents can request a check-in.
  • Monitoring insights – Weekly report emails share overview of activities.

The goal of Bark is to balance giving your kids privacy while still allowing parents to stay informed about potential problems. It aims to provide insights that spark constructive discussion rather than simply limit access.

Bark Pros:

  • Alerts provide real-time warnings to address issues quickly
  • Monitors content across SMS, social media, email with AI
  • Encourages trust and communication between parents and kids
  • Easy cross-platform installation and management
  • Unlimited number of child profiles supported

Bark Cons:

  • More expensive subscription pricing tiers
  • Less ability to set app/website limits
  • iOS installation process can be tricky
  • Lacks more robust time management tools
  • No call or browsing history tracking

Detailed Feature Comparison: OurPact vs Bark

Now let’s take a deeper look at how some of the most important features compare between OurPact and Bark to help inform your decision:

Installation and Setup

OurPact: Simple installation on iOS devices. Android is more time-consuming. Requires additional software and USB connection during initial setup.

Bark: Straightforward cross-platform installation guides. Easier setup for non-tech-savvy parents. Just download the app and follow instructions.

Winner: Bark has simpler installation, especially on Android. OurPact needs a little more technical work upfront.

Screen Time Limits and Scheduling

OurPact: Very robust screen time management tools. Easily set daily limits across devices with schedules and bedtime lockdown.

Bark: Allows some time restrictions by blocking apps/websites during certain periods. But limited compared to OurPact.

Winner: OurPact gives superior control for limiting daily screen access and usage scheduling.

App and Website Blocking

OurPact: Block individual apps or websites based on age ratings or parent’s custom rules. Wide blocking ability.

Bark: Can block apps and websites by category only. Less ability to restrict access to specific ones.

Winner: OurPact has more powerful capabilities for blocking apps and websites. Bark takes an “insight vs. restriction” stance.

Social Media and Message Monitoring

OurPact: No monitoring of social media, texts, or chat messages. Focuses on limiting screen time access.

Bark: Uses AI to monitor texts and social media for signs of issues like cyberbullying, depression, etc. Alerts parents of concerns.

Winner: Bark offers vastly superior monitoring and alert abilities for communications content on social media and texts. OurPact does not provide this.

Location Tracking

OurPact: Real-time location tracking on a map. Set geographic fences and get alerts when child comes/goes. Historical data available.

Bark: Only allows kid check-in option. Parent can request kid share their location. No real-time tracking or geofences.

Winner: OurPact has significantly more powerful location tracking with real-time data and geographic fences. Bark focuses on check-ins.

Web and Search Filtering

OurPact: Can block adult sites and monitor web history to see sites visited. Provides robust web filtering.

Bark: Limited web filtering that blocks some general categories of sites. Less insights into web history.

Winner: OurPact gives parents more control over web filtering and visibility into sites visited. Bark has basic protections.

Pricing and Plans

OurPact: Starts at $1.99/month up to $9.99 for full premium features. Offers free basic version. Yearly discounts available.

Bark: Ranges from $9 to $14/month based on number of kids. 7-day free trial but no permanently free plan. Yearly discounts available.

Winner: OurPact provides a competitively priced range of plans with free option. Bark is useful but relatively expensive, especially for larger families.

OurPact vs Bark: Which Should You Choose?

Now that we’ve compared these two powerful parental control apps across a number of key factors, let’s summarize the pros and cons of each to help you decide which one is the right fit for your family’s needs.

OurPact is an excellent choice if your priority is having robust tools to manage screen time access, block apps and websites, and limit when/how your child uses their devices each day. From an allowance standpoint, it is one of the most full-featured options available. The location tracking abilities are also excellent. OurPact provides in-depth yet flexible control over screen time, but lacks sophisticated monitoring of communications and content. It’s ideal for parents focused on digital wellbeing.

Bark shines when it comes to scanning texts, social media, emails, and other communications using AI to detect potential issues that need parental attention. You get alerts about problems, but fewer tools to restrict overall access. It delivers deeper insights through monitoring, rather than limiting screen time itself. Bark is the top choice for parents most concerned about their kids’ digital communications and safety who need visibility into that aspect of their online life.

Ultimately, OurPact is the winner for most families wanting the complete package of screen time management, blocking abilities, location tracking, and open communication tools. The depth of control over apps, scheduling, and filtering make it hard to beat for putting guardrails on your kids’ access while still allowing flexibility based on age and needs.

