Nowadays it’s impossible to keep track of what your kids are doing online without some help, which is why parental control software is so important. In particular, it’s hard for parents to be sure that their children are using mobile devices or tablets safely and responsibly. Bark and Mobicip are two distinctive examples of how parents can keep their children protected online. The former utilizes artificial intelligence to monitor messages and social media, while the latter focuses on filtering content as a preventative measure. Both are two of the most impressive parental control solutions on the market, but you need to know the key differences that set them apart.
|Headquarters||Georgia, U.S.||California, U.S.|
|Social Media Monitoring|
|Number of Devices||Unlimited||15|
|Free Trial||7 days||7 days|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days|
When it comes to monitoring children’s online activity, few companies can compete with Bark. Since 2015, the Georgia-based company has been alerting parents to dangers like cyberbullying and depression by using artificial intelligence. Installing the software isn’t the easiest process, but once it’s ready the AI will begin monitoring almost every social media network you can think of, including Snapchat, TikTok, and WhatsApp. Bark analyzes text, audio, images, and even text from images to look for any red flags. However, unlike Mobicip, Bark is a much more reactive service as it doesn’t prevent children from accessing content – it simply reports what is accessed. The software can be installed on any Android or iOS device as well as Chromebook and Amazon Fire tablets. Although the software doesn’t have a desktop app, there is a Chrome extension you can install to view browser history.
The Bark website is full of useful guides and articles to help parents through the whole process and a live chat to assist with the software. Considering the service you get, Bark is well-priced, with a simple pricing plan that gives users a discount for choosing an annual subscription instead of monthly. But before you commit, you can test out the service first through its 7-day free trial.
Taking a different approach to parental control software is Mobicip. Founded in California in 2008, this software doesn’t rely on AI but instead offers more preemptive measures, allowing you to add filters that will block inappropriate content. When it comes to mobile devices, you can get even tougher by blocking games and apps completely. If a child’s time spent in front of a screen is more concerning to you than the content itself, Mobicip helps out by letting you set schedules for when a device can be used. There’s also the ‘family time’ feature, where you can block a device temporarily, like when it’s time for a meal. Mobicip works on the go too, enabling you to track a device’s location. One particularly clever feature is that the software can be deactivated when it connects to a specific IP address – ideal for connecting to the school Wi-Fi. Mobicip is an easy-to-use service, available for Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Kindle, and Chromebook.
If you ever have any issues with Mobicip you can expect a quick response over email, and there’s also an online forum where you can get help while interacting with other parents. Prices for the software depend on how many devices you want to cover. The costs are low if you just want to cover five devices, but rise rapidly if you need to protect 10 or 15. Interested users can test out the service first with its 7-day free trial.
With Bark and Mobicip, you get two very unique methods of keeping children safe online. If the cost is your main issue, Mobicip is the cheapest option – covering more devices for a much lower price – but it isn’t able to do some of the things Bark is capable of. Indeed, what matters most is how you want to regulate your children’s online use and in what ways you think they’ll be safest. For instance, Bark focuses primarily on the child’s activity, cleverly using artificial intelligence to detect any potential issues. Meanwhile, Mobicip is great for blocking websites or apps that may be problematic and reducing screen time. If you’re not sure which software is the best option, we recommend taking advantage of the 7-day free trials available to see which is the right choice for your family.
Best Parental Control Software of 2021
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