Compare the Best Parental Control Apps for 2023

The best parental control apps can help to put your mind at rest when it comes to monitoring and supervising your children’s use of the internet. After all, the internet is a minefield, with a huge range of unsuitable adult content available and the ever-present issue of strangers reaching out to contact youngsters. We’ve looked into all the solutions available to find the top services on the market for you.

We’ve broken down the top 10 best parental control apps for 2023 based on safety, usability, device support, and value for money. Read on, and you’ll find out how some leading providers in this space, such as mSpy, EyeZy, and uMobix, compare with other parental control software providers.

Best Parental Control Software Ranked

Below you’ll find our shortlist of the top ten parental control software tools, ranked according to their overall value. Make sure you check out our top three and read on for our full reviews and comparison on all the below:

  1. mSpy — One of the best parental control apps, which is fast to install and easy to use, and that comes with powerful tools for location tracking and remote device control.
  2. EyeZy — A full phone monitoring package with reasonable pricing that enables you to monitor activity, block sites, and view your child’s calendar.
  3. uMobix — This app has a wide range of parental control features, including remote device disabling, photo and video logging, social media monitoring, keylogging, and screen recording.
  4. Cocospy — A great mobile-focused tracking tool that provides comprehensive logs and social media tracking tools.
  5. Qustodio — A comprehensive monitoring solution that works across PC and mobile devices and that comes with screen-time management and social media tracking tools.
  6. TheOneSpy — A full-device tracking suite that enables microphone and camera access and the ability to record VoIP calls.
  7. KidsGuard — Stealth-mode monitoring app that comes with full social media app coverage, GPS monitoring, and remote admin tools.
  8. Norton Family — World-class antivirus provider’s solution for managing and blocking inappropriate content, with superb live monitoring controls.
  9. FamiSafe — Parental control software that excels in blocking content and automatically detecting issues.
  10. NetNanny — A recommended tool for real-time content blocking across social media and the web.

10 Best Apps for Parental Control Reviewed

Based on the research we’ve carried out on parental control apps in 2023, we’ve concluded that mSpy is the best one. We’ll discuss why this is the case in a second, but here’s a quick breakdown of each of the best parental control apps:

1. mSpy — The Number One Best Parental Control App

mSpy is a parental control platform that works with Android and iOS devices. Thanks to the comprehensive phone monitoring system, all it takes is a five-minute install process, and you’ll be kept informed of your child’s contacts, browsing habits, and chats.

mSPy best parental control app

Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
$59.99/month $14.16/month 1 Android, iOS, tablets Demo 14-day refund policy

All the data is kept safe on encrypted servers that only you can access. You’ll see a range of data from your dashboard, like call logs. This gives you access to your child’s call activity, such as when the call was made, the duration, whether the call was incoming or outgoing, and more.

You’ll also get access to all the text messages on the device. This includes SMS messages and files, but also social media DMs too. That said, mSpy covers many social media programs, including WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram.

Besides this, it also lets you know where your kid is at all times. The real-time GPS tracking system built into mSpy constantly updates you on where the monitored device is, giving you peace of mind that your child isn’t somewhere unsafe.

In fact, mSpy makes monitoring your children even easier with a geofencing option. You can set exclusion zones using a Google Maps interface built so that you’ll be alerted immediately through email whenever your child’s device enters the exclusion zone.


  • Easy-access dashboard keeps you informed
  • Device support for both Android and iOS
  • Location tracking made easy
  • Wide set of features


  • Some limited remote activation settings


mSpy has one feature plan that comes in three different subscription formats depending on how long you need it for:


mSpy is suited towards longer subscription periods, with a heavy discount for a year-long purchase. You’ll be able to choose a plan that suits your needs, but if you’re looking to take mSpy for a test run, there’s still a 30% discount for the first month.

