With advances in technology, one can access Pandora’s Box with a mere touch of a screen. For those who are trying to overcome an addiction to porn or for parents trying to safeguard their children, the task can seem quite daunting! But there are safeguards that can be put into place to make devices and internet viewing less of a threat through the use of accountability or filtering/blocking software. With so many options, how do you pick the right one for yourself and/or your family?
After reviewing several of the accountability packages available, we have compiled a short run down on more well known software packages available. When choosing software it is important to know there are two main differences between the available packages, accountability and blocking/filtering.
Accountability packages offer the service of listing email addresses of accountability partners who will receive reports on what you are viewing on the internet. Accountability packages are effective as they hold the user accountable to make wise choices in what is viewed, which instills integrity and honor.
Filtering/blocking packages offer the option of choosing which websites are okay for viewing and which ones should be blocked. Some software offers the option of both accountability and filtering/blocking.
Before you decide on an accountability package, you will want to know the answers to the following questions:
- What type of devices will it be installed on?
- How many devices will you be using it on?
- What are the ages of those included in the package?
- What is the number of accountability partners to be included?
- Do you want both accountability and filtering/blocking?
The price for a Covenant Eyes Family Plan is $15.99 a month for an unlimited number of devices. Covenant Eyes features usernames for each person in the family, so each individual’s settings can be tailored to that person’s age and maturity level. For adults, it is designed as an accountability software to instill the value of accountability and making wise choices with the internet. They do offer the options of “block” and “allow” lists, filter sensitivity levels (Everyone, Youth, Teen, Mature Teen, Mature, Highly Mature), as well as the ability to block certain times of the day for each individual username, again depending on age and maturity, as well as an extra layer of security and protection for adults if necessary.
The website is very user friendly, the process to sign up is easy to understand and follow, and customer service is available by phone or email.
Overall, Covenant Eyes has a great package as they offer a great amount of flexibility in setting up multiple usernames with multiple settings along with varying levels of security. There are several drawbacks. The price can be a deterrent, but if it is for a family it offers great tailored protection for each family member. They do offer a more affordable option at $11.99 a month, called the Personal Plan, which is designed for individuals or couples with no kids. It offers internet accountability for one username with multiple devices and unlimited Accountability Partners. One additional User can be added at $2.00 a month and filtering is available at $1.50 for each User. That means if you have two Users and add filtering for both, the cost would be $16.99, which is $1.00 a month more than the family plan, so consider which plan is better for you. They also offer a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.
Another drawback is that the filtering/blocking option is not available on Android Phones and Tablets (including Kindle Fire), which are currently accountability only. In the past, when using Covenant Eyes on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, you had to use their web browser when browsing the internet to utilize the software. Covenant Eyes have updated their app to use a VPN which allows it to monitor any browser and also report on use of apps as well.
In late 2017, X3watch founder Craig Gross announced that X3watch was now partnering with Ever Accountable. The Ever Accountable team will be handling the technical aspects and X3watch will focus on providing resources, training and basic support. New subscribers can sign up at either website. Gross said that gradually all customers will be transitioned over to Ever Accountable, but for now both websites are operating. You can visit both websites to see if you have a preference where you enroll.
The price for X3watch or Ever Accountable is $69.99 a year for the Individual plan or $99.99 a year for the Family plan. Both plans include unlimited accountability partners, online monitoring with accountability reports, and can be used on iOS, Mac, Android, PC, Chromebook, and Kindle. Filtering and blocking are not available. The Family plan includes the same services as the Individual plan and will also send instant alerts to accountability partners when browsing harmful content or the account is changed. Both plans also feature Uninstall Alerts to let Accountability Partners check and see if the User tried to uninstall the program.
The websites are user-friendly with videos to explain how the software works on your device. They offer many articles that explain how to implement the program. The product is purchased and downloaded online. The websites do not offer a phone number should you wish to call with questions, but an email contact form is provided.
