Norton Family Review: Quick Expert Summary
Norton Family provides many features that keep your kids safe online, has user-friendly apps for parents and kids, and allows unlimited connections, which makes it a particularly good choice for large families.
It comes with all the essential parental control features, such as web and app filtering, time limits, scheduling, location tracking, and activity reports. I’m really happy that top VPNs can’t bypass Norton Family’s web filtering and that Norton Family can actually restrict iOS apps (some parental apps struggle with that).
In addition, Norton Family also comes with:
- School Time — Allows you to restrict your child’s web usage during school hours.
- Favorite Locations — Lets you set up large geofenced zones.
- Search Supervision — Lets you track your kids’ searches on YouTube’s site and popular search engines.
- Video Supervision — Tracks which videos your kids watch on YouTube and Hulu’s sites.
- And more …
That said, Norton Family has a few issues that keep it from being the best parental app in 2023 — it’s easy for kids to bypass web filtering and video and search tracking on Windows, some tracking features only work on mobile if your child uses the Norton Family browser, the activity reports for the video tracking feature take too long to display sometimes, and Norton Family can’t monitor macOS devices. What’s more, Norton Family’s parental web app has a buggy inactivity timeout feature, and most of its support reps are not helpful.
Norton Family has a paid yearly plan and also comes bundled with the Norton 360 Deluxe and Norton 360 Advanced subscriptions, which provide access to an antivirus, virtual private network (VPN), password manager, and much more. Norton backs each purchase with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
|🏅 Overall Rank||Ranked 3rd from 12 parental controls|
|🖥️ Web & App Filtering||✅|
|⏲️ Time Limits||✅|
|📍 Location Tracking||✅|
|💸 Starting Price||$49.99 / year|
|📀 Supported Operating Systems||iOS, Android, Windows|
|📱 Number of Devices||Unlimited|
|🎁 Free Plan||❌|
|💰 Money-Back Guarantee||60 days|
60 Days Risk-Free — Try Norton Family Now
Norton Family Full Review
I spent the past weeks testing Norton Family and talking with its reps to see how it compares to other top parental apps, and I can safely say it’s one of the best options out there.
I really like Norton Family’s location tracking — it’s very accurate, provides regular updates, and there’s even a geofencing feature that lets you set up huge geofenced zones up to 2 miles or 3,200 meters. In addition, Norton Family also provides good web and app filtering and even video and search tracking.
However, I’d like to see Norton Family improve its parental web app and its customer support, and make its web filtering harder to bypass on Windows.
All in all, I think Norton Family provides good value — especially for large families, as it supports unlimited devices, comes bundled with Norton 360 Deluxe, the best internet security suite on the market, and includes a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.
Norton Family Features
Norton Family comes with the following industry-standard parental control features:
- Web and app filtering — Allows you to choose which sites and apps your kids can use.
- Time limits — Pick how much screen time your children are allowed.
- Location tracking — Lets you see where your kids are and where they’ve been.
- Scheduling — Select specific times of the day when your child is allowed or isn’t allowed to use their devices.
- Activity reports — Display information about your child’s device usage and online habits.
In addition, Norton Family also comes with extra features, including Video Supervision, Search Supervision, School Time, and more.
Norton Family’s Web Supervision feature allows you to monitor which sites your kids access and block them if necessary. You can restrict access to specific sites, but Norton Family also has 45+ predefined website categories, including Crime, Alcohol, Mature Content, Suicide, Violence, and more. Plus, there’s also an option to warn the child about a site and let them choose if they want to access it — this is helpful if you want to give your child more online freedom while still making sure they’re protected online.
Norton Family also displays daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly activity reports for your child’s web usage — the reports show which whitelisted sites and site categories your kids accessed, and which blacklisted sites and site categories they tried to access. You can also allow and block different sites and site categories.
