Qustodio vs. Norton Family 2024: It Comes Down to Features vs. Security

Qustodio and Norton Family are both parental control services that offer you the ability to monitor the content your child views online. Qustodio offers more robust monitoring features, while Norton provides a more secure service.
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Best for Advanced Features

4.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Qustodio's website

Qustodio
  • Parental control app with lots of features
  • User-friendly, clean interface
  • Concerns surrounding data privacy

Best for Security and Support

4.5
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Norton Family's website

Norton Family
  • Excels at app blocking and content filtering across 47 categories
  • Offers age-specific restriction levels to enhance safety and unlimited device connections
  • Not compatible with macOS and offers fewer monitoring features for iOS

Parental control apps can help parents who want to introduce their children to internet-connected devices but don’t want them to stumble across inappropriate content online. Qustodio and Norton Family are both notable services with various features that help kids gain independence and learn healthy online habits.

Qustodio has a few plans, including a free one, with advanced features like text message monitoring, social media monitoring, app and website blocking, and even YouTube-specific filters. Norton Family is a standalone plan that can be bundled with other Norton security products. Norton offers advanced parental control security features like the inclusion of age-specific restriction levels as well as comprehensive app blocking and content filtering across 47 categories.

In this article
Qustodio vs. Norton Family review at a glance
Qustodio vs. Norton Family: prices
Qustodio vs. Norton Family: monitoring and alerts
Which is safer, Qustodio or Norton Family?
Qustodio vs. Norton Family: compatibility and customer support
Qustodio vs. Norton Family FAQs
Qustodio vs. Norton Family: which is the better parental control app?

Qustodio vs. Norton Family review at a glance

These two parental control apps have their positives and negatives, but ultimately, one is going to be better for you and your family than the other one. Qustodio offers more features like text and call monitoring, while Norton Family secures its service with two-factor authentication and includes advanced customer support options.

  • Qustodio: Best for advanced features
  • Norton Family: Best for security and support

Qustodio vs. Norton Family compared

Starting price $4.58/mo (billed annually) $49.99/first yr
Free version
Max number of protected devices 1, 5, or unlimited Unlimited
Web filtering
Screen time limits
Location tracking
Activity reports
Learn more Read Qustodio Review Get Norton Family

Read Norton Family Review

Qustodio pros and cons

Pros
  • The free plan offers good basic features
  • Compatible with many devices
  • Monitors text messages
Cons
  • Limited customer support options
  • No two-factor authentication

Norton Family pros and cons

Pros
  • Offers age-specific restriction levels to enhance safety
  • Excels at app blocking and content filtering across 47 categories
  • Can be bundled with other Norton security products
Cons
  • Not compatible with macOS and offers fewer features for iOS
  • Limited social media monitoring and no text message or email monitoring

Qustodio vs. Norton Family: prices

Best Value
Price range $4.58-$8.33/mo (billed annually) $49.99/first yr
Best value plan Complete for $8.33/mo (billed annually) Norton Family for $49.99/first yr
Learn more Read Qustodio Review Get Norton Family

Read Norton Family Review

Qustodio plans

Qustodio offers free monitoring on one device with limited features. If you want expanded access, try one of the paid plans. While Basic coverage has a device cap, Complete coverage is unlimited. You’ll also find more monitoring features in the paid plans with expanded reporting.

  • Basic: This plan covers up to 5 devices and includes games and apps blocking, scheduling routines, 30-day reporting windows, a panic button, location monitoring, and premium email support. It also includes web filtering, 7-day activity reports, daily time limits, and the ability to pause the internet, which are also all found on the free plan.
  • Complete: This plan covers every feature Qustodio offers. In addition to what you get in the Free and Basic plans, Complete offers unlimited device coverage. You can create custom routines for apps and websites and time limits for apps and games. Other features include alerts for downloaded apps, call, text, and YouTube monitoring, the ability to save places, and Qustodio’s Care Plus, which includes phone support.

