Friday, May 9, 2014

Qustodio - Parental Control Software

I thought I would write a little post about Qustodio.  I received this product after winning a giveaway during the #UBP14 blog party week last month.  I won a one year subscription to Qustodio which is a parental control program that I can use to keep my young kids safe while still allowing them the freedom to use the Internet. In no way was I paid by Qustodio for this review, I just thought as a parent that it needed to be put out there as we all want our kids safe.

I want to start by saying that this program is by no means going to keep your children safe if you aren't still involved in the process.  As a parent of 4 young children, I know that the only way to really keep them safe is stay as plugged in to their lives and the things that they are doing at all times.  The benefit to having Qustodio is that it can give you the extra eyes and ears we all sometimes need.

One of the first things I liked about this program when I read about it was the fact that I can use it across multiple devices and multiple children.  A good thing since I have 3 kids using the Internet. It can also be used on apple devices, android devices, kindle, Mac O/S and Windows.  I will most definitely be writing another review when my daughter starts using her IPhone which I will be installing the software on as well.

When I first went to the site to download the software, it was pretty straightforward and the instructions were easy to follow.  The other great thing I liked about this software was its ease of use.  It took me all of 10 minutes to setup both of my older two kids.  I also loved the fact that although I put the software on the laptop my daughter got for Christmas, it actually setup another account for my son as there wasn't one on her laptop.  It was the easiest setup I have had with any parental software (trust me when I say I have tried a few).  I am hoping the setup for the IPhone is just as easy (but more on that later).

If you notice the screenshot below, you will see the detailed report you will get when you login to your parent account online.  It gives you a breakdown of exactly what your child was doing while browsing the Internet on any computer or device that you have the software setup on.  It will also allow you to put time limits and blocking of webpage content.  With the other parental software I used, I found that they had an all or nothing approach where Qustodio is more customizable and allows you to choose what you want and how you want it.  It allows you to add trusted sites as well to make your life even easier.

Another plus for this software is the e-mail alerts and updates.  I receive an e-mail automatically as soon as either child attempts to access a site that is off-limits or if Qustodio believes there may be a threat to their safety.  I also receive a detailed e-mail every morning outlining the previous days' activity.  I love this feature as I can check up on them and be more aware of there browsing habits and if I need to have a chat with them about what they are doing it's much easier to go in with information.  Both of my children know the software is there and they know that it is to keep them safe.  My daughter, who is 10, uses the Internet a lot and I like that I know what's going on at all times.  I find that it's easier to stay plugged in if I know what they have been doing. It definitely helps to keep the lines of communication open.

Now I have a one year subscription which is worth $44.95 and allows you to track 5 users and 5 devices, they do have a free version as well as a version that tracks 10 users and 10 devices for $79.95.  You can read about it here. The main differences between the free version and the premium version are in the table below (note that anything with a star is only available with the subscription).  As you can see most of the great features of this software are available for free which is great.

Overall, I am a huge fan of this software and I will most likely be renewing my subscription in a year.  I am glad that I won this as I am confident that is helping me keep my kids safer than if we didn't have it.

For more information or to download the software for yourself visit http://www.qustodio.com.

Please note that this software is just a piece of the puzzle and although it can help you in many ways, at the end of the day, you still need to be vigilant and plugged in to what your kids are doing

3 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic review - I wasn't aware that this product existed! Will look into it for my kids tablets!

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    1. I am so glad I found out about this software, it really is a helpful tool to keep your kids safe. There is even a feature that allows you to hide it so they don't know it's there. I love the daily breakdown emails as well. When you login online you can also see exactly what webpages they went to and you can visit them yourself as well. Great product and worth the money for the subscription, which I will be getting when my free one runs out.

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