- Block apps
- Free version
- Frequent screenshots
- GPS location
- Extremely limited iOS app
- No content filters
- Dated interfaces
Parental control software comes in many different varieties because every parent requires something different depending on their child’s needs, and KidLogger works in a very unique way compared to its competition. As the name might suggest, KidLogger functions primarily as a keylogger so you can read messages sent by your child on desktops, although functionality differs greatly between KidLogger’s extensive Android features and the incredibly limited iOS app. Developed by SafeJKA S.R.L., a Moldavian company that has been up and running since 2001, the service tracks which websites your child has visited, the apps they use, and for how long they’ve been using them – with the option to block apps when necessary. KidLogger will then send reports to parents outlining their child’s internet history. A great thing about KidLogger is that there is a totally free version and, though users have the option to pay for an upgrade, there is in fact little difference between the two.
Installation of KidLogger varies in complexity for each platform; we found it was incredibly easy with macOS but very awkward to install on Android. However, once the setup has been completed, users simply need to wait for the data to start coming in. KidLogger claims it takes about 10 minutes for data to be transferred but for us it took somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes before we started to see any information on the dashboard. From there you’ll see the list of devices being monitored by KidLogger (up to ten if you’re a pro subscriber or up to five otherwise) which will give you an overview of the most used apps, URLs, and number of keystrokes. From there you can explore in depth all the data that KidLogger has taken in an easy-to-use manner.
KidLogger is understandably well-known for its keylogging. It lets you see exactly what your child has typed and on which application it was typed, regardless of if the text was then deleted. Users will be able to view the periodic screencaps while desktop versions have the more intrusive features of being able to view images taken discreetly on webcam and listen to ambient voices picked up by the microphone, although we had difficulties getting the voice recording feature to work.
Parents have flexibility in how they want KidLogger to report back to them, as there’s the ability to alter emails by selecting what content you want to see, the frequency, and what time you want to receive it. One particular aspect we like is that KidLogger is open source so if users have any doubts about its security then they can see all the code for themselves.
Although KidLogger isn’t able to access a child’s social media accounts directly, with its keylogging and screenshotting capabilities, parents are still able to get a good overview of what children are saying, to whom, and on what app. KidLogger is able to track conversations over a whole host of apps including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Discord. KidLogger is particularly useful with Skype, where it takes screenshots every 15 seconds during a call. Parents can also choose to block particular apps on Android or have them restricted during certain times of day.
KidLogger is available for a wide range of platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and even old BlackBerry phones. Features differ between each version due to hardware limitations but the iOS version of KidLogger is woeful, with just one function: providing a child’s GPS location. We understand that it can be difficult for parental control software to work with Apple’s strict regulations but KidLogger’s effort is particularly poor. Fortunately, the other efforts are far better.
The Android app is able to record messages, view photos, call logs, and keep track of a child’s location with GPS – although the app is clunky, difficult to install, and feels out of date. It should be noted that using keylogger on Android is only available with standard and pro versions and requires a longer setup process. Meanwhile, the desktop versions run seamlessly and are the easiest versions of KidLogger to use.
There are three different pricing options for KidLogger – the free version allows users to monitor up to five devices, keep log history for nine days, and have 9MB of space for screenshots. The standard version gives you a 30-day history with 100MB while the professional version covers ten devices, with 60 days of log history, and 100MB of space. The cheapest upgraded version of KidLogger is a year’s worth of standard membership which comes to $29 a year (equivalent to just $2.42 a month), whereas a year’s membership of KidLogger pro comes to $89, or $7.42 per month.
KidLogger accepts all the major credit cards, PayPal, wire transfers, and even checks. If you decide to upgrade to the standard or pro versions, make note that KidLogger doesn’t allow refunds and the money-back guarantee lasts just 15 days providing you don’t install the software.
KidLogger’s customer service isn’t exceptional. Users can only contact customer support through the online form or through an email address. Although there is a forum to post issues, it’s rarely active and there is minimal support through the KidLogger Facebook page. The website has a frequently updated blog with all the latest news about the service. The user guides are good and come with video tutorials, but they are full of typos and spelling errors. The FAQ section is underwhelming with more obvious questions ignored.
KidLogger has a great free version of its software, with the vast majority of features being the exact same as its paid counterparts making it one of the standout free parental control tools around. However, KidLogger feels dated in its functionality, isn’t the easiest tool to navigate, and feels almost like an incomplete product at times. Overall though, KidLogger has some unique and interesting capabilities that few of its competitors do and is certainly ideal for parents on a budget.
Best Alternative Parental Control Software