2. EyeZy — The Most Feature-Rich Parental Control App

EyeZy has some unique features and offers a full phone monitoring suite, making it easy to keep your kids safe while they browse online. There’s an app for Android devices with root options and iOS with jailbreak and iCloud data sync.

eyezy best parental control app

Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
$47.99/month $9.99/month 1 Android, iOS, tablets 3-day trial + demo 14-day refund policy

The EyeZy Connection Blocker keeps content you disapprove of off your child’s phone. With a custom block list, you can set which sites you want to keep blocked from the EyeZy dashboard. Each site is recorded in the database so you can review the sites you’ve blocked.

Speaking of history, you can look back over your child’s browsing habits with EyeZy’s Web Magnifier. You’ll be alerted to their last visited site, which sites they visit frequently, and also have access to a detailed list of their browsing history on the phone.

Plans Breaker is EyeZy’s breakdown of all the events in your child’s social calendar. It’s another way to monitor your child’s plans, giving you calendar information like the event name, description, location, and time.

You’ll always know their intentions when they’re going out without asking. Beyond this, it’s also great for checking in on your child’s academic schedule. Overall, with EyeZy, you’ll know what the target user is saying across apps, where they’re going, their plans, and their web activity.


  • UI is well designed
  • GPS updates every five minutes
  • Useful insights into their social activity


  • Need to buy a longer subscription to save


Some providers offer confusing plans, but EyeZy simplifies the buying process with a single plan.

EyeZy pricing

Firstly, you’ll want to take advantage of the flat 30% discount across all plans while it still lasts. Beyond this, a significant discount is available for yearly subscription buyers, but you’ll have access to the whole feature set even if you’re buying just one month.

3. uMobix — Fantastic Android Monitoring for Parental Control

uMobix uses in-depth tracking software to keep your children safe. As such, it’s easy to recommend as one of our top parental control solutions. It offers many features, including remote device disabling, photo and video logging, social media monitoring, keylogging, and screen recording.

umobix top parental control app

Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
$49.99/month $11.66/month 1 Android, iOS, tablets Demo 14-day refund policy

Social media monitoring works across many apps, including Telegram, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Skype, Tinder, and TikTok. It’s not just good enough to track just SMS messages anymore, as teens communicate using a wide range of apps. With uMobix, you’ll always know what the target user is up to.

Besides being a great device management tool, it’s also great for location tracking. The Android version has a robust real-time location tracking system that uses multiple methods to keep track of the protected device.

You can track the phone via GPS, but you can also use SMS tracking, which doubles up as a great way to track down a stolen or lost device.


  • A fantastic feature set for Android
  • Full mobile phone tracking with GPS and SMS
  • Top-tier social media coverage


  • The iOS version lacks features


uMobix is competitively priced. Here are your options:


Few monitoring suites are more powerful than uMobix, which justifies the higher price for a single month. Some other choices on this list might be better if you’re a first-time user who needs a short-term monitoring solution, but uMobix is great for power users.

There’s still a way to test out uMobix, however. You can try it now risk-free with the 2-week money-back guarantee.

4. Cocospy — A Great Parental Control Location Tracking Tool

Cocospy is another excellent choice for parental monitoring software for mobile. Like our top 3, it doesn’t offer Windows or macOS tracking, so you may want to pair it up with another choice on our list, such as NetNanny or FamiSafe.

cocospy best child monitoring app

Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
$49.99/month $12.49/month 1 Android, iOS, tablets Demo 14-day refund policy

That said, contact logging is one of the top features available on Cocospy. Once installed on the target phone, you’ll get a log of each call on the phone. This doesn’t just tell you who your child is talking to, but when the call happened and how long it lasted. It’s a great way of keeping an eye on your child’s contacts, and it’s augmented even further with social media monitoring across Facebook, Kik, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and more.

Cocospy is best used for Android devices, where you get full management tools that tell you which apps are installed on the device. You can block apps you don’t want appearing on your child’s phone remotely, so there’s no need to argue over too much Minecraft before bedtime.

What we love most is that it implements these remote features discreetly, using a stealth mode that hides all notifications and app pop-ups on the target device. There’s URL filtering, too, if you know the websites you want to block. That said, other providers do offer more in-depth content filtering tools.


