Does Net Nanny Really Protect Your Child?

Does Net Nanny Really Protect Your Child?
1.7 (34.44%) 36 votes

Does Net Nanny work?Is Net Nanny something you can trust to keep your children safe online? It can be a scary world out there, and kids really need to stay safe from Internet predators, online bullying and all sorts of stuff we didn’t have to deal with when we were kids. You want to be a good parent, but you don’t want it to get in the way of letting your kid live a normal life and have fun. The Internet can also be a wonderful place for learning, making friends, solidifying friendships, and expressing creativity. So you don’t want to shut it down completely, just filter out the vile and nasty.

Overview
Parental controls for the Internet have been around nearly as long as the Internet itself. Some have proven to be more effective than others. There’s the inherent problem of your kids knowing more about computers and software than you do, so they can just find workarounds as fast as you can install something new.

The Claim
Net Nanny claims that it is an award winning parental control software that will filter the Internet, and also clear up your computer from threats. It can block porno sites, censor profanity, manage how much time your child can spend on the computer, filter out sites that are based on things like gambling, cigarettes, and alcohol, monitor their social activity on sites like Facebook, and monitor their conversations in chats and instant messages. It seems pretty comprehensive – a little invasive if you go too far with it – but definitely covers most of the bases.

The Hype
The hype is that if your kid really wants to look at the stuff they shouldn’t, and wants to use language with their friends that you don’t approve of, they’re going to find a way to do it. You can’t monitor every computer on the planet, and you can’t be sure of what they are doing at their friend’s house, or on their cell phone.


The Cost
Net Nanny is reasonably priced for all that it does. You can protect one computer for $40 a year or you can get a family plan which includes three computers for just $60 a year.

The Commitment
Even though the blocking features will handle a lot of the heavy lifting for you, you’ll still have to be the one to look over their social activity and monitor what they’re saying. This is where it’s important to use your best judgment as to what you should make an issue out of, and what you should leave alone. Depending on how old your child is, you could really be invading their privacy. The case can be made that if they’re living under your roof they don’t have a right to privacy, but that’s a little extreme. It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to be a kid these days, because the Internet has changed virtually every aspect of life.

Pornography is probably one of the biggest changes. Before the Internet it was pretty hard and embarrassing to get ahold of adult material, and that was for pretty soft stuff compared to what can be accessed with a simple search. Nowadays kids are a few keystrokes away from seeing hardcore porn in HD video, with all sorts of fetishes and oddball stuff that wasn’t publicly accessible just 10 years ago or so. Just because you are blocking your child doesn’t mean their friend’s parents are blocking their children, so it’s a high likelihood that they’ll eventually hear about stuff that would make your jaw drop.

So you have to come to terms with a commitment level that makes you feel good as a parent, that let’s your kid be a kid for as long as they can, and that doesn’t make them an outcast by being overly protected, and sheltered from the world.

Evaluation
A great feature of Net Nanny is that they don’t rely on a database in order to block sites. It all happens in real time. Porn sites especially are known for new ones popping up daily, so a list of web addresses is basically pointless, because there will be a new site tomorrow that isn’t on the list, rendering the system useless. By analyzing the content as it is accessed Net Nanny is able to be much more effective at keeping out what you don’t want. Porn sites are typically very easy to scan and block, because they use specific terms and vocabulary that is easy for a software to pick up on.

Managing how long your child spends online is something that many parents don’t do, either because it’s too hard to keep track of, or they don’t see the point. If your child is spending hours and hours on the Internet, chances are it’s not all productive or innocent. By managing how long they have to spend online you’ll be instilling in them a sense of urgency while they’re on the computer, instead of having them use it for entertainment, education, and socialization. It’s a great way to teach overall time management skills, and makes the time spent online feel special, and not just something to do because they have nothing better to do. It’s also great for families, making sure that one member doesn’t hog the computer for too long.

The Snooping Parent
Going behind the scenes and seeing what your child is doing on sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter seems to be going a little too far. Why not just be their friend on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter? This makes you a part of their lives, and not just a police force waiting for them to make a mistake. Of course they could set messages so that you don’t see them, but that probably means they don’t want you to. A child eventually wants to separate their identity from their parents, and part of that is doing things that they wouldn’t want you to know about. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will be doing bad things, but they just want to establish boundaries and have a sense of their own identity.

Monitoring who your child is talking too is especially important for instant messages, but you don’t really need to get in to the nitty gritty of what’s being said, as long as you’ve confirmed the identity of who they’re talking to. Let them have their conversations with confirmed school friends and neighborhood buddies, but block anyone that they meet randomly online, or that you’re not familiar with.

Final Net Nanny Review

Net Nanny is a great asset to have in your efforts to help you child have a positive and great childhood. While filtering out the bad but allowing the good, you are helping the Internet be what it is meant to be, a place filled with good apples. Just be sure not to go overboard with your parenting. Show your kids that you trust them and their judgement, and that you’re putting this in place so they have a better experience, not that you suspect they can’t handle being unsupervised.

