Shedding light on the Net Nanny: Does it really work

Shedding light on the Net Nanny: Does it really work?

It is a scary world out there, and kids really need to be well protected from the online predators, scammers, cyberbullying, sexing and other potential dangers we didn’t have to face when we were kids.

The Internet is an amazing place for learning and opening new horizons, meeting new friends and expressing creativity. But with all its benefits, there is a murky side: online deception, child sexual abuse, fraud, bullying, etc.

As a parent, you want your kids to be fully-protected when they surf the Net, but for this, you don’t need to shut it down completely, just filter out the nasty and inappropriate stuff.

Net Nanny is one of those tools that track and protects your kid across all their Windows, Android, iOS (iPhones, iPad, Mac) devices. It has good abilities for Web filtering and Internet time scheduling functionality.

Pricing and Options

The Net Nanny`s price depends on the number of devices you wish to monitor, for instance:

  • A single license for Windows or Mac costs $39.99 per year;
  • A five-license Family Pass costs $59.99 per year;
  • A ten-license Family Pass costs $89.99 per year;
  • A fifteen-license Family Pass costs $119.99 per year;

Note! Net Nanny supports any mobile devices that run on iOS 8 and Android 2.3 or higher. To monitor Mac, a computer needs to have at least OS 10.7.

In the recent past, parents had an opportunity to monitor their kids` social media activity with Net Nanny Social. But it should be noted that this feature is no longer available for purchase because both Facebook and Instagram no longer support the API services that Net Nanny uses.

However, Net Nanny still provides adults with a Password Account Manager, allowing them to avoid access to harmful sites, containing pornography or gambling. Using this service, Net Nanny controls your account settings and changes your password every day which allows to prevent you from making changes. The price depends on whether you want to have unlimited email/phone access ($49.99 per year) or only unlimited email access ($29.99 per year).

Supported devices

Net Nanny is available on:

  • Windows desktop
  • Mac desktop
  • iOS devices
  • Android devices
  • Kindle Fire devices

The newest versions of Net Nanny (6.5 or 7) are currently supported on:

  • Windows 10, but also can be used on Windows 8, 7, XP and Vista.
  • MAC OS x10.7
  • Kindle Fire 2.3.3 and higher (Android) and 5.0 or later (iOS).

How to get started

Note! For installation, the Internet should be enabled on your device.

To install Net Nanny, follow the next steps:

  1. Click on the Net Nanny icon to launch the installation process;
  2. Choose the preferred language from the drop-down menu and then click Ok;
  3. Close all the other apps, once the Net Nanny Setup Wizard launches and then click Next to continue the installation.
  4. Read the License Agreement, accept it and then click Next to continue.
  5. Enter your registration number and then click Next to continue.

Note! If you bought the Net Nanny software online, your registration number is sent to your email. If you bought it in a store, the registration number came with your CD.

If you can`t connect the ContentWatch registration server, you will get a popup reminding you to verify that the firewall is disabled and asking if you want to configure proxy server settings.

You can connect to the ContentWatch using the proxy server if the following criteria are met:

  • The firewall is disabled;
  • The Internet connection is enabled;
  • Your ISP offers a proxy server as an alternative to the Internet;

For proxy settings configuration, follow the next steps:

  • Get necessary proxy server info from your ISP (hostname, port number);
  • Click “Yes” to confirm proxy server settings configuration;
  • In the special screen, provide proxy server info obtained from your ISP (hostname, port number) and then tap Ok.
  • Type your email and click Next to continue;
  • Create a password for your Net Nanny administrator account and tap next to continue;
    • Note! Your password can contain both alpha and numeric characters. The password is limited to between 3 and 13 characters in length.
  • Select a secret question and answer it, then click Finish. So if you ever forget a password, you will need to answer a secret question to change the administrator account password.
  • Choose the folder for Net Nanny installation and click Next.
  • Tap Install;
  • To complete the Net Nanny installation click Finish and restart your computer.

Note! Net Nanny will not start to protect your computer until it is restarted. Once a computer is restarted, a Net Nanny systray icon appears at the bottom of your PC desktop.

The Net Nanny systray icon provides a quick right-click access to the next options:

  • Net Nanny info;
  • Help section;
  • User login/logout;
  • Admin Tools;
  • Net Nanny enabling/ disabling;
  • Password changing;
  • Updates checking;
  • Refresh profiles;

Net Nanny features

Nowadays, one of the most disputable questions for the most parents is how to keep kids safe online, and taking the device away is often not an option. It is important to help kids to use all the advantages of modern technologies and form healthy screen time habits, providing the guidance in the digital dimension. Net Nanny helps parents with this.

