QuStodio is a great solution for monitoring all of your child’s devices. It offers powerful web filters, screen time schedules, and social media activity tracking.
- extensive list of monitoring features
- GPS tracking and geofencing
- access social media activity
- highly secure
- monitor wide range of devices
- Google Play app lacks features
- Slightly more expensive than Norton Family
In this Qustodio review, you’ll learn how the Qustodio parental control app compares to the top-selling apps on the market.
Qustodio is a parental control software that lets you track your child’s online activities on any device. That covers everything from logging calls and text messages to YouTube monitoring.
If you’re a parent who’s concerned about what your kid sees on the screen, Qustodio will help give you peace of mind.
- My Verdict on QuStodio
- QuStodio Android Features
- QuStodio iPhone & iOS Features
- QuStodio Installation & Setup
- How Does Qustodio Work?
- How Much Does Qustodio Cost?
- Qustodio Alternatives
My Verdict on QuStodio
Qustodio is a well-respected parental monitoring app lets parents oversee their child’s device usage. You’ll be able to set app and device time limits and block access to inappropriate sites.
Features like app blocking and screen time limits also teach a child not to be too dependent on their gadgets.
It offers support for multiple platforms, such as
- Kindle Fire
- Chrome OS
For this Qustodio parental control review, we’ll focus on the two most common operating systems for phones: Android and iOS.
- It has a user-friendly interface
- Supports multiple platforms
- It has extensive features compared to other parental control apps
- It has a 30-day free trial
- VPNs can sometimes bypass web filtering
- Has limited features for iOS devices
QuStodio Android Features
Qustodio is an Android monitoring app with lots of great features for parents. You’ll be able to control almost every aspect of your child’s experience on the device.
Call and SMS Monitoring
You can track who is in contact with your kids through the call and text monitoring feature. This is a great help in knowing if a predator or bully is picking on your child.
Calls and messages are updated every hour. You can manually update them by clicking on refresh.
Some of the things you’ll be able to see are:
- Text and phone call logs
- Who they’re exchanging FaceTime and WhatsApp calls with
- Content of the SMS (but not MMS) messages
You’ll also be able to block specific phone numbers. You can block certain incoming or outgoing calls too.
SMS and call monitoring can be done on Android devices ONLY. One complaint about this feature is that it requires sideloading.
Qustodio asks you to download a separate Qustodio Call and Messages app to your computer or phone.
Sideloading has risks since you’re essentially downloading software not thoroughly checked by the Google or Apple teams. This can potentially compromise your security.
Social Media Monitoring
This feature specifically concerns ONLY Facebook monitoring.
You’ll be able to view the posts your child is seeing or sharing on Facebook.
To use this feature, you should first activate it on a computer that’s already being monitored by the Qustodio desktop software.
This adds a tracking plug-in so you’ll be able to see any future Facebook activity regardless of where your child is using the platform.
Qustodio DOESN’T let you read chat conversations.
Qustodio lets you see what your kids are searching on YouTube. You also get to track the videos your kids are watching.
You can monitor their YouTube use REGARDLESS of whether they’re using the app or site.
Controlling YouTube is separate from the regular app management and web filter sections of the Qustodio app.
That means you can restrict and set a time limit on the YouTube app or website.
There are three options for each website category: Allow, Block, or Alert Me.
Allow and Block are self-explanatory. The Alert Me will flag a site visit in the activity timeline with a “Browsing alert.”
Qustodio will block access to 10 out of 29 website categories by DEFAULT. Among these are
You can also block specific web addresses.
The web content filtering feature also blocks unsupported browsers by default. Some of these browsers include Brave and Opera.
This parental control app only adds an app when your kid launches it. There’s an option to be alerted every time they use a new app.
Once an app is on the Qustodio web portal or app, you can decide what to do with it. Your options are:
- Set specific daily time limits
- Block apps completely
- Temporary app blocking
- Reset the time limit for the day
If your child tries to launch a time-expired or blocked app, a custom screen will pop up to explain why they can’t use it.
This feature has two main sections: Daily Time Limits and Restricted Times.
Daily Time Limits lets you set device usage limits for each day. You can adjust it in increments of 15 minutes.
You can also block device access for the whole day or reset the time for that day.
Meanwhile, Restricted Times lets you control your child’s use of the device. You can toggle between allowed and blocked for each hour of every day of the week.
You can also give your kids extra screen time when you want.
For both sections, you can choose between Lock Navigation and Lock Device when deciding what happens when the time is up.
For an Android device, a child will only be able to make phone calls and text messages after their time are up.
This feature IGNORES app-specific time limits.
Qustodio lets you see your child’s current location and up to 30 days of location history.
Under this is a geofencing feature. This allows you to create a virtual boundary around a certain area. You’ll receive a notification every time your child (or your child’s phone) leaves or enters that area.
Qustodio features a Panic Button too!
You’ll need to enable this feature in Qustodio’s web dashboard or app first. Then put up to four trusted contacts — alongside their email addresses and cellphone numbers.
The child can tap the SOS bubble from within the Qustodio app or click their headphone mic three times.
