While Bark is the better app overall, Net Nanny has a good live location tracking feature. If knowing where your child is at all times is your top priority, try Net Nanny with its 14-day money-back guarantee and see how it works for you. Try Bark Free for 7 Days!

No Time? Here’s a 1 Minute Summary of Each Category Winner

How I Tested and Compared Bark vs. Net Nanny

I compared Bark and Net Nanny in the following 13 categories:

1. Web Filter: Bark Prevents a Wider Range of Inappropriate Content

Both Bark and Net Nanny have customizable web filters, but I noticed that Bark better recognizes what’s inappropriate. The app  has a massive list of keyword triggers related to content that deals with eating disorders, violence, self-harm, sexual content, drugs, suicide, guns, and more. Another huge benefit you get with Bark is that the filter doesn’t only work with browser-based content, but it works in apps and email as well. I found the Net Nanny filter to be a reliable option for blocking porn, gambling, suicide, weapons, drugs, and other adult-themed content. It has just 14 categories, and you can choose to enable them all or turn off specific categories to give your kids access to that type of content. With both apps, the websites that triggered the filter were blocked, and my kids couldn’t find a way to bypass the restriction. However, Bark has a more comprehensive filter that understands context and incudes an updatedlist of keywords, phrases, slang, and acronyms. Additionally, it’s the only filter that works on apps and websites. Take advantage of the Bark 7-day free trial and see for yourself how it creates a safe online environment for your kids. Set Powerful Web Filters with Bark!

2. Screen Time Management: Only Net Nanny Gave Me Complete Control Over Screen Time Usage

While both apps have a screen time calendar, which lets me set times during the day where the screens can be used, only Net Nanny lets you also set a daily screen time limit. I can combine the two options to set a general screen time limit for the entire day but use the calendar to break down exactly when the screen is available. Net Nanny lets me decide what happens to the phone when screen time is unavailable. I can pause the internet, and the phone and some games are still available, or I can pause the entire device. The Bark calendar lets you segment the day into default, school, bedtime, and free time. You can customize each segment to block specific apps or categories. I found this helpful with the school settings since my child needs access to some apps for school, but definitely not for entertainment or social media apps. Both Bark and Net Nanny have a button on the dashboard for blocking the internet instantly. I find this helpful if I want them off their phones regardless of the schedule. If you want to see if creating comprehensive screen time rules, try Net Nanny risk-free for 14 days. Manage Screen Time With Net Nanny

3. Social Media Monitoring: Bark Has Significantly better Social Media Monitoring Tools

When it comes to social media, Bark is the best parental control app I’ve tested. It’s compatible with over 30 social media networks, top email platforms, and can access SMS messages on Android and iOS. The system searches for any potentially troubling messages, posts, pictures, connections, and comment threads. When something triggers the filter, I receive an alert right away. Bark connects with the app through the account level and not just on the device. This means that if my child is using a friend’s computer or phone, I’ll still get alerts to any dangerous behavior. Net Nanny recently upgraded its social media monitoring tools. It uses AI to scan the content on the app and automatically blocks the app if it detects any content that violates the web filter. Bark wins this category hands down because it works with more social media apps and is applied on the account level. You can try Bark’s social media monitoring tools free for 7 days. Monitor Social Media with Bark!

4. Location Tracking: Only Net Nanny Has 24/7 Live Tracking

Net Nanny is the easy winner when it comes to tracking where your child is in real-time. The app connects with the GPS on your child’s device to give an accurate location. When you open the dashboard, the first thing you see is a map showing the location of your child. If you have multiple children on the same account, each one will have a different avatar, so you can easily see where everyone is. One thing I like about Net Nanny is that it has a feature that blocks your child from changing the phone settings, including turning off the GPS. Bark took a different approach to location tracking. Instead of giving parents the option to view where the child is without them knowing, it has a Check-In feature. I had to send a request to my child, but I only get an alert with their updated location when they look at their phone and press the button.

The value of knowing where your child is at any time outweighs the Check-In feature, which relies on the child to give you an update. Therefore, Net Nanny is the winner for the Location Tracking category. Try the Net Nanny 14-day money-back guarantee to track your children 24/7. Get 24/7 Location Tracking with Net Nanny

5. Geofence: Create Unlimited Live Geofences with Bark

I was surprised that only Bark has a live geofence feature, especially since Net Nanny has 24/7 live tracking. The geofence lets me pick a location or address and receive notifications when my child enters or leaves the area. For example, when I add a geofence for my son’s school, I get an update when he arrives and leaves, so I know that he isn’t skipping school. Setting a geofence with Bark is really easy. As you start typing the address, an autofill feature opens, to help prevent spelling mistakes. You can give the location a name to make it easier to track, such as school, home, or mall, and create as many geofences as you need. Then, any time the child enters or leaves the area, you receive a notification. Compared to Bark, Net Nanny has a weak geofence tool. The feature is based on the previous location history. If I want to check when my child came or left an area, I can enter the address in the dashboard, and it will show the information. However, this doesn’t help me in real-time if I want to check if my kids made it home on time after school or are going to the movies when I said they couldn’t go. Without a doubt, Bark is the winner due to its live geofence feature that sends alerts when my child comes and leaves a location. This is much better than searching through their location history.

6. Monitor App Usage: Bark Gives You More Control

Both Bark and Net Nanny have excellent app monitoring features, but Bark wins the category because its content filter does a better job monitoring apps. It uses advanced AI to monitor the content displayed on the app, including images, by searching for keywords related to violence, cyberbullying, sex, drugs, suicide, eating disorders, and other health related topics. If I see behavior that I don’t like, I can block the app through the dashboard. While both apps performed well in this category, Bark is a better option for monitoring the content on the app, which is why I award it the category win. Monitor App Usage with Bark!

