Parental control apps have become increasingly popular among parents who want to keep their kids safe online. With so many options available, it can be tough to decide which one is right for your family.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare two of the top contenders—Qustodio and Canopy—to help you make an informed decision. We’ll break down their key features, pricing, pros and cons, and more.
- Canopy offers advanced features like sexting prevention and removal blocking. Qustodio has wider platform support and more budget-friendly pricing.
- Canopy has a more modern, user-friendly interface while Qustodio’s design is dated. Both make monitoring child devices straightforward.
- Qustodio can handle 15 devices on its premium plan compared to 10 for Canopy. Qustodio also has phone call monitoring.
- Canopy has more flexible monthly pricing while Qustodio is annual billing only. Canopy also offers a free 7-day trial vs 3 days for Qustodio.
- For maximum protection and cutting-edge features, Canopy is the winner. For covering more devices at a lower price, Qustodio is ideal.
Read on for a detailed feature-by-feature comparison to determine which platform will meet your family’s needs.
Qustodio is one of the veterans of parental control apps. It’s been around for over a decade and has helped millions of parents manage their kids’ device usage.
Some key facts about Qustodio:
- Founded in 2012 in Spain
- 4+ million users worldwide
- Available on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Kindle
- 3-day free trial
- Annual pricing from $55-$138
Qustodio takes an all-in-one approach to parental controls. On their platform, you can:
- Monitor texts, call logs, GPS location
- Set screen time limits and schedules
- Block web sites, apps, games
- Track social media activity
- View detailed activity reports
Their design isn’t as slick or modern as some competitors. But the dashboard is functional and gives you access to all the monitoring and restriction tools you need. Qustodio also competes closely with services like Covenant Eyes (Qustodio vs Covenant Eyes) in the parental control space.
Overall, Qustodio remains one of the most robust options for parents who want comprehensive oversight of their kids’ devices. Next we’ll take a deeper look at their key features.
The app blocking in Qustodio allows you to restrict app categories like social media, games, messaging, and more. You can block individual apps as needed too.
When your child tries to use a prohibited app, you receive an alert. This helps nip problems like mobile addiction or inappropriate app usage in the bud.
Qustodio’s web filter gives you granular control over what sites your kids can access. You can block sites by category like pornography, illegal content, or violence.
The filter runs on all major web browsers. And you can create custom whitelists and blacklists if needed.
Screen Time Limits
To encourage healthy digital habits, Qustodio lets you limit daily or weekly screen time. You can set limits per device or per app.
When screen time expires, the app or device locks until the next allowance. This helps kids avoid binge usage and distraction.
With Qustodio’s location tracking, you can view your child’s location in real-time. You can also set up geofenced areas and get alerts when they arrive at school, leave home, etc.
The location history shows you everywhere your child has been for the past month. This ensures kids are where they’re supposed to be.
Qustodio’s mobile app has a panic button kids can press if they’re in danger or need help. This instantly sends the child’s location to linked parents and triggers an alarm.
The panic button gives kids a way to get emergency assistance and provides parents peace of mind.
Qustodio uses annual pricing packages. This can be more affordable long-term versus apps that charge monthly. Their pricing tiers are:
- Basic: Up to 5 devices – $54.95/year
- Premium: Up to 10 devices – $96.95/year
- Business: Up to 15 devices – $137.95/year
Each plan includes all the core features of app blocking, web filtering, screen time limits, etc. The higher tiers simply expand the number of child devices you can monitor.
One limitation is you can’t mix and match monthly billing. It’s annual subscriptions only. But overall Qustodio offers very competitive pricing in the parental control space.
Canopy is a more recent entry into the parental control market. But they’ve quickly built a reputation for innovation and polished design.
Some key facts on Canopy:
- Founded in 2019 in Austin, Texas
- Modern, intuitive interface
- Mobile device focus
- 7-day free trial
- Monthly pricing from $7-$16
Some standout features of Canopy are:
- Next-gen web filtering using AI
- Video and image monitoring for signs of bullying or predators
- Sexting auto-detection to prevent inappropriate sharing
- Removal protection so kids can’t delete the app
- 24/7 location tracking with favorite locations
Canopy isn’t compatible with computers like Qustodio. But they provide leading-edge mobile protection focused on today’s smartphone risks. Some other top competitors to Canopy are Bark (Bark vs Canopy) and Qustodio.
Next let’s explore Canopy’s capabilities in more detail.
Real-Time Explicit Content Blocking
Canopy’s web filter leverages AI to dynamically block inappropriate visual content in real-time. Even on encrypted sites, it replaces explicit images with a warning icon.
This protects kids from accidentally seeing dangerous or adult content online when filters fail.
Smart Homework Time
You can set “Homework Time” in Canopy to limit access to distracting apps and sites during study hours. This helps kids stay focused on schoolwork.
Homework Time can also silence notifications and pause recommended videos to reduce digital distractions.
Canopy supports setting frequent locations like “Home” and “School” with location boundaries. You’ll get alerts when your child arrives or leaves an area.
This gives you peace of mind that kids are safe without having to constantly check their location.
Kids can’t tamper with Canopy’s parental controls without a parent’s approval. They can’t uninstall the app, disable web filtering, or make unauthorized changes.
