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10 Best Geofencing Apps for Android and iPhone in 2023

As an experienced cybersecurity professional and tech enthusiast, I always get asked by worried parents – what are the best apps to keep track of my kids‘ locations?

Geofencing apps have emerged as a popular way for parents to monitor their children‘s whereabouts in real-time. With the ability to establish virtual boundaries around home, school, or any locations, geofencing enables you to get automatic alerts whenever your child enters or leaves those areas.

Choosing the right geofencing app is crucial to give you peace of mind when it comes to your family‘s safety. But with so many options flooding the market, how do you determine the best fit for your needs?

In this comprehensive guide, I evaluated over 25 top geofencing apps for Android and iPhone. Based on in-depth analysis across key criteria like tracking accuracy, features, pricing, privacy protections, and ease of use, these are the 10 best geofencing apps in 2023:

Why Geofencing Apps Are Important for Child Safety

Recent surveys indicate that around 60% of parents with children below 18 years old use some form of tracking app or parental control software. Geofencing capabilities are ranked as the most useful features in these apps.

With cyberbullying impacting over 30% of teens and child abductions remaining a threat, geofencing apps provide significant value:

  • Real-time location tracking – Know where your kids are during school, extracurriculars, or social outings
  • Custom alerts – Get notified when your child leaves or arrives at key locations like school, home, etc.
  • Peace of mind – No need to constantly call/text to check-in, just monitor their movement in real-time
  • Emergency assistance – Some apps provide monitoring for accidents & ability to call for help

Now let‘s dive into the detailed review of the 10 best options:

1. Life360

Life360 is one of the most popular family tracking apps with over 20 million monthly active users globally. It packs in tons of features beyond just geofencing capabilities.

Key Features

  • Accurate geofencing – Set up custom boundaries around home, school, parks, etc. Get real-time entry/exit alerts
  • Driving safety – Detect car accidents & get emergency assistance to location
  • Location sharing – Allow family members to see each other‘s locations
  • Groups – Create groups like "Kids" or "Grandparents" to collectively monitor locations
  • Places – Get updates when family members arrive or leave frequently visited places
  • Check-ins – Request or automate check-ins when child reaches destination

With Life360, you can track driving habits like speeding, hard braking, night driving etc. It also detects crashes and can initiate an emergency call from the app itself, alerting first responders to the location.

I find the combination of accurate geofencing with proactive safety features to be invaluable for parents. Life360 also offers a free version with limited functionality. Their premium plan starts at $8.99 per month for a wide range of monitoring capabilities.

2. Norton Family Premier

From leading cybersecurity firm Norton, this multi-platform app combines advanced geofencing with extensive device management controls. It is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Kindle devices.

Key Features

  • Flexible geofences – Build custom boundaries around addresses, landmarks or radii
  • Real-time alerts – Get notified when child enters/exits designated zones
  • Location history – Review where your child has been with timelines and maps
  • Web supervision – Block inappropriate websites and adult content
  • YouTube monitoring – Get alerts on questionable YouTube activity
  • Time limits – Set daily time restrictions on overall usage or per-app

Norton Family Premier really excels at giving parents holistic insights into their kids‘ locations, web activity, social media usage, and app behaviors.

With the rise in cyberbullying and online predators, I appreciate apps like Norton Family Premier that combine robust geofencing with proactive monitoring across devices. It does require more hands-on management, with pricing starting at $49.99 per year covering 5 devices.

3. Kaspersky Safe Kids

Kaspersky is a well-known cybersecurity company, and they leveraged that expertise to create a modular family safety app. Kaspersky Safe Kids brings together advanced geofencing with extensive device usage controls.

Key Features:

  • Interactive map – See your kids‘ locations, movements, and geofence boundaries
  • WiFi-based fences – Geofences can be set up based on familiar WiFi networks too
  • Web monitoring – Get alerts on attempts to access inappropriate websites
  • App blocking – Prevent use of selected apps, games, social media
  • Time limits – Restrict daily usage times per category or app
  • GPS watches – Special kid-friendly watches for location tracking outside

A core capability is detecting when unknown WiFi networks are accessed, alerting parents about risky connections. The child-centric GPS watches provide backup tracking without needing to hand over a smartphone.

I like how Kaspersky Safe Kids gives you visibility into both online activities and real-world locations. Pricing is also reasonable at $14.99 monthly covering all devices.

4. FamilyTime

For parents focused on location tracking accuracy, FamilyTime is an excellent choice. It uses a combination of GPS, WiFi networks, and cell tower triangulation to pinpoint locations.