7. Remote Control of Child’s Phone: Only Bark Let Me Pause the Phone From Anywhere

Both Bark and Net Nanny give me the power to change screen time rules, adjust web filters, and monitor app use remotely through a cloud-based dashboard. However, I noticed a major issue when I was using Net Nanny. The app has two options for instantly blocking the child’s device. You can “Pause Device” or “Disable Internet.” While the Disable Internet option worked as it should, I noticed that after I pressed the Pause Device option, my son could still use his phone without restrictions. Meanwhile, Bark worked perfectly. The changes made through the dashboard synced immediately, and the new rules were implemented. The Pause button was very effective, it disabled the internet, and my son saw a message on his phone about taking a break. While the difference was pretty slim, especially since Net Nanny has two methods for blocking a device remotely, having a feature that didn’t work was a big red flag for me. Therefore, I gave the Remote Access category to Bark. You can see how easy it is to manage your child’s device from anywhere with Bark, free for 7 days. Get Remote Control Access with Bark!

8. Dashboard: Bark’s Dashboard is More User Friendly

Bark has a slight edge over Net Nanny in the dashboard category. When you open the Bark dashboard on your phone or computer, the first thing you see is how many alerts were triggered. Then, you can click on the menu items and view the monitor or screen time rules, send a check-in, or view valuable insights. Everything is clearly marked, and it’s very easy to manage. When I open the Net Nanny dashboard, the entire screen is a map with my child’s live location. This isn’t a top priority for me, and I don’t need to see the map each time I open the dashboard. Often, the kids are at home, and I just want to review the data. The first time I opened the dashboard, it took me a few minutes to leave the map and find the data and the monitoring features. Only after a few days did I feel comfortable with the dashboard layout and know how to access the features I wanted quickly. Try Bark for Free!

9. Ease of Use: Bark Takes Longer to Set Up – But It’s Easier to Use

It was difficult to pick a winner since both apps are very easy to use. Each app runs in the background of the child’s device and syncs the data back to the dashboard. However, I chose Bark as the winner because it has a helpful checklist during the setup process to ensure all the rules are set properly. Due to the monitoring style of Bark, the setup can take more time since you have to connect the app to each social media and email account. However, it’s a simple process, and each account is nothing more than logging into the social media account and agreeing to the permission notification. Bark does a great job walking parents through the entire process. The other advantage that Bark has is that, as I mentioned above, its dashboard is more user-friendly than Net Nanny’s. Other than the actual app installation, neither app requires access to the child’s device. You can easily manage each one from the parent app or on your computer. See how easy it is to monitor your child’s phone and computer with the Bark 7-day free trial. Get Bark for Free!

10. Compatibility: Both Apps Work with Major Platforms – But Only Bark Connects Directly With the Child’s Accounts

Download Bark free for 7 days and see how you can monitor your children on any device. Monitor Your Children with Bark!

11. Customer Support: Only Net Nanny Has Live Support

Net Nanny and Bark each offer several options for contacting customer support, but only Net Nanny has Live Chat. The chat option is available Monday through Friday from 10 am to7 pm EST. I asked a few different questions about adjusting the filters and made up some technical issues. The customer support agent I talked with was friendly and knowledgeable and patiently answered my questions. If you open the chat box after hours, it will create a ticket and send the question as an email, which is typically answered within 24 hours.

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12. Price: Bark Gives You Better Value for Your Money

If this was a comparison about the price, then Net Nanny would be the winner. However, I took all the features that you get with each app and assigned them a priority level. After crunching the numbers, I am declaring Bark the winner because while you pay more money, you’re getting access to premium features that Net Nanny doesn’t offer. Just the social media monitoring features alone make it a great value. Bark connects with over 30 social media networks, email accounts, and text messages, and the data it collects can be invaluable. I found it incredibly easy to set up, and I could view the data from anywhere and use the remote control features to block apps or lock the phone. Bark has two plans, and they both cover unlimited devices: Net Nanny has three subscription options, and they each include all the premium features. They only differ in the number and types of devices they can monitor. If you’re still undecided, try Bark Sr free for 7 days and experience the features first-hand.

13: Trial Version: Only Bark has a Free Trial

If you want to test the parental control features for free, Bark is your best option. It comes with a 7 day free trial for all new customers. I was a bit disappointed that I had to use my credit card to activate the free trial, but they said it’s due to COPPA, a child online privacy act. While my credit card wasn’t charged, I did have to remember to cancel my account before the free trial ended to prevent accidentally activating a year-long subscription. Net Nanny doesn’t have a free trial, but they do offer a money-back guarantee if you cancel the account within 14 days. I tested this policy by canceling my account after 10 days. There was no automatic way to cancel the account and request a refund. I had to send an email to customer support requesting a refund. I received a quick response asking why I wanted to cancel. I gave a reason and they canceled the account and processed the refund. It took three business days, and I received a full refund. Try Bark free for 7 days!

And the Winner Is…Bark (It Won Most of The Major Categories)

Both parental control apps have great features that can help parents prevent their kids from viewing inappropriate content or spending too much time on their phones. However, in this head-to-head comparison, Bark proved to me that it’s the better choice. The social media monitoring is by far its most valuable feature, but it also outperformed Net Nanny with the web filter, geofence, ease of use, and dashboard. Here you’ll find the quick answer regarding the winner of each category: If you’re still not sure, you can try them both before committing to a paid plan. Get a 7-day free trial and test Bark for yourself, or try Net Nanny risk-free with it’s14 day money-back guarantee and see which app is best for your kids.

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