October 2018: The post below was from June of 2016. Mobicip has recently produced a more comprehensive parental control product which I am in the process of evaluating and I will update the SCP Mobicip information accordingly. For the most current information on their product you will want to visit www.mobicip.com.
As you can imagine, my kids have put up with their share of parental control products over the years. I was always trying out new ones and they were my fairly cooperative guinea pigs. Mobicip was the first product that I tried once they were allowed to have smartphones. At that time, Mobicip was merely a safe browser. Now, Mobicip has expanded into a full-featured parental control product that covers multiple platforms, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Chromebook. The features and controls vary between platforms but if your family has numerous devices with varying operating systems, Mobicip might be the product for you. Even when I had other products installed on my kids’ devices, they continued to run the free Mobicip safe-browser app as an alternative browser to give them multiple options.
Like OpenDNS, Mobicip deserves kudos for offering a part of their services for free. Unfortunately, internet content has created a market for products I wish we didn’t need to have, but I am thankful that there are more and more companies providing better parental control products. These service providers are in business to make a profit and there isn’t anything wrong with that, but I still like to recognize companies that provide some free options for families on an extremely tight budget.
Mobicip is subscription-based, like most of the other products in this niche. They offer two options for families, Basic and Premium. The Basic option is the free, safe browser with content filtering for mobile devices or a browser add-on for PC, Mac and Chromebook browsers. Mobicip Premium offers more features typically found in today’s parental control products at an annual cost of $39.99 for up to five devices (Mobicip Pricing Page). I could not locate specific information about a trial but I believe in the past it has been 30 days. SCP always recommends using a trial period to be sure any product will meet the needs of your family. Mobicip has offered a coupon code for any Sensible Cyber Parents that would like to try their product (see below).
Mobicip allows parents to manage their kids devices and settings through a web-based dashboard or through their Parent Admin app (iOS or Android). Parents can see the apps being used on their kids devices and read ratings and other information about those apps. Mobicip provides content filtering based on categories, allowed/disallowed list and specific words or phrases. Like with Intego Family Protector, parents also have the option of no filtering, but monitoring only using Accountability Mode. I alway like this feature for kids who have demonstrated responsible internet use and are about to leave the nest. Either way, browsing history reports can be viewed through the parent dashboard, admin app or a report received via email. Another important feature that Mobicip shares with Netsanity is the ability to turn off Mobicip control when your child is on the protected school network to prevent connection issues that can occur when two different sets of rules are trying to control the device. See more features on the Mobicip Features page of their website.
Good support is vitally important for parental control products. Mobicip support is available via email or through their website support page or support forum. The support page includes many videos to help parents set up and use their product. Email support offers a response within 24 hours but in my experience, it is substantially less than that.
Mobicip offers a solid and affordable parental control product for just about any device your kids may use along with a centralized way to manage them.
Any control or monitoring product recommendations by SCP are solely based on the performance and effectiveness of the product, not on affiliate relationships or other monetary benefits. You can read more here about how I work to inform and empower parents so they are better able to protect their kids online. Please search the SCP website for more information about Parental Controls and remember that no product is full-proof or “set it and forget it”. You need to stay vigilant and frequently monitor the products you use to make sure that they are still installed correctly and working properly.