Offers 3 levels of web filtering
With Net Nanny, you can choose one of three options for its web filter categories:
- Allow: Your child can access sites in the category, and you won’t receive alerts about their activity.
- Alert: Your child can access sites in the category, and you will receive alerts about their activity.
- Block: Your child won’t be able to access the site at all, and you’ll get an alert about the attempt.
These different levels of web filtering let you customize your child’s experience based on your parenting style or their age and maturity. For example, you might change certain categories from “block” to “alert” once your child reaches a certain age. You’ll know what kind of conversations you might want to have based on their recent browsing history.
But this isn’t unique to Net Nanny—MMGuardian offers the same tiered approach to web filtering.
One mom’s experience with Net Nanny’s content filtering
Kasey, one of our product testers, installed Net Nanny on her child’s devices and found some inconsistencies with its content filtering.
“I blocked my daughter's phone from content related to suicide, but in testing, I was still able to access graphic scenes about suicide from a popular show on YouTube,” she said. Kasey also told us that Net Nanny blocked a video about doll refurbishing. “I watched the video in question and saw nothing that could be considered mature.”
All in all, Kasey felt that “Net Nanny’s filters might provide more inconvenience than protection.”
Alerts parents when apps are downloaded
Net Nanny has one of the best approaches to app management that we’ve seen in the industry. It’s one of the few parental control apps that alerts parents when a new app is downloaded to a child’s device. Net Nanny shows a brief description of the app so you can make a judgment call, and you can also learn more about the app’s benefits or risks through Net Nanny’s App Advisor portal.
As long as you take quick action when you get the alert, your child won’t have time to get into too much trouble on an inappropriate app. Some parental control software doesn’t send an alert at all, leaving you stuck manually reviewing your child’s app list.
“I also wish that the app blocking feature had a monitoring option like the website blocker does, rather than just a total block option.”
—Kasey T., SafeWise product tester
The downside is that app management doesn’t work on iOS devices—but that’s not an issue exclusive to Net Nanny. Learn more about the differences between iOS and Android devices for kids.
Scans pages for pornographic content in real-time
All parental control apps block pornographic websites, but Net Nanny goes a step further and scans pages for pornographic content in unexpected places like comments or advertisements.
So even if the site itself doesn’t fall into a blocked category, your child won’t be able to access specific pages if they’re lewd.
Plus, Net Nanny claims to also assess the context in which a word is used. For example, your child will still be able to look up recipes that call for chicken breast or to look up information about breast cancer. But if “breast” shows up in a more sexualized context, Net Nanny puts the page on lockdown.
Just keep in mind that Net Nanny might not catch every euphemism or creative emoji. It’s still a good idea to use the parent dashboard (which Net Nanny calls the Family Feed) to monitor your child’s online activity.
Net Nanny’s profanity filter is a cool feature we haven’t seen on other parental control apps. Profanity is converted to hashtags (####) within the text. Your child can still view the important parts of the page even if some of the vocab is a little too mature.
Limits screen time as expected
Net Nanny’s screen time limits get the job done without any fancy extras. You can set the exact time when you want to turn device access on and off and set an overall time limit for the day. Kids can see how much time they have left so they can manage it wisely.
Uninstall protection (but for Android only)
Net Nanny can’t be uninstalled from Android devices without a username and password, which prevents kids from removing it. But due to iOS rules, there’s no uninstall protection on iPhones.