While smartphones serve more of an entertainment function in the perception of children, parents have their own agenda of ensuring the best child safety. When it comes to such a feature-packed and modern product as the Qustodio app, at first glance, there’s virtually no room for hesitation.
The program is able to closely monitor activities throughout various operating systems, which means that insights from all your child’s frequently used gadgets will be available to you in no time. In order to somehow contain the Internet burgeoning with indecent content easily accessible even to a child, for many parents, this will prove to be an effective tool for filtering, limiting, and of course, viewing activities and processes on your child’s device.
- content and app filtering to discreetly guide the child toward useful content
- convenient application design and timely information updates
- the ability to remotely set time limits and geo-fences
- tracking and managing calls and messages on the child’s device, determining the location on demand
- its features are not unique, can be circumvented, and do not always work universally
- you need a separate application on Android to track calls and messages
- you do not get access to all content and media in instant messengers and social platforms
How Much Does Qustodio Cost?
Qustodio app is a semi-paid solution – the user can stay on free registration if they don’t plan to extend access to some of the goodies available in the paid version, namely:
- 30-day activity report on the gadget
- coverage of up to 15 devices
- accessibility of the panic button for the child
- gaming and app restrictions
If parents or any other persons interested in improving their productivity and maintaining better informational hygiene on gadgets opt for the premium Qustodio subscription, it will cost them $54.95 per year (or $4.58/month), $96.95/year (or $8.08/month), and $137.95/year (or $11.5/month). The cost differs significantly only depending on the possible number of devices for monitoring.
Qustodio Installiation Process
How to Install Qustodio?
In order to get started with this parental control software, a user, regardless of the free or paid nature of their subscription, needs to register an account – this can be done directly on the website or in the app. Make sure you visit the official app market, depending on which operating system the software is intended for (Google Play or App Store), and download the client. You can find direct links by going to the qustodio.com website, section Downloads, and also get acquainted with the brief version requirements for your future monitored device.
These are the needed steps:
- Grab the gadget you need to monitor, install the Kids App Qustodio, and click Get Started on the downloaded app – or sign up on the website.
- Enter your name, email, and create a password. Confirm the creation of an account through the link received by mail.
- You will see a Protect This Device button. Click it and fill out the child’s form if you wish.
- Choose an avatar and continue with access as requested in the process until you see All done! on the screen. Now you may track your child with Parental Control App Qustodio or on Family Portal.
An important step for the correct configuration and further operation of the product is the provision of access and permissions during the installation process. This includes permission to access the location tracking, view and control the screen of the target device, and even activate admin rights that will prevent the child from deleting the application.
At the same time, the app is absolutely interoperable and has no problems connecting between, say, an iPhone and a Samsung gadget. If you, as a parent, are also interested in a more mobile-friendly solution, then you may need a separate application (Parental Control App Qustodio) where you just need to enter your account information. This method doesn’t override the web version and also displays the Qustodio online dashboard, timeline, reports, and tools for setting time limits.
Qustodio Web Interface
The look and feel of an app isn’t something a worried parent might think of in the first place, but the market doesn’t lack poorly designed products, which can make the user change their mind about the product just as quickly. But rest assured – the Qustodio app is not one of them.
The app menu, as well as the interface itself, is generally very minimalistic and understandable from the first moments of setup and does not raise questions in the process of making changes on the device. On the panel on the left side, find a section with Activity, which is basically Qustodio online dashboard with an activity timeline where data from the device has already been collected, and Rules – tools with which you are able to extend or reduce daily time limits, conduct additional content filtering, etc.).
In addition, there are also such buttons as My Family – to filter content by day, Devices – to add or remove devices in the amount provided for in the subscription, and Account – to change and manage the subscription and account details.
Benefits of Using
Qustodio web filtering is arguably the most highly rated feature in the pack, as well as part and parcel of quality and comprehensive monitoring in general. No matter how hard you try to selectively block infamous websites, games, or applications that are not age-appropriate or harmful in general, the window to the dark side of the Internet still remains open – however, Qustodio’s approach serves as a kind of filter to weed out this kind of content and notify parents about it. So, with the Allow, Alert Me, and Block commands, you can react immediately and be sure that the system will not let through websites falling under categories such as Drugs, Violence, Gambling, Pornography, and so on.
That being said, you still have the option not to block all pages from a certain category completely if only some are not useful – you just need to enter their addresses manually, and Qustodio blocks them for you.