Web Supervision is available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices, and Norton Family claims its web filtering applies to popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. On mobile, Norton Family uses VPN technology to restrict web browsing on supported browsers, and it also provides access to the Norton Family browser (which syncs with your parental account web filtering rules) inside the kids apps. On desktop, Norton Family enforces web restrictions by automatically installing the Norton Family browser extensions on supported browsers.
I especially like that Norton Family provides access to predefined web filtering rules by age — so if you don’t want to spend time whitelisting or blacklisting site categories or specific sites, you can just pick a predefined web filtering ruleset:
|Very High||For kids up to 8 years old.||Allows access to 20 website categories.|
|High||For kids aged 8 to 11.||Allows access to 22 website categories.|
|Moderate||For kids aged 12 to 14.||Allows access to 26 website categories.|
|Low||For kids aged 15 to 17.||Allows access to 30 website categories.|
I tested Norton Family’s web filtering on my Android and Windows devices by accessing restricted sites using Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and the Norton Family browser, and I’m happy to say that Norton Family always blocked my connections to restricted websites. However, I also ran tests using unsupported browsers like Brave and Opera, and Norton Family’s web filtering didn’t work on them. To make sure your kids can’t bypass Norton Family’s web filtering using unsupported browsers, I strongly recommend blocking them using the App Supervision feature — this really makes me wish that Norton Family’s web filtering feature had an option to block unsupported browsers (like Qustodio does).
Also, another issue is that, on Windows, there’s nothing stopping your child from disabling and removing the browser extensions that enforce web filtering (Norton Family will send you an alert if that happens, though).
Kids often use VPNs to get around web filtering, so I also tested Norton Family with top VPNs like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access by accessing 10+ restricted sites — Fortunately, Norton Family’s web filtering prevented me from connecting to them.
One thing I really like about Norton Family’s web filtering is that it allows kids to request access to a blocked site when they’re using the Norton Family kids app to surf the web — this is helpful if Norton Family or you accidentally block a safe website, as your child doesn’t need to phone or message you to request access to it. Some top competitors (like Qustodio) don’t provide access to such an option.
Overall, Norton Family’s Web Surveillance feature works really well (even top VPNs can’t bypass it), is really easy to use, and it even lets kids request access to potentially safe sites, which is convenient — I just wish it would also offer an option to block unsupported browsers and a way to prevent kids from disabling its browser extensions on Windows.
Norton Family’s Time Supervision feature lets you set screen time allowance for each day in increments of 30 minutes. This feature is available on iOS, Android, and Windows and is really easy to use — you just have to pick the day and use dropdown menus to set the screen time allowance.
In addition, the Time Supervision feature allows you to schedule specific screen time limits for each day — Norton Family divides the day into Day and Night, and you only need to highlight the time range (either in 30 minute increments or hour-long chunks) you want to block or allow.
If you don’t want to bother with that, you can just use Norton Family’s predefined time limits:
|Age||Schedule (Sunday to Thursday)||Schedule (Friday to Saturday)||Screen Time (Weekdays)||Screen Time (Weekend)|
|Very High||For kids up to 8 years old.||7am to 7pm||7am to 8pm||2 hours per day.||5 hours per day.|
|High||For kids aged 8 to 11.||6am to 7pm||6am to 8pm||2 hours per day.||5 hours per day.|
|Moderate||For kids aged 12 to 14.||6am to 9pm||6am to 10pm||2 hours per day.||5 hours per day.|
|Low||For kids aged 15 to 17.||6am to 10pm||6am to 11pm||2 hours per day.||5 hours per day.|
When your child goes over their screen time limit, they’ll still be able to use their device, but they won’t be able to use any apps — however, they will be allowed to make emergency calls to whitelisted contacts, which is really good. I also like that kids can request more screen time if necessary (some top competitors, like Qustodio, don’t offer that), so they don’t need to make an emergency call just to let you know they need 30 more minutes of screen time to finish their homework.
Also, if it’s an emergency, kids can use a 4-digit PIN to unlock their device — the PIN is only visible in the parental app, so you’ll need to share it with them.