The app will then send the child’s location and notify everyone on the trusted contacts list.
The location alerts will continue every five minutes until the child turns off the panic mode. Alternatively, the parents can also deactivate it through the web portal.
Remember that Qustodio will NOT alert emergency services, only the trusted contacts.
This is an ANDROID-ONLY feature.
For the best experience, these are the recommended Android versions to use:
- Android OS 6.0
- Android OS 7.0
- Android OS 8.0
- Android OS 9.0
- Android OS 10
- Android OS 11
- Android OS 12
Android versions not mentioned above might have compatibility issues.
QuStodio iPhone & iOS Features
On iPhone and iOS devices, the Qustodio app has the same problems as other parental control services.
That’s because Apple locks down iOS settings, which includes device control capabilities. This makes it hard to control many things outside of the app.
The company does its best to make the app as flexible as possible. Below are the resulting features:
Social Media Monitoring
Similar to the Android version, it works only for Facebook monitoring.
The iOS version works a bit differently than the Android version.
For one, you can only see your child’s searches and viewing history in the Youtube app.
Another is that you can’t block YouTube on the web on an iOS device.
Qustodio STILL lets you see the list of videos your child watched on the YouTube website. So you can at least still check their activity.
This works the same way as the Android app.
The web filtering works on the Safari and Chrome browsers on Apple devices. VPNs can bypass the filters.
So you should also block VPN downloads for more effective web filtering.
Qustodio’s app blocking is INCONSISTENT on iOS.
If you block an iOS app while your child is using it, it will continue to function.
Another problem is not all apps work with the app management feature. Qustodio says the list of iOS apps has improved. According to the company, around 6,000 apps can now work with this feature.
The iOS version mostly works the same way as the Android version.
One difference is that the Lock Device feature will hide all apps on your child’s device when their screen time limit is over.
There is one complaint here. Qustodio pops up a “Lost iPhone” alert message to tell the user their time is up.
Apple has a built-in Screen Time feature you can use as a third-party parental control solution.
This functions the same as the Android version. Qustodio will AUTOMATICALLY start location tracking and let you view your child’s location history when you enable the feature.
The difference is that location monitoring updates are less frequent in iOS. It updates approximately every 5 minutes.
iOS & iPhone Compatibility
For the best experience, these are the recommended iOS versions to use:
- iOS 12
- iOS 13
- iOS 14 – recommended
- iOS 15
- iOS 16
QuStodio Installation & Setup
Below you will find instructions for installing QuStodio on Android and iOS devices.
Android Installation and Setup
Installing and setting up Qustodio is easy on Android. It is not necessary to root the Android device.
Simply follow these steps:
- Download the Qustodio Parental Control App from Google Play Store.
- Log in to your Qustodio account or create a new account.
- Tap on “Confirm” to finish installing the Parental Control App on your own device.
iOS Installation & Setup
Installing and setting up Qustodio is easy on iOS too. Jailbreaking the device is not required.
Follow these steps:
- Download the Qustodio Parental Control App from the App Store.
- Log in to your Qustodio account or create a new account.
- Tap on “Confirm” to finish installing the Parental Control App on your own device.
How Does Qustodio Work?
Qustodio is a cloud-based parental control software. That’s what makes it possible to install Qustodio on multiple devices.
It’s also what makes real-time monitoring, filtering, and tracking possible.
On iOS, Qustodio works through iCloud. As long as iCloud syncing is enabled, you’ll be able to access the data on your kid’s device.
For Android, it functions the same way. But through Google Cloud.
As long as your and your kids’ devices have internet access, you’ll be able to see your child’s activity timeline.
How Much Does Qustodio Cost?
Qustodio costs the SAME for Android and iOS. The differences lie in whether you use the Qustodio premium or free version. On top of that, which price tier you’re on.
Free version (1 device)
- Time Management
- Web Filtering
- Daily and Weekly Reports
The Premium version comes with all features mentioned above, plus the following:
- Call and SMS Monitoring
- Social Media Monitoring
- YouTube Monitoring
- App Management
- Location Tracking
- Panic Button
- 30-Day Activity Reports
- Premium Support
Qustodio Premium comes in three price tiers:
- Small (5 devices) – $59.95 per year
- Medium (10 devices) – $96.95 per year
- Large (15 devices) – $137.95 per year
All Qustodio reviews agree that Qustodio is a pretty expensive parental control software.
Some options are more affordable and offer features Qustodio doesn’t. Below are some you can consider:
Kaspersky Safe Kids
Kaspersky Safe Kids would be the number 1 alternative to Qustodio.
That’s because it offers the best value for the price!
Even the FREE version is already quite feature-packed. It gives you:
- Unlimited devices and profiles
- Online content filter
- YouTube safe search
- Screen time management
- App management
Even if you want to unlock the full feature set, you’ll have to pay only $14.99 a year!
A Premium version feature that Kaspersky has is a battery tracker. The app notifies you if your kid’s device is running low on battery.
Another interesting thing about Kaspersky Safe Kids is its customer support.
