10 Best Free Parental Controls Apps for iPhone and Android

You may have heard horror stories about children being preyed upon by perverts, con artists, and other criminals online. Children - who tend to be open and trusting - are very vulnerable on the internet, away from your ever-watchful eye. 

It's why parental control software like Cocospy which can track your child's phone is such a godsend. An app can keep an eye on your children when you can't. Or at least the right sort will! With a well-designed parental control app, you can do all the following: 

  • Prevent your child from falling in with the wrong crowd.  

  • Block your child from accessing age-inappropriate content. 

  • Receive an alert when a child strays out of bounds. 

  • Keep your child safe from harm, in general. 

We'll give you an introduction to the 10 best free parental control apps for iPhone and Android. This includes apps with an initial free trial period, after which you have to pay. 

Remember- you get what you pay for. The ability to remotely with an app such as Cocospy is priceless. Without further ado, here are the 10 best free parental control apps out there:   

#1 Cocospy - Endorsed By Parents Worldwide 

You may not have heard of Cocospy, but the app is used by over a million people in 190+ countries. The user base is mostly comprised of concerned parents looking for a fool-proof way to keep an eye on their children. 


Cocospy is popular because it offers incredible features, it's trustworthy, and it happens to be easy to use. Also, you don't need to root or jailbreak your child's phone first, which many apps require you to do. The app is compatible with both Android and iOS. 

Cocospy keeps tabs on your children 24/7 

What does Cocospy do exactly? The app offers a full suite of parental control features: 

  • Location tracking: You can track your child's present and past location history. You get addresses, timestamps, geographical coordinates, and a 3D street view.  

  • Geofence: You can set up a virtual geofence, which sends you an alert when your child crosses the boundary of the marked area. 

  • Message monitoring: You can read your child's text messages and iMessages - including the deleted ones. 

  • Social media monitoring: Cocospy allows you to monitor apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.  

  • Call log checker: Who's your child in contact with you? You can see frequent callers, call logs, call durations, contact details, SIM card information, and more.  

  • Web history tracker: What kind of websites is your child accessing? Cocospy will show you website names, favorite websites, site descriptions, and more. 

In total, Cocospy offers 30+ unique features, including the ones we mentioned above. It's one of the only apps in the market capable of providing such in-depth access to your child's device without rooting or jailbreak. 

Rooting or jailbreak is a complex process. It can leave the device open to malware. It also voids the device's warranty, so it's not recommended. 

Fortunately, if you use Cocospy, you won't have to worry about any of that, which makes it perhaps the best parental control app for Android or iPhones out there. 

You don't need any tech skills to set up Cocospy 

Cocospy can be set up in a jiffy. All you need is a smartphone or a PC with internet access: 

Step 1: Sign up for a free Cocospy account. Your email ID becomes the username. 

Step 2: Follow the on-screen setup instructions. For monitoring Android devices, you'll have to download and install a 2MB app on the target device. You can set up Cocospy to monitor iOS devices fully remotely. 

Step 3: After you've successfully installed Cocospy - which takes only 10 minutes - you can immediately start monitoring your child from the dashboard. You can access the dashboard from any computer or smartphone browser. 

Cocospy, after it's been set up, allows you to monitor your child's smartphone or tablet remotely from any web-browser. The app can be hidden, so if you don't want to tell your child you're monitoring them, they won't find out!  

#2 Spyic - Your New Virtual Nanny  

Spyic is a worthy alternative to Cocospy. This app hasn't been around as long as Cocospy, but it's top-rated and trusted by parents worldwide. The app works with all the latest Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. 

Spyic makes for an excellent monitoring utility 

Children can be hard to keep track of, especially when they're being rebellious. With Spyic, you can monitor them discreetly, without them knowing. Sometimes you have no choice but to infringe on their privacy to keep them safe: 

  • Use a powerful feature set: Spyic is capable of monitoring phone calls, texts, iMessages, social media apps, installed apps, web browser history, calendar, notes, locations, and so much more. 

  • Set up in minutes: You can set up Spyic in a matter of minutes with the help of any internet-enabled device. After Spyic is up and running, you can monitor your child's device with any PC or smartphone remotely. 

  • No rooting or jailbreak needed: Like Cocospy, Spyic is one of the rare few apps capable of tracking your child's phone without rooting or jailbreak. The app requires next to no technical skills to use either. 

With so many excellent features, Spyic is probably the only parental control software you'll ever need.  

#3 Qustodio 

Qustodio is a freemium parental control app for iPhone and Android. You get some basic parental monitoring features free of charge, but you pay to unlock the advanced ones. But by no means does this make Qustodio a bad app. In fact, Qustodio is pretty impressive. 

One of the best free parental control apps around

With Qustodio, you will be able to do quite a bit: 

  • You can monitor your child on Windows, Android, iOS Mac, Kindle, and Nook.

  • Keep track of your child's screen time. 

  • It allows you to block inappropriate content. 

Qustodio offers a limited feature set  

One of the major downsides of Qustodio is that the free version of the app is missing several crucial features like social media monitoring, SMS tracking, and per-app controls. 

Also, if you want to unlock the advanced version of Qustodio, you end up paying upward of $30 per month. You might be better off with an app such as Spyic, which offers more features for less. 