Norton Family’s time limits feature also displays reports that track your child’s screen time usage and display all the time extension requests they sent.
Overall, Norton Family’s time limits feature works really well, is pretty easy to use, and even provides kids with a way to request extra screen time.
The School Time feature is a mix of the Web Supervision and Time Supervision features, and it restricts your child’s web usage during school hours. School Time web filtering rules are separate from the Web Supervision rules, which is convenient since you don’t need to continuously edit the Web Supervision rules when your child goes to and leaves from school. This feature is really helpful if you want to make sure your kids are really studying at school or during online classes, and not slacking off watching YouTube or browsing Reddit.
Norton Family also has an Instant School Time option, which allows you to instantly enable School Time restrictions. You just need to specify the duration (up to 8 hours) using increments of 30 minutes.
I tested the School Time feature and it works pretty well — it only allowed me to access whitelisted website categories (like Reference/Educational and Technology) during “school hours” and prevented me from using distracting sites like YouTube and Reddit and websites that might contain adult content, like 4chan.
But the School Time feature isn’t perfect. On mobile, it only works on the Norton Family browser, so you need to block access to third-party browsers like Chrome and Firefox. On Windows, it works on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge via the Norton Family browser extensions, but your child can disable them. Also, I don’t like how this feature doesn’t detect and block apps, as kids can use them to circumvent School Time — at the very least, the School Time feature should provide a short list of popular apps like YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter, which you can block (so that you don’t need to do it separately with the App Supervision feature, which is a little inconvenient).
Overall, Norton Family’s School Time feature is useful for keeping kids focused at school or during online classes, but there are a few issues (like not being able to block apps), which I’d like to see Norton Family fix in the future.
Norton Family’s App Supervision feature can monitor and block apps on Android, Windows, and even iOS — I’m happy to see that Norton Family can block iOS apps, as some parental apps (like Webwatcher) can’t do that.
Norton Family’s app filtering is very easy to use — it displays a list of all the apps installed on your kids’ devices and lets you choose whether to block or allow them. In addition, it provides activity reports that show which apps your child installed or uninstalled, and which apps they use the most (which is very helpful, as it lets you quickly identify which apps are too distracting, so that you can restrict them).
I tested Norton Family’s app filtering capabilities on my Android device, and I was able to block apps that are popular with kids and teens, such as Discord, YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, and WhatsApp. However, I didn’t like how it took up to 8–10 minutes for changes to take place once I blocked the apps in the parental app — I also tested Qustodio’s app filtering, and the changes took place almost instantly.
|Norton Family Can Block:|
However, I wish Norton Family would let you set time limits for apps in addition to blocking them (like Qustodio does), as that would provide better flexibility — for example, if your child does some chores, you could reward them with 2 hours of Netflix or YouTube instead of whitelisting the apps and potentially forgetting to blacklist them after the 2 hours pass. Also, Norton Family is not able to monitor your child’s text messages and posts on social media apps like Instagram and TikTok (like Bark).
Overall, Norton Family’s app filtering feature is really good at blocking apps that are popular with kids and teens, and is also easy to use — but the app filtering changes are a little delayed, you can’t set time limits for apps (only block them), and you can’t monitor your kids’ messages on social media apps.
The Location Supervision feature lets you track your child’s current location and where they’ve been on iOS and Android devices. It’s nice to see this kind of real-time location tracking, as some parental apps (like Bark) don’t include it — while it does feel a bit invasive, it can also be very helpful if your child gets lost or loses their device.
Norton Family also lets you set up geofenced zones via the Favorite Locations option — basically, you set predefined zones and Norton Family alerts you when your child enters or leaves them. You can set up geofences that cover up to 2 miles or 3,200 meters, which is significantly more than other top competitors (Qustodio only allows geofences that cover up to 0.12 miles or 200 meters).
