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2019’s Top 10 Apps to Monitor Child’s Phone

author_icon Cody Walsh time_icon Last updated Aug 28, 2019 07:43 pm tips_icon Device Monitoring

This is the smartphone age and dangers lurk everywhere in the digital world. This makes the young kids totally vulnerable to cyber crimes. So how do you keep your child safe in such a vulnerable stage? You cannot strip them off of their cell phone as that is the only way of contact between you and them. Also, there are many other useful things online which can prove to be very beneficial for the development of your child. You might ask if there is actually a way by which the child can continue using their smartphones but also keep away from the dangers. There is, in fact a way, by using the several parental control applications available online you can easily track your child's cell phone activity and protect them. Here are details about some of the best apps to monitor child's phone and keep them safe.

Part 1: How We Tested the Best Child Monitoring App

We have mainly focused on the best apps to monitor child's iPhone/Android device which can be installed before handing over the phone to your child and not after doing it. The following points were taken into account.

check cell phone  activities

1. How easy an app is to download, install and configure on the target phone.

2. Which program allows you as a parent to control and monitor all the applications on the target phone.

3. Which program offers the content filtering option and other such features which can be used to restrict and limit the access to inappropriate content online.

4. Since everybody carries out most of their conversations through messaging, we have also looked at the text message monitoring feature of each program and assessed them based on how well they alert the parent in case a new contact is added.

5. We have also tested the ability of the installed application to alert the parent when their child has entered an unwanted place and if it also provides the real time location.

6. We even kept into account the price of each of the applications which will be discussed in detail below.

Other features of each of the applications were also tested and their functions and compatibility with iOS, Android, Windows and Mac systems were also taken into account. How to monitor your child's phone with using these apps? Let's get started.

Part 2: Top 10 Apps to Monitor Child's Phone

After testing several child monitoring apps, the list below displays the 10 best apps to monitor child's iPhone/Android devices which can be effectively used as a parental monitoring app.

1. KidsGuard Pro  [Best Buy]

Price:  1-month plan to monitor one device would be $29.95. And the price drops to $8.32/month if you subscribe for 1 year.

Out of all the available apps to monitor child's phone, KidsGuard Pro is by far the only application which satisfied most of the criteria mentioned above. It can be rated as a 5-star or at least 4.5-star application which can effectively perform as a parental monitor app. With the help of this application, you as a parent can read the messages on your child's phone, can see their call logs, contacts and even photos and videos. Through this, the browser history can be checked. The screenshot can also be taken on the target phone and many other applications such as calendar and notes can also be viewed. It works efficiently in letting you monitor the social media applications like WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, Kik etc. With this app, you can get the real time location of your child and in case of any danger you can get to them in no time. The detailed reports on what your kids are doing online can be clearly viewed from the dashboard.

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kidsguard app

Features

  • See the details of every outgoing, incoming or missed calls.

  • Read incoming and outgoing and even deleted messages.

  • Accurate, real-time GPS tracking.

  • Select an area on the digital map as Geofence.

  • Monitor social media applications like WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, WeChat, Kik and more.

  • Steady and hidden tracking in the backgroud.

    Pros

  • No need to root for using this app.

  • Installation and setup can be done within 5 minutes.

  • 100% undetectable for remotely tracking without target knowing.

  • Real-time data syncing and 100% privacy & data protection.

  • Automatically enable the relevant permissions without searching on settings.

  • Budget-friendly compared to other similar apps available on the market.

    Cons

  • One license allows you to track one device at a time.

  • Not one-fee product.

2. Norton Family Premier

Price:  For the premium version after a free trial you can use it to connect up to 10 devices for $49.99 per year.

This is an excellent application which can help you to protect your child from the potential online threats. It gives a way for them to enjoy the benefits of internet without having to deal with the inappropriate and dangerous scenarios. It keeps updating you about the online sites visited by your child and automatically blocks harmful sites. It also lets you block certain sites on the internet which you may feel are not good for your child. It can also schedule screen time restrictions on the target phone so that your kids can indulge in other day to day activities as well. A detailed report of your kid's activity will be sent to you regularly. The drawback of this application is that it does not effectively perform message monitoring and it is unable to set screen times on specific applications on the target phone.

norton family premier

Features

  • Offer location tracking on your child’s device.

  • Manage existing apps on the target device.

  • Filter and monitor web usage

  • Show how much time your kids spend on their devices.

