We started our appraisals by reading up on the government advice found on the eSafety Commissioner website. It’s important to note that there are operating system-level parental controls on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and popular gaming platforms. There are also WiFi routers that offer parental controls for devices on your home network.
In terms of determining our category winners, we read reviews on the SafeWise US website to find the right parental apps for our shortlist. We also appraised dozens of Australian reviews and looked into the specific features of contenders. Parental apps were then appraised in terms of price, including whether there are free versions or free trials available. The number of monitorable devices is important, especially for larger families, but it’s critical that parental control apps support major platforms.
Call and text logging, blocking, and SMS content monitoring are tricky features to find these days because of how iOS and Android handle privacy. That said, it’s typically easier to find parental control apps that offer geofencing, location tracking, and location history features. Content monitoring and filtering are also important, as is app management (including the option to block apps). Finally, we also favour parental control apps that are easy to use and offer limits to screen time.
You can learn more about how we review products by checking out our methodology.