  • Content filtering – Like the most parental control apps, Net Nanny gives an opportunity to block all age-inappropriate content on your kid`s device. And the content filtering feature is probably the strongest point of this app, as it provides age-based category filtering. It has over 18 different categories to block, or you can add your own categories manually. This option blinks rude words and inappropriate photos and videos without disconnecting or limiting kids` web browser use.
  • Screen time – Screen time is the other issue that keeps most of the parents worried when it comes to electronic device usage. Net Nanny provides parents with a bunch of tools to help moderating kid`s and your own time online.

    You can decide on your own when your kids are allowed to access the Internet or use different apps on their devices. Beyond that, it is possible to block Internet access for a particular time span (like a bed, school or family time). So you can be 100 % sure your kid will not secretly sneak to the Internet when they supposed to have a sleep or start the day early in the morning from checking their social media accounts. So, this feature does its work like the most parental control apps do, not better and not worse.

    Also, Net Nanny has the other features which are very similar to the basic features the most parental controls have. They include:

  • Email Notifications – If your kid makes an attempt to access a blocking exception for a specific website, you will be instantly notified. Besides Net Nanny sends a weekly activity report to your email so that you can stay on the top of your kid`s activity from any device. Apart from emails, parents can create extra notifications, like SMS or push notifications to parental devices and choose when they want to be notified (immediately, daily, weekly, monthly). As for the notifications, you have many options to choose from. You can get a notification every time a kid tries to reach blocked site or go online when the Internet access is prohibited or when a kid requests to change status for the blocked site or attempts to disable the parental control system.
  • Detailed Reporting – The reports on Net Nanny activity can be viewed from any computer at any convenient time. For it, you need to log in to your Net Nanny account.

Besides, you can choose a timespan you want to check (today, last week or last month). It is important to note that logs over 30 days are erased automatically.
The account report shows a pile chart with the prevalence of different blocked content categories. Clicking on any pile slice, parents can view the list of the websites involved, as well as the action, that was taken for each of them, the device from which the access was made and the number of attempts. Clicking on any item deeper, the page title, user, time stamps, and URLs will be available. Their reporting system is impressive. You can view every level of detail, from a thousand-foot overview to a list of every visit to a particular unwanted site.

One of the main things Net Nanny doesn`t report is a kid`s GPS location like the most parental controls do nowadays. Some, like mSpy, takes this step further with the ability to set up geo-fences, marking safe and dangerous areas on the virtual map. The mSpy parental control app can notify parents when a kid breaches these zones, which is very helpful for parents who want to make sure their kids not skipping classes and get home from school safely.

Net Nanny Pros and Cons

Like the other monitoring apps Net Nanny has its own ups and downs:

  • Pros
    • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android;
    • Web-based configuration;
    • Detailed reporting;
    • Powerful content filtering;
    • App control for Android;
    • Cross-platform Internet time allowance;
  • Cons
    • Aimed at content filtering only;
    • No new updates;
    • No GPS tracking and geo-fencing;
    • Limited iOS features;
    • Logs older than 30 days vanish by default;
    • High price;
    • Lacks advanced time management control;

Why mSpy is better?

Unlike the Net Nanny, mSpy parental control app is not only aimed at the content filtering. It gives a possibility to track kid`s GPS location and set safe and dangerous areas with geo-fencing. Besides, parents can:

  • Track such popular instant messengers like Facebook, Instagram, Kik, WhatsApp, Viber and others;
  • Read all sent, received and even deleted text messages;
  • View all incoming and outgoing call logs and access the time stamps;
  • Read all sent and received emails and view shared links;
  • Block unwanted sites and apps;
  • Block undesired people from reaching your kid through the phone;
  • Supervise kid`s browsing history, view saved bookmarks and visited URLs;
  • Monitor calendar entries and contacts;
  • Block kid`s device if it is lost or stolen;
  • Monitor all keyboard strokes on your kid’s phone;
  • Get immediate alerts on the specified words or phrases;
  • Track Wi-Fi hotspots on kid`s device and get useful location insights;
  • generate comprehensive reports concerning kid`s smartphone activities;
  • and much more.

Bottom Line

Net Nanny is a useful tool for the modern world. However, the Net Nanny app didn`t get sufficient updates in the last few years, and it is really starting to show its age. Net Nanny was a good choice over the years, but currently, we recommend mSpy all for your parental control needs.

Net Nanny App – REQUIRES ANDROID RATING:

4.6 (135328 votes )
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