The Best Internet Filters of 2018
internet filter reviews
The Internet is one of the most incredible inventions in the history of mankind. It gives endless opportunities to make personal discoveries and learn about so much stuff, find new friends online, and even travel without leaving the house. Not everything is so rosy, however. These virtual journeys are not as harmless as they may seem. The Internet is a breeding ground for cybercriminals of all sorts who lure naive users into their nets. Children are especially accommodating and trustful, which puts them at high risk of becoming victims. On top of that, websites teem with information that can shock kids, lead them astray or cause divergent behavior. To prevent a child from stumbling upon unsafe content and materials, parents must consider employing an Internet filter.
What is Internet Filter?
Internet filter is software that is able to sort online content depending on the age and needs of a user. For children and adolescents, filters can sift through websites that may negatively impact the psyche or behavior of a young. Each parent decides individually which web resources to restrict, but in general, pornographic sites, gambling, forums and websites promoting violence, drugs, alcohol and cults, must all fall under a ban.
Best Internet Filters of 2018
Parents should always talk with their children about online security and the impermissibility of viewing certain types of content. However, children tend to ignore the voice of reason and they often neglect the danger. Therefore, parents ought to monitor how well kids understood the instructions and whether they follow. As they say, trust but verify. Internet filters and content monitoring apps provide an excellent opportunity to find out which sites your children visit and block those that you consider suspicious and unsafe. If you are not sure what apps may be handy, we have prepared these internet filter reviews.
1. FamiSafe - Kid Tracker & Parental Control
FamiSafe is a relatively new product on the market but it has gained a reputation of one of the best monitoring solutions for caring parents. The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
FamiSafe comes with a great web filtering feature allowing adults to easily block any inappropriate content. Don’t have a clue of what sites to block? Just use a built-in filter and mark any category that you deem as potentially harmful. On top of that, you can add URLs of sites that slip through filtering or if they don’t fit into any category. Alternatively, you are able to create a whitelist, add sites that you approve, and block everything else. If your kid tries to access any blacklisted site, you will get notifications on your device. Besides the content blocking function, you can examine a web history and find out what sites your kids tend to visit and at what time.
FamiSafe boasts other useful functions as well. You will definitely appreciate the app blocker, location tracker, geo-fencing, and screen limits features. If that’s not enough, the app comes with a 3-day free trial period. All in all, FamiSafe is a versatile tracking and controlling tool for modern families.
2. Norton Family parental control
You have probably heard of Norton Security, a popular antivirus. The same developer strives to make your kids’ lives more secure by offering their Norton Family parental control software. The app is available on Google Play and App Store for Android and iOS devices respectively.
Norton Family parental control automatically installs a secure Norton browser and blocks all other browsers found on a child’s device before. The app supplies a search supervision feature allowing parents to monitor the search queries. Web filtering makes it possible to set up rules of access to web resources. Blacklisted sites won’t be seen in the Norton browsers search lists. Whenever a child wants to open banned sites, the app will send a notification. Norton Family also comes with activity monitors and instant lock function to control the app usage. The paid version additionally allows geo-tracking and video supervision. Please note that the app requires an account with Norton Family portal.
3. ESET Parental Control
The app is available for Android-powered devices and can be found on Google Play. ESET Parental Control strives to teach kids Internet security in a friendly way. The app is convenient and user-friendly for parents as well. It comes with multiple settings and features but the developers offer some pre-set configurations to make your life even easier. For instance, you can specify a child’s age and the Web Guard function will block all the age-inappropriate sites. Web monitoring feature also includes lists of the most frequently visited sites. A kid is able to send requests to unblock particular websites, which a parent can approve or reject. All the notifications will be instantly accessible on a parent’s device.
In addition to the internet filtering, ESET Parental control is able to monitor app usage, block specific apps, and indicate the current location of your child.
4. Qustodio Parental Control
The app is available on both Google Play and App Store, however, its functionality is much more robust on Android devices. Moreover, Qustodio can help to secure PCs and laptops running Mac and Windows.
The app offers free and paid versions. With a free subscription, you can monitor only 1 child’s device while Premium plans allow using Qustodio on up to 15 devices at once.
Internet filtering feature will help you to blacklist adult content and other websites you disapprove of. You can also check search queries and browser history. Among other useful functions, you will find the ability to record a child’s activity, monitor his/her calls and text messages, track a device’s location, and apply limits for app usage.
5. Net Nanny
Unlike other apps on this list, Net Nanny is a dedicated web filtering app meaning it is focused on the Internet protection solely.