  • Easy-to-use dashboard
  • Great bulk pricing plans
  • Location tracking is extremely quick


  • Can’t block contacts remotely
  • Data sync on iOS isn’t as powerful as on-app monitoring


There are three pricing options for Cocospy:


Each plan gives you access to the same powerful monitoring features for Cocospy, so the only choice you have to make is how long you want to use it.

5. Qustodio — Comprehensive Monitoring Solution Covers Multiple Devices

Qustodio is a comprehensive monitoring solution that works across all PC and mobile devices. It’s a great all-in-one solution for a family that uses many devices. Whether you want to monitor Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android, you can download Qustodio for free to take it for a test drive.

Qustodio parental control app

Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
N/A €42.95 (€3.58/month) 5 Android, iOS, Windows, Mac Limited free version 30-day money-back guarantee

All the devices you monitor are accessible from the Qustodio dashboard, with detailed breakdowns per device. On phones, you’ll access monitoring features like text messages across SMS and social media, call logging with contact information, and app usage frequency.

In fact, Qustodio is a strong choice if you’re concerned about monitoring app usage in general. There’s a detailed log of each app run on the device and analytics such as how long it’s been used. Beyond this, you can remotely decide which apps are allowed to run.

If you’re more concerned with your child’s total screen time, you can set an allowed amount of time on the device per day. It’s possible to schedule this by week in the Qustodio app, so you can set it up once without worrying about micromanaging their device use.


  • Screen-time management tools
  • Works across PC and mobile
  • Free trial option
  • Family purchase options


  • The free version has minimal features


Qustodio has a single tier of subscriptions, with the only difference in plans being how many devices you want to cover.

qustodio pricing

It’s possible to try the free version of Qustodio before you buy, but you can only monitor one device with reduced monitoring power. Still, many other providers don’t let you use a free version, so this is refreshing.

All things considered, the small plan is excellent value, as many other basic packages only allow you to monitor one device.

6. TheOneSpy — Voice Call Recording For Parental Control

TheOneSpy is another full-device monitoring suite for parents that won’t disappoint. As a bonus, a free version is available with some basic features that let you get used to the app before you use the full suite.

theonespy parental control

Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
$25/month (Lite Version) $6.25 (Lite Version) 1 Android, iOS, Windows, Mac Demo 14-day refund policy

The dashboard gives you in-depth device information, such as the phone’s IMEI, mobile number, GPS status, and location. It’s all very functional, but the UI does look a little dated compared to some of the higher providers on our list.

Don’t be fooled by an out-of-date design, though. TheOneSpy more than makes up for it with a comprehensive set of features for mobile devices. You’ll get access to the target users’ call logs, browser history, social media activity, and files.

Thanks to the ” Stealth Mode,” you can discreetly monitor all this on your child’s phone. Beyond this, location monitoring via GPS ensures you’ll always know where your child’s phone is, even if it’s lost or stolen.

Device recording helps with this process by letting you track the phone through the camera and microphone. This is an invaluable feature that gives you insight into who the target user is with and their surroundings. However, be warned. Check your local laws before enabling these features to ensure you’re not intruding on other people’s privacy.


  • A fantastic suite of capabilities
  • Microphone and camera access
  • Let’s you listen in on VoIP calls
  • Renowned for being one of the best girlfriend spy apps


  • The Lite version lacks features
  • Relatively expensive


The pricing for TheOneSpy is split into two plans. Remember, the Lite version only includes basic monitoring features, such as contacts, call logs, calendar appointments, and basic phone tracking.

theonespy pricing

With that said, with the guarantee, you can try TheOneSpy risk-free now for a full two weeks.

7. KidsGuard — Great Multi-Device Parental Control For A Full House

KidsGuard heads up the tail end of our list of the best parental monitoring suites, offering some basic mobile device monitoring features in a discreet “Stealth Mode” app.

kidsguard parental control

Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
$29.95/month $8.32/month 1 Android, iOS Demo 30-day money-back guarantee

Social media monitoring is a key part of KidsGuard; it gives you all call logs and messaging data from apps like Messenger, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Tinder. All this data is backed up to the KidsGuard dashboard, where you can browse at your leisure.