Norton Family plans

There is only one option for Norton Family, and it includes all of the service's features and functions. Some other Norton plans, like Norton 360 + Lifelock, include Norton Family as well. However, if you’re just looking for parental controls, this is the Norton product for you.

  • Norton Family: Norton Family includes web filtering, location tracking features, time monitoring, and supervision features across web searches, apps, videos, and more. It also includes instant lock and reporting features. Norton backs all of its products with 24/7 customer support.

Norton Family YouTube and Hulu video monitoring feature
Norton Family monitoring feature of YouTube and other video platform history

Norton Family Parental Control Location Tracking
Norton Family location tracking feature

Winner: Qustodio. Not only is there a free product that gives you basic features, but advanced features like text message monitoring can help you ensure strangers aren’t reaching out to your kids.

Qustodio vs. Norton Family: monitoring and alerts

Our Pick
Website filtering
App filtering
Social media monitoring Yes, limited monitoring for Android
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 Read Qustodio Review Get Norton Family

Read Norton Family Review

Both apps offer screen time management, but Qustodio has more advanced features than Norton Family. You’ll have text monitoring and geo-fencing features, as well as more ways to stay safe on social media. Geo-fencing is nice because you’ll be alerted when your child is in a set location, like school or an afterschool program, and when they leave. This is especially helpful for younger children who want a little independence but are too young to be on their own. 

Norton Family includes all of the features necessary to have a successful parental control experience but does lack the geo-fencing features that help kids with burgeoning independence. Unlike Qustodio, however, you don’t have to purchase a more advanced tier to get all of Norton’s features. With one plan, you can feel good knowing everything is included for one price.

Neither service includes email monitoring or alerts for cyberbullying or predators. While the tools offered allow you to set parameters that help guard against these things, the alerts offered by other parental control products can notify you about something the filters didn’t catch. It’s a great feature to have, so it’s a shame both of these leave it out.


Norton Family dashboard complete overview

Norton Family conveniently centralizes its parental control management features in the dashboard. However, it does not support app filtering for iOS devices.

Winner: Qustodio. Even though it charges more for advanced features like text message monitoring, it still offers those features.

Which is safer, Qustodio or Norton Family?

Parental control services guard a lot of information. You're not only inputting all of your personal and financial information, but you’re also giving it access to your children. It’s important that any service you choose maintains your children’s privacy and helps safeguard saved information from being stolen. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an important step in securing accounts. Making sure limited data is shared with third parties can go a long way toward reducing the amount of spam that you, as an adult, receive as well.

Qustodio vs. Norton Family data security

Our Pick
Two-factor authentication
Collects data
Shares data with third parties
Learn more Read Qustodio Review Get Norton Family

Read Norton Family Review

Both of these services collect data on you and the features you use because they need it to render services. The biggest issue we have is when data is shared with third parties, whether through cookies or “trusted partner” deals. Both Qustodio and Norton Family participate in this kind of data sharing. Don’t worry, though. Children under 18 are protected. It’s you, however, who will have your information distributed.

As far as protecting your children’s information, it’s good to have strong passwords on your accounts, but 2FA is better. When you incorporate 2FA along with a strong password, you add another layer of security to your accounts. We’re very surprised Qustodio doesn’t offer this option.

Winner: Norton Family. Including 2FA in your login routine is vital, especially when your kids are involved.

Qustodio vs. Norton Family: compatibility and customer support

Our Pick
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Browser extensions Yes — Chrome Yes — Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge
24/7 customer support
Customer support options Online guides, phone, email Online guides, phone, community forums, social media messages, live chat
Learn more Read Qustodio Review Get Norton Family

Read Norton Family Review

Qustodio offers more device compatibility, with the ability to install its monitoring features on a Mac and a Kindle. Norton Family offers more compatibility with various browsers, including Firefox and Microsoft Edge. If you like what Norton offers, you can always set up the parental controls on iOS and then use Norton as another layer of security. This levels the playing field a little, but there are still some major differences; the biggest being the customer support options.