The app boasts ample and flexible web filtering features. It enables parents to ban unsuitable websites or set up warnings when a child tries to access the content you frown upon. Pre-defined settings that use a child’s age as a base significantly facilitate setting up of configurations. You are able to apply your own custom settings if you prefer.
Net Nanny installs its own browser on a child’s device that will be used by default. It offers 18 filtering categories to sift out content not intended for children’s eyes. Custom categories are allowed as well. Any particular site can be blacklisted, whitelisted or overridden on a device.
The app comes with a very useful profanity masking feature that replaces swear words with symbols on web pages. Net Nanny supplies web activity reports and a time control function to set up hours allowed and forbidden for web surfing. Currently, the app is available for Android devices only.
6. Kaspersky SafeKids
Internet filter reviews wouldn’t be complete without this parental control app. You can protect not only mobile devices (both Android and iOS ones) but also desktop computers. To start working with the app, you need to create an account at My Kaspersky platform. You can configure the app right from the web console. Alternatively, you are able to install a Parent-end app on a parent’s device.
Website monitoring is one of the main functions of Kaspersky SafeKids. The app distinguishes 14 categories of content. Depending on the child's age, the app applies recommended settings.
The software displays warnings for sites related to other potentially unwanted categories. When a child tries to access such a web resource, SafeKids displays an alert and tells parents if an appropriate site was visited after all.
Among other useful features, you can find an app access blocker, time usage limits, and geo-location.
7. Boomerang - Parental and Screen Time Controls
The app is suitable for Android and iOS devices. This monitoring software is able to support up to 10 child’s devices at one time. After installation, Boomerang will replace all other browsers with its own trademark safeguard SPIN browser. The app generates reports on the search history and provides information about all the videos viewed on a kid’s phone or tablet. Boomerang makes videos safer thanks to the Restricted Mode feature for YouTube. SPIN is complemented with Google SafeSearch to help you filter out inappropriate content.
Besides web filtering instruments, Boomerang allows setting up screen times to control the device usage and block distractive apps.
8. Parental Control and Family Locator Locategy
Locategy is similar to other parental controlling apps. As it is clear from its name, the app puts the emphasis on the location function (it tracks current and past locations and enables parents to create safe geo-fenced zones). However, it offers other helpful features as well – app blocking, call reports, time control, and even remote wipe. As for web monitoring features, Locategy blocks 9 categories with harsh content by default (pornography, drugs, gambling, filter get-arounds, and others). Additionally, you can enable filtering on 30 more categories. If there is a site that wasn’t banned somehow, you can manually blacklist its URL. Please note that web filtering works only with Chrome browser, therefore you need to disable all other browsers with its app blocking function.
The app is available through Google Play and the App Store.
9. Bitdefender Parental Control
This app can be installed on PCs and Android-powered devices. Its interface is a bit complicated yet very functional. A free version provides only monitoring functions (device usage tracking, reports on incoming and outcoming calls and SMS, web history). All the restrictive functions are concentrated in the Premium subscription plan, including web filters and app blockers. As many similar programs, Bitdefender Parental Control has the ability to block content by specific categories. You can also blacklist certain keywords and the app will exclude them from the search. If you want to restrict Internet access when a child is at school you are able to set up time limits.
10. SafeKiddo Parental Control
The app thrives on its internet filtering functions but the developers tried to make everything as simple as possible. The easiest way to employ the app is by choosing a child’s age and letting SafeKiddo adjust web content appropriately. You can customize these settings if you wish. The Safe Search feature is designed to protect your little ones from harmful content while they are using popular browsers. If any potentially dangerous site skirts around its filtering, you are able to manually block it by adding the offending URL to a blacklist. There is also an option to create whitelists thereby blocking every resource except the ones on that list. SafeKiddo supplies informative reports on your children’s online activity (what sites were used, search words, surf times, etc.). Besides this, the app offers several functions to monitor and control app usage.
SafeKiddo is available on Google Play and App Store.
The Internet is indispensable for kids’ education and socializing needs. It is a very useful tool provided you are aware of how dangerous it can be. Some content just has to stay out of children’s reach. Internet filtering apps are able to separate the wheat from the chaff and provide access only to safe web resources. With FamiSafe, you can receive a powerful yet flexible content filter as well as an app blocker and location tracker. All these great functions can work for you if you download the app from the App Store or Google Play. Don’t hesitate and get a free-of-charge 3-day trial period.
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