Qustodio.com Review 2020 – How Useful Is The Monitoring App?
- Comprehensive parental control
- Use on multiple devices
- Easy to use
- Easy installation process
- Solution for schools
- Solution for companies
- Free trial
- no phone stealth mode
Qustodio is an app for parental control with many features that can help you to protect your children online.
The special thing about this app is that there are several versions for different application environments. For example, there is the classic Parental Control App for families for home use. But there is also a version for schools, which can be used on a variety of devices. The school version is worth its weight in gold for teachers to uncover problems and deficits that would otherwise not be revealed to them.
Due to the various monitoring functions, the app can not only be used in the private and school area, Qustodio is also an interesting monitoring app for company devices.
The SaaS company Qustodio was founded in 2012 by Josep Gaspar, Eduardo Cruz and Josh Gabel and is based in Barcelona, Spain. A second branch of the company is located in Los Angeles, USA.
The start-up received 2 initial seed fundings from investors totalling USD 2.5 million. The annual turnover of the SaaS company is currently estimated at around 4 million USD.
Nevertheless, Qustodio also offers an impressive cost factor in addition to these functions.
The app monitors time on Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger and other popular social media apps. The monitoring app’s real-time Internet filter blocks inappropriate content, even in private browser mode.
Qustodio helps you to prevent your children from becoming victims of cyberbullying or from seeing inappropriate content. You can also protect them from screen addiction by limiting the time they are able to use their devices.
The software even offers options for school, business and corporate customers.
This app offers several parental control features, some of which are listed below:
Real-Time Location Tracking and History
This feature gives parents the ability to determine the real-time location of their children at any time (or at least the location of their phones that might have been left somewhere). However, at this point we have to clear that the location tracking is nearly rel-time, as it updates when the device is moved, otherwise every couple minutes.
GPS Tracking & Geo-Fences
With “Geofences” parents can set a parameter for the child, which is defined as a safe zone for the children. Each time the child enters or leaves this safe zone, the parents receive a notification or alarm on their phone.
Web Content Filtering
It is important that parents check what content their children access online. This feature filters the websites that don’t have good content, and some websites also filter the wrong content without losing other content so there will be parts of a web page hidden while other parts stay visible / readable.
Time Limits per Device
The screen time control tells parents how often the children use their phone during a whole day. It also allows parents to set a limit so that children cannot use their phone at school, in bed, or at the dinner table.
SMS Text Messages Tracking
The parental control app allows you to know when your child has sent or received text messages including when, to and from whom and you can read the conversations.
Regarding calls you get the timestamp when your kid has had a call, with whom and how long. The conversation itself doesn’t get recorded so you can’t check what they were talking about.
This feature allows parents to use the Parental Control app to monitor all apps installed on the child device including how often and how long those are used. But you won’t be able to read the content exchanged. However, it is possible to enable this option at least for certain apps by adjusting this detail in the Rules for Social Monitoring settings. Those apps are: Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger. For all other messenger apps there is no option to get the content of the conversations itself, you just get the time spent on Instagram, Skype, Kik and other messenger apps.
Since there is a vast number of app games available today, it is important to keep an eye on this. Not all apps are suitable for children, although they are accessible for children.
Messenger Apps Monitoring
Qustodio can monitor the time spent on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other messenger apps.
Note that the monitoring features do not apply to third-party messenger spy apps like Kik.
Windows, Mac and Android devices allow for youtube monitoring. Parents can check what their kids are watching and what search terms they use, both on the youtube website as well as in the youtube mobile app.
The app doesn’t take any screenshots.
With this feature, parents can block certain apps to prevent their children from becoming dependent on game apps or social media apps.
