We all want to keep our kids safe when they’re online, and the best way to keep your kids and your network safe is to use top-notch antivirus that includes free parental controls . Parental control apps are great for limiting screen time and monitoring social media, but they don’t protect your kids from viruses and malware. An accidental click on a catchy pop-up ad or suspicious website link can infect and weaken your entire home network.
This is why I have tested many antiviruses with free parental controls – and some are even better than independent parental control software! Norton 360 takes first place for the combination of superior malware protection and high quality parental controls. Best of all, you can test Norton risk-free with a 60-day money-back guarantee available on all plans to make sure it’s right for you.
Get Norton 360 for free!
How I tested and rated the best antiviruses
To find the best antiviruses with free parental controls included, I checked each of them based on the following criteria:
- Malware Protection – To effectively protect your children (and your network!) From online threats, having top-notch malware protection is essential. I have tested each antivirus with new and known malware to ensure total security against phishing scams, spyware, and other suspicious software.
- Parental Control Features – Free parental control features can be great, but they’re not worth the trouble if they’re not of good quality. Some of the great parental control features include content filtering and blocking, app control, geolocation, and usage restrictions. These functions were very useful to me as I monitored my child’s use of Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. I was also able to limit the time he could spend on each app or even his entire phone.
- Ease of Use – I made sure the Antivirus and Parental Controls were easy to download, install and set up for immediate protection. I have also verified that the software can be used on popular devices such as Windows and Mac computers or Android and iOS devices.
- Value for money – You won’t get the same quality from an independent parental control app as you get from an antivirus with free parental controls. The first is about the same price but offers twice the security features. Each price should match what each product offers, and I compared each offer to determine the best value for your money.
The 5 best antiviruses with free parental controls (tested in October 2021)
1. Norton 360 – A great antivirus with a full set of parental controls
Main Features :
- Easily detects and blocks all types of malware.
- Protect your kids with content filters, geolocation, search monitoring, and more.
- Works on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
- 24/7 customer support via live chat and phone
- 60 day money back guarantee
Norton 360 ranks number one because of its high-quality malware protection, as well as its independent parental control app, which comes free with Norton 360. Its parental control app is called Norton Family, and the options are straightforward. to use and configure.
I was not surprised that in my testing Norton detected and blocked 100% of both zero-day and known malware . Norton also uses heuristic analysis to identify new types of malware before [they are identified by their signature] , preventing curious children from accessing dangerous sites. This saved me a lot of time since I didn’t have to monitor my kids’ internet usage 24/7 knowing that they are protected by premier security features. Norton’s order.
Parental control functions are accessible from a central online dashboard. Having all of these features in one place was perfect; I was able to monitor my kid’s device from my Google Chrome browser (although I can do this from any browser) and track it at all times. I was also able to:
- Set time limits for devices
- Block access to sites with inappropriate content.
- Define content filters for search engines
- Track video content on YouTube and Hulu
- Block and unblock apps (Android only)
I easily set up parental controls on my main device and on my children’s devices. I downloaded, installed and configured Norton 360 on my Windows PC in less than 5 minutes. I had to sign up for Norton 360 and make sure I was signed in before downloading the Parental Controls app, but then the step-by-step Norton Family on my kid’s iPhone was straightforward . I also didn’t have to go to the App Store to find the app. Norton gave me a QR code to scan which sent me straight to the app for easy download.
There are several age-based restriction levels that you can use for quick setup, or you can manually adjust the settings as you like. In my test, the app shut down internet access when the programmed time limit was reached and blocked access to sites with inappropriate content. I especially liked that Norton sent my kid a notification when they blocked a site, which didn’t go away until they clicked on the screen. It gave my child time to read and understand why this particular site was banned.
The parental control features of Norton 360 are available with the Deluxe and Premium Plans . You will therefore be able to test all Norton functions for a full 60 days without risk . It’s also easy to get a refund: a quick chat with Norton’s 24/7 live chat service approved my refund, and I received the money on my account in just 5 days. As a bonus, you can also contact customer support in French.
Try Norton 360!
2. McAfee – Comprehensive security and multi-device parental controls
Main Features :
- Quality detection of malware such as new and known threats
- Parental control profiles already installed including location tracking, app blocking, etc.
- Parental controls available on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
- Customer support available through live chat, phone support, and community forum.
- 60 day money back guarantee
The antivirus McAfee’s Total Protection Pack comes with the application Safe Family , which includes a wide range of parental control features. With Safe Family, I can accurately track the location of my child’s device, block inappropriate apps and web content using customizable filters, and schedule downtime. It took me less than three minutes to download and configure the software, and I could easily see everything on McAfee’s centralized dashboard . In addition, you can also download McAfee apps in multiple languages, including French.
