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More than ever, parents are looking for a reliable internet filter to protect their children from pornography and other explicit content that is readily available online. Harmful content can be found through nearly any platform or gaming site and whether an internet user is looking for it or not, offensive images and information are constantly being programmed to make their way into the safety of your home.
Understanding some statistics about the pornography industry will send nearly any sane person into shock. The industry is grossly manipulative and exists to harm individuals at every age and stage of life through their physical and verbal portrayals of relationships. They often show drug use and illegal activity related to minors.
Wednesday, May 18th
Circle is a comprehensive system that can be used through an app or their all-inclusive device that manages all systems in the home that connect to Wi-Fi. It has a long list of customizable features that are thoroughly explained on the website. Circle is a good option for families with kids of all ages since filtering is based on age and interests. You can do a 14-day free trial through Circle to see if you like the platform and feel confident in the system before deciding to dive into monthly payments, and the service can be canceled at any time. Circle is well-liked by parents and seems to be the most inclusive platform with the most features, earning our highest rating.
Qustodio is an easy-to-use platform that monitors all the important activity on a child's phone and helps set healthy limits. It's available for Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Android, iPhone/iPad, and Kindle. Parents can do a free trial of the premium features or use the system free of charge on one single device with basic features. Best of all it's well-liked by parents and rarely are there complaints of glitches or failure of features performing as they should. Qustodio has a helpful website with good resources for parents and we are impressed with what they have to offer.
Bark has created a service that's simple for parents to use and set up on their kids' digital devices. It can set internet time limits, block certain websites, and continually comb through information on over 30 apps to detect cyberbullying, sexual content, online predators, suicidal ideation, and other major concerns. Parents can get alerts if Bark identifies anything concerning and will get notified if a child tries to change their passwords. Their pricing is transparent and they offer a free 7-day trial that we highly recommend. It seems like Bark could be circumvented by a smart teenager and isn't going to be the most foolproof option out there, but for young teens and children, this is an option worth looking into.
Net Nanny has been around for nearly 20 years, helping parents monitor their children's activities online and prevent them from accessing dangerous content. You can protect up to 20 devices supported by Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Kindle Fire, but some people claim there are glitches in the software that make it frustrating to use. Although Net Nanny has a solid list of features that are clearly explained on their website, it seems to need a bit more work before it runs without any issues.
Mobicip is a good company with the goal of keeping kids safe from internet dangers at home, at school, and in public libraries. Their website lays out their features clearly with pictures of what their platform looks like. They offer a 7-day free trial as well as a money-back guarantee for their service. Mobicip has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and mostly good reviews from customers. Although this may not be the most comprehensive or cheap option, it's still got a lot of potential, especially for younger teenagers and kids. We recommend looking into Mobicip for your family.
PureSight offers a child protection app called Surfie. The company could have added more details to their website to make their product shine over competitors, but luckily it gets good reviews and seems promising. Potential customers can request a demo of the system to get a solid overview of how it works and how intensive the filtering tools are. Unfortunately, PureSight doesn't list a satisfaction guarantee or return policy, so this is something to ask customer service about before purchasing. PureSight seems like a good company, but we suggest customers do more of their own research before signing up.
Canopy's approach to protecting family devices from pornographic materials is to allow them freedom and privacy while removing threatening images from their screens in real-time. Their program instantly replaces inappropriate images with white squares rather than combing through all their texts, apps, emails, and other information for threatening content. Canopy seems to take a safe but hands-off approach to internet blocking, which might not be for everyone. They have mixed reviews from customers, but thankfully offer a 30-day free trial for parents to try out. If you're interested in Canopy's approach to internet filtering, we recommend taking advantage of this. However, this company is too limited to merit our highest rating.
Family Zone is an inexpensive way for parents to monitor and restrict digital access on their kids' smart devices. It has the ability to limit online gaming, set screen time schedules, block websites, filter out inappropriate content, and more. However, Family Zone doesn't dive deep into how their features work and what their service can or can't do. We wanted more from their product description before deciding whether or not to make a purchase. Luckily, Family Zone is extremely inexpensive: just $1.99/year with a 30-day money back guarantee (although no information about this is provided). The company has mixed reviews and the main complaint is that it's easy to get around the system, which renders it completely useless. Family Zone doesn't earn a very high rating.
Norton is known for their anti-virus software as well as 12 other systems to keep parents and children safe online. Unfortunately, their parental control product doesn't come with a free trial or pictures to show what their app is like. It seems like they made an effort to add a parental control product to their inventory, but didn't put enough work in to clearly explain how it works or make it void of glitches and issues once installed. Norton Family has low ratings from customers, so we can't give this internet filter a positive recommendation.
McAfee was founded in 1987 and has a list of device protection services to prevent viruses, identity theft, phishing, and more. Their Family Safe product allows parents to monitor their kids' device usage, limit screen time, track them on GPS, block and restrict websites. There is little information given about their features and you can't view a demo or pictures of their platform from the website. McAfee has a 30-day free trial, which is nice, but most people are unsatisfied with this service. Complaints of glitches, easy system deactivation, poor customer service, and more are just some of the reasons that McAfee hasn't earned a high rating from us.
ClevGuard has a list of products meant for viewing data on someone else's phone or computer. Their KidsGuard products can read messages, view photos, track GPS location, view Safari history, and access nearly every other app to view information. The company has an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau and seems to focus more on spying than on limiting and setting boundaries for digital use. They claim to have a return policy, but there are so many exceptions to it that it doesn't seem to be helpful. Although KidsGuard can do a lot, we aren't thrilled with their features and are skeptical of how private people's data is, earning this internet filter one of our lowest rankings.
SentryPC is an online monitoring solution that seems best suited for schools. It can monitor everything happening on a person's screen in real-time without them knowing. There are website blocks, app blockers, and a few other features that are commonly found in parental control systems, but SentryPC is not set up well to help families. In addition to only working on Mac and Windows computers, the cost for the platform is expensive and meant for people buying licenses in bulk. SentryPC doesn't have a Better Business Bureau rating or a reputation with families, so this is one of our least favorite options for internet filtering.
Over $3,075 is spent on porn every second on the internet - and nearly 35% of all downloads are related to pornography. 34% or more (we would gamble that this statistic is much lower than reality) of people say they have been exposed to unwanted content through ads, misdirected links, popups, and emails. It is especially dangerous for children who are learning to use the internet, as they trust innocent-looking games and chat rooms online, then quickly become addicted to explicit content.
Thousands of new porn sites are created every week and the amount of easily-accessible, inappropriate content is staggering. To protect families, it requires a combination of strict rules and expectations for internet use as well as top-rated internet blockers to filter out content. Thankfully, there are quite a few companies working hard to develop systems to combat the harmful effects of the pornography industry and other individuals who seek to hurt members of your family.
Since there are many companies that offer internet filtering services, we have provided important information for you to consider when shopping around:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best internet filter services today. We hope this information helps you find a solution you're confident with to protect you and your family.
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