The Best Antiviruses with Parental Control Tools Reviewed for 2024

The best antivirus with parental control tools will keep your devices protected from viruses, malware, ransomware, and other cyber threats while also giving you full oversight over what content your children can access and interact with online.

In this guide, we’ve reviewed and compared the top parental control antivirus solutions so you can make an informed decision and choose the best one for you.

The Best Parental Control Antivirus Tools Ranked for 2024

Here’s a quick rundown of the leading antivirus parental control apps in 2024:

  1. Norton $49.99/year — Full control over your children’s online activity, access to their browsing history and videos watched, and the ability to manage their screen time.
  2. ESET$49.99/year — Password-protected parental controls for user accounts with logs, so your children can’t circumvent the content restrictions you put in place.
  3. Intego$69.99/year — Fully customizable user profiles for each family member and real-time notifications of inappropriate content, words, or phrases in online chats.
  4. Bitdefender$39.99/year — Top-rated antivirus solution based on independent testing, with excellent device-level parental controls.
  5. McAfee$69.99/year — Excellent threat protection and advanced parental controls with content blocks and phone location tracking.

The Best Antivirus Parental Control Suites Reviewed

In this section, we’ll cover our detailed reviews of the best antivirus solutions with parental control features so you can see exactly what different providers offer and how much value you’re getting for your money. We’ve quoted lab tests from AV-Tests, which conducts regular, in-depth testing of cybersecurity services.

1. Norton — Full Control Over Your Children’s Online Activity

Norton Parental Control
Norton’s Parental Control tools
Starting Price Antivirus Testing Results Max Devices Supported Free Version Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
$49.99 (first year) – Top marks on performance tests
– Excellent malware protection
10 30-day trial Windows, macOS, iOS, Android 60 days

Norton is one of the most powerful, comprehensive antivirus solutions on the market. It offers complete device protection from malware, viruses, ransomware, and hacking and includes webcam protection, Dark Web monitoring, and more.

The company even offers a virus protection promise, giving users a full refund if the antivirus isn’t able to detect and remove viruses from the device. This goes to show you just how powerful of a solution Norton truly is.

When it comes to parental controls, Norton offers a dedicated parental control suite. You can get it as a standalone product without the antivirus or as part of the Norton 360 Deluxe package, which includes the antivirus, a password manager, a VPN (Virtual Private Network), and lots of other security features.

The parental controls enable you to see what your children are searching for online and what videos they’re watching, set screen time limits, and prevent them from accessing sensitive or inappropriate content online.

You can also see and limit what apps they’re using, manage their learning environment with School Time, and even leverage location tracking so you’ll know exactly where your child is at any given time by tracking their Android or iPhone devices.

It’s an excellent package and contends with McAfee as a leading provider for both antivirus and parental control tools. That said, lab tests do report some false positive alerts, and Bitdefender gets slightly better overall performance results.

Check out our in-depth Norton Antivirus review for more details.

Pros

  • Complete protection for all your devices
  • Complete oversight over your children’s online activity
  • Virus protection promise guarantee
  • VPN and password manager included
  • Lots of additional security features

Cons

  • Some false positives in lab test results

2. ESET — Password-Protected Parental Controls for User Accounts

ESET Antivirus Parental Controls
ESET Antivirus Parental Controls
Starting Price Antivirus Testing Results Max Devices Supported Free Version Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
$49.99/year – Superb malware protection
– Excellent performance results
– Few false positives
10 30-day free trial Windows, macOS, Android, iOS 30 days

ESET is a robust antivirus solution that relies on advanced machine learning to keep you protected from cyber threats 24/7. In addition to the typical antivirus, malware, and spyware detection and removal, ESET offers an additional layer of protection in the form of a ransomware shield.

Additional advanced security features you get with ESET include an exploit blocker, advanced memory scanning, cloud-based scanning, and script-based attack protection. Notably, Dark Web monitoring is missing, so Norton beats ESET in this regard.

In terms of parental controls, ESET allows you to set up age-based restrictions for the entire Windows account. This means you need to set it up once and can simply switch between users before letting your child use the computer.

Additionally, you can limit their access to specific websites or even entire categories based on subject, such as adult content. You’ll also be able to password-protect your parental controls, so even if your child is tech-savvy, they won’t be able to circumvent the parental controls in place.

There’s also a separate parental control product for Android, if you just want to place parental controls on an Android phone.

Pros

  • Robust protection against cyber threats
  • Multiple layers of protection
  • Password-protected parental controls
  • Minimal system impact

Cons

  • Convoluted pricing structure
  • Fewer features than competitors

3. Intego — Customizable User Profiles and Real-Time Notifications of Inappropriate Content

Intego macOS Antivirus
Intego’s macOS Antivirus
Starting Price Antivirus Testing Results Max Devices Supported Free Version Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
$69.99/year (first year) – Excellent usability
– High levels of protection
5 macOS 30 days

Intego is a superb antivirus for Macs. It’s specifically designed to combat macOS viruses and threats, protect your network, and help clean your device and optimize its performance.