#4 Net Nanny

Net Nanny is a top-rated parental control app. The app is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Net Nanny is one of the few apps still offering a competitive feature set for iOS devices, despite Apple's recent lockdown on its OS. 

Net Nanny is well-designed app

Net Nanny wins many brownie points for being well-designed. Here are the highlights of the app: 

  • The app is a joy to use. 

  • You can track your child's location and set time allowances. 

  • You can block objectionable apps. 

Net Nanny can't do it all 

Unfortunately, Net Nanny lacks some crucial features on iOS. It can't track phone calls or text messages, which apps like Cocospy can. Also, while you get an initial free trial with Net Nanny, the app is pretty expensive after. 

#5 OpenDNS Family Shield 

If you're looking for the best free internet filter, look no further than OpenDNS Family Shield. This software works to block tasteless, sexual, and pornographic content. It works with computers and mobile devices both. 

You get an amazing net surfing shield 

OpenDNS Family Shield can be applied at the router level, making it easy to block all objectionable content: 

  • Filter out traffic to your child's mobile phone. 

  • Optionally, apply a router-level shield to block adult content on all devices in your home. 

  • Marginally improve DNS lookup speeds. 

OpenDNS isn't a true parental control app

While OpenDNS is a great internet filter, it's by no means a full-fledged parental control app. The app will block objectionable content but nothing else. Also, be aware that setting up OpenDNS requires an intermediate amount of technical skills. 

#6 FamilyTime

FamilyTime is a full-fledged parental control app, compatible with both iOS and Android. A freemium version of the app is available with a limited set of features. If you want better features, you have to pay for the full version. 

You get a powerful suite of features

FamilyTime is a very well-made app with some unique features:

  • Multiple people can monitor the child's device.

  • You can monitor call history, web history, installed apps, and more.  

  • The company has a strict data privacy policy. 

You're hindered when monitoring iOS devices 

As is the case with many parental control apps, you're going to only get a limited number of features if you're monitoring an iPhone or iPad. To be specific, FamilyTime can't monitor calls, texts, or the web history. It doesn't have an internet filter either.  

#7 Kasperksy Safe Kids

Kaspersky Safe Kids is one of the top free parental control apps out there. Kaspersky offers both a basic and a premium version, with the premium version offering extra features, of course. The basic version offers a decent enough feature set. 

Kasperky offers three free tools

Kaspersky Safe Kids offers three free features, which may come in handy: 

  • There's a screen time feature to find out how long your kids has used their device. 

  • You can manage apps based on usage time, age restrictions, and category. 

  • There's an included internet filter to block adult content. 

You have to pay to unlock everything 

As useful as these features are, they aren't all you need to keep an eye on a too-curious child. You'll have to pay to unlock extra features like social media monitoring and GPS location tracking. 

#8 Kidlogger

Kidlogger is a free parental control app, compatible with Android, Windows, and Mac. It offers a unique feature few other apps do - the ability to record Skype calls. Unfortunately, this feature isn't available for the free version.  

Kidlogger is a solid free app

Still, the free version of Kidlogger offers some noteworthy features: 

  • Kidlogger allows you to record all keystrokes made on the target device. 

  • It keeps track of what programs your child is using.

  • You can keep track of any screenshots your child makes. 

It's not compatible with iOS 

Note that Kidlogger isn't compatible with iPhone or iPad. Also, you don't get some of the best feature the app has to offer with the free version like the ability to listen in on calls or WhatsApp activity tracking. 

#9 OurPact

OurPact is unique in that it allows your kid to voluntarily say yes to the parental control. The app works with your child's consent and acknowledgment. The free version of this parental control app allows you to monitor 1 child device for free. 

OurPact is a good idea

We think it's nice that a service asks for a child's consent. You get a limited feature set for free with OurPact: 

  • OurPact Free will let you monitor one child device for free. 

  • You can block 5 items manually each month. 

  • The app comes with one automated block schedule. 

The app's effectiveness is debatable 

Children can be wily. If they know a parent is watching them, they may try and find ways to shake the parent off. It's why we can't say OurPact is suitable for all children. It might be better to go for a discreet parental control app instead. 

#10 Norton Family Premier 

You may have heard of Norton before. They're a big name in the anti-virus business. What you may not know is that the company also offers a great parental control utility: Norton Family Premier. You can get a 3-day trial of the app. 

Norton Family Premier offers useful features

The app offers useful features to allow you to monitor your child's Windows, Android, or iOS device: 

  • You can check your child's web and social media use. 

  • There's a weekly and monthly report feature. 

  • You can set up email alerts. 

It's hard to use 

The Norton Family Premier user interface is a little clunky and complicated. And missing are some crucial features for iOS, which is a major con of the app. Also, you have to pay for the Norton Security Premium upgrade to get anti-virus protection. 

Wrapping it up 

There you have it! We hope you find our list of the 10 best free parental control apps for iPhone and Android useful. Every one of the apps on this list is trustworthy and worthwhile. 

If you're having trouble deciding, we recommend going with Cocospy or Spyic. Not only are these apps easy to set up, they also offer an enormously useful feature set. You can't go wrong with using either. 

About The Author:

Aqib Raja is a Digital Marketer, Outreach Specialist, Guest post link builder and an IT Professional. He loves to write on different topics. In free time, he likes to travel and explore the different parts of the world. You can follow him on Facebook

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