Also, there’s an Alert Me setting, which notifies you where your kids are located at scheduled times — you can set the day, time of the day (am or pm), the hour, and the minutes (using 5 minute increments). You could use this feature to keep tabs on your child’s location after they leave school to make sure they’re actually heading home.
I tested Norton Family’s location tracking using my Android device, and it’s really accurate — it sends you pretty regular updates about your child’s location (every 20–30 minutes) and it sends near-instant notifications when kids enter or leave a geofenced area. You can also filter your kids’ location by date and time intervals, and you can use the Locate Now option to instantly see their current location.
Plus, I really like that Norton Family provides you with an alternative to this type of location tracking, in case you find it too invasive — instead of you tracking your child’s location, you can ask them to use the kids app to perform a check in (you can do the same with Bark), which will share their location with you over email.
Overall, Norton Family provides a really accurate location tracking feature, includes access to geofencing technology, and even provides a check-in option for kids.
Norton Family’s Search Supervision feature tracks your child’s searches on YouTube’s site and popular search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. It also lets you forcefully enable safe search on those search engines, so that your kids won’t be accidentally exposed to adult content.
I tested this feature on my Android and Windows 10 devices, and it works really well — it accurately displayed all of my searches on different search engines and YouTube. And it always prevented me from looking up adult content on Google and Bing.
That said, I think there’s a lot of room for improvement. For example, on Android and iOS, the Search Supervision feature only tracks your child’s searches when they use the Norton Family browser. It can’t track their searches if they use the Chrome or Firefox apps, so you need to block them to make sure your kid only uses the Norton Family browser. In addition, on Windows, Search Supervision works on supported browsers via the Norton Family browser extensions, which your kids can disable (no password is required to do that).
I honestly think Qustodio’s search tracking feature is much better — it only tracks YouTube and Google searches, but it can track searches on YouTube and Google’s sites and apps. What’s more, kids can’t disable Qustodio’s search tracking, as it’s built into the kids app (which they can’t access without the parental app login credentials).
Overall, Norton Family’s search tracking feature works well, but it’s pretty limited on mobile (it only covers the Norton Family browser), and it’s also easy to disable it on Windows.
The Video Supervision feature shows you which YouTube and Hulu videos your kids watch. It can track YouTube videos on the YouTube site on iOS, Android, and Windows, and Hulu videos on the Hulu site on Windows.
Norton Family’s video tracking feature works pretty well, though it sometimes takes too long (20–30 minutes) for tracked videos to show up in the parental app. On the plus side, Norton Family displays plenty of information about the videos — for example, for YouTube videos, it shows the name of the video, its description, its thumbnail, and there’s even a link so that you can watch the video yourself.
However, the Video Supervision feature suffers from the same issues as the Search Supervision feature — it only tracks videos on the Norton Family browser on mobile, and it’s easy to circumvent the feature on Windows because kids can simply disable and remove the Norton Family browser extensions.
To be honest, I think this feature would only be useful if you specifically want a way to monitor which Hulu videos your kids watch on Windows and are not worried about them disabling the extensions (maybe they’re too young to know how to do that). But if you were mainly interested in monitoring the videos your child watches on YouTube, I recommend using Qustodio instead, as it has a dedicated YouTube monitoring feature that monitors YouTube videos and searches on both the YouTube app and site.
Overall, Norton Familiy’s Video Supervision feature helps you monitor which videos your kids watch on YouTube and Hulu, but it doesn’t cover most browsers on mobile, and it’s easy to bypass it on Windows.
Norton Family also comes with the following additional features:
- Uninstall protection — Norton Family requires you to type in your parental account login credentials to uninstall its kids apps, so that your child can’t secretly uninstall them. This feature is available on all devices.
- Instant Lock — Disables access to your kids’ devices, only allowing them to make emergency calls to trusted contacts. A child’s device can be unlocked from inside the parental app or by using a 4-digit PIN, which is generated by Norton Family inside the Instant Lock feature. I tested this feature on my Android phone, and it always worked really well, as it prevented me from using any apps.