Our Recommendation
At this price point there just isn’t any other software that comes close to being as effective as Net Nanny. Depending on how many computers you have in your home we recommend getting the single or family plan.

>> Click Here to Visit the Official Net Nanny Website <<

What do you think? Does Net Nanny work or not?


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Joshua May 15, 2012 at 12:03 am

I can’t believe NetNanny is still around. I’ve used it before and based on what I’m reading here boy has it come a long way.

Very affordable, intuitive and easy to use. Again haven’t tried the latest versions but I imagine it’s only gotten better. Reading the review I agree with everything and though I don’t need it at this moment since we have some other filtering tools in place, this is still a go to software.

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Allison July 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Net Nanny has been around for a while and, like Joshua mentioned, I can only imagine that it has improved and become more dependable with time. When the program initially launched, I’m sure it was only to be expected that they would experience various problems. When kids want to find a way around something they can be very resourceful! After a few years, Net Nanny has become even more intuitive and has taken care of the previous bugs. With the horrible stories we read about children or teens being kidnapped while meeting up with new “friends” from social media sites, it’s imperative we have a way to keep an eye on them while they surf the web.

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Sherri October 5, 2015 at 10:09 pm

I’m sorry but I hate it and so do my kids. Not because it is blocking the bad but because it is constantly blocking stuff that it shouldn’t ie: something is allowed like anime and pages are being blocked because of anime. I wish it had a popup option when something is blocked that a parent can come see what the page is and allow by typing in the password. As it is you have to log into your netnanny admin console and make changes which sometimes take affect immediately but not always. I also got a free year of the social media protection but when I followed the instructions to get the license it only brought me to a page with the product license of what I actually bought. I emailed the company and never got a response. Another downfall is if you want to monitor say a kindle separately you have to create another user for that child, different than the one they have on the computer. Right now my son’s kindle is linked but it doesn’t seem to be working on his kindle! He was on his kindle for a couple hours before we realized it and he only has 1 hour between the 2 devices! So frustrating and of course I can’t get a refund for not liking the product. 🙁 And I can’t prove it is not working properly on the kindle because there are no error messages etc..to prove it. Sorry for the rant!!

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Alex November 21, 2015 at 2:49 am

Can be bypassed on an Android 4.4 LG ultimate 2 by accessing the task manager (holding the bottom right menu button until the menu pops up) then clicking on “task manager” then clicking “stop” on the net nanny app. The app will stay disabled until manually clicking on the app, stays disabled even after rebooting.

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Nicholas Schachterle June 10, 2017 at 3:40 pm

It blocked a website for nudity which said in its title ‘half nude’ which meant swim suit. My BIG problem is it categorized rushlimbaugh.com as pornography. Whether you agree with Rush or not he is NOT pornography! When I brought it to their attention I was told it was “referred to our engineers but they were working on a critical project at this time and didn’t know when they could get to it.” Right. It does not take an engineer to have his name removed from the pornography category. No thank you…

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Bill Wynne August 25, 2017 at 5:51 pm

This software is junk. Once the subscription ends they hold you hostage and make it hard to do anything without renewing. I used their live chat and was a little stiff and they blocked me. I guess they did not want to hear the truth. Even the software did not work on the computers. We were able to google bad things even with their service activated. This is a waste of money and for free you can use the OpenDNS service that is free.

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Kathy September 25, 2017 at 4:51 pm

This product would be great if it worked. I have e-mailed twice and complained that it doesn’t show any activity and I can’t control any of the product. They also have a social media component which has been under maintenance for the last two months, so who knows if and when it will work. Which makes it useless. They refuse to offer any tech assistance whatsoever. Both e-mail responses were formulaic and didn’t offer any advice on how to resolve the issues at all. They refuse to refund my purchase price because it is past their very short, two week window. Even though I wrote in that it wasn’t working before that time. Stay away from this company until they get their tracking and customer service act together!

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Ben J September 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm

I just candled out of frustration. This software is almost worthless. I’ve been using the internet filter for Windows 10. I tried to block Amazon.com and added it to the list of blocked sites along with youtube.com. Easy right? Nope, it still lets both sites through. Then harmless sites like Speedtest.net it will block. It does this without a prompt screen so it looks like your internet is down. There were other sites that I could ping but the browser would not connect to. Removed Netnanny and all is well. I’ll try another vendor.

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Simon November 13, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Netnanny is user-friendly and does a fairly good job blocking unwanted content and websites. One deadly weakness, however, is the order in which the app starts in Androids comparing to other apps.

On Androids, Netnanny initiates after all web browsers do. To watch blocked websites or content, all the user has to do is restart the Android and turn on any web browser to access any “blocked” websites before Netnanny starts, which is a significant time gap (up to a minute).

Once the user does that, they can continue accessing any website(s) for as long as they want, even for hours; although Netnanny eventually starts in a minute or so, it can’t block any web content (or a blocked app) that’s been already accessed before Netnanny starts.

It is understandable that it is Android’s programming that chooses the order in which apps start; nevertheless, this problem defeats the main purpose of Netnanny.

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