Here is a full list of apps that can be blocked by Qustodio on iOS:
Would you rather?, Amazon Music, Skype, Jurassic Park Builder, Instagram, What Would You Choose? Rather, Smule, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Shazam, Kids A-Z, Sky, WeChat, Wishbone, Monkey, Hulu, TED, Wish, Pokémon Go, Dragon City Mobile, Foursquare, Tumblr, Sky Sports, Skout – Meet, Discord, Clash Royale, WordReference Dictionary, Ebay, Star Wars ‘Galaxy of Heroes’, Helix Jump, Dropbox, Spotify, NBA LIVE, Amazon Mobile, TikTok, League of Angels, Waze, Wapo: Gay Dating, Express, Roblox, AccuWeather, Google Docs (Docs, MARVEL Contest of Champions, Jurassic World™: The Game, Tripadvisor, Onefootball, LINE, Super Mario Run, AppStore, Viber, Friend, Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Doordash, Mortal Kombat X, Boom Beach, Tango, Snapchat, Chat, Vent, Injustice 2, Mobile Strike, Reddit, Twitter, MARVEL Future Fight, Disney+, Outlook, Sheet and Slides), EDpuzzle, ABA English, Brawl Stars, Scruff, Madden NFL Overdrive Football, YouNow and Youtube, MARVEL Strike Force, Badoo / Blendr, Aworded Crack / Apalabrados, Weather Channel, Prime Video (Amazon), Pinterest, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Clash of Clans, Lovoo, Hay Day, Whisper – Share, 8 ball pool, Golf Clash, PUBG MOBILE, Duolingo, Trivia Crack / Preguntados, Netflix, Pure, ASKfm, Facebook / Facebook Messenger, Aliexpress, Google Translate, Twitch, Tinder, Golf Battle, YOLO: Anonymous Questions, Groupon, The Weather Channel, Game of War, Olympus Rising: Hero Defense, FIFA Mobile, Meet, Grindr, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Fortnite
There are certain apps that can’t be blocked by Qustodio, but the monitoring software still creates reports about the usage of those apps:
Micro Golf Masters, The Sims™ FreePlay, Township, Real Racing 3, Stack Ball 3D, Clean Road, Agar.io, The Sims™ Mobile, Minecraft, Bitmoji, Aquapark.io, Pick me up, Lords Mobile, Plants vs. Zombies™ 2, Purple Diver, Subway Surfers, Roller Splat!, Magic Piano, Traffic Run!, Whatsapp, Whisper, Run Race 3D, Plants vs. Zombies™ Heroes, Kik, Stickman Hook
Flexible remote and personal settings
This is a special function that allows parents to use one function at the same time as another. For example, you can combine the Geofences setting with the screen time control.
Like any sensible parental control app, Qustodio has a panic button for the child. If the child is in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation, the parent receives an immediate alarm so that they can react right away and immediately drive to the child or alert someone else who can intervene more quickly.
The act that the program can be used on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Nook, Amazon Fire tablets and Kindle devices is remarkable.
The Technology – How Qustodio works
The technology behind the Qustodio monitoring app is a virtual private network (vpn) through which all traffic gets channeled. This means that when using the Parental control software all traffic of your kid’s device is being sent to servers of Qustodio that are usually located in the UK or the United States. It’s on the Qustodio server where the parental control rules and settings get enforced. That’s why you may see a vpn sign on your device and that’s also why it may often happen that you see the british or the US versions of websites at first.
There are a total of 3 products from Qustodio, which in turn are divided into different plans. The plans mainly concern the number of devices on which the software is to be used.
There are both free and premium versions available. So Qustodio can be used either free of charge as a trial or with the Premium Package, which includes more options.
Something that is really cool about Qustodio is the fact that they offer a free version, so you can give the program a try at no risk. Of course this is not a full version with full functionality:
The free version limits monitoring to a single device and stores the history over seven days.
The free version includes only one device at a time and you just get basic elements such as web filtering and time quotas for specific activities. The program won’t allow you to read the content of messages and all those things. But you get a feeling for how the app works and if it might be the right tool for your needs.
Qustodio for Families is a comprehensive child protection app. You can choose between three versions for five, ten or fifteen device, if you have a huge family :). The costs are between €3.58 and €8.91 per month.
The most interesting thing about a monitoring app for your children’s online activities is that you can not only protect your child from dangers, inappropriate games and content and excessive use (addiction), but you can also learn more about your child’s interests and inclinations. As well as possible limits or weaknesses that your child might have at this point in its personal development, which you would not even notice without precise monitoring.
There are 3 plans that cost €49.95 for 5 devices, €73.59 for 10 devices and €106.95 for 15 devices. Payment is made annually.
The best features of the application for schools can be broken down into 3 main functionalities:
The intelligent reporting, the remote device control and the dynamic filtering system.
The smart reporting shows exactly which apps are used how, the exact usage history on the Internet and how the device is used overall. The smart web filters help children to present appropriate content to their search queries without the need for constant intervention by the teacher.
It is also possible to manage all monitored devices from a dashboard, which makes the use of the application especially easy. The good thing about monitoring student device usage is that you can detect problems early (or at all) to help them in time.
The Qustodio application for companies is worth a mint to promote productivity and efficiency while ensuring greater security. Managers can keep an eye on what their employees are doing on the Internet, e.g. search terms can be informative, or employees’ general way of working or their way to approach problems can be better observed and optimized.
The use of the Internet in the workplace in general should also be kept within reasonable limits. It is far too easy to be distracted from work by private distractions on the Internet. Furthermore Quostodio offers an extreme level of security for business, as the app is able to block harmful websites.
You also get information in real time so that you can react immediately if necessary.
Using Qustodio Parental Control App
How to start:
Buy and download the Software
Then install Qustodio on your own smartphone to track your child’s activities. Inappropriate websites are automatically blocked immediately. Qustodio sends you daily reports of all your child’s activities by e-mail. To use the usage rules and time limits, visit the family portal at family.qustodio.com.
You can also protect other devices with the monitoring software just by downloading it to any desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet. As a parent, you can monitor and manage each device directly from this app.