Norton Family Plans & Pricing
Norton Family has a paid yearly plan and also comes bundled with some of Norton’s other plans. Norton Family allows unlimited connections, so I think it’s a great choice for large families.
Norton Family accepts credit/debit cards and PayPal, and backs each purchase with a very generous 60-day money-back guarantee.
Norton Family Standalone Subscription
Norton Family’s standalone subscription is priced at $49.99 / year, which I think is very affordable. But even though Norton Family is a really good service, I understand that not everyone likes the idea of committing to yearly plans — if that’s an issue, I’d recommend checking out FamiSafe and Bark instead, as they have affordable monthly plans and also provide good web and app filtering.
Norton Family Bundled Subscriptions
Norton Family is also included in the Norton 360 Deluxe ($24.99 / year) and Norton 360 Advanced ($54.99 / year) subscriptions, which both also include access to:
- Norton 360, which is the best antivirus on the market — it comes with an advanced malware scanner with perfect malware detection rates, web protection that is excellent at blocking phishing sites, dark web monitoring that makes sure your personal data isn’t leaked on the dark web, and webcam protection to prevent hackers from remotely controlling your webcam. You can read more about Norton’s antivirus here.
- Norton Secure VPN, which is one of the best antivirus-bundled VPNs on the market — it comes with all essential VPN security features to protect your data and extra features like an ad blocker and a tool that alerts you if you’re about to connect to a dangerous Wi-Fi network. You can read more about Norton’s VPN here.
- Norton Password Manager, which is the top antivirus-bundled password manager around — it allows you to store unlimited passwords, it’s great at generating, saving, and filling passwords and web forms, and it has a password auditing feature that flags weak, outdated, or duplicate passwords. You can read more about Norton’s password manager here.
I think it’s worth getting the Norton 360 Deluxe and Norton 360 Advanced subscriptions if you’re also interested in protecting your family’s devices from security threats — I’d personally go with Norton 360 Deluxe because it provides really great value, is affordable, and is available worldwide (Norton 360 Advanced is not available in the US).
Norton Family Installation & Setup
Norton Family has parental control apps for iOS, Android, and web browsers (Edge, Firefox, Chrome), and it has apps for kids on iOS, Android, and Windows. If you’re interested in a parental app that also has kids apps for macOS, Kindle, and Chromebook, I recommend checking out Qustodio.
|Apps for Kids||Apps for Parents|
|iOS, Android, Windows||iOS, Android, web browsers (Edge, Firefox, Chrome)|
It’s really easy to install both the kids apps and the parental apps, though keep in mind that setting up the kids apps will take longer because you need to give them different permissions. Overall, it only took me around 2 minutes to get started with the parental apps on my browser and Android device and about 4–5 minutes to install the kids apps on my Android and Windows 10 devices.
Norton Family Parental Apps (Installation & Setup)
If you plan to use the parental app for browsers, there’s not much you need to do in terms of setup — once you create your account, just log in, look for Parental Controls in your Norton account dashboard, and select View Activity to access the web browser parental app.
If you want to use the mobile parental apps, you just have to download and install the Norton Family Parental Control app from your device’s app store. Then, open the app, agree with Norton’s privacy and data policies, choose Parent Sign In on the next screen, and type in your parental account login credentials to sign in and start using the app.
Norton Family Kids Apps (Installation & Setup)
Start by logging into the Norton Family parental app and creating a profile for your child — add your child’s name, pick an avatar for them or upload a photo, and choose a restriction level (you can change it later).
Next, Norton Family will ask you if this is your child’s device. If it is, you’ll be provided with a link to download the kids app for it. If it isn’t, Norton will provide you with different download methods for its kids apps (you can also email a download link to your child’s device) — this is the option I picked, as I configured the kids app on my Android phone for this tutorial.
