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Back in the day, you were able to keep your kids safe by physically being there with them. While you can still protect your kids that way, there is much more they are exposed to with the Internet. With children growing up in the digital age, they are being exposed to more sooner than ever before.
Not only are they being exposed to content they might not be ready for, but also people looking to take advantage of them. This has led parents to seek out ways to protect their children online.
While you cannot protect your kids from everything, there are apps available that give you the peace of mind you might need knowing you’re able to supervise your kids as well as possible.
Two of the standouts in this market are Bark and Qustodio. This article is dedicated to those parents out there looking for proper safeguard measures for their children.
As a parent, I’ve had a chance to put both apps to the test, so by the end of this comparison you should be in a good position to tell which one of these parent control apps is right for you.
Features Compare: Bark and Qustodio’s Tracking Capabilities
- Total Coverage (30+ Apps and Platforms)
With Bark, you are getting the most comprehensive monitoring coverage. Bark has managed to integrate its monitoring into over 30 popular apps. Some of the most popular apps include iMessage, Instagram, Facebook, Discord, Gmail, and more. As you can tell, nearly every commonly used messaging app is covered.
This means, as a parent, you can monitor who your children are talking to and when they are talking to them. You used to be able to do this by seeing who they hang out with at school and who they bring home. With kids being able to have relationships online, you can’t rely on that anymore. Bark gives you the ability to track and monitor your kid’s conversations in real-time.
This also helps parents understand what their children may be going through. After all, studies have shown over 45% of tweens and 66% of teens engaged in conversations about depression .
This is something you wouldn’t know about unless you were able to monitor their discussions with their friends. Having access to most of the apps where tweens and teens engage in conversation is key to ensuring that you wouldn’t miss something.
- Parental Alerts
As a parent, you likely don’t have the time to sift through hours and hours of your children’s conversations and content. Bark understands this and they’ve implemented automatic alerts that get triggered when the app detects potential issues.
You will get tailored alerts based on your child’s behavior and usage patterns so you can talk to them about sensitive issues they may be facing.
- Content Filtering and Management of Screen Time
One of the biggest challenges a lot of parents are faced with is due to how open the Internet is. It can be very difficult to keep your child from getting exposed to content they aren’t old enough to understand. Exposure to certain content at too early of an age can harm their development. Bark gives you the tools to effectively manage not only when your kids can access the Internet, but also what they can access. This makes it easy to effectively block your kids off from unsuitable content that they shouldn’t be consuming.
- Social Media, Text, and Email Monitoring
As mentioned, you can monitor what is being said in nearly all messaging apps. Therefore, you can have Bark track conversations happening across all of the apps. Bark will work with the operating system to monitor the texts, photos, and videos being sent and received and altering you to concerning interactions.
- Location Check-ins
As a parent, knowing where your kids are at all times can provide you with the peace of mind you might be looking for. With Bark, you will be notified whenever your kid checks-in to a business or location. Getting these alerts might keep you from being unable to sleep when it’s past curfew and your kid isn’t home.
- Block Inappropriate Content
With Qustodio, you can block all inappropriate content with web filters. A child cannot bypass these filters by entering private or incognito mode. The filters are applied across the device. This allows you to have complete control over the content they see and the content they have access to. You can do this based on age with their smart filters applied whether you want to block gambling sites or pornography.
- Limit and Manage Screen Time
Even adults spend far too much time on their mobile devices. The last thing you want is your children falling into the same trap. It can take away from their outdoor activities, it can get them far too consumed in social media, and it can take away from their studies. With this app, you can limit your child’s screen time across all compatible devices.
RELATED READING: Is the Bark App Worth it?
- Monitor Calls, Text Messages, and Social Media Platforms
This app gives you the ability to monitor all of your child’s calls, texts, and more. This way, you can tell what your kids are saying, what they are planning, and more. The ability to monitor your child’s phone calls and text message logs will give you the peace of mind you need knowing they aren’t up to no good.
- Family Locator
This app features a family locator built-in. Meaning, you won’t have to look to see where they’ve checked in or rely on where they told you they were going. Instead, you can look at the locator at all times to see its precise location. This is for the parents that need to know where their kids are at to have peace of mind.
- SOS Panic Button For Android
With this app, you will be able to add a panic button to your child’s Android phone. This will help them deliver immediate location alerts directly to your phone or device when they sense trouble. This feature can be life-saving.
Which App is Easier to Use?
Bark App Overview
With Bark, you install the app on both your child’s and your own devices. Because Bark essentially requires root access on Android devices, it can get a little more complicated. However, it’s as simple as following the easy instructions listed on their website. You will need to download the APK file, install it and allow all of the permissions it requests.
Qustodio App Overview
With Qustodio, all you need to do is download and install the app on your child’s Android, iOS, Chromebook, Mac, Windows, or Kindle devices. Then, you install and use the app on your device. It will grant you access to a dashboard where you can monitor your kid’s interactions and activities in real-time. It’s very easy to set up and use.
RELATED READING: Should You Use a Parental Control App?
Price Comparison: Is Bark or Qustodio Cheaper?
- Bark Pricing
Bark offers two plans. The first is Bark JR which is $5 per month or $49 per year. The second is Bark Premium which is $14 per month or $99 per year.
*Prices current at the time of publication – see most up-to-date pricing at Bark website
- Qustodio Pricing
Qustodio offers three plans. The small plan covers 5 devices and is $54.95 per year. The medium plan covers 10 devices and it is $96.95 per year. The large plan covers 15 devices and is $137.95 per year.
Summary: Final Tips for Picking the Right Parental Control App for You
As you can see, both of these parental monitoring apps are good choices for concerned parents. Keeping your child safe online has become equally as important as keeping them safe in real life. There are so many threats online that you need to be wary of. Whether it’s people looking to take advantage of your kids or cyberbullying. This is important because as many as 1 in 4 students report being bullied .
Having a monitoring tool that you can rely on, it can make things much easier. Both of these tools offer a lot of value. Bark tends to be more expensive for those with fewer children to monitor. After all, you’re paying $14 per month for its premium features. However, Bark allows you to monitor over 30+ apps and platforms.
Therefore, you could argue the price difference is worth it. However, for larger families, the price difference is much closer. Therefore, anyone with over 15 devices to monitor is likely going to find Bark offers more features for the price.
Pick Bark if…
- You have over 15 devices to track and monitor and you don’t mind paying the extra cost.
- You want real-time alerts from Bark’s analysis. This can be a big benefit to any parent who has a child who is suffering from depression.
- You want the best and easiest-to-use interface.
Pick Qustodio if…
- Your children have Windows or Mac devices and you want to monitor them. Bark only offers iOS, Android, and Amazon compatibility.
- You have fewer than 15 devices you need coverage for.
- You want to monitor your children’s online behavior on a Mac, Windows PC, or Chromebook.
- You want to save money as they have cheaper plans for parents that don’t need coverage on unlimited devices.