On top of that, the Qustodio app offers a way to deal with kids who are resourceful and find ways to bypass restrictions with VPNs or other browsers. However, this shortcoming can now be dealt with by activating the tick next to Block unsupported websites. Although the app doesn’t always do a good job of defining the categories properly based on Qustodio reviews, you’ll still be aware of which websites your child has visited, even if attempts have been made to access an online resource you’ve blocked.
Qustodio Time Management
Qustodio parental control software allows parents flexibility in terms of screen time settings. You may want to define how many hours a day a child can use the phone in total, being as precise as 15 minutes. As soon as it’s time to put the gadget aside, that is, the daily limit is exhausted, the parent can determine which action they want to choose — lock navigation, lock device, or receive an alert.
Also, the phone’s response to the time limit may differ depending on the operating system and, who knows, maybe depending on the release of new app updates over time. For example, in the case of iPhones, the Lock Navigation option only blocks the internet, while the Lock Device option hides apps from the App Store. For Android devices, the Lock Navigation option blocks almost all apps allowing calls to be made, and the Lock Device option blocks the device completely, except for access to the SOS button and the Qustodio app itself.
As for the Restricted Times feature, which is a separate thing, you may go into details such as determining hours of inactivity depending on the day of the week. For visual convenience, your changes can be displayed as a graph where blocks are marked in red when the device is locked and green blocks when the child can freely dispose of the phone and screen time limits are removed.
It is important to consider that you can only set a routine for a week, with the ability to intervene on any day, but with the start of a new week, the actions will have to be repeated.
Qustodio App Management & Blocking
One of the main features for which parents praise Qustodio is the ability to manage and block programs on the child’s device. The program works in such a way that when the set usage limit for a certain application is completed, Qustodio blocks access to the Internet, and your child can no longer use the app.
However, the main thing is to connect this function correctly. By default, application management and blocking in Qustodio are disabled. In order to activate it, you need to:
- Go to the webpage or open the app directly on your device.
- Click on “Your family” and select the target profile.
- Click on “Rules” and go to the section with games and programs.
- Enable the feature.
Now you will manage the list of applications on Qustodio by blocking, allowing, or setting a time limit.
Remember that in order to block or limit the operation of an application, it must be compatible with Qustodio. There are many of them, and the developers of the program are constantly updating the list. Also, you cannot manage or even see an app that was not used on the target device itself at least one time.
Even though Qustodio will allow you to manage programs on both smartphones and computers, there are certain limitations in working with iOS. Some programs have additional protection and also use a special Internet connection, which conflicts with Qustodio’s blocking algorithms. You will still receive reports on activity related to these apps, but you won’t be able to limit or block them.
How Qustodio Subscription Facilitates Location Tracking
One of the crucial Qustodio features is location tracking, which is activated by default for most platforms and can be simply enabled or disabled by going to Rules and then Location. Places visited by the child will automatically be updated on the dashboard and will be available in the Activity Timeline. Of course, in order for the product to function properly, all permissions on the target device, such as Share my location on iOS or Location permission on Android, must be enabled.
If you are using the Qustodio Parents’ App, current and past location data will be displayed in the Family Locator section. In the same section, there is a useful feature called Your Places, with the ability to set adjustable geo-fence boundaries. As soon as the child, say, goes out of the specified zone during classes, the parent will be immediately notified of this event. You can independently set the radius around the place you need and choose the location itself either from the already existing entries in the location history or by indicating the address manually.
As stated in more than one Qustodio review and on the website itself, the free version of the application offers a much weaker experience of tracking a person’s location, unlike the premium subscription. In free mode, you won’t be able to see the exact addresses visited by your child, and the Family Locator feature is not available to free users at all.
Qustodio YouTube Monitoring
Although Qustodio currently isn’t doing much in terms of social media monitoring and instant messengers, one of the newly added features is the ability to monitor YouTube. More precisely, you will have access to the browsing history and queries they were looking for on Android and iOS devices, as well as Mac and Windows platforms. In addition, it is possible to block YouTube as a website, completely depriving the child of access to the service, or leave the application and set daily time limits for it.
YouTube monitoring is all set up and running as soon as you finish the setup process. Should you decide on blocking or setting limits on your kids’ YouTube, you must acquire the Qustodio premium subscription first.