Overall, X3watch and Ever Accountable offer standard accountability at a good price. They also offer a 7-day video training series for both Users and Accountability Partners.
The price for Accountable2You is $6.99 a month for an Individual plan or $9.99 a month for a Family plan. The Individual plan includes use on up to six devices, unlimited accountability partners, real-time reporting, and the ability to manage objectionable words. The Family plan includes the same services as the Individual as well as the ability to create child user accounts, use on up to 20 devices, and setting time limits. Accountable2You can be used on Windows, Android, Kindle, Chrome, MacOS, iOS and Linux. It also offers a VPN on the iPhone and iPad with uninstall notification. GPS-Location Tracking Accountability is also available for iOS and Android devices.
The website is user-friendly with videos to explain how Accountable2You works on your device. It offers support with step by step instructions which explain how to implement and best use Accountable2You. The product is purchased and downloaded online. The website does offer a phone number should you wish to call with questions.
Overall, Accountable2You offers standard accountability at a great price. If you desire filtering and blocking for children in your home, that is not offered by Accountable2You; it is accountability only so it would need to be supplemented with a blocking or filtering plan.
Pornography can affect the whole family. Not just the parents, but the children also.
Net Nanny has features aimed at all ages. Parents can monitor and filter their children’s internet activity, and spouses can be accountable to each other or other people.
Net Nanny offers three price plans, each based on the number of devices that will be used. Annual subscriptions are $39.99 for one device (PC or Mac), $59.99 for five devices, and $89.99 for 10 devices. The five and 10 device plans can also be used on Android and iOS devices in addition to PC and Mac.
Net Nanny allows unlimited customized user profiles, filters, blocks, ability to set time limits, masking profanity, personal accountability, alerts and reporting. There is a robust support section with installation instructions and a phone number to contact for tech support during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. MDT).
The website is interactive and user-friendly. They also have a newsletter containing parent tips that you can subscribe to online.
K9Web offers a free blocking or filtering plan for households. K9 is software that is downloaded on each device (available for Windows, MacOS, iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Android) which filters content based on preferences, utilizing Safe Search, setting up Night Guard so the internet is not accessible during certain hours during the night, and by creating a Summary Log accessed on the internet to review activity. It does not offer accountability services and is not used across all devices unless downloaded for each individual device, but if needing something affordable it is a great place to start.
Lion is an accountability browser available in the Apple App Store. The User’s Accountability Partners receive a bi-weekly email noting any explicit websites visited. The app is free to use as a regular browser, and you can add Accountability Partners for a one-time $9.99 fee. There are no monthly payments or sign-up forms. You can also open links directly in Lion, and all data is stored only on the device
Filtering at the source
There are a range of devices coming onto the market that filter the internet before it even reaches your computer, tablet or smart phone. The popular Disney Circle works with your home’s Wi-Fi. Disney’s Circle Go extends your child’s settings to 4G LTE and any other Wi-Fi network they join. We have another article called How to Safeguard Your Family Online where you can learn more about protecting your kids. Many phone and internet providers now offer filtering options on their end, so it is worth giving them a call.
We recommend you take time to visit the above links and look through the options available and pick one that is right for yourself and your family. If the plans are not affordable to you at this time, look into K9Web Protection. It’s not as tailored as some of the other packages but it’s better to have something in place than to open yourself and your family up to unnecessary risks and dangers.
Building Your Internal Filter
If you or someone you love is struggling with pornography, we strongly encourage you to find a Conquer Series group in your area. The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic series that is helping men conquer porn and walk in freedom. Watch the Conquer Series Trailer below
Installing accountability software is essential but it is only a small part of recovering from pornography. Taking part in a Conquer Series group will offer the accountability and encouragement needed as well as the opportunity to grow and learn Biblical principles necessary to walk in freedom. Order the Conquer Series and start building your internal filter today!
What accountability and filtering software are you using and how is it working for you?
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic 12-disc DVD series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.
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