Bark vs. Net Nanny 2024: How Much Parental Control Do You Need?

Bark and Net Nanny are two highly rated parental control apps. Although Bark offers more comprehensive monitoring, Net Nanny can be an ideal solution for parents looking for less invasive protection.
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Best Overall

4.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Bark Premium's website

Bark Premium
  • Machine learning catches the latest slang and keywords
  • Screens content across 19 categories
  • Activity can only be viewed if it’s triggered

Best for Light Protection

4.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Net Nanny's website

Net Nanny
  • Supports up to 20 devices
  • Easy-to-use Location Tracking and Screen Time Management features
  • No text and email monitoring feature

Depending on the level of monitoring you want, Bark or Net Nanny may be perfect for you and your family. Bark has comprehensive controls that can monitor and alert you to all forms of data, including texts and emails, transmitted through your kids’ devices. Net Nanny blocks apps, monitors the internet, and provides valuable information that may help you open a dialogue with your child. We’ve broken down both services, so you can decide which one suits your family and needs the best.

In this article
Bark vs. Net Nanny review at a glance
Bark vs. Net Nanny: prices
Bark vs. Net Nanny: monitoring and alerts
Which is safer, Bark vs. Net Nanny?
Bark vs. Net Nanny: compatibility and customer support
Bark vs. Net Nanny FAQs
Bark vs. Net Nanny: which is better?

Bark vs. Net Nanny review at a glance

Parental control apps work by helping parents monitor their children’s online activity, set screen time limits, and restrict inappropriate online content. Being a digital kid is difficult, especially with the mental health toll social media and other online communication can take on them. Bark monitors not just web pages and apps but also texts and emails for rounded protection. Net Nanny delivers slightly less invasive features that may leave your older kids and teens feeling seen and heard and able to make their own online decisions with your guidance.

Bark vs. Net Nanny compared

Starting price $5.00/mo $3.33/mo (billed annually)
Free version
Max number of protected devices Unlimited Up to 20
Web filtering
Screen time limits
Location tracking
Activity reports
Learn more Get Bark

Read Bark Review

Get Net Nanny

Read Net Nanny Review

Bark pros and cons

Pros
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • Monitors text messages and emails
  • Includes two-factor authentication
Cons
  • Shows only flagged content
  • Kids may feel spied on with so much surveillance

Net Nanny pros and cons

Pros
  • Simple plans
  • Easy to use
  • Includes Family Feed for the entire family
Cons
  • Limited compatibility
  • No text message or email monitoring

Bark vs. Net Nanny: prices

Best Value
Price range $5.00–$39.00/mo $3.33-$7.50/mo (billed annually)
Best value plan Bark Premium for $14.00/mo 5-device Family Protection Pass for $4.58/mo (billed annually)
Learn more Get Bark

Read Bark Review

Get Net Nanny

Read Net Nanny Review

Bark plans

Many software companies have tiers of service, with features increasing as the price point increases. Bark, on the other hand, offers a variety of products meant to meet different needs. Whether you have a child getting their first phone or want to monitor all the internet devices in your home, Bark has something customized for that need. Below is a breakdown of all Bark’s products.

  • Bark Jr.: A scaled-down version of Bark Premium, Bark Jr. offers screen time management, website filtering, and geo-fencing tools. This tier is less restrictive and geared toward older children who are learning independence but still need parental guidance.
  • Bark Home: This plan goes beyond mobile and allows parents to monitor any internet-connected devices in the home. You have features like screen time management and content filtering on TVs, game consoles, tablets, and more. Online parental controls give you the opportunity to teach your children about responsible online behavior and help you create healthy habits.
  • Bark Premium: This is a phone monitoring service with a variety of features and age ranges to help parents keep their kids safe online. Premium gives you all the tools to monitor your kids’ activities on their phones as well as set screen time limits and block content. The geo-fencing features give you an idea of where your child is at all times. It’s a comprehensive and useful service.
  • Bark Phone: Bark provides a Samsung A series device preloaded with Bark’s software. The service is month to month, with unlimited talk and text, and doesn’t require a contract. The cost of the phone is included in the monthly charge for either the starter or advanced plan, and you also get a Bark Premium subscription for the entire family.

