Ever needed an app that could help you keep track of your kids’ online activity? Say hello to the new Qustodio Family VPN. In our generation, or should I say, in the younger generation, the internet is taking over almost all daily activities. Entertainment takes the form of games and movies, communication goes through different social media sites, and even schoolwork is now done online. With technology and the internet now embedded in their daily lives, it is important that we are able to take part in their development. Luckily, Qstudio has created a great way for us, parents, to be able to watch over our kids’ online activities.
What is Qustodio App?
In this Qustodio review, we talk about the best solution for parents who are looking for ways to be more involved in the development of their child in this modern age. With Qustodio VPN, you get just about all the features you could ever need. It has everything from the detailed activity logs of your child’s device, filtering web browsing activities, and even blocking inappropriate content.
One of the noteworthy things about it is that you can actually customize the rules for your child’s device usage. And, you can even check on it in real-time through Qstudio’s online dashboard or the app itself.
It all works thanks to the company setting up customized VPN servers. These servers receive raw traffic from the internet and send curated traffic to your kids’ devices, implementing your preferred settings.
Qustodio family is actually just one of the many other services they offer. There is also Qustodio for schools which is designed to keep students on track with school activities only. There is even a Qustodio for business which makes sure that employees are only using computers for work and not wandering off to other random sites.
Qustodio Download Price
The Qustodio family app actually comes at a pretty hefty price. However, it has a bunch of different packages for you to choose from.
First up is the Small Family Size. This plan allows you to connect tp to 5 devices. Up next is Medium which can help you monitor 10 of your kids’ devices. And lastly, there is the Large plan for up to 15 devices. But this is only for either super big families or super techy kids.
At first, Qstudio’s cheapest plan was actually $54.95. Which is why everyone is ecstatic about this recent price drop for the new Small family size.
Can you get Qustodio free? Great news for parents on a budget: you can! However, you should probably know that the free version can only monitor a single device. And, whereas Qustodio premium gets up to 30 days of activity history, Qustodio free is limited for up to seven days only. You still get the basic controls like web content filtering and time limits, but you can’t avail of the application-based time restrictions, and location tracking.
Details of the VPN
|Logs||Yes, it’s logging everything!|
|Multi-login||Depending on the plans|
|Covered countries||US and UK|
|Supported devices||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Kindle|
|Money-back guarantee?||30 Days|
Setting Up Qustodio
This is a short step by step guide for those of you who have no clue where to begin.
Go to the Qustodio website, pick out a payment plan (Small, Medium, or Large family size) and subscribe.
Validating your license
Validate your license and create your account from a web browser.
Adding a child
This is the first thing to do. And it doesn’t take long: Simply add the name of your kid, input his/her birth year, select the gender and an avatar.
Adding a device to monitor
Install a local client on all the devices you want to track. And assign it to your child’s profile (for Mac and Windows, you can apply configuration settings to all the user accounts on the feature or choose to separately configure each account).
There is only one Qustodio app on the Play Store and App Store. So when you first launch the app, you have to specify whether it is a parent or a child device.
If you’re Android, you need to enable permissions such as: Apps with usage access, Accessibility access, and device-level access (this is for SMS, call, location, media, and contacts), in addition to enabling it as a device admin app. This is so that your child cannot use a third-party app to get rid of Qustodio.
On iOS, you need to install a device profile separately for some of the features to work properly.
What features do you get?
While I don’t write a Qustodio iOS review, you should know that the Qustodio family app on iOS has a bit of a difference with that of an Android device.
First off, it looks completely identical to the Android version and most features are available. This includes a time limit and scheduling apps, web-filtering, and device-locking. However, the iOS Qustodio VPN can neither monitor nor block texts and calls. You also can’t enable the Panic Button on Apple devices which is a big concern for parents who have children living in danger areas.
Another difference would be the location reporting. On Android, you can customize and set how often you want to be updated with your child’s location. But on Apple, it only updates you whenever the location has changed.
But to give it some credit, this Qustodio family app is definitely a tough one since it was able to get in iOS devices. I say this because Apple is quite known to block interactions between apps on their devices.
However, if you’re an Android user, you’ll find that all the features we discussed earlier are completely available to you. And, you even have a few more perks that iOS users can’t get.
In this section of one of the many Qustodio parental control reviews, we will be talking about the specific features you can get out of this app.
Qustodio VPN Gives You In-Depth Reporting
As I mentioned earlier, one of Qstudio’s great features is giving you a daily activity summary of your child. You receive this by email and can actually set it to a weekly schedule if you prefer. Or, you can also turn off the email notifications and simply go to its online dashboard.
App Monitoring and Blocking
In the activity summary you receive, you get to see your child’s activity in a pie chart. It gives you a very detailed report as it divides the chart into entertainment, social network, search portal, and etc. And, if you see something you don’t like, you can simply hover over the app and click to block it. But, you can’t look into the specifics like device usage data or search words.