Key Features:

  • Interactive map – Monitor locations in real-time for all family members
  • Unlimited geofences – Create as many custom boundaries as needed for free
  • Alert innovations – Get notifications by call, text, email and push alert
  • Battery saving – Special mode to reduce battery usage during tracking
  • Web filter – Block inappropriate websites based on age-based categories
  • Scheduling – Set allowed app usage schedules by day/time

With FamilyTime, you can set up geofences around an unlimited number of schools, parks, neighborhoods, shops – wherever your family frequents. The app puts a premium on location accuracy.

I also like the choice of alert delivery methods, ensuring parents get notified even if not glued to their phone. Pricing is also affordable at $6.99 per month for up to 10 devices.

5. Qustodio

With over 8 million worldwide installs, Qustodio is one of the most widely used parental monitoring apps. It combines location tracking with website filtering, app blocking, time limits and activity reporting.

Key Capabilities:

  • Interactive map – Monitor locations and movements in real-time
  • Curfew alerts – Get notifications if child leaves home during set times
  • Web filtering – Block inappropriate websites across 30 categories
  • App blocking – Limit app usage entirely or based on schedules
  • Time limits – Set daily limits on overall or per-app usage
  • Alerts – Get notified on worrying online searches and activities

One handy feature is scheduled device "downtime" – you can restrict phone usage at bedtime or during family dinner. This promotes healthy technology habits.

Qustodio has a free plan but the premium version is quite affordable starting at $54.95 per year for up to 15 devices. With deep capabilities across both geofencing and parental controls, Qustodio earns its place among the top apps.

6. Find My Kids

For parents looking for a dedicated GPS tracking app focused just on locations, Find My Kids is a top choice. As the name suggests, it is specially designed for monitoring children using geofencing.

Notable Features:

  • Battery-saving mode – Reduces battery drain by intelligently tracking only when needed
  • Indoor tracking – Uses WiFi and Bluetooth to locate position inside buildings
  • Wearable trackers – Optional kids‘ smartwatches available for tracking outside home
  • Real-time tracking – Monitor locations on interactive maps in real-time
  • Customizable alerts – Get notified when child leaves or enters set locations

Find My Kids provides detailed indoor mapping for schools, malls, supermarkets – wherever your kid goes. I also like that it works completely offline using just GPS and WiFi. No data connection is needed.

For parents focused purely on maximizing location accuracy, Find My Kids delivers robust performance. It starts at $4.99 per month for tracking up to 3 devices.

7. Spyzie

Spyzie is a hidden tracking app that disappears after installation on the child‘s device. This allows completely covert monitoring without your kid‘s knowledge. However, I advise discussing with your child first given the ethical concerns around consent.

Key Attributes:

  • Invisible app – No app icon after one-time install, stays hidden
  • Location history – View detailed maps of places visited
  • Geofences – Set up and get alerts for custom locations
  • Web history – Record of websites and searches
  • Social media – Monitor posts, chats, messages across platforms
  • Photos/Videos – View media stored on device

For parents who want undetectable, covert monitoring, Spyzie delivers that experience. However, the lack of web filters or app-blocking limits the protection capabilities. There are also risks of kids finding hidden tracking apps on their devices. But Spyzie remains a powerful, if controversial, option.

Pricing starts at $39.99 monthly for full device access without your kid‘s knowledge. Use carefully after considering the ethical implications.

8. McAfee Safe Family

McAfee is a pioneer in antivirus software, and they leverage that heritage in McAfee Safe Family – combining location tracking with app management.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Activity dashboard – See apps used, websites visited and weekly location maps
  • Geofencing – Establish custom boundaries and get alerted on entry/exit
  • Web filtering – Block access to inappropriate websites
  • App blocking – Limit or block fully based on category, age rating etc.
  • Time limits – Enforce daily quotas across specific apps or categories
  • Notifications – Get alerts on worrying activities and risky behaviors

A key advantage with McAfee Safe Family is that it‘s backed by a brand trusted for decades in cybersecurity software. The dashboard gives comprehensive insights into your kids‘ location trends, app behaviors, and web browsing habits.

For families already relying on McAfee antivirus software, bundling Safe Family integrates device monitoring easily. Pricing starts at $7.99 per month covering an unlimited number of devices.

9. Family Orbit

Family Orbit markets itself as an "awesome parental control app" and delivers a solid suite of monitoring capabilities. It combines location tracking, web filtering, app management and usage limits.