Once I picked the option, Norton then provided me with a QR code and a Google Play download link, so that I could download and install its Android kids app. On the right, there’s an empty field, where you need to type the activation code provided to you by the kids app.
Download and install the app, open it and agree to Norton’s data and privacy statements, and then use the code generated by the app to activate your child’s device.
Now, confirm your parental account and wait for Norton Family to assign the device to your child’s profile. Next, you’ll need to provide Norton Family’s kids app with different permissions — just follow the instructions for each type of permission, and hit Continue when you’re done.
And that’s it — all that’s left is to sign into the parental app to start monitoring your child’s device and web usage.
Norton Family Ease of Use
Norton Family’s mobile and web parental apps are really user-friendly — the interface is intuitive and simple to navigate, and there are helpful explanations for most features and settings.
Norton Family also has kids apps for iOS and Android, which are minimalistic and easy to use for kids — they let your child quickly check in when you request their location and view which restrictions are applied to their device. The mobile apps also allow kids to use the Norton Family browser to surf the web, which is really intuitive. In addition, Norton Family also has a Windows app, but it’s hidden in the background when it’s running, so it won’t bother your child.
Mobile & Tablets
Both the iOS and Android apps have a very intuitive design, so even parents who have never used a parental app before will have no trouble getting used to the layout. Norton Family’s mobile apps make it very simple to add and change restrictions, and I really like that both the iOS and Android apps have a similar design, so it’s easy to switch between them.
In addition, both mobile apps are feature-rich, and I also like that both apps provide access to the same features.
Overall, Norton Family’s mobile apps have a very user-friendly design, and they both come with many useful features.
I like Norton Family’s web app — its interface is very intuitive, so it’s really simple to navigate the app (you don’t even need a tutorial for how to use it, honestly). From the main dashboard, you can easily view all alerts associated with your child’s profile, access your kid’s profile, or add a new child profile.
When you access your child’s profile, all features are clearly visible, so it’s extremely easy to add new restrictions or edit existing ones — for example, it didn’t take me more than 10–15 seconds to block a website or restrict access to a specific app. And I also like how each feature and setting comes with helpful explanations, so you always know what everything does.
The web app also logs you out after several minutes of inactivity, so your kids can’t lift restrictions on their devices when you leave your device unattended. Unfortunately, this feature was a bit buggy in my tests — it sometimes logged me out while I was in the middle of using the web app, which is inconvenient. I think Qustodio’s web app is better in this regard, as it logs you out only when it detects that you’re not using the app.
Norton Family’s parental web app comes with the same features as its mobile apps for parents.
Overall, I think Norton Family has a really user-friendly web app that comes packed with tons of useful features (I just wish Norton Family would improve the app’s inactivity timeout feature).
Norton Family Customer Support
Norton Family provides good customer support, but there’s room for improvement — it has a support library that includes helpful setup tutorials, troubleshooting guides, and informative articles about Norton Family’s features, and there’s also 24/7 live chat, social support (Facebook and Twitter), an active forum, and 24/7 phone support in 50+ countries. Unfortunately, many of Norton Family’s support reps are not very knowledgeable.
I’m happy with Norton Family’s support section, as its tutorials are really easy to follow, and there are also video setup guides available. Also, most of its support articles are helpful, but I have come across one article that was inaccurate — it claimed that Location Supervision isn’t available in Romania, when it actually is (since I’m from Romania and was able to use it).
Norton Family is one of the few parental apps that provides 24/7 live chat (top competitors like Qustodio don’t have live chat, for example). While I’m happy to see this, I’d really like to see Norton Family improve its live chat support. First of all, it’s a bit inconvenient to use — instead of just clicking a live chat button on Norton Family’s site, you have to complete a form, and then also deal with an unhelpful chatbot that doesn’t address Norton Family issues until you can speak with a live person.
I was usually connected to a live chat rep in about 20–30 seconds, which is decent, but only a few reps were able to provide me with helpful answers — most reps only provided copy-paste answers that didn’t answer my questions and were not able to answer my follow-up questions.