They do offer the typical technical support. They also have detailed notes by clinical psychologist Christopher M. Bogart. These sections explain internet safety and how to teach your child about it.
Some complaints about the Kaspersky Safe Kids are:
- Slow web portal
- It doesn’t give location history
- App controls aren’t as flexible
Another alternative to QuStodio is the Norton Family parental monitoring solution. It offers a lot of features at a reasonable price. For just $50 a year, you get the same features as other parental control apps.
They have great additions, of course!
While web content filtering is a common feature, Norton Family takes it a step further by adding Access Request. This allows your child to send you a note from the app requesting access to a site they think should be allowed.
Another is monitoring YouTube. This software will also save the thumbnail and a snippet of the videos your child watches.
They also have a School Time feature for online classes. This will block websites not tagged as educational. You can manually add your own allowed URLs as well.
Some cons about Norton Family are:
- Has no free tier
- Poorly-designed mobile apps
- It doesn’t work on Mac
The Net Nanny parental control software supports all of the same devices as QuStodio.
It’s relatively cheaper than Qustodio. It’s still quite expensive compared to competitors. The most expensive tier costs $138 per year.
Despite that, Net Nanny is UNMATCHED in content filtering.
That’s because it analyzes the content of web pages your child visits, rather than just relying on block lists.
You can also customize filters, adding as many words and phrases as you like.
Aside from web searches, these filters can ALSO be applied to:
Net Nanny can filter out profanity too!
Some complaints about the app are:
- Has no free trial
- Limited geofencing features
- Also quite expensive
Another good solution is the Bark parental control app for those new to the parental control software.
It has intelligent content filtering. This is thanks to advanced machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence. Because of that, Bark doesn’t have to rely exclusively on keywords and block lists.
Bark can monitor messages from
- Facebook Messenger
The monitoring feature is HIGHLY sensitive. It alerts you on slang, profanity, and questionable emojis.
You can adjust the sensitivity to be more relaxed.
Another interesting feature is email monitoring. Bark lets you scan through emails and Google Docs. It also alerts you of anything suspicious or problematic.
Some cons to Bark are:
- Hard to install on iOS
- sends too many alerts
- No geofencing
- No free plan
Now that you know all about Qustodio, below are some frequently asked questions concerning the software and its features:
What Is Qustodio’s Refund Policy?
Qustodio offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. But this is if you paid directly on the Qustodio website. You can contact the Support Team to request a refund.
But it’s different if you make an in-app purchase on the Parent’s App from Google Play or App Store.
Qustodio doesn’t hold the subscription or billing details if this is the case. Because of that, you’ll have to directly contact Apple or Google to cancel or refund your subscription.
Does Qustodio Offer Technical Support?
Yes, they do!
Qustodio has an online Help Center on their website. Here, you’ll see setup tutorials and FAQs on topics like:
You can also submit a request to the customer support team. There’s a live chat available in English and Spanish, making the customer service versatile and easily accessible!
For customers subscribed to the Medium and Large Premium versions, there’s a package called Care Plus. Those subscribed to only the Small Premium version will need to pay extra.
Care Plus lets you book a call with a Qustodio expert anytime. You can even do so to request them to walk you through setting up and using Qustodio.
Free users won’t be able to submit requests to the support team.
Can Qustodio Record Phone Calls?
No, Qustodio can’t record phone calls. All Qustodio will show you who your kids are having calls with and for how long.
The app does not have the feature to access phone calls and the contents of these calls.
Does Qustodio Have to Be Installed on the Target Phone?
Yes, Qustodio has to be installed on the target device.
For both Android and iOS versions, below are the basic steps to follow:
- Install the Kids App Qustodio. Make sure to enable auto-update.
- Login with the credentials you used for the parent app.
- Choose “Protect this device” and give the device a name.
- Make a new child profile or choose which child will use the device.
- Allow accessibility and turn on notifications for Qustodio.
- Turn on permission to let Qustodio display over other apps.
- Allow Qustodio to access the device’s location.
- Activate the device admin app.
- Ensure that Battery Saving options don’t affect Qustodio.
Will the Phone’s Owner Know Qustodio Is Installed?
Yes, they will know.
That is because Qustodio says that technical limitations DON’T allow the app to be hidden on phones yet.
That is why the company also recommends talking to your child. They’ve created a digital agreement to help start a discussion on internet safety.
But you CAN hide Qustodio on Windows and Mac computers.
Is Using Qustodio Legal?
Yes, Qustodio is legal. You can be assured that anything that makes it onto the relevant app store is safe and legal.
Ensure that you have the consent of all parties involved to avoid any unnecessary collateral damage. It is for security and privacy purposes.
You DON’T need to notify children under 18 years old either.
The Qustodio is one of the best parental control apps out there. It supports most platforms, is very easy to manage, and is packed with loads of features for both Android and iOS.
It’s also one of the few parental control apps that still logs texts and calls on Android. Although this feature also requires sideloading.
While the high price can chase some parents away, cheaper options will work just as well.
Despite that, Qustodio would still be a great investment for parents who want to ensure their children’s online safety.