Net Nanny vs. Qustodio: Which Parental Control App is Best?
The two most popular parental control apps on the market today are Qustodio and Net Nanny. Both apps are very similar in the features they offer, but there are some distinct differences in their services that will be important depending on what you intend on using either service for. We’ll compare both services as they perform the same tasks, as well as mention when one app will have a useful feature that the other one doesn’t.
Quick Intro: Qustodio
Qustodio provides perhaps the widest range of protection of any of the major parental control apps. In addition to their classic web-filtering software that effectively filters out adult sites, there’s lots of cool additional features. The main appeal of Qustodio is the summary of activity, where you (the parent) can see your child’s activities in a handy newsfeed that lets you know who they’ve been texting, calling, Facebook messaging, and more. There’s also a ‘panic’ button on Android devices that you child can use at any time if they’re in trouble and need help.
Quick Intro: Net Nanny
Net Nanny is the oldest and most well-known of the parental control software programs. The company dates back to 1996. They started out by blocking access to adult-content sites, and have expanded to a parent control suite of products for smartphones, tablets and more. You can set up different user profiles that have different permissions, and you can set up alerts and get reports about your child’s internet usage.
Round 1: Features Comparison
Qustodio: In addition to the panic button, web-filter, and activity monitoring that we mentioned above, the app also lets you set time limits on any of these activities. You can also block calls, texts, apps, and games. There’s also location tracking, and these reports last up to 30 days, so you can go back and investigate something if you need to.
Qustodio also offers kindle management, so it’ll filter adult-content from reaching your child’s kindle device.
Net Nanny has a browser filter that blocks out adult and black-listed websites. You can limit internet time, change features from anywhere, and get reports about your child or children’s activity. You can set up different user profiles as well, so you can have different rules and limits for older/younger kids.
The Key Differences: Net Nanny’s browser filter will block out words on green-lit sites. So if your child is visiting a site that is allowed, but that site has an article with bad words in it, Net Nanny will filter them out.
What Qustodio has is more social features, so you can control apps and games (very important!) with your kids. There’s also location tracking and the panic button your kid can hit for help at any time.
Winner: Qustodio – It just seems so obvious that the need to block or limit games (especially in an era of fortnite) that it’s mind-boggling that Net Nanny doesn’t offer it.
Round 2: Assessing Ease of Use
Qustodio – We hate to say it, but Qusodio is incredibly easy to use because it organizes your kid’s activity into a simple, clean interface that looks just like a Facebook newsfeed. Or, rather, what Facebook’s newsfeed should look like (minus the clickbait and memes).
Net Nanny – Net Nanny is by far the oldest of these parental control apps…and it shows. The interface is a little old-school, and less technically literate people might have trouble setting up the software and managing it. It’s not bad by any means, but Qustodio looks a lot better.
Winner: Qustodio. Your learning curve on Qustodio will the shortest of any of the apps, no matter what your current technical aptitude happens to be.
Round 3: Pricing
Qustodio is pricier than most apps: their service plans start at $55/year for protection on up to 5 devices (that works out to $4.58/month). Their most expensive plan is $137.95/year, which gives you protection on up to 15 devices. There is a free version of Qustodio that will protect one device and give you the basic protection features. That’s a good option if you want to try out their interface before you buy.
Net Nanny has so many different pricing levels that it’s difficult to parse it all out. But their main product is the family protection pass. The pass starts at $59.99/year for up to 5 devices. The plans top out at $119.99/year for protection of up to 15 devices. If you want to use Net Nanny on your iOS or Android device, then you need to get the family protection pass (they aren’t available otherwise).
If you want single protection on one Windows or Mac device, then you can outright buy the software for just $39.99.
Winner: Qustodio – While Net Nanny does have the one-off price of $39.99 for one desktop, but you’re likely going to want protection for more than just one device. The cost of Net Nanny’s family protection pass is functionally the same as Qustodio’s regular price, with Qustodio actually ending up a little cheaper for more features.
Round 4: Overall, Which One Gets Our Recommendation?
We have to go with Qustodio with this one. Net Nanny has more name recognition, so when we began our evaluations, we were surprised at the lack of newer features that Net Nanny has.
Limiting games on your child’s phone can be as important to their development as limiting internet hours, so we have to go with Qustodio. Couple that with the easier to use interface and the pricing that’s pretty much identical, our official recommendation for the best parental control app is Qustodio.
|Best Internet Filter:||Net Nanny|
|Ease of Use:||Qustodio|
|Games Time Limiter:||Qustodio|
|Pricing:||It's a tie!|