Aura Parental Controls Review 2024 — Are They Worth I?

Updated on: February 14, 2024
Fact Checked by Kate Davidson
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Published on: February 14, 2024

Aura Parental Controls Review: Quick Expert Summary

Aura’s parental controls are good for keeping an eye on your child’s Android and iOS devices and the games they play on Windows. Aura also provides a well-rounded security suite, including a VPN, an antivirus, and more, to fully protect you and your kids online.

The parental controls come with a set of industry-standard features, like web and app filtering, activity reports, screen time management, and a tool to pause the internet. You can even set time limits for individual apps, such as setting two separate limits for social media and for educational content.

I like the Safe Gaming feature, which makes sure your kid isn’t being cyberbullied in online games by monitoring their online gaming sessions and alerting you if it detects any bullying language. It monitors 200+ online games. Plus, the same app comes with a decently fast VPN your kid can use to avoid leaking their IP address while they play games.

However, there are a lot of areas for improvement. For example, it has no location-tracking and YouTube monitoring, which you get with Qustodio and Norton Family, and the app is also pretty easy to uninstall, so if your kid is a little tech-savvy, they can remove it from their device without too much effort.

Only one of Aura’s plans comes with parental controls: the Family plan. It comes with all of Aura’s features, covers up to 50 devices for 5 adults, and lets you monitor an unlimited number of kids’ devices. The plan comes with a pretty generous 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

🏅 Overall Rank Ranked 11th out of 26 parental controls
🖥️ Web & App Filtering
⏲️ Time Limits
📍 Location Tracking
💸 Starting Price $32.00 / month
📀 Supported Operating Systems Android, iOS, Windows, macOS
📱 Number of devices 50
🎁 Free Plan
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 60 days


Aura Parental Controls Full Review

I spent a week trying out Aura’s parental controls and all of its features, which are powered by Circle (you can read my colleague’s full review of Circle’s parental controls here). I tested it using multiple devices, thoroughly used the kid’s app to make sure it properly blocked websites, and talked to customer support to get a feel for the overall product.

I’m confident in saying that Aura offers good overall parental controls. You get a decent set of core security features, like reliable web and app filtering and good screen time management tools.

That said, there are a few notable drawbacks that might stop Aura from being a great pick for everyone — most of its parental control features only work on mobile, and it’s very light on extras compared to the top parental control apps. I particularly don’t like that it doesn’t have location tracking, which is a pretty standard feature on most parental control apps.

But the biggest drawback, in my opinion, is that your kid can simply uninstall the app. They can get around the parental controls until you re-link their device. You’ll be alerted as soon as they delete the app, but you may not be able to prevent them from getting on the blocked website they want to access fast enough.

It’s also pricier than most parental controls, though it’s worth noting you get a lot more than parental controls where you buy a subscription, including identity theft protection and online security features like a VPN and password manager.

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 Aura Parental Controls Features

 Aura Parental Controls Features

Aura’s parental controls come with a fair amount of features, including:

  • Web & app filtering. Set custom rules for which websites and apps your kids are allowed to visit and use.
  • Time limits for apps and sites. Set time limits for your kid’s screen time and how much time they spend on individual apps.
  • Safe Gaming. Monitors 200+ online games for potentially dangerous language and notifies you if it detects suspicious behavior.
  • Blocked activity monitoring. View a list of the blocked websites your child is trying to view.

Content Filtering

Aura’s web filtering is basic but effective. There are 2 presets in the app: Child mode, which has a lot of default restrictions and is good for smaller children, and Teen mode, which only blocks explicit content, mature content, dating sites, and VPNs by default.

However, you have tons of customization options besides the two presets. I tried out all 25+ of the website categories you can block. I blocked dating apps, shopping sites, online forums, gaming websites, and even some of the top VPNs out there. When I tried visiting sites that fall into these content categories, Aura’s parental controls did a very good job at blocking my access to them on my Android test device.