KidsGuard doesn’t cover PC and Mac, but the coverage for Android and iOS is fantastic. Most parental monitoring software tools don’t cover all aspects of iOS, often falling on keylogging and location monitoring features. KidsGuard doesn’t have these problems. It boasts full social media app coverage, GPS monitoring, and remote administration tools.

The location features are exactly what you’d expect, offering Wi-Fi tracking, Geo-fencing, and GPS location updates. Wi-Fi tracking will update you on which internet connection they’re using. GPS updates give you the location of the device on the go. Finally, Geo-fencing updates you when the device enters or leaves an area you decide. All together, KidsGuard is great as both a social monitoring suite and a location safety tool.


  • One of the best spy apps for iOS
  • Long-term plans have a great price point
  • One of the best GPS trackers
  • Can turn the microphone and camera on


  • Complex pricing


KidsGuard offers a bunch of different plans, the main difference between them being the use case:

kidsguard pricing

The one flaw of KidsGuard is the feature setup between different purchasing plans. However, you get various payment options depending on the plan’s duration, so be sure to check out their website if you’re interested.

8. Norton Family — Live Monitoring Parental Control App

Norton Family is a parental control app that allows you to block your child from accessing inappropriate content. It’s not so hot on the monitoring features that would come as standard in other parental control apps, but the content-blocking features are pretty powerful.

norton parental control

Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
N/A $49.99/year Unlimited Android, iOS, Windows 30-day free trial 60-day money-back guarantee

Each app installed on the target device is logged in the Norton Family dashboard, which you can use to monitor app usage stats. If you need to enforce a child’s bedtime without getting out of bed, you can remotely block apps on the phone.

Content blocking is one of Norton Family’s main features, using advanced content lists to give you extensive control over which types of content your child can access, especially on social media platforms.

Real-world location tracking is another essential parental monitoring feature, and Norton Family doesn’t disappoint. You can use GPS tracking through the phone to get a constant update on where your child currently is.

Finally, it boasts many screen time features you can use to schedule times for study where apps are locked down and off-school time when the full phone is unlocked.


  • Fairly priced
  • Many features for managing attention and content
  • Built by a world-class antivirus provider


  • Other providers have better mobile device tracking


Norton Family has a single annual subscription plan:

norton family pricing

This works out at around $4.16 a month. This is an exceptional price compared to other providers on our list. Unfortunately, the downside is that you’re not getting as many monitoring features as you would elsewhere.

You can try the 30-day free trial to give the app a spin before you commit to the year-long plan.

9. FamiSafe — Content Detection Performed Automatically

Famisafe is a great way to exercise more control over your child’s YouTube addiction without getting in the way of their device. You can block any videos that you think are inappropriate for your child. This works for channels, too.

famisafe parental control

Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
$10.99/month $5.08/month 5-10 Android, iOS, Windows, Mac Demo 7-day money-back guarantee

Beyond this, it lets you monitor social media activity on other apps, such as TikTok. It produces a daily report of the videos your kid has watched on TikTok and how long they’ve spent on it.

This parental monitoring suite also lets you perform remote admin actions on the device. The app blocker can be used to turn off any apps you feel your child spends too much time on.

Content blocking lists range from violence, pornography, gambling, and other inappropriate content. It’s easy to block entire categories this way without having to worry about micromanaging your child’s internet usage.



  • Fewer monitoring features than other providers


Famisafe offers three separate plans, with all the plans offering the same features:

famisafe pricing

Famisafe’s school plans are great for bulk devices, where you can monitor 20 devices for $39.98 per month on a single subscription.

10. NetNanny — Content Blocking And Parental Control

NetNanny is slightly different from the other providers we’ve covered so far, but it has all the features you’d expect from a parental monitoring suite. The focus is on content monitoring, which works over social media, real-time browsing, and internet history.

netnanny parental control

Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
N/A $59.99 5 Windows, Mac, Android, iOS No 14-day refund policy

Most providers we’ve listed so far only let you block individual URLs, but NetNanny has several libraries of known inappropriate websites that you can block according to categories. This gives you the power to decide which types of content you want to be blocked, such as Drugs, Violence, Sexual Content, Gambling, and more.