In addition, I also tested Norton Family’s social support on Facebook — most reps were able to answer basic questions about the Norton Family product, but they couldn’t help me when I started asking more in-depth questions about how specific features work on each device.
I also tried out Norton Family’s phone support, and it wasn’t that good. On my first call, the rep couldn’t answer my questions and they told me to call back in 2 hours because they were experiencing technical issues. On my second call, I spoke to a different rep, who wasn’t able to answer my questions about the App Supervision feature.
What’s more, I posted a few questions on Norton Family’s forum, and I’m happy to say that this channel is very active and provides good support — for example, I posted that I was having an issue getting the Instant Lock feature to work, and a rep posted a reply with a helpful solution in just a few hours.
Overall, Norton Family provides good support via its support library and forum, and while it has 24/7 live chat and phone support, most reps are not knowledgeable or helpful.
Is Norton Family Good & Easy to Use in 2023?
I think Norton Family is a great pick for large families, as you can use this parental app on unlimited devices. In addition, Norton Family provides great filtering features and has beginner-friendly apps for kids and parents.
Norton Family comes with all industry-standard parental control features, like web and app filtering, time limits, scheduling, location tracking, and activity reports. It’s really great that kids can’t use top VPNs to bypass Norton Family’s web filtering, and that it can detect and block iOS apps (some parental control apps can’t do that).
What’s more, Norton Family also provides access to other good features — it has School Time, which allows you to restrict your kids’ web usage during school hours, Favorite Locations, which provides great geofencing capabilities, and search and video tracking, which allow you to see what your child search for on YouTube’s site and popular search engines, and what videos they watch on YouTube and Hulu’s sites.
However, there are some areas that need improvement — for example, it’s rather easy for kids to bypass web filtering and search and video tracking on Windows, some tracking features only work on mobile if the child is using the Norton Family browser, the video tracking feature’s activity reports are too delayed, and you can’t monitor macOS devices. Also, Norton Family needs to improve its parental web app (its inactivity timeout feature is buggy) and its customer support, as its live chat and phone reps are not very knowledgeable.
But, all in all, I still think Norton Family is a really good parental control app — its paid yearly plan is also really affordable, and this parental app is also bundled with the Norton 360 Deluxe and Norton 360 Advanced subscriptions, which include access to Norton 360, which is the best antivirus program on the market, Norton Secure VPN, which is among the best antivirus-bundled VPNs out there, and Norton Password Manager, which is the top antivirus-bundled password manager in 2023. What’s more, Norton backs each purchase with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Norton Family safe?
Yes, Norton Family provides great ways to keep your child safe online — it provides really good web filtering, which protects your kids from sites that might contain explicit content, like drugs, violence, and pornography. What’s more, it lets you track your child’s searches and the videos they watch on YouTube’s site and popular search engines, which helps you make sure your kids are not looking up adult content or watching disturbing videos. In addition, Norton Family also provides good privacy, as it doesn’t share your kids’ data with advertisers.
However, I think Qustodio provides better safety features — it also has an SOS feature, which lets kids send distress signals to trusted contacts when they’re in danger. Also, Qustodio can monitor and block text messages and phone calls, which helps you protect your child from bullies.
Can VPNs bypass Norton Family’s web filtering?
No, as I tested popular VPNs with Norton Family on both mobile and desktop, and they weren’t able to bypass the parental app’s web filtering. What’s more, Norton Family was even able to detect and block the VPN apps I used.
Can Norton Family monitor incognito?
Yes, Norton Family is able to monitor browsing traffic and even block sites even if your child is using the browser’s incognito/private mode — I tested this using Chrome and Firefox’s private modes, and Norton Family always prevented me from connecting to restricted sites.
What apps does Norton Family block?
Norton Family can detect and block pretty much any app that’s popular with kids and teens. In my tests, it was able to restrict access to apps like YouTube, Discord, TikTok, Twitter, Netflix, Instagram, and Telegram.