In addition to the real-time antivirus, Intego provides a fast and secure VPN, NetBarrier, a firewall against network attacks, and automated personal backups to protect and recover key files.

If you opt for Intego, you’ll also have access to ContentBarrier, a set of tools that helps you boost your family’s online safety and gives you valuable insights into your children’s online habits.

The parental controls let you put age-specific boundaries in place, customize profiles for each family member, and set time limits on internet use. The software also automatically monitors all of their online chats and can be set up to notify you of inappropriate content, terms, or phrases that are entered.

Intego is a relatively expensive product, and it’s primarily geared for the macOS ecosystem. Given this, the parental controls, unfortunately, aren’t available for iOS or Windows. If you want a more inclusive product, it would be better to opt for Norton, McAfee, or Bitdefender.

Pros

  • Excellent virus protection for macOS devices
  • Built-in VPN and firewall
  • File cleanup and system optimization features
  • Fully customizable profiles for every family member
  • Real-time notifications of inappropriate content in online chats

Cons

  • No parental controls on iPhones
  • Relatively expensive

4. Bitdefender — Top-Rated Antivirus Solution in Independent Testing

Bitdefender Antivirus
Bitdefender Antivirus dashboard
Starting Price Antivirus Testing Results Max Devices Supported Free Version Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
$39.99/year (first year) Top marks across all categories 10 Free plan for Windows without parental controls Windows, macOS, iOS, Android 30 days

Bitdefender is among the best-performing antivirus solutions on the market, both in terms of malware detection rates and for its limited impact on device performance.

It offers complete protection against various forms of cyber threats, ensures complete privacy with a VPN, webcam shield, and a secure firewall, and provides parents with robust parental controls across all devices.

Bitdefender offers application and website-level parental controls, which give you authority over what programs your children can use and what content they can consume and interact with online.

You can also track their screen time, see their full list of mobile contacts, and monitor your child’s location. What’s more, you’ll receive weekly emails with a comprehensive summary of your child’s online activity, so you’ll have more insight into what they use the internet for.

Our Bitdefender parental control review found it to be an excellent toolset, and it’s the cheapest option on this list while also having the best-rated antivirus.

For additional information, see our Bitdefender vs Kaspersky and Bitdefender vs Norton guides.

Pros

  • Top marks across all categories on independent tests
  • Multi-layered malware and ransomware protection
  • Easy-to-use parental controls
  • Weekly reports on your child’s online activity

Cons

  • Confusing pricing
  • Free plan doesn’t include parental controls

5. McAfee — Excellent Threat Protection and Parental Controls With Location Tracking

McAfee Antivirus
McAfee Antivirus dashboard
Starting Price Antivirus Testing Results Max Devices Supported Free Version Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
$69.99/year (first year) – Superb real-time protection
– Minimal performance impact
– Some false positives
Unlimited 30-day free trial Windows, macOS, iOS, Android 30 days

McAfee offers total protection for an unlimited number of devices, a VPN that will automatically protect you from unsafe networks, and actionable insights on how to improve your security with its Protection Score.

With this award-winning antivirus, you also get proactive web protection, a firewall, a password manager, identity monitoring, and personal data cleanup scans. Coupled with multi-platform compatibility, this makes McAfee a great choice for protecting every device in your household.

The parental controls are available with the McAfee+ Premium Family package, and they offer you complete control over your children’s internet activities.

In addition to limiting what content your children can access and setting screen time for each internet session, you’ll be able to monitor the location of their phone and will receive real-time alerts when they arrive or leave specified areas.

It’s a relatively expensive package, but you do get an excellent degree of protection – and the ability to protect an unlimited number of devices is unmatched.

For more information, see our in-depth McAfee review, which covers the antivirus’ full feature-set in detail.

Pros

  • Complete protection from cyber threats
  • Firewall, VPN, and password manager included
  • Proactive identity breach monitoring
  • Parental controls with location tracking

Cons

  • Some features aren’t available on iOS
  • Relatively expensive

The Best Antiviruses with Parental Controls Compared

Here’s a quick reference table of the top antivirus solutions that offer parental controls so you can see how they performed in independent tests and how different solutions compare head-to-head:

Antivirus Software Starting Price Antivirus Testing Results Max Devices Supported Free Version Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
Norton $49.99 (first year) – Top marks on performance tests
– Excellent malware protection
10 30-day trial Windows, macOS, iOS, Android 60 days
ESET $49.99/year – Superb malware protection
– Excellent performance results
– Few false positives
10 30-day trial Windows, macOS, Android, iOS 30 days
Intego $69.99/year (first year) – Excellent usability
– High levels of protection
5 macOS 30 days
Bitdefender $39.99/year (first year) Highest marks across all categories 10  Free plan for Windows without parental controls Windows, macOS, iOS, Android 30 days
McAfee $69.99/year (first year) – Superb real-time protection
– Minimal performance impact
– Some false positives
Unlimited 30-day free trial Windows, macOS, iOS, Android 30 days

Key Features to Look For in Family Antivirus Parental Control Packages

An antivirus with parental controls is a long-term investment in your family’s online safety.