Another notable feature (also available in Qustodio free) is the content filtering that all parents appreciate. By default, Qstudio actually blocks websites that match categories such as Drugs, Gambling, Pornography, and Violence. The other categories are available for parents to customize content filtering. This includes social networking, games, entertainment, and file sharing. And for uncategorized websites, it also has the option of automatically blocking them as well as forcing safe search. You can even set it to get updates if you want to receive notifications when a blocked site is being accessed.
The great thing about Qustodio VPN is that it is browser-independent. This means that your kids can’t outsmart you by simply using another browser because the app works on the whole device itself. Even if you turned off the category “Loopholes” (which is where proxies and VPNs go), the app will still be able to block any site if it matches the selected categories.
You can set a specific amount of time for when your child is allowed online. Qustodio VPN follows a one-hour incrementation per device. You can even set a maximum time per day if you’d like.
If your goal is to simply limit screen time, then you should turn off the “per device setting”. This way, your child can’t switch from device to device once their maximum time limit is all used up. You can also set Qstudio to automatically lock down your child’s device once the limit has been reached. It can even alert you once this happens if you select an option for it.
One pretty useful feature for getting your child’s full attention is by blocking the device at will. This is great for when you’re having one of those arguments and just can’t get your child to focus. But rest assured, your child will still be safe. Although Qstudio blocks the device, it doesn’t block the ability to make calls to emergency numbers.
And yes, it can also set time limits and usage schedules per app. You can set daily time limits or even block it entirely for some days. This is useful if you want your child to focus on studying during exam week or have them limit their social media usage.
Location Reporting and Social Media Monitoring
This feature is not available in the Qustodio free version unlike the first three.
This is definitely one of Qstudio’s primary focuses since it has a specific tab just for social media monitoring. However, the only activity it can track is Facebook. And since a lot of kids now use other sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, this feature isn’t all that great.
The tasking thing about this Qstudio feature is that it requires your child to log into their Facebook on the desktop in order to enable the tracking plug-in. It may be difficult to get your child to agree to this but afterward, Qustodio family app can record and track your child’s activity on the site regardless of what device they are using.
And if ever the plug-in is removed or disabled, the child cannot access Facebook completely. However, this is limited to Facebook online and does not include Facebook Messenger.
On the dashboard, you can see the complete timeline of your child’s Facebook activity. This includes posts, pictures, comments, and even the profiles of any friends in their online chats. But, to maintain at least a smidgen of privacy, the app doesn’t show the specific contents of the chats. Only when it occurred and who it was with.
Qustodio VPN also includes location reporting. While it’s pretty self-explanatory, the app allows you to check your child’s location for as oftentimes as 5-minute intervals.
The Qustodio family app is actually pretty impressive in this aspect. It has options that allow parents to monitor calls or texts. You can even get reports on the content of each text message. And lastly, if there’s somebody you think is bothering your kid, then you can also have the option of blocking them. However, this feature is only for Android users.
This is a great feature for parents that are concerned about their child’s safety.
Once the child triggers the button, it automatically sends a distress signal to the parent’s phone or the trusted contacts that were inputted at the setup. It will continue to share the location until it is turned off.
Take note that Qustodio strongly points out that this feature does not notify emergency services and only notifies the trusted contacts on the child’s phone.
Qustodio VPN clients
Portal for Windows, Mac, and Linux
A great thing about Qstudio is that it is definitely a clean and simple user interface. If you’re a parent that’s not so big on techy stuff, then you’ll definitely appreciate this.
It’s all laid out for you on the dashboard with full-page previews of your child’s timeline web browsing history and it even shows Web of Trust certificate per domain so you can tell whether the site is trusted or not.
Apps for Android and iOS
While the web browser interface looks a bit outdated, the app is user-friendly. And parents can manage everything from it.
Setting Up the Rules
Qustodio family app is one step ahead of you because instead of setting up all the conditions from the get-go, it recommends that you first let your little one go free and do whatever they want on the device. Then, you can silently monitor their activities and base your conditions from their regular device usage.
This is great so that you can observe how they usually use their apps and for how long compared to just guessing it.
Once you have the list of all the apps your kid frequently uses, you can finally set up the rules and time limits. You do this by pressing on the clock icon beside the green toggle – which is simple enough for anyone to understand.
While kids can see the app, they can’t uninstall it without your password.
And when they try to visit a site that has been restricted, they see a nice landing page:
Qustodio Family App Customer Support
Qustodio VPN actually only has one option of contacting customer support. That is through a ticket submission page which they claim will be responded to within 1-2 days. This may not be the best thing for parents who need an answer right then and there.
And another thing to take note of is that Qstudio says they put their premium users first when it comes to customer service. This is kind of unfair for the free users, but understandable since premium users need their own set of benefits too.
Let’s Wrap Up Here
Overall, I would say that Qstudio is a great app for parents and families that want to be more involved with their children’s upbringing. Since the times have changed and technology is gradually becoming an everyday necessity, parents can still enforce rules on their children with this great parental control app.
Although the premium version comes at an expensive yearly fee, you can see its worth with all the great features it offers. However, you can also opt for the Qustosio free version which still has a few of the same features you get with the paid one.
- Monitor kids' activities
- Protect kids' devices
- Free version available
- May not work with Netflix
- Logs (activity, apps, calls, text messages, etc.)