  • Export detailed reports for the activities in kid's device.

    Pros

  • Compatible with Windows, android and iOS devices.

  • Offers a easy-to-use web dashboard for parents.

  • No specific limit on the number of devices that can be monitored.

  • Location tracking feature is accurate.

  • Comes with a very affordable price.

    Cons

  • Not compatible with Mac devices.

  • Not supported to hide app on target device.

  • Some features has certain restrictions in some platforms.

3. Qustodio for Families Premium

Price:  $54.95/year for 5 devices, $96.95/year for 10 devices and $137.95/year for 15 devices.

It is perfect for monitoring your child's cellular activities. Basic protection like website filtering engine, setting time restrictions and reporting any doubtful activity are all provided by this application. It provides advanced FaceBook monitoring as well. Other features which are pretty helpful for keeping your child safe in the online world are specific application blocking, SOS button on child's phone, getting real time location, call tracking, number blocking, messages monitoring and blocking and much more. It does not provide the geo-fencing feature so you cannot set the boundaries on restricted areas.

qustodio app

Features

  • Filter inappropriate content on the internet for your child.

  • See your child’s online activity clearly through their devices.

  • Set time usage limits for games and apps on target devices.

  • Block unwanted numbers and read text messages on your kid’s device.

    Pros

  • Time scheduler for games, apps and internet usage.

  • Simple installation and setup process.

  • Inappropriate content filtering.

  • Three-day free trial of the Premium version available.

    Cons

  • No Geofence feature.

  • Some features has certain restrictions in iOS devices.

  • Can not hide on the target device.

  • Expensive for subscription.

4. Net Nanny

Price: $59.99/year for 5 devices, $89.99/year for 10 devices and $119.99/year for 15 devices.

It is one of the highest rated parental tracking apps which have many attractive features built in. More than 18 types of online content can be blocked according to your requirement. Any adult content access can be reported and the access would be immediately blocked. You can set the time limits for the usage of the internet. Other features include mask profanity, alerts and reporting, remote admin, customized user profiles etc. The time limit on specific applications cannot be set and this application does not have the geo-fencing feature as well.

net nanny

Features

  • Set specific time limints online for your child's device.

  • Block access to websites included inappropriate content like hate, violence, and porn.

  • Provide constant notifications to parents on the online activities of their children.

    Pros

  • Advanced website blocking feature.

  • Easy and simple user interface.

  • Filter inappropriate online content.

  • Can be used on various devices including Windows laptops or PCs, Mac systems and Android phones and tablets.

    Cons

  • The price is quite expensive.

  • Lack of some important monitoring feature like location tracking.

  • Can not work in hidden mode.

  • No text or call tracking feature.

5. ESET Parental Control App for Android

Price: $29.99 for one year.

You can enhance the online security for your kids with the help of this application. With the help of this app you can set the screen timings of usage of any specific applications on your kid's phone. Inappropriate web content can also be controlled and blocked as per your requirement. It has another important feature which is geo-fencing. Through this you can set up boundaries as to where your child can move around outside. You can restrict the unsafe regions. As soon as your child reaches near the unsafe and restricted region, you will be sent an alert. This is made possible with the apps ability to track the real time location. Only fallback is that it does not show the location history and it lacks features to monitor the social media platform applications.

eset parental control

Features

  • Provide your child's direct location and comes with a geofence feature.

  • SOS button allows your child to send you a text message when in danger.

  • Take control of inappropriate online content and block them on the target device.

  • Manage time uasge limit of applications on your child's device.

    Pros

  • Easy-to-use setup process.

  • Useful geofencing features.

  • SOS button option is available.

    Cons

  • Doesn’t support iOS devices.

  • Lack of text and call blocking feature.

  • No cross-platform solution provided.

  • Can not hide in monitored phone.

6. PhoneSheriff

Price: $49 for 6 months and $89 for a year.

With the help of this application you can block outgoing and incoming calls from specific numbers. Custom time restrictions can also be set and you can even block certain apps which you do not want your child to access. This application will send you custom activity alerts and all the text messages on your child's phone can be monitored. You can set restrictions on the places which your child visits as well. This app provides real-time location tracking, so through this feature every time your child goes out of the restricted area you would be alerted.

phonesheriff app

Features

  • Offers real time GPS location tracking for your child.

  • See all SMS logs and call history by the target devices.

  • View WhatsApp messages including sent and received on your kid's phone.