However, for parents hyper-focused on social media safety and communications monitoring, Bark has superior AI alert capabilities, making it potentially better suited for families with teenagers who need oversight for online chats and posts rather than time limits.

Key Takeaways: Choosing the Right Parental Control App

To summarize this comprehensive OurPact vs Bark comparison:

  • OurPact is ideal for parents focused on screen time management, app/website blocking, and detailed monitoring of their child’s device usage and location.
  • Bark excels at using AI to scan communications on social media, texts, email for signs of issues like cyberbullying or depression. But it has fewer time management tools.
  • OurPact generally provides a better overall value for comprehensive parental controls.
  • Bark is a great option for families focused specifically on social media and communication safety.
  • Assess your priorities: If limiting screen access is key, OurPact is likely the better choice. If you’re most concerned about communication monitoring and safety, consider Bark.
  • Take advantage of the free trials to test each app’s user experience before deciding.
  • Look at the number of kids you need to manage and expected usage scenarios when comparing pricing and plans.

Keeping your kids safe in today’s digital world is every parent’s priority. With the right parental control app in place that aligns with your family’s needs and approach, you can have greater confidence and peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are answers to some common questions for a deeper look at OurPact vs Bark:

Does Bark read your child’s private messages?

No, Bark does not allow parents to view or read private communications. It uses AI to scan for any troublesome content and then sends alerts to parents if potential issues related to cyberbullying, sexual content, self-harm etc. are detected. It aims to balance safety with a child’s privacy.

Can I see my child’s texts with OurPact?

No, OurPact does not provide any monitoring of your child’s actual texts, social media messages, or other communications. It focuses on controlling screen time access rather than scanning message content.

Which app is easier to install and setup?

Overall, Bark has a simpler installation process in most cases since it does not require additional software downloads or device connections. OurPact is very easy to setup on iOS but a bit more technically demanding for Android devices.

Does Bark record phone calls?

No. Bark has no ability to monitor actual phone calls or directly record them. It focuses its monitoring on digital communication through texts, social media, email, and photos.

Can OurPact limit how much time is spent on a specific app?

Yes. One of OurPact’s strengths is the ability to set time limits and schedules around usage of particular apps on your child’s device. You can restrict certain apps while leaving access open to other approved ones.

What happens if my child deletes the Bark app?

On iOS devices, if Bark is deleted you will receive an alert. For Android, no alert is provided so discussing the importance of the app with your child is recommended. Some usage can still be monitored from the parent’s account if uninstalled.

Does OurPact work on game consoles and computers?

Currently OurPact only supports managing Android and iOS mobile devices. It does not have the ability to monitor or limit access on game consoles, computers, or other connected devices like Bark offers.

Can I remotely block apps with Bark?

No, you cannot completely block or restrict specific apps through the Bark mobile app itself. You would need to manually disable those apps directly on your child’s device. Bark focuses more on providing visibility rather than remote control.

How many kids can I monitor with each app?

OurPact supports managing up to 20 child profiles. Bark places no limits on the number of children you can monitor – it offers completely unlimited profiles on a single parent account.

Which app offers better customer support?

Both OurPact and Bark offer in-app messaging for questions. OurPact provides email and phone contact options. Bark relies more on in-app and online parental resources. Users report good experiences with both overall.

The Final Verdict: OurPact for Versatile Control, Bark for Communication Insights

Choosing the right parental control app can be a challenging decision with many factors to weigh. In this detailed comparison guide, we took an in-depth look at how two of the top options – OurPact and Bark – compare across a wide range of important categories.

OurPact emerges as the winner for families wanting an all-encompassing set of parental controls to manage screen time, block content, track locations, and monitor usage. It strikes a nice balance of insight and control.

However, Bark offers superior social media and communication monitoring through its AI-based scanning. For parents hyper-focused on their child’s digital communication safety, Bark has an edge. It provides visibility into issues without fully restricting access.

At the end of the day, take the time to carefully assess your family’s needs and priorities to determine if OurPact’s versatility and control or Bark’s specialized communication monitoring aligns better with your parenting approach. Both provide robust features with their own strengths and limitations. You can also compare Bark to alternatives like mSpy, Qustodio and Covenant Eyes.

Hopefully this detailed comparison provides the information and insight you need to make the right choice for your family. Empower yourself with the knowledge to keep your kids safe so they can continue to benefit from today’s digital world.