Net Nanny plans

Net Nanny offers plans based on the number of devices you’d like to cover. Maybe you have just one family computer, or you want to control phones for multiple children. Either way, Net Nanny splits out its plans so you purchase only what you need.

  • 1 Desktop: This plan coverage for Windows or Mac and includes all the monitoring features Net Nanny offers. You can set controls for when the internet is active, what sites are accessed, and allow content through if you deem it appropriate.
  • 5 Devices Family Protection Pass: This increases compatibility by offering coverage for parental controls on iOS devices as well as desktop operating systems. You’ll receive all the features included with Net Nanny, and can cover up to 5 devices.
  • 20 Devices Family Protection Pass: This plan is exactly the same as the 5 Devices Family Protection Pass but can include up to 20 devices. There aren’t any extra features offered, just the ability to cover more devices.

Winner: Bark. Bark offers unlimited simultaneous device coverage and a range of products to fit your needs.

Bark vs. Net Nanny: monitoring and alerts

Our Pick
Website filtering
App filtering
Social media monitoring
Text message monitoring
Email monitoring
Internet search monitoring
Screen time limits
Remote lock
Cyberbullying and online predator alerts
Location tracking
Geo-fencing
Activity reports
Learn more Get Bark

Read Bark Review

Get Net Nanny

Read Net Nanny Review

When looking at features and functionality, Bark definitely offers more. Not only does it monitor text messages and emails, but it also allows you to remotely lock your child’s device if needed. Bark’s advanced machine learning can even scan for potential self-harm and predator behavior to keep your child safe on social media and other forms of online connection.

Bark lets you filter apps and content based on different categories, such as dangerous organizations, depression, and hate speech.
Bark monitoring settings

Bark allows you to block specific apps during certain times of the day.
Bark screen time managment feature

You may not want all of this monitoring, however, as it’s been shown to make kids resentful. Net Nanny may help you strike a balance, specifically with older children because it doesn’t have as much invasive monitoring. Net Nanny can give you peace of mind while also helping children create better habits with features like screen time limits and location tracking.

A screenshot of Net Nanny Location Tracking screen
Net Nanny Location Tracking 

A screenshot of Net Nanny Screen Time Management feature
Net Nanny screen time limits feature

Fostering a healthy environment with your kids where they feel comfortable sharing with you and also feel trusted is a huge step in creating a safe environment for your children. You’ll also have insights and controls over social media sites like Discord and TikTok, both of which can be fun for kids but can be unsafe. This will allow you to help your kids make better decisions. Make sure to talk with your child about these services, why you want to use them, and how the two of you can make the most of them together.

Winner: Bark. Even though the advanced features can feel overly restrictive, text message and email monitoring can help parents open the door to deeper discussions with their children.

Which is safer, Bark vs. Net Nanny?

When you use parental control software, you give out a lot of information about yourself and your children. It’s important to know that the software protects not only your child but also your data from being stolen. Both Bark and Net Nanny collect and share data, but Bark is the only one that allows for two-factor authentication (2FA).

Bark vs. Net Nanny data security

Our Pick
Two-factor authentication
Collects data
Shares data with third parties
Learn more Get Bark

Read Bark Review

Get Net Nanny

Read Net Nanny Review

We were surprised that Net Nanny doesn’t offer 2FA. Having a second form of authentication, apart from login credentials, makes your account safer overall. We hope they implement this in the future.

Winner: Bark. Both services collect and share data, but Bark at least offers an additional layer of security with two-factor authentication.

