ESET Parental Control for Android

ESET Parental Control for Android

Like many other antivirus software companies, ESET has dipped its feet into the parental control market and with it comes ESET Parental Control for Android. However, unlike its competitors Norton and Kaspersky, ESET does not offer a parental control app for iOS, focusing solely on Android support.

Unfortunately, this laser focus has not produced a sophisticated application. Some features work well, but overall ESET Parental Control for Android is lacking in some key areas compared to other parental control apps and is in desperate need of an overhaul.

ESET Parental Control for Android: costs and what is covered

There is a fairly free tier with an application monitor, time limits, time budget, and basic reporting.

The premium tier is $ 29.99 per year for unlimited devices. (The ESET website claims that only one device is protected, but we have confirmed that it is not.) It adds valuable features such as online monitoring, parental controls, geofencing, secure web searches, parental notifications and comprehensive reports.

Users get a 30-day free trial to test premium features, and ESET recently introduced a multi-year subscription discount that offers two years for $ 44.99 or three years for $ 59.99.

As the name suggests, ESET Parental Control for Android only monitors Android devices (with version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later). It’s understandable, since Apple strictly limits what a third-party parental control app can do on the iPhone, and each iOS parental control app we’ve reviewed has fewer features than its Android counterpart. ESET has stated that it will not release an iOS version that is not the same as Android.

ESET Parental Control for Android: installation

As with most parental control apps, the first step when installing ESET Parental Control for Android is to create an account with the service. You can do this via the app or on I prefer the online experience, but the process is equally simple on both platforms.

Then you need to add your child to your account. The only three personal data required are the child’s name, date of birth and gender.

Next, you need to download the ESET Parental Control application from the Google Play Store on the child’s device, access the application and, when prompted, select it as the child device.

If you want to monitor the child’s device from your Android phone, you need to re-download the app on your phone and select the Parent option during installation.

To upgrade to the premium version, you need to log into the app and make an in-app purchase. Again, the $ 29.99 license is for an unlimited number of devices or, as ESET says on its website (opens in a new tab), “one family shares one license”.

That’s a good deal compared to many standalone parental control services that can cost $ 100 per year for more than five devices. However, another antivirus manufacturer, Kaspersky Safe Kids, offers a similar unlimited offer for just $ 14.99 per year.

ESET Parental Control for Android: App Manager

The Application Guard function also acts as application management and time management. (We’ll focus on the time management components in a later section.) You can view the apps as a list, then rate each with a thumbs-up, thumbstick, or gamepad icon.
The first two choices are pretty self-explanatory: if you take something, the child can use it at any time, and the time limits you set don’t apply. A thumb down locks the app and disappears from the child’s device.

But if you select the gamepad, it ranks the app in the “Fun & Games” category. The Games & Fun apps are apps that are suitable for a child, but you also want to set time limits.

This somewhat intuitive system works really well and is basically similar to the system used by the rival parental control service OurPact. The implementation just doesn’t click with me due to the outdated interface and choice of foreign languages.

ESET Parental Control for Android: filter

Web Guard is based on a similar system to Application Guard, but you only get a thumbs up or thumbs down on the categories of websites you want to allow or block.