Qustodio Messages and Calls Monitoring
Before proceeding to the Qustodio review, it should be noted that the application downloaded from the official Play Market (up until recently, it was only possible to perform calls and SMS monitoring on Android devices) does not work due to Google rules. Well, to make this monitoring feature deliver, you will need to:
- Install the application again directly from the Qustodio website
- Reboot the child’s device and enter the application one more time
- Set up Qustodio calls and messages app as needed
It seems that the full iOS feature is still in development, and so far, the Qustodio website only lists information about the solution for the Mac version. It should be noted that Qustodio free users will not be able to access this new add-on; however, premium users with macOS Catalina and later and, eventually, iOS 14 will also be able to download the Qustodio Calls & Messages client directly from the website. The main condition is to connect the parent’s gadget and the child’s gadget to the same Wi-Fi network. The data will be updated by itself every hour, and if necessary, you may retrieve it by clicking the Refresh button.
Still, the actions you can take on these control features are scarce compared to some other monitoring products. For SMS messages, it is possible to view the content, but there is no option to block the number that sent this message; sent SMS are also displayed. However, if the message contains any media content, such as a picture, it is not handled by the app.
As for calls, if you immediately have unwanted numbers that should not disturb your child, you may enter them in the Qustodio block. Also, when the kid’s device receives an incoming call, you are free to block it right away.
Qustodio Mobile Version
For parents who are constantly on the go, the web version may seem less useful – after all, it’s not very convenient to open the browser and then the website if you can install the application and see reports and other activities on the child’s device in one click. Qustodio Parents App also has an additional level of protection – go to Account, then Settings, and check the box next to Protect Parents App to log out automatically after 30 seconds of inactivity.
If the parent app is a matter of choice, then you will need to install the app on each one of the multiple gadgets you have in your household. Qustodio Kids App, in addition to allowing Qustodio content filtering and other Qustodio parent mode features, can be useful for the child themselves. Here they can use the SOS button and monitor their user habits on their own.
Qustodio Review: Our Verdict
Concluding this Qustodio review, it should be noted that it definitely deserves the attention of parents whose focus is on providing a safe online space for their children. Its strength compared to parental control apps is in its effective assistance in filtering content, setting time limits on gadget usage, and the ability to quickly respond to an SOS message from a child by seeing their location.
But in fairness, a few words must be said about the negative aspects as well. The application frankly loses in social monitoring capabilities and, except for Facebook app monitoring, it doesn’t allow tracking such popular social networks as Instagram or Snapchat, not to mention messengers such as Viber or Telegram.
While the application itself looks decent and inviting, in practice, it turns out that it is necessary to perform some additional actions, such as getting an additional SMS and call tracking app, for all its functions to work. It is an absolute advantage to allow from 5 to 15 devices depending on the cost of paid subscription, but for users who are not interested in such a huge number of devices and also the above features, it makes sense to consider other options.
People Also Ask
Is Qustodio safe?
Yes, Qustodio is one of the safest control apps designed for parental control. Its operation is completely transparent, and no one receives the tracked data except you. If you are interested in protecting your children from the dangers of the Internet, Qustodio is a good choice.
Can my child delete Qustodio?
Yes, your child can remove Qustodio from their gadget. The main sign that this has happened is that you don’t see any activity. However, in this case, you should have received an email from Qustodio support. If in doubt, check the activity of the app, but for this, you need access to the target device.
Does the Qustodio app work if the incognito mode is enabled?
You can receive activity reports in anonymous mode from all browsers, platforms, etc., just like in normal mode. Also, Qustodio allows you to completely disable the ability to use such modes on the target phone. Not all programs offer this option.
What apps do Qustodio features allow to block?
Qustodio makes it possible to block the use of private or anonymous browsing modes of browsers, as well as some sites with unwanted content. You can set a limit on the use of certain applications, in which case Qustodio will be able to block access to the Internet.
Do Qustodio monitoring features allow tracking Facebook?
Yes, Qustodio allows you to control apps, including one social media – Facebook, but keep in mind that Facebook monitoring can only start if you or your child is logged into the needed account. Otherwise, tracking is impossible.
Does Qustodio have a free version?
Yes, it is possible to try Qustodio for free. Of course, this will not give you all the advanced features offered by the program, but you will try the basic options, such as web filtering, setting limits, and viewing 7-day activity history. Also, with this version, you can only track one device.
Does the Qustodio app let users read messages sent and received on target devices?
Yes, the premium version of Qustodio will allow you to monitor the content of text messages sent and received by the target phone. You will be able to receive notifications about when a message was received/sent and check it immediately.