NetNanny also lets you decide which content filters you want to enable per device. This lets you tailor aspects like screen time, allowed apps, and content based on which person will access the device. This can be handy if you have older and younger children with different educational needs.

All these options are presented to you through a clean and easy Parent Dashboard, which makes it easy to set up your per-device options and monitor essential analytics such as device location, app usage, contact data, and screen time data.


  • Very cheap for bulk device management
  • Up to 20 devices monitored on a single plan
  • Intelligent content-blocking censors
  • Allows you to set time limits on devices


  • Social media tracking is limited to YouTube
  • Can’t monitor just one mobile device


NetNanny offers 3 different plans, with the only difference between them being the number of devices allowed on them:

netnanny pricing

Each of these plans gives you access to the full range of NetNanny’s intelligent content filters and web-blocking tools, so it really comes down to how many devices you want to cover.

Compare Parental Control Apps | Comparison Table

Just to remind you, here are our top 10 parental control tools once again, this time compared head-to-head so that you can easily pinpoint those best suited for your needs:

Parental Control App Monthly Price Annual Price Devices Tracked Compatibility Free Version Guarantee
mSpy $59.99/month $14.16/month 1 Android, iOS, tablets Demo 14-day refund policy
EyeZy $47.99/month $9.99/month 1 Android, iOS, tablets 3-day trial + demo 14-day refund policy
uMobix $49.99/month $11.66/month 1 Android, iOS, tablets Demo 14-day refund policy
Cocospy $49.99/month $12.49/month 1 Android, iOS, tablets Demo 14-day refund policy
Qustodio N/A €42.95 (€3.58/month) 5 Android, iOS, Windows, Mac Limited free version 30-day money-back guarantee
TheOneSpy $25/month (Lite Version) $6.25 (Lite Version) 1 Android, iOS, Windows, Mac Demo 14-day refund policy
KidsGuard $29.95/month $8.32/month 1 Android, iOS Demo 30-day money-back guarantee
Norton Family N/A $49.99/year Unlimited Android, iOS, Windows 30-day free trial 60-day money-back guarantee
Famisafe $10.99/month $5.08/month 5-10 Android, iOS, Windows, Mac Demo 7-day money-back guarantee
NetNanny N/A $59.99 5 Windows, Mac, Android, iOS No 14-day refund policy

Why Do I Need a Parental Tracker App?

The internet is far more pervasive than it used to be, reaching into every aspect of a child’s life. You can’t always be there to monitor your child’s internet use 24/7, especially when they’re at school or out on the go. Things could be fine at home, but cyberbullying is an insidious threat that’s completely invisible to you if you aren’t aware of how your child uses social media.

In fact, cyberbullying is a significant concern for the rise in suicidal tendencies and self-harm in youngsters. Beyond this, there’s also lots of inappropriate content, even on platforms that supposedly monitor what’s published. Letting your child have unlimited access is a recipe for disaster, but with careful management, the internet can be a fantastic tool for learning and personal development.

Parental monitoring apps help bridge this gap by allowing you to control the content your children can access. You also get helpful notifications when your child goes places you don’t want them to, so you have peace of mind while they’re out and about. And finally, screen-time controls let you dictate how much time your child spends on their phone or device.

What Will a Parental Control App Show Me? | Key Benefits

There are several key benefits to using a parental control app to protect your child’s device. Here are the key ones:

  • Time Management — Parental control solutions offer many different technologies to manage the time your child spends on their phone, such as time-of-day locks, screen timers, remote app management, website blocking, and device use notifications. These all allow you to tailor your child’s use of their phone.
  • Theft and Loss Prevention — Many solutions also come with the ability to locate and manage the phone remotely. If you’re really worried about your contacts list falling into the wrong hands, some even come with the ability to delete your phone’s contents remotely.
  • Online Safety — One of the biggest problems with letting your child keep unfiltered and unsupervised access to the internet is the sheer amount of unpleasant content out there. In fact, 56% of children under 16 have seen inappropriate content online.
  • Offline Monitoring — With real-time updates on their physical movements, you’ll always know where your child is for complete peace of mind.