I could block individual apps just as easily.  The interface shows you every app installed on your kid’s device and lets you block them by toggling a switch on or off. When I tested this on my test device, I couldn’t open any of the apps I’d blocked from the parent’s dashboard.

 Aura Parental Controls Features

I’d like to see a way for kids to request access to a blocked website, which you get with top parental controls like Norton Family and FamiSafe. For example, if you have the “News” category turned off but your kid needs access to a specific article for a homework assignment, it’s handy for them to be able to ask permission via the app.

Overall, the content filtering is pretty good. It was easy to use, there were a lot of categories for website filtering, and the app blocking worked well.

Time Limits for Apps and Sites

You can set time limits for your child’s internet use and for specific sites and apps. For example, the app lets you set a 3-hour daily limit for your child’s overall screen time, a 1-hour limit on video games, and a 1-hour limit for the YouTube app.

 Aura Parental Controls Features

It’s pretty customizable and can be done right from the Family section on your phone. Just tap on your kid’s account and scroll down until you see the option.

You’ll also see the pause button at the top of the screen. Tapping on the Pause Internet option allows you to completely prevent internet access from your kid’s phone. You can resume it whenever you want by tapping Unpause Internet in the same spot.

All in all, I like Aura’s time limits. They’re pretty customizable and work as advertised.

Safe Gaming

Safe Gaming automatically monitors your kid’s games for cyberbullying and predators on Windows. The feature monitors the chats of over 200 popular online games, including Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, Call of Duty, and more. It’s particularly user-friendly since all you need to do is install it using the Aura desktop app and leave it running.

It works by monitoring your kid’s online game chats (including voice chats) for signs of cyberbullying or overt sexual behavior. As soon as it detects suspicious language, you’ll receive alerts so you know what’s going on.

 Aura Parental Controls Features

You’ll get a full report with a breakdown of each threat detected, gaming time insights, and a threat severity score, so you know how much danger they’ve been exposed to. Note that it only monitors online games, so you’ll still want to be watchful of what your kid is doing elsewhere.

What’s more, this isn’t a complete parental control tool for Windows. Unlike the mobile app, it doesn’t let you set time limits, pause the internet, or create any web or app filters for Windows.

Overall, Safe Gaming is a decent extra feature if your kid plays games online. It works as intended and monitors games that are popular among kids, like Fornite and Roblox. The only downside is the feature only works on Windows, and that this is the only parental control feature that you get for your kids’ Windows devices.

Blocked Activity Monitoring

Aura parental controls keep a list of apps and blocked websites your kid tried to access. You can view the full list by tapping on the Blocked Activity box in the app. The app tells you what category the site belongs to, shows you the exact URL, and gives you the time at which your kid tried to visit the blocked site.

 Aura Parental Controls Features

It’s a decent tool, but I’d like Aura’s activity reporting to go further. Most top parental controls display time limits for the apps kids use, as well as their overall use time. Aura only displays the blocked websites your kid attempted to access.

Overall, this is an easy way to see blocked sites and apps your child tried to use, but it’s missing more comprehensive activity reporting, which you get with Qustodio and Norton Family. These apps show you which apps and sites your kid visited, how much time they spent on them, their web searches, and more.

Aura Parental Controls Plans & Pricing

Aura’s parental controls are only available on its most expensive Family plan. It has a few other plans available, but none of these offer parental controls. Aura’s plans can be a little pricey — but this is because they come with a well-rounded suite of features, like an antivirus, a VPN, and parental controls. However, the price point can still be intimidating.

The Family plan will cost you $32.00 / month, but it comes with every one of Aura’s features, including the parental controls and child identity protection. It covers up to 50 devices for 5 adults and allows you to monitor an unlimited number of devices. It also contains an antivirus with real-time protection, a VPN for online security, a password manager, and identity theft protection up to $1 million per adult.