Install on Windows or Mac
Qustodio is a quick installation on your own smartphone and your child’s devices. It is easy to do this in two steps. Create your free account and install the software on your child’s devices.
- Go to this page: https://www.qustodio.com/en/download/. It will download automatically.
- After downloading, double-click the installer.
- Click Accept and Install. Wait a few minutes while the software is downloaded and installed.
Configuring Qustodio Parental Control App
- Select the appropriate option depending on whether you already have an account with Qustodio or not. Click Next.
- If you did not have an account, enter your name, e-mail address and password. If not, simply enter your Qustodio access data. Click Next.
- Select a name for the computer that you can use to identify the device. Click Next.
- Select the sub-profile that you want to apply to the device. Click Next.
- Please read the instructions in the following tour carefully to configure the device.
Ready! You can add different child profiles for different users on the device.
To log in to Qustodio, visit the website after installation and log in to create your account. Then go to your child’s device to do this.
Comments on Use
The configuration that defines what the kids are allowed to do can be done on the smartphone, but it’s more convenient on the computer. Individual rules and exceptions can be defined for all areas of Qustodio. It is also possible to exclude entire areas, for example if you do not want to monitor the child’s location in general.
Qustodio is not stingy with notifications, on the contrary. Parents receive detailed information about what their children are doing on their smartphone, both by e-mail and as direct notification on the parent’s device. Also with the children, the communication is always clear: You may, you may not, the time of use is over and so on. The automatic detection of problematic web content works quite reliably with Qustodio.
What is noticeable from time to time: Not all messages displayed to the child are translated correctly in certain other languages. Auto-translations can sometimes produce weird terms. This should be improved by the provider, even though it is usually clear what is meant by the messages. The visual appearance, both of the app and the web interface, could also use a fresh coat of paint. But this does not affect the functionality.
Does Qustodio have Stealth Mode? Can the program be made invisible to use it as a hidden spy app?
No, in principle Qustodio is a visible app and children know that their parents can see how they use their mobile phone. There is one exception: Qustodio can be hidden on desktop computers. This means that the software icon will no longer be displayed in the notification / task bar if you make the appropriate settings.
An intelligent child of a certain age will always notice that the software is running, because content remains unreachable, even if Qustodio is no longer visible. Unreachable means that when you try to reach a blocked page, it will be redirected to the search engine page, e.g. Google search.
Qustodio is therefore not a spy app for secret surveillance.
Qustodio Customer Support
Customer support at Qustodio can only be contacted via email. So there is no service phone number and no live chat support on the website, although live chat has become a standard for SaaS companies meanwhile. However, Qustodio may have the experience that there is not much demand in the customer service area. We don’t know.
However, the company is of course represented in couple of social media platforms offering an additional way to contact them. The company can be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. These are Qustodio’s official channels:
Beware that your child could possibly uninstall the app anytime. So if you notice that the app has somehow just disappeared from the target, it’s most likely that it has been removed intentionally. Such an app doesn’t simply uninstall itself..
To uninstall this software from an Android device
- Go to your family portal at https://family.qustodio.com/
- Go to Settings ➜ Devices
- Click Remove Device
- Then go to the Android device and follow these steps:
- Go to the Qustodio app and enter your password
- Tap on Disable protection
- Continue on Remove Qustodio
To uninstall Qustodio from Windows
- Navigate in Windows to: Control Panel ➜ Programs ➜ Uninstall a program
- Double-click Qustodio in the program list and indicate that you want to uninstall
You will be asked to enter your Qustodio user name and password. Once you have successfully entered your information, Qustodio will be uninstalled.
To uninstall Qustodio from Mac / iPhone / iPad
You have to enter the subfolder “Utilities” in the folder “Applications”, run the activity monitor and note down all information about Qustodio.
- Click on the drop-down menu and select the Qustodio profiles.
- Click Uninstall and confirm that you are sure you want to uninstall.
- Enter your Mac password to continue with the uninstallation process.
Conclusion / Critics
The app is one of the best known in the field of parental control for good reason. It contains all the important functions, leaving little to be desired. There are just a few little details that, once improved, would let us give the app 5 stars. One is the possibility to read all messenger contents, since bullying or other problems can only be detected through the conversations themselves. It would be enough to have this as an option, not necessarily as a default setting. It’s not about spying on your child, but about the option for the most comprehensive protection functions possible. It could also be that the messages get saved by the app but you wouldn’t get them shown by default, only if you click to a certain area. Something like that. Just for the case of emergency, that you could find out what you kid has been talking about with whom. Another cool thing would be an update of the control platform interface since this seems a bit outdated.
Using it on a desktop computer is more comfortable for parents, but this is true for many applications. The dashboard simply has more space to show everything clearly at a glance and to allow appropriate controls to be carried out. Apart from that, we don’t know of any weaknesses worth mentioning, except for the strange translations in other languages. Also the price factor is very positive with this program, as well as the fact that you can test it for free. It’s just a pity that the trial has only limited functions.