Parental control suites allow you to adjust what your child sees, who they’re talking to, and where they’re going, alerting you to potential problems long before they become serious.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Parental Control App for You

There’s a lot to consider when choosing the best parental control app. Here are a few things to consider when choosing from our list:

  • Features — Not all parental control apps are built equally, nor are they all intended for the same situation. Some providers on our list, such as FamiSafe, offer features more closely focused on content protection and online filtering. Others, like mSpy, are built to be a complete monitoring platform for mobile. Consider what your needs are, and then pick the solution that’s closest to what you need.
  • Resource Usage — Most mobile phone monitoring solutions we’ve reviewed here don’t significantly impact the device’s battery life or processing power but be warned. Turning on location features for long periods or with short update rates is likely to drain battery life and make the use of the app more noticeable.
  • Safety — When using a parental control app, you’re entrusting sensitive data about your family to a third party. You want to be assured that whichever provider you use is taking appropriate security measures to protect your data.
  • Price — Some tools are more expensive than others, with discounts for longer-term subscriptions. That said, take advantage of any demos, free trials, or money-back guarantees before making any long-term commitments.
  • User Reviews — Seeing what others say about an app can help you choose the one you prefer. To help with this, we’ve compiled our pros and cons lists from real user reviews to help.

Paid Vs. Free Parental Control Apps | What You Need to Know

Some parental control apps out there claim to be free, but more often than not, they’re harvesting your data to fund hackers, thieves, and scam artists. You’re handling highly sensitive data when you monitor your child’s phone, so you need to be confident it’s in good hands. With one of the paid apps on our list, you’ll be assured your data is safe.

Some paid providers offer a free trial version of the app, allowing you to take a trial before you subscribe. However, these free trials are often reduced to basic monitoring features like call logging and address book monitoring.

On the whole, we recommend testing paid products with any demos, trials, and guarantees, and avoiding any parental control apps that advertise as completely free.

How to Use a Parental Control App | Guide

Parental control apps can be overwhelming to use at first. We’ve chosen the top provider on our list, mSpy, for a step-by-step guide that’ll walk you through all you need to do to get set up and started with one of the best parental control apps on the market:

  1. Step 1Go onto the mSpy website and purchase your desired plan.
  2. Step 2 — Get physical access to the target device to install mSpy.
  3. Step 3 — Head to the Play Store, click ‘Settings’ and choose ‘Play Protect’ to disable it.
  4. Step 4 — Next, go to the main screen to settings > apps > google play store > notifications > show notifications. Turn this setting off.
  5. Step 5 — Open Google Chrome and enter the link from the mSpy email to download the app.
  6. Step 6 — Click open when the download is complete, allow all permissions, and click ‘Install.’
  7. Step 7 — Launch mSpy and enter the registration code you got via email from mSpy. Click ‘Complete installation.’

Now mSpy will monitor the target device. Simply access the mSpy dashboard from your own device to see the data that it syncs. Note that all parental control apps on our list follow a similar installation process, and you’ll get in-depth assistance on how to do it when you sign up.

Parental Control App FAQs

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Conclusion | What’s the Best Parental Control App in 2023?

After reviewing all the providers above, we’ve concluded that the best parental control app in 2023 is mSpy. In short, it’s the most comprehensive package available on the market today and it comes at a great price point for parents. The main thing that sets mSpy apart is how easy it is to use. Each feature is simple to set up through the dashboard. We also found that customer support was helpful and quick to respond to our questions about installation, too.

It’s the best way to keep an eye on your child while they’re using their phone without being overbearing. Try it out now with the 14-day guarantee. It’s risk-free, so there’s no reason not to take it for a spin before you commit to a full subscription.

Sam is a cybersecurity researcher working in the field of hardware security and AI-driven penetration testing. He has spent the last few years contemplating some of the ways in which computers have been built wrong, and how we can possibly detect those flaws. When not stressing out over arcane details of computer hardware, Sam can be found advocating for data privacy in his spare time.