Bark vs. Net Nanny: compatibility and customer support

Our Pick
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Browser extensions Yes — Chrome and Microsoft Edge
24/7 customer support
Customer support options Live chat 8 am - 2 am EST, online guides Live chat M-F 10 am - 7 pm EST, email
Learn more Get Bark

Read Bark Review

Get Net Nanny

Read Net Nanny Review

We found both Bark and Net Nanny to have user-friendly portals and dashboards. It was easy to toggle between children and set up individual profiles for each one. Both services worked as advertised. Bark, however, offered more compatibility.

The customer service hours for Net Nanny are pretty limiting. There’s no weekend or evening support with the live chat. Bark is better with an 18-hour support window and online guides. Parental control software has a lot of access to your child’s phone. Limited support could be a serious problem if something gets wonky, so Bark’s extended hours are definitely more desirable.

Winner: Bark. It offers more compatibility and more flexible support hours.

Bark vs. Net Nanny FAQs


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Is there a parental control app better than Bark?

Honestly, if you want a parental control app, we don’t think there’s a more comprehensive or better one than Bark. It offers a variety of monitoring features, checks texts for potential concerns and pictures, includes geo-fencing tools, and has screen time options, to name a few things.


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Which parental control app is the best?

We feel that Bark is the best overall parental control app. It offers a variety of products and features that cover almost anything a parent would want to monitor. It’s intuitive and uses advanced machine learning to monitor your child’s phone — and it’s just good software. It’s built well and works the way it’s supposed to without hassle.


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How good is Net Nanny?

Net Nanny is a good product. It definitely has some downsides, like a 20-device cap and limited compatibility, but it works as it claims and allows you to monitor your child’s computers and iPhones. One of the biggest downsides is that it doesn’t monitor texts or emails. If you’re looking for app blocking, screen time limits, and geo-fencing features, this could work for you.


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What is the best app for monitoring a child's phone?

Bark is one of the few parental control apps that monitors your child’s text messages and emails. It can also cover all the devices in your home with a device that works with your router. If you don’t want to install software, Bark even offers a Samsung phone for your child with its software preinstalled and includes a subscription for the entire family with the purchase. Overall, we feel this is the best service for monitoring your child’s phone.


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Does Net Nanny monitor text messages?

No, Net Nanny does not monitor text messages, emails, or anything at all on Android phones. If you’re looking for a service that monitors text messages, we suggest using Bark parental controls instead.

Bark vs. Net Nanny: which is better?

Overall, Bark performed better than Net Nanny, offering more features, compatibility, support hours, and monitoring capabilities. We do think Net Nanny could be a great tool for customers looking for a lighter form of support, but for anyone wanting all the bells and whistles, Bark is it.

Bark vs. Net Nanny alternatives

If neither of these services works for you, or you want to evaluate all of the best parental control services out there, we have suggestions. All of these services offer robust monitoring plus additional features you’re sure to find useful. Keeping your kids safe in this digital world is a top priority. This software can help you do it.

  • Aura Parental Controls: Aura isn’t just identity protection software. Its parental control features focus on safety and security for an unlimited number of devices. If your kids are gamers, Aura considers their safety while still allowing them to enjoy their favorite pastime.

    Get Aura Parental Controls | Read Our Aura Parental Controls Review
  • Norton Family: Norton Family offers parental controls that can also be bundled into one of Norton’s antivirus plans. By protecting your devices, you can let your child explore the internet with helpful and age-appropriate content and avoid accidentally downloading viruses and malware.

    Get Norton Family | Read Our Norton Family Review
  • Qustodio: Qustodio wants to help you help your kids form healthy online habits. Through its monitoring and alert system, you can set good boundaries for online use. Qustodio even has tips for parents to help navigate their kids’ digital childhoods.

    Read Our Qustodio Review
4.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Bark Premium's website
Bark Premium
  • Machine learning catches the latest slang and keywords
  • Screens content across 19 categories
  • Activity can only be viewed if it’s triggered
Author Details
Mary lives in Los Angeles and has been a cybersecurity writer for over five years. With a B.S. in Liberal Arts from Clarion University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, her career in online security began in sales and content creation for a private cybersecurity firm.