Key Highlights:

  • Interactive maps – Monitor real-time location on dynamic maps
  • Geofence alerts – Get notifications when child leaves or enters set areas
  • Web filtering – Block websites across 40 categories including adult content
  • contacts/texts – Monitor messages and social media communications
  • Panic button – Child can send emergency alert to parents if needed
  • Time limits – Set daily quotas for app and device usage

Family Orbit has a positive reputation among parents for balancing safety with respect for a child‘s privacy. The ability of kids to discreetly reach out for help with the panic button is a nice safety net.

Pricing is affordable too at $7.99 per month for up to 20 device installs. With solid social media monitoring and web filters alongside geofencing, Family Orbit is worth considering.

10. MMGuardian

Created by security engineers at Maple Media, MMGuardian (formerly Screen Time Parental Control) delivers multi-platform support across Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows, and Kindle Fire devices.

Notable Features:

  • Location tracking – View real-time locations or trace journeys retroactively
  • Geofencing – Custom alerts when your child leaves or enters set locations
  • Text message monitoring – Review all sent/received texts on child‘s device
  • Web monitoring – Get alerts on attempts to access blocked website categories
  • Time limits – Enforce daily or scheduled screen time limits across devices
  • Panic button – Child can discretely press panic button alert parents

I like that MMGuardian provides both real-time and historical visibility into your child‘s device usage and locations. The ability to trace back journeys or text conversations can yield important insights.

At only $6.99 per month for full functionality across unlimited devices, MMGuardian delivers robust capabilities at an affordable price point.

Critical Factors for Choosing the Right Geofencing App

When evaluating geofencing apps, here are the key factors I recommend considering:

Tracking accuracy – The best apps combine GPS, WiFi networks, and cellular triangulation for precise location data both indoor and outdoor. This prevents false alerts.

Customization – Look for geofencing that allows flexible boundaries based on addresses, radius limits, roads, landmarks etc. Preset shapes are too limiting.

Alert features – Emergency calling, accident detection and notifications via multiple methods (email, text, push, call) maximize responsiveness.

Child safety – Capabilities like emergency/panic button for kids and monitoring of cyberbullying threats uphold child safety.

Privacy controls – Leading apps encrypt location data, anonymize monitoring, and offer transparency to protect child‘s privacy.

Activity insights – Understanding usage patterns provides context to location data. Dashboards displaying app usage, web activity etc. are useful.

Ease of use – Intuitive parental dashboard interface, 1-click geofence creation, real-time map visualization all simplify monitoring.

Cross-platform – Apps supporting both Android and iOS provide flexibility to track all family devices.

AppTracking AccuracyCustom AlertsEmergency FeaturesPrivacy ControlsActivity InsightsCross-Platform
Life360ExcellentYesAccident detection and helpLimitedDriving habitsAndroid, iOS
Norton FamilyVery goodYesNoneStrongWeb use, social media, YouTubeAcross major platforms
Kaspersky Safe KidsVery goodYesSOS buttonStrongApp usage, web categoriesAndroid, iOS
FamilyTimeExcellentYesNoneModerateWeb filterAndroid, iOS
QustodioVery goodYesNoneLimitedApp usage trendsAndroid, iOS, Kindle
Find My KidsVery goodYesOptional smartwatchModerateLimitedAndroid, iOS
SpyzieVery goodYesNoneMinimalWeb history, social mediaAndroid, iOS
McAfee Safe FamilyGoodYesNoneModerateLocation maps, app categoriesAndroid, iOS, Windows
Family OrbitGoodYesPanic buttonModerateTexts, contactsAndroid, iOS, Windows, MacOS
MMGuardianVery goodYesPanic buttonMinimalLocation history, textsAll major platforms

Top Recommendations

Based on this comprehensive evaluation of the 10 best apps, here are my top recommendations:

For accurate geofencing plus safety features – Life360 is my top overall pick. The combination of location tracking and proactive accident detection provides complete monitoring.

For crossing geofencing with device management – Norton Family Premier gives excellent visibility into locations, web use, social media activities etc. across all devices.

For multi-platform support – Kaspersky Safe Kids works reliably across Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac to track all family devices.

For highlighted privacy protections – Family Orbit offers robust location monitoring while allowing kids to discretely seek emergency help if needed.

Conclusion

Geofencing apps have become invaluable for parents needing to keep tabs on their kids in today‘s complex environment. The best options provide visibility into their child‘s location patterns while upholding privacy.

I recommend evaluating key criteria like tracking accuracy, customization, child safety features, activity insights, and ease of use to choose the right fit. Apps like Life360, Norton Family Premier and Kaspersky Safe Kids excel at balancing robust location monitoring with additional protections.

With proper consent and mutual understanding, geofencing apps bring significant peace of mind to parents while allowing kids to freely explore the world. So try out some top options to find one tailored to your family‘s needs.

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Michael

Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.