There are multiple levels of online security, though, and a range of antivirus tools, and not every antivirus package that includes parental control features is on the same level.

We’ve thoroughly tested all the items on this list. Here’s a quick breakdown of the key features we considered when reviewing these family antivirus solutions:

  • Antivirus malware detection rates — When it comes to an antivirus, the most important metric is how effective it is in combating cyber threats. Ideally, you want an antivirus with a 99.99% malware detection rate to ensure your device and data are kept safe.
  • Performance impact — Antivirus solutions can be demanding on device resources, reducing response times to user input. The lower the impact on the device’s performance, the better, but you shouldn’t sacrifice safety for the sake of performance.
  • Compatibility — Not every product is compatible with every device and operating system. Make sure your chosen antivirus can run on the devices you want to protect, and that you’re getting all the features you need.
  • Parental controls — Parental controls often include content logs and content restriction capabilities, while additional features like age-based restrictions, real-time notifications, and location tracking can offer added security. Do you want an antivirus with parental time controls, or is location tracking more important?
  • Additional security features — In addition to malware protection and parental controls, you should consider security features and tools such as VPNs, password managers, online payment protection, and firewalls. These all enhance your family’s online safety, security, and anonymity.
  • Value for money — When comparing the prices for the monthly and annual subscriptions of different antivirus solutions, be mindful of what you’re getting for your money. The cheapest solution may be a bad buy if it doesn’t include the features you need.

How Good is the Best Free Antivirus with Parental Control Tools?

There are many antivirus solutions that offer free plans, but these usually have a limited range of features, and you’ll typically need to upgrade for parental controls. Indeed, you’ll be very hard-pressed to find a free antivirus solution that lets you monitor and control your kids’ internet activity.

In addition to parental controls, you’ll be missing out on other key features with free antivirus solutions, such as firewalls, VPNs, data breach monitoring, and payment protection.

Put simply, it’s far more worthwhile to set some money aside for a premium antivirus solution with parental controls since you get complete protection for all your devices, whereas a free antivirus will typically only offer malware and virus protection at most.

How to Get Started with an Antivirus with Parental Control

Here’s a step-by-step guide for getting started with Norton Antivirus and setting up parental controls so you can ensure your children are safe online:

  1. Sign Up for the Norton Antivirus

    Visit Norton and scroll down until you reach the pricing plans. Note that parental controls are only available with the Norton 360 Deluxe and Select packages. Click the “Buy now” button on the appropriate plan, enter your email address, and provide your payment information to finalize the purchase.
  2. Install Norton on Your Device

    After completing your purchase, you’ll receive a purchase confirmation on the email address you’ve provided, together with your login credentials and an installation file. Download the Norton installation file and follow the simple prompts on your screen to install the antivirus on your device. Note that you’ll also have to install Norton on your children’s devices in order to apply parental controls from your PC, laptop, or phone.
  3. Set Up Parental Controls

    Log into your Norton account, navigate to the “Family” tab, and add each of your children’s devices to your account. Select the type of device and the operating system.
    <strong>Set Up Parental Controls</strong>
  4. Edit the Settings

    After adding their accounts, go through each of the individual settings and apply the level of control you want. These include:
    • Web — Choose which topics you want to block from being accessible and how you want to be notified of web activity
    • Search — Restrict the searches and see what your kids are searching for
    • Time — Set time restrictions and schedules for device/internet use
    • Video — See what your children watch on YouTube
    • App — See what apps your kids have downloaded on their Android devices (not available on iOS) and restrict access to specific apps if necessary
    • Location — Monitor the location of your child’s Android or iOS device in real-time and review their 30-day location history

    With this done, you’re good to go. You’ll always be able to further configure, update, or change these restrictions from your device, as well as being able to monitor online activity.

Conclusion – What is the Best Antivirus with Parental Controls in 2024? Norton

After reviewing and comparing the leading antivirus solutions with parental controls, we’ve concluded that Norton Antivirus provides the best internet protection for families.

Norton performs extremely well as an antivirus, and the company itself offers a virus protection promise, giving a full refund in the event that the antivirus is unable to detect and remove a virus from your device.

Most importantly, Norton gives you complete oversight and control over your kid’s online activity. This includes restricting what content they can access online, blocking websites with harmful, dangerous, or inappropriate content, seeing what videos they watch, monitoring their physical location, and more.

FAQs

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Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…