Can my child delete Norton Family?
No, since Norton Family comes with uninstall protection, which requires you to type in your parental account login credentials to uninstall the kids apps. So, I strongly recommend you store your login credentials someplace safe out of the reach of your kids.
Can Norton Family monitor text messages and block phone calls?
No — Norton Family used to have a feature on Android that could monitor text messages and block phone calls when kids were no longer allowed any screen time. However, due to Google’s policy changes, Norton Family stopped offering this feature.
If you’re looking for a good parental control app that can monitor text messages and block phone calls, I recommend checking out Qustodio instead — it has a feature that can read kids’ text messages and block outgoing and incoming phone calls. You need to perform manual setups to use that feature, but Qustodio provides very helpful tutorials, so the setup process won’t take long.
Can Norton Family monitor YouTube?
Yes, Norton Family is able to monitor your child’s YouTube searches and what videos they watch on YouTube — but only on YouTube’s site, not the YouTube app. The features work well, though it sometimes takes a bit long for tracked YouTube videos to show up in the reports tab. Also, on mobile, the tracking features only work on the Norton Family browser. And, on Windows, it’s possible for kids to bypass Norton Family’s tracking features by disabling the Norton Family browser extensions.
I think Qustodio is much better for monitoring YouTube usage — unlike Norton Family, it can monitor YouTube searches and videos on both the YouTube site (on top browsers like Chrome and Firefox) and the YouTube app, and kids can’t disable Qustodio’s YouTube monitoring feature.
Does Norton Family work on Google Chrome?
Yes, as Norton Family’s web filtering works really well on Google Chrome, its app filtering can detect and block Chrome, and its search tracking feature shows what your kids search for on Google. However, its School Time and search tracking features don’t cover the Chrome app on mobile — also, it’s easy for kids to deactivate those features (and web filtering) on Windows since they only need to disable the Norton Family browser extension on Chrome.
I really think that Qustodio is a better option if you specifically want to track Google Chrome — its web and app filtering work on Chrome, it can display your child’s Google searches (even if they’re using the Chrome mobile app), and there’s no way for kids to disable Qustodio’s restrictions on Chrome.
Does Norton Family Work on Chromebook?
No, as Norton Family doesn’t have a kids app for Chromebook. If you’re looking for a good parental app that can track and restrict your child’s activity on Chromebook, I recommend getting Qustodio — it provides excellent web filtering (top VPNs can’t bypass it), detects and blocks almost any app, and is extremely simple to use.
What devices does Norton Family work on?
Norton Family has apps for kids and parents on the following platforms:
- Apps for kids — iOS, Android, Windows.
- Apps for parents — iOS, Android, and browsers (Edge, Firefox, Chrome).
If you need a parental app that also covers macOS, Chromebook, and Kindle devices, I recommend getting Qustodio instead.
Is Norton Family included with Norton 360 subscriptions?
Yes, Norton Family comes bundled with the Norton 360 Deluxe and Norton 360 Advanced subscriptions. In addition to Norton Family, those subscriptions also provide access to Norton 360, which is the best antivirus on the market in 2023, so getting those subscriptions is worth it if you also want to protect your family’s devices from malware infections.
If you’re not sure which Norton 360 subscription to choose, I’d personally recommend Norton 360 Deluxe, as it provides really great value, is very affordable, and is available worldwide (Norton 360 Advanced isn’t available in the US).
Is Norton Family free?
No, Norton Family doesn’t come with a free plan — that said, its paid plans are very affordable and they’re also backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can buy and test this service risk-free.
However, if you insist on using a free parental control app, I suggest checking out Qustodio — its free plan includes access to web filtering, time limits, scheduling, and screen time monitoring. But Qustodio’s free plan only covers 1 device, limits you to daily and weekly activity reports, and doesn’t provide access to the customer support ticketing system.