Qustodio’s customer support is pretty sparse and makes users purchase the Complete package if they want phone support. Since Norton has only one plan option, everyone is covered by Norton’s 24/7 customer support, which includes community forms, social media messaging, and live chat, none of which Qustodio offers. We love a live chat, so that’s always a huge win for us.

Winner: Norton Family. Even though it isn’t compatible with Mac, it offers more browser compatibility and customer support options.

Qustodio vs. Norton Family FAQs


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What are the disadvantages of Norton Family?

Norton Family doesn’t monitor texts or emails, and it doesn’t have geo-fencing features that can alert you when your child enters and exits a certain area. It also lacks compatibility with macOS and has limited features on iOS.

There are also no direct alerts about cyberbullying or potential predators. You can set up protections to reduce the risk of those things happening, but if something slips through, there isn’t a notification system in place for parents. This means you can allow your child to use Discord, but you won’t get a notification if something happens.


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What are the disadvantages of Qustodio?

Qustodio lacks two-factor authentication to protect your account and also has limited customer support options. It also makes users buy the most expensive plan if they want any type of phone support. While the features included in Qustodio can assist in preventing cyberbullying and online predators, there aren’t any direct alerts that let parents know if something slips through those features. Sites like TikTok and Instagram can be full of trolls and haters, so it’s good to have software that can help you talk to your child about people like that and how to protect themselves.


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What is the best monitoring app for parents?

Bark. Other parental control apps don't offer comprehensive social media, text message, and email monitoring features. Bark’s features include the ability to scan texts and emails, and the parental control software uses machine learning to monitor your children’s interactions with predators and potential cases of self-harm. To top it off, Bark has different product offerings to cover your needs. This helps keep kids safer on social media platforms and online forums, where they might find an outlet for their interests but won’t have to deal with bullies.


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Can Norton Family see text messages?

No, Norton Family can’t see or scan text messages. It also lacks the ability to scan emails. Qustodio has some text message monitoring. The best parental control app we’ve found for monitoring texts and emails is Bark. If text message monitoring is important to you, you may want to check out that service.

Qustodio vs. Norton Family: which is the better parental control app?

It’s a tie. Qustodio offers a free plan, advanced features, and more operating system compatibility but falls short with 2FA and customer support. It also makes customers pay more for unlimited device connections. Norton Family offers one plan that includes all its features, including 2FA to secure your kids’ info and robust customer support options, but it lacks text message and call monitoring. Norton Family also lacks compatibility with macOS and has limited features on iOS.

If you’re not an Apple user, Norton Family may be a great option because you’ll get all of its benefits as well as great customer service. If you have multiple devices on varying operating systems and want to monitor your child’s texts and calls, Qustodio may be for you. Whichever you choose, it’s always a good idea to protect your kids. Using this kind of software helps them create healthy habits and gives you peace of mind while they explore their independence. It’s a win-win.

4.5
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Norton Family's website
Norton Family
  • Excels at app blocking and content filtering across 47 categories
  • Offers age-specific restriction levels to enhance safety and unlimited device connections
  • Not compatible with macOS and offers fewer monitoring features for iOS

Qustodio vs. Norton Family alternatives

If neither parental control app 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. Parental control software can help you do it.

  • Bark: 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. Bark even sells a Samsung phone with its service preinstalled and a premium subscription for the entire family. With Bark, you can set screen time limits, review your child's location history, and even block apps on Android and iOS devices.

    Get Bark | Read Our Bark Review
  • 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
  • Net Nanny: Net Nanny offers simple plans, is easy to use, and includes a family feed so you can see how your entire family uses the internet. Net Nanny is powerful enough to keep your children safe online. It also has less intrusive features, which may be a great balance for older children who could feel resentful at having heavy monitoring.

    Read Our Net Nanny 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.