  • Block specific apps, games or websites.

    Pros

  • Instant alerts and notifications about the monitored device.

  • Excellent GPS locator with geofencing feature.

  • Allows one to set time limits on phone usage.

    Cons

  • Can not be hidden on the target device.

  • No free version available.

  • Expensive for purchasing.

  • Only compatible with Android devices.

7. My Mobile Watchdog

Price: $99.99/year.

This application lets you monitor your child's activity through a dashboard with all the options for monitoring the target device activity. All the incoming and outgoing messages and calls, contacts, applications and activities on other platforms on your child's phone can be monitored and controlled by using this application. It sends you regular reports of the activities as well. You can block certain websites which you do not want your child to access. You can even set screen time restrictions so that your child can get time to do other activities as well and they do not get addicted to their phones. It tracks the real time location of your children's so that you know their whereabouts all the time. This application lacks the geo-fencing tool and shows a cluttered activity log.

my mobile watchdog

Features

  • See a log of all activities on the target device.

  • View contacts on your child's phone and block unwanted ones.

  • Offers website blacklisting and software blocking features.

  • Automatically turn off apps during homework time.

    Pros

  • Updated and sync information with customized reports.

  • Only takes a few minutes to install and setup.

    Cons

  • Not very accurate on filtering capabilities.

  • No free trial available.

  • App can be seen on target device.

  • Only one-year plan available.

8. Lock2Learn

Price: Free

This does not completely act as a parental control monitoring application but it does have a few features which lets you control your child's online activity. It lets you restrict screen time and also restrict application access. It mainly focuses on the educational features and has a very few parental control features.

lock2learn parental control

Features

  • limit your child’s access to only the apps you choose.

  • Presents your child with questions in English and Math, and they need to answer these questions before unlocking the smartphone's main menu or accessing some apps.

  • Provides "Device Activity" reports from the target devices.

    Pros

  • Free to download and use.

  • Has strict application restrictions.

    Cons

  • Lack most of parental control features like location tracking and geo-fencing, etc.

9. Mobistealth

Price: Premium plan at $69.99 per month.

Any Android device activity can be monitored and controlled using this application. You can monitor these activities remotely on even your personal laptop. All the major social media applications can also be monitored, these applications include FaceBook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and other messengers used for texting. It shows excellent compatibility with iOS devices, Android and Windows PC. You don't have to root your Android device or jailbreak your iOS device for this application to work. This application does not offer a free trial.

mobistealth app

Features

  • Provides real-time and GPS location tracking.

  • Monitor some social media applications like line, Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and KiK.

  • Monitor email, text messages and contact details.

  • Support call recording.

    Pros

  • No need to root the device.

  • Compatible with most smartphone platforms.

    Cons

  • Doesn’t offer a free trial.

  • lack of some certain features available with other similar apps like geo-fencing.

  • Time-consuming in comparing and choosing the plans.

  • Expensive for subscription.

10. XNSPY App

Price: Basic edition at $8.33 per month and Premium edition at $12.49 per month.

Any Android device or iPhone can be remotely monitored with the help of this application. It monitors all the phone calls made by the target phone or made from the target phone. All the text messages can also be kept a check on. Along with this you can set a watch list contact so that whenever your child gets a call or message from that particular phone number you will get alerted. Famous messenger applications like FaceBook messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Viber etc can also be controlled and monitored on your child's phone by you.

xnspy app

Features

  • Monitor phone calls and Messages.

  • Read instant messages with tracking social media apps.

  • Modify device settings and send remote commands to your child's phone.

  • Record phone calls and surroundings.

    Pros

  • Stealth monitoring mode.

  • Supports offline tracking for target devices.

    Cons

  • Doesn’t offer a free trial.

  • No real-time monitoring feature.

  • One license only support to track one phone at a time.

  • Don’t offer phone support.

Conclusion

With the increase in the number of things you can do online, it is the parent's job to determine which activity is safe and which activity is not safe for their children. These top parental monitor apps make it possible for the parents to monitor their kids' activity on their phones and keep them safe from a dangerous scenario. Out of all the applications listed above, KidsGuard Pro is the best app to monitor child's phone and is highly recommended for efficient activity monitoring.

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By Cody Walsh

Posted on Jan 25, 2019 ( Updated: Aug 28, 2019 )

An experienced technology blogger and editor who has spent more than a decade writing about software, gadgets, and computing etc all over the Internet.