In terms of malware protection, McAfee scores exceptionally well. In recent testing McAfee achieved a 100% malware detection rate for both known and recent threats. These impressive results show that McAfee can not only protect your children from online predators, but also malicious threats.
While McAfee has a nice set of parental controls, it doesn’t have detailed social media monitoring reports or geofencing features. While I can monitor my child on sites like Facebook and Twitter, it does not offer full monitoring of sites like TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram. Since McAfee is a more expensive option (especially after the reduced first year price) , it’s hard to justify the extra expense when a plan like Norton 360 offers similar coverage for less.
You can test McAfee’s online security for 60 days risk free with its money back guarantee . It’s disappointing that McAfee doesn’t have a reliable live chat feature to access a refund request. You will need to go through the site’s contact form and then receive a call from a customer support representative. The only thing that caught up with this procedure was that I got a call within 10 minutes, and they didn’t try to persuade me to keep my subscription and immediately validated my refund. I got my money back within 7 working days. In addition, you can also contact their customer support in French.
Get parental controls from McAfee!
3. BullGuard – Perfect malware detection rate with age profiles
Main Features :
- Perfect malware detection rate
- Basic parental control options that are easy to configure: blocking apps, web filters, and more.
- Available on Windows, Mac and Android
- 24/7 live chat, email support and online help center.
- 30 day money back guarantee
BullGuard Parental Controls provide basic protection against online threats. You can easily access all parental control features in the antivirus app – no need to download separate software. Combined with BullGuard’s excellent malware protection (100% detection of new and known malware), it’s a good choice to protect your children and your entire network. In addition, the desktop applications are available in several languages, including French.
BullGuard has default profiles for 3 different age groups. Unfortunately, some of the pre-blocked apps are very outdated. If you’re willing to spend some time, you can manually configure the profiles to suit your child’s specific age range and online browsing habits. By going through each profile, I authorized YouTube, but only able to access children’s content. It was reassuring because my 6 year old loves watching educational kids shows on YouTube, and I knew he couldn’t select adult content.
I have found the blocked content to be particularly difficult to circumvent, so I doubt that many kids do. Be sure to pay attention to settings that block certain content; you will have to be precise but also use spelling variations so that your child, who could make spelling mistakes, can bypass the block. For example, I was able to bypass deadlocks by typing information a little differently (for example, writing 555-123-4567 instead of 5551234567).
The only other downside to BullGuard is its lack of location tracking. Location tracking is an important parental control tool that allows parents to monitor the whereabouts of their children. Since our top three antiviruses have this feature, it’s a bit disappointing that BullGuard doesn’t.
You can always try BullGuard free for 30 days to see if you like its features over others. Although BullGuard has a live chat feature, I had to submit a refund request through the site’s customer support email form. Although it wasn’t too inconvenient, I was able to get my refund accepted within 9 hours . Then it only took 5 days for my money to be back in my account. Besides English, you can also contact customer support by email in French.
Try BullGuard risk-free
4. Kaspersky – Powerful antivirus with precise location monitoring and YouTube tracking
Main Features :
- Easy protection against zero-day malware threats.
- Comprehensive parental controls including geofencing, web content filtering, app blocking, and more.
- Apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
- Customer support available with set live chat hours, as well as phone and email support.
- 30 day money back guarantee
Kaspersky has an incredibly comprehensive set of parental controls , including location tracking and adult content filters. You can also be sure that even accidentally clicking on a suspicious link won’t expose any of your devices. In tests, Kaspersky detected and blocked 100% of new and known malware .
When it comes to parental controls, I’ve found Kaspersky’s GPS location tracking accurate (which I can’t say about most independent parental control software). I was particularly impressed with the unique geofencing feature, which allows me to specify an area in which my child should stay (and alert me if the limit is crossed). For example, you can define a perimeter around your child’s school during school hours.
It’s easy to set up parental controls. You can use the default settings depending on the age of your child. I tested it by setting my child’s age at 6 and adding my iPhone to the list of protected devices. Kaspersky immediately hid all apps that were unsuitable for a 6-year-old, like WhatsApp and Snapchat. When I tried to access adult websites and gambling sites, Kaspersky blocked access to both of these sites and alerted me on my desktop computer. I did not receive a notification about attempting to visit an adult site, which I would have liked, but the information was available on the Kaspersky dashboard.
I wish social media apps were better monitored. Kaspersky only covers public chats on Facebook, not apps like Instagram or TikTok. I enjoyed being able to monitor what my kid is watching on YouTube, both on the website itself and on the Android app (but unfortunately not on the iOS app). I also liked that Kaspersky required a private PIN code to uninstall the app from my kid’s device , so I knew it couldn’t be removed without my permission. In addition, its applications can be downloaded and used in French.
