Parental control apps like Qustodio and Net Nanny can help keep your kids safe online. But how do you choose which one is right for your family?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the key features, pricing, compatibility, and ease of use for both Qustodio and Net Nanny. I’ll share my hands-on testing results and recommendations to help you decide which parental control software is the better fit.
Key Features Compared
- Qustodio: Very customizable filter with 30 categories like drugs, pornography, social media, etc. Can block sites or just monitor.
- Net Nanny: Mainly blocks porn but limited options beyond that. Less effective at filtering broader range of inappropriate content.
- Verdict: Qustodio has the better web filter.
Time Limits and Schedules
- Qustodio: Set daily and weekly limits. Can restrict time for individual apps too.
- Net Nanny: Daily and weekly limits. No per-app time restrictions.
- Verdict: Qustodio gives slightly more control.
Social Media Monitoring
- Qustodio: Only monitors YouTube, no other social networks.
- Net Nanny: Can block social media apps and monitor content with AI. Also tracks YouTube.
- Verdict: Net Nanny wins for social media.
- Qustodio: Real-time location tracking. Location history.
- Net Nanny: Also has real-time tracking and location history.
- Verdict: It’s a tie. Both have solid location monitoring.
- Qustodio: Custom geofences. Get alerts when child enters or leaves set areas.
- Net Nanny: Only based on location history, no real-time geofencing.
- Verdict: Qustodio’s geofencing is far better.
- Qustodio: Change settings and controls remotely from anywhere.
- Net Nanny: Can enforce controls remotely but some features don’t work fully.
- Verdict: Qustodio has better remote access.
Based on my hands-on testing, Qustodio comes out ahead in most of the critical feature categories like web filtering, time limits, geofencing, and remote access. The one exception is social media monitoring, where Net Nanny is superior.
Ease of Use
Both apps are designed to be fairly easy to use, even for parents without a technical background. However, Qustodio has a more intuitive interface that makes it simpler to find the settings and controls you need. The dashboard layout provides the essential info front and center.
Net Nanny’s dashboard buries some key data deeper within the app, making you hunt for it a bit more. It may take longer to get fully comfortable navigating the Net Nanny parental controls.
Ease of use winner: Qustodio
Qustodio and Net Nanny are both compatible with the major platforms – iOS, Android, Kindle, Mac, Windows, and Chromebooks.
However, Qustodio also offers an unmodified Android app you can download outside the Play Store. This gives it access to more device data like calls and texts that Google doesn’t allow.
So Qustodio is compatible with a wider range of devices.
Compatibility winner: Qustodio
Pricing and Plans
The prices are very similar for the first two tiers. Qustodio pulls ahead with the 15 device plan, which is considerably cheaper than Net Nanny’s 20 device plan.
And Qustodio offers a permanently free version for one device, which Net Nanny lacks.
Pricing winner: Qustodio
Qustodio really shines here by offering premium support options:
- Scheduled phone calls
- Priority email and live chat
- Remote tech assistance
- Regular check-ins
Net Nanny has decent options like live chat and email support, but not the high-touch proactive service Qustodio provides.
Support winner: Qustodio
- Qustodio: 30-day free trial with full features. No credit card needed.
- Net Nanny: 14-day money back guarantee. Must purchase first.
Qustodio’s free trial makes it easy to test drive the software thoroughly before committing. Net Nanny requires an upfront purchase.
Free trial winner: Qustodio
- Qustodio is superior for web filtering, time management, geofencing, compatibility, customer support and free trial options.
- Net Nanny has the edge for social media monitoring.
- Both are easy to use, but Qustodio’s interface is more intuitive.
- Pricing is similar, but Qustodio offers better value at higher tiers.
- Qustodio is the winner in nearly every category except social media oversight.
Does Net Nanny have a free version?
No, Net Nanny doesn’t have a free option. The lowest tier is $39.99/year for 1 device.
What features come with Qustodio’s free version?
Qustodio’s free version allows you to monitor one device. It includes basic time limits, filtering, and the main dashboard features. It’s a great way to try Qustodio risk-free.
Can Net Nanny see my child’s texts?
Unfortunately no. Net Nanny doesn’t offer text message monitoring like some other parental control apps do. It focuses more on web filtering and app blocking.
Does Net Nanny work on social media?
Yes! Net Nanny recently improved their social media oversight. You can block social media apps completely, or monitor content on networks like Instagram using their AI filters.
Is Qustodio easy to set up?
Absolutely. Getting started with Qustodio is very straightforward. Just download the app on your child’s device and follow the prompts to connect it to your parent account and configure the restrictions. No technical expertise required.
The Bottom Line
Based on my extensive tests comparing these two popular parental control apps, Qustodio comes out as the clear winner. It has excellent, customizable features to protect kids online, an intuitive interface, great customer support, and solid value.
But for all-around online child safety, Qustodio can’t be beat. And the 30-day free trial makes it easy to experience the benefits first-hand.