A Chromebook is a great option for your kids. They're cheap, portable, lightweight, and the software doesn't cost anything either. When your kids start using technology, you'll want to keep an eye on the activities.
Because of their focus on kids, students, and education, Chromebooks and Chrome OS have a decent set of parental controls. Some are built into Chrome OS, while others come from the Chrome Web Store or Google Play.
Here are the best parental controls for your child's Chromebook.
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One of the best built-in Chromebook parental control tools is Google Family Link. With the app developed by Google, parents can monitor their child's Chromebook session from their Android smartphone. Family Link is the replacement for Chrome Supervised Profiles. Existing accounts monitored by Chrome will still work, but you will no longer be able to edit their settings or create a new profile.
With Google Family Link, parents can:
Set time limits for using Chromebooks
Manually control the daily time limits
Set individual app time limits
View app usage and generate time activity reports for the kids
Approve app downloads and other online activities
Remotely add education and exploration-focused apps
Remotely lock the Chromebook with a specified unlock time
Use Family Link to find your child on their Chromebook
You can also control your child's Chromebook from another Chromebook, as long as you can install Android apps. (Some Chromebook models can only install Chrome Web Store apps instead of Android OS apps.)
Google Family Link offers the same functionality as a profile monitored by Chrome with a few handy extras.
Christian Cawley explained exactly how to install Google Family Link on Android devices, and the process is the same on a Chromebook.
Mobicip Parental Control with Screen Time (the full title of the app) is a remote parental control app. It's one of the most popular and complete parental control apps for Android, iOS, Chrome OS, macOS, and Windows.
The Mobicip Parental Control standard plan contains the following features:
Schedule and limit the Chromebook's screen time
Remotely lock the Chromebook
Check the current browsing history
Block and control social media, video, and gaming apps
Manage Internet content filtering
Send messages to the Chromebook. Reminders, homework exams, and so on
Track the Chromebook's location when you turn it on
Mobicip Parental Control is easy to use and offers numerous functions. It's a premium parental control app. An annual subscription to the Mobicip standard plan brings you back $ 49.99 per year and offers protection for five devices. Mobicip also offers a 7-day free trial to see if parental controls are right for you and your kids.
Qustodio is a handy parental control app that recently got a new update: it now supports Chrome OS. The move brings Qustodio's highly rated parental control tools to Chromebooks for the first time, including the easily accessible web interface. Better still, you can use Qustodio in conjunction with Google Family Link, where some other apps require you to turn off the built-in option.
Qustodio is also available for iOS, Android, Kindle, macOS, and Windows devices, giving you a complete overview of your child's devices and their network.
Qustodio for Chrome OS includes the following features:
Monitor and block inappropriate content on social media, video games and apps
Monitor calls and text messages
Enforce screen time limits to balance screen time
Uses intelligent web filters to protect against online content
Qustodio is available at three prices. The entry-level Small Plan protects up to five devices for $ 55 per year, while the Medium Plan protects up to 10 devices for $ 97 per year. Do you have more devices to protect? There's the grand plan for $ 138 a year that covers up to 15 devices.
While Qustodio may not be the cheapest option for multi-device parental controls, it does offer a variety of options for monitoring your child's Chromebook. In addition, Qustodio has just migrated to Chrome OS. Expect more features from the iOS, Android, and browser versions of the Parental Control app to be available soon.
WebWatcher has been in the parental control market for many years. The WebWatcher Chromebook offering isn't as comprehensive as Google Family Link or Mobicip Parental Control. However, it allows for decent remote Chromebook management and some handy content notifications. With WebWatcher Chromebook Monitoring, you can:
Monitor the website and search history
Keep an eye on social media URLs
Create word notifications with automatic screenshot
Use the continuous screenshot mode for constant updates
WebWatcher's Alert Log tool is highly recommended. The Alert Log continuously scans data on the Chromebook and uses advanced filters to identify dangerous behavior or content. If your child is acting disgracefully on their Chromebook, you will receive an email update with a screenshot of the problem.
The WebWatcher Chromebook monitoring model respects the privacy of Chromebook users and keeps parents informed of dangerous activity.
WebWatcher for Chromebook is a premium parental control app. You can opt for a monthly payment of $ 3.32 or a 12-month subscription for $ 39.99. WebWatcher also offers a free trial version to test the parental control system before buying.
Blocksi Manager Home is a comprehensive Chromebook parental controls option with a variety of monitoring and management features. There are several Blocksi versions. The free Blocksi option has a convenient but standard selection of URL and content filters, whitelists, and website ratings.
The best option is Blocksi Manager Home Premium, which allows you to:
Control the access time to the internet, social media, video and games
Additional YouTube keyword and channel filtering
Customizable filter policies
Near real-time analysis, search and web log
Notifications of attempts to access dangerous or illegal content
Screen time enforcement
Blocksi Manager Home Premium costs $ 59.50 per user per year. In comparison, Blocksi Manager Home is one of the most expensive Chromebook parental control products out there. However, it is also one of the most comprehensive. Like the other Chromebook parental controls options on this list, Blocksi is offering a free trial.
Apps like Blocksi prevent children from turning them off with a password. Check out the other ways your kids are trying to bypass your parental controls!
mSpy is a parental control app with an emphasis on constant tracking. This way, mSpy gives you constant insight into your child's Chromebook world as long as the Chromebook is on or in use. mSpy offers a wide range of parental controls including:
Social media monitoring, including WhatsApp and Snapchat
Surf the Internet, and monitor and report on searches
Email tracking and analysis
Location tracking when the Chromebook is in use
Geo-fencing alerts; When your child accesses the Chromebook outside the fence, you will receive a notification
Installed application control, monitoring and blocking
mSpy is extremely comprehensive, but it's also the most expensive parental control app on this list. Geo-fencing, website blocking, and other features fall under the premium subscription, which costs $ 53.99 per month. You can cut the monthly cost with a 12 month subscription and bring the price down to $ 12.49 per month.
What's the Best Chromebook Parental Control App?
If you want something free and relatively easy to use, Google Family Link is the place for you. It works right away. You can install it on almost any Chromebook as long as it's compatible. It uses your existing Gmail account to monitor your child's Chromebook usage, and the app itself is intuitive.
The other options are all handy and have different parental control strengths. However, since they all come with a price tag, the free option wins.
The Complete Guide to Parental Controls
The world of internet connected devices can be terrifying for parents. If you have young children, you've come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know about setting up and using parental controls.
About the author
(826 articles published)
Gavin is the Junior Editor for Windows and Technology Explained, contributing regularly to the Really Useful Podcast, and was the Editor for MakeUseOf's crypto-focused sister site Blocks Decoded. He has a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Writing Using Digital Art Practices Looted from the Devon Hills, as well as over a decade of writing experience. He enjoys plenty of tea, board games, and soccer.
By Gavin Phillips
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