I have found Kaspersky to be very family friendly and have been particularly impressed with the advice given to parents about keeping their children safe online. This is not always an easy topic to tackle, especially for older children who value their privacy and independence. If you want to try these features, try Kaspersky’s 30-day money back guarantee . I signed up and tested all of Kaspersky’s features for a few weeks before filling out a refund request through the site’s request form. Kaspersky says it may take up to a day to receive the request, but mine was accepted in less than 6 hours. In In addition, customer support can be contacted in French.
Try Kaspersky geolocation
5. Bitdefender – Simple parental controls with excellent malware protection
Main Features :
- Best-in-class protection against viruses, spyware, ransomware, and more.
- Basic parental controls, including screen time, app and location monitoring, etc.
- Available on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
- Customer support available through 24/7 live chat, phone support and community forum.
- 30 day money back guarantee
Bitdefender is an excellent antivirus with simple (but good) parental control options. It has excellent malware protection ( 100% detection rate in recent testing !), Location monitoring, and screen time restrictions to keep your whole family safe from hackers, spyware, ransomware, etc. Best of all, Bitdefender has a built-in Parental Advisor feature, which gives you easy access to all parental controls from the main dashboard.
I am particularly impressed by the accuracy of its geolocation and geofencing tool. He even correctly identified the number of the apartment where my child’s device was located. Also, I easily blocked inappropriate YouTube content aimed at over 18s and set screen time limits for weekdays as well as weekends.
Unfortunately, when I downloaded the app, it took a while to initiate and start the download. When it was finally done, I had to set up specific controls for each child I wanted to add. Overall, it took over 10 minutes to get it ready to use on my Windows PC. I also found Parental Controls to be difficult to set up and use, as it’s hidden away in the ‘Privacy’ tab, which isn’t where I first thought I’d look.
Bitdefender’s Android app is much more comprehensive than its iOS counterpart. The Android app has features like content filtering and app monitoring, perfect for keeping an eye on your child. The iOS application is sorely lacking in parental control functions due to the compartmentalization (sandboxing) of the applications. This means that apps cannot access other iOS apps, even those that are defined as reliable, like parental control software. The only ‘parental control’ feature of the iOS app includes call monitoring, which only allows calls from known contacts – neither spam emails nor calls from anonymous numbers can reach your child. The Bitdefender app can also be downloaded in French.
If you want to test parental controls for yourself, you can try Bitdefender for 30 days risk-free thanks to its money-back guarantee. I wanted to check Bitdefender’s warranty myself. After testing all of the antivirus’s parental control features, I requested a refund through their email support system. I had doubts as I only received a response 5 days after sending my request , but they responded and accepted my request immediately. Although it took 5 more days, I received my full refund in my account. As a bonus, Bitdefender customer support can be contacted in French.
Get Bitdefender Risk Free
Comparison table: The best antiviruses with parental controls of 2021.
|Content filtering||Application control||geolocation||Time restriction||works on|
|1. Norton 360||✔||✔ (Android only)||✔||✔||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS|
|2. McAfee||✔||✔||✔||✔||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS|
|3. BullGuard||✔||✔||✘||✔||Windows, Mac, Android|
|4. Kaspersky||✔||✔||✔||✔||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS|
|5. Bitdefender||✔||✔ (excluding iOS)||✔||✔||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS|
The best antiviruses that are not on the list
Some premium antiviruses offer exceptional malware protection with free or built-in parental controls. However, in my testing, not all of them impressed me with the quality of their parental control features or the amount of features. Here are two antiviruses that were not included in the list:
I was pleased to see that Sophos offers web filtering options to prevent children from accessing certain online content, such as chat rooms, gambling sites, pornographic sites, and web sites. violent sites. Unfortunately, web filtering does not always work during testing . It all depends on the browser you are using – although adult content is usually blocked, some of it still passes through Google Chrome . Despite this drawback, Sophos is a lightweight, quality antivirus.
2. Panda Dome
In testing, my team and I found Panda to be an interesting antivirus option – its free version is particularly good at blocking malware . Although free, Panda does not offer parental control features with this plan. You will need to purchase the Panda Dome Family plan if you want parental controls. This plan gives you access to real-time geolocation, application and game blocking, and many other functions, but it is only available upon purchase.
How to use an antivirus with parental control functions?
- Download an antivirus like Norton 360 with free parental controls. You will need to download the app on your primary device and on that of your children.
- Find the parental control feature and set up your parent account. It is with this account that you will be able to configure application settings, time restrictions and websites.
- Create a profile for your child. You can customize it based on your child’s age and what you want them to have access to.
- Log in to the app on your child’s device. This allows your main account to be linked to its device so that you can use the parental control features on your own device.
- Configure parental controls. Some apps have default options based on your child’s age, or you can select them manually.
- Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your child’s device is secure and can only access age-appropriate content!