This removal protection is a key advantage of Canopy over other parental control apps on the market.
Canopy uses flexible monthly plans so you can cancel anytime. Their pricing options are:
- Basic: Up to 3 devices – $7.99/month
- Plus: Up to 5 devices – $9.99/month
- Premium: Up to 10 devices – $15.99/month
The Basic plan is a good option for smaller families who only need to manage a few kids’ devices. For larger families, the Premium plan offers robust multi-device support.
One plus is Canopy does offer an annual Premium subscription for a discounted $99.99/year. This can save you money versus paying monthly.
Qustodio vs. Canopy: Feature Comparison
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s compare Qustodio and Canopy head-to-head across some key categories:
|Platforms||iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Kindle||iOS, Android|
|Social media monitoring||Yes||No|
|Blocks explicit images||No||Yes|
From this comparison, you can see:
- Qustodio has the advantage for platform support, number of devices, and communication monitoring.
- Canopy leads with innovative features like real-time explicit image blocking, homework mode, and anti-removal protection.
Along with Canopy, leading alternatives like Bark (Qustodio vs Bark) offer robust monitoring and filtering.
So in summary:
- Qustodio is ideal if you need expansive platform coverage and communication logging
- Canopy is the winner for robust mobile device management and next-gen safety tools
Qustodio vs. Canopy: Pros and Cons
Here is a quick rundown of some of the main pros and cons of each service:
|Platform Support||Broader platform support (Windows, Mac, Kindle)||iOS/Android only (no desktop support)|
|Pricing||More affordable annual pricing||Flexible monthly billing|
|Monitoring||Call/text logging provides complete monitoring||Real-time monitoring for explicit content|
|Additional Features||Location alerts for custom areas||Unique features like removal blocking|
|Interface/Dashboard||–||Modern, user-friendly dashboard|
|Device Limit||Maximum 15 monitored devices||10 device limit on Premium plan|
|Interface||Dated interface isn’t as intuitive||–|
|Safety Features||Light on innovative safety features||–|
|Pricing (Cons)||–||More expensive monthly pricing|
|Communication Monitoring||–||Limited communication monitoring|
Note: A dash (“-“) indicates that the particular feature or aspect is not mentioned or not applicable for the respective software.
Which Is Better: Qustodio or Canopy?
There is no definitive “winner”—it depends on your priorities as a parent. Here are a few key considerations:
Go with Qustodio if you want:
- Expansive platform coverage (including PCs and Macs)
- Call, text, and social media tracking
- Budget-friendly annual pricing for large families
Go with Canopy if you want:
- Leading-edge safety features like removal blocking
- Maximum mobile device oversight with minimal gaps
- Month-to-month flexibility and free trial period
- User-friendly mobile interface
For most families, either service will provide robust parental controls and device management. Assess your needs, budget, and desired features before deciding which one fits best.
Both Qustodio and Canopy offer free trials, so I recommend testing each one out with your family before committing.
FAQ About Qustodio and Canopy
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions when comparing these parental control apps:
Is Qustodio really free?
Qustodio offers a limited free plan with basic features. To access the full suite of controls, you need a paid plan starting at $54.95 per year.
Does Canopy work on iPhones?
Yes, Canopy has an iOS app that is fully compatible with iPhones. The iPhone version has all the same parental control features as the Android app.
Can you remotely install Qustodio?
To monitor a child’s device with Qustodio, you will need physical access to install the app. There is no way to remotely deploy Qustodio without having the device in hand.
Does Canopy drain a phone’s battery?
Canopy should not significantly impact battery life if background app refresh is disabled. Like any parental control app, some battery drain is inevitable but Canopy aims to minimize it.
Is Qustodio invisible?
No, Qustodio is not completely invisible after installing. There will be a Qustodio app icon on the child’s device. However, Qustodio runs silently in the background once enabled.
Can Canopy monitor WhatsApp?
Currently, Canopy doesn’t offer WhatsApp monitoring or logging like some competitors. It focuses mainly on restricting apps, web content, and device usage.
Does Qustodio report to parents?
Yes, a key benefit of Qustodio is its detailed activity reports for parents. It tracks websites and apps used, screen time, and locations visited then compiles this into reports.
Can Canopy block apps?
Absolutely. App blocking is one of Canopy’s core features. Parents can restrict app categories, set time limits, and receive alerts for blocked apps.
Is Canopy worth the price?
That depends on your needs and budget. Canopy offers a lot of features that other parental control apps don’t, so it may be worth the price for you. If you’re looking for something more affordable, additional options are available.
Other top apps such as Famisafe (Qustodio vs Famisafe) provide features similar to Qustodio.
Get Started Protecting Your Family Online
Parental control apps provide invaluable peace of mind in our digital age. Both Qustodio and Canopy offer robust solutions to monitor kids and restrict unhealthy or dangerous online behavior.
Think carefully about your family’s needs and which platform aligns best. Key factors are number of devices, pricing, platform support, and specific features that are must-haves.
Try out free trials before committing to get a hands-on feel for each app’s interface and controls. Empower yourself to make the right choice for your household’s protection and well-being.