While its plans are a bit pricey, you’re getting quite a few security products for one subscription. If you’re just looking for good parental controls, frankly there are cheaper standalone options out there, like Qustodio.

Aura offers a 14-day free trial and a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free.

Here’s an overview of Aura’s Family Plan:

Family plan  
Price $32.00 / month
Devices 50 (10 per adult) for parents, unlimited devices to monitor
App monitoring
Time limits
Internet pausing
Safe Gaming
Password manager
Child identity protection
Location tracking
YouTube monitoring

Aura Parental Controls Installation & Setup

Aura has parental control apps for Android and iOS and a desktop app for Windows with Safe Gaming features.

Aura uses the same mobile app for both parents and adults. It’s pretty easy to set up, but setting up the app for your kid involves a few extra steps.

Aura Parental Controls App Installation & Setup (Parental App + Kids App)

Download the Aura app from your phone’s app store on yours and your kid’s phones.

On your phone, log into your account and tap on the Family tab. On the top right, tap the icon that allows you to add more people to the account.

Aura Parental Controls Plans & Pricing

Next, tap on Add child. Fill in your kid’s information, like their first and last name and birthday.

Aura Parental Controls Plans & Pricing

After an account is made for your kid, open up their profile and tap on Link a device at the top of the screen.

Aura Parental Controls Plans & Pricing

It will open up a QR code you can then use your kid’s camera to scan (you can also get a link). If your camera doesn’t automatically scan QR codes, you may need to use the Lens mode, or whatever your phone’s QR scanner is called.

Aura Parental Controls Plans & Pricing

After scanning the QR code, your kid’s device will be linked. All you’ll have to do then is accept the permission the app needs to monitor your kid’s device and allow you to set rules.

Aura Parental Controls Plans & Pricing

Adjust your parental control settings using your phone. You can customize all the settings for each kid’s device you’re monitoring.

Aura Parental Controls Plans & Pricing

Just note that there’s no uninstall protection, so your kid can easily remove the Aura app from their phone. However, you will be notified if they disable their parental controls.

Aura Parental Controls Ease of Use

Aura’s parental controls are extremely easy to use and very beginner-friendly. Even if you’ve never set up parental controls before, you’ll have no problem installing the app on all the relevant phones, linking your child’s device, and setting restrictions on their internet use.

Aura’s app on the kid’s device is extremely minimalistic, only showing your time limits, current time used, and current level of content filtering. Kids don’t have any control over the settings of the app — that’s all handled through your phone.

Aura Parental Controls Plans & Pricing

Mobile & Tablets

The Android and iOS apps are both intuitively designed and user-friendly. I was able to install the apps, link my kid’s device, set up custom rules, and monitor their usage without any problems or bugs.

Aura Parental Controls Plans & Pricing

The app’s homepage is divided into neat sections that let you check your family’s accounts and tweak the parental controls settings, without being overwhelmed.

I was able to link my test account and set up rules within 15 minutes (5 minutes to link the account, 10 minutes to set up rules), and I was good to go.


Aura’s desktop app only comes with one very light form of parental controls. It doesn’t monitor web apps, have time limits, or come with the option to pause the internet — instead, it just comes with the Safe Gaming feature.

Aura Parental Controls Plans & Pricing

You can install it in a few clicks, and it works automatically in the background. You don’t have to manage anything either. You’ll receive automatic alerts about any suspicious behavior — so you truly do just install it and leave it alone.

Aura Parental Controls Customer Support

I found Aura’s customer support to be informative and pretty helpful. I started out by contacting its live chat support. It was a bit disappointing that it was a bot and not a real person, but the bot was able to answer most of my questions. It also provided me with the number for the phone service for future assistance and directed me to email support for further queries.

Aura Parental Controls Customer Support

The email support wasn’t terribly helpful. I left an email, asking about a few of Aura’s features, and 2 days later, I got a response that pushed me to contact them via phone support, without any concrete answers to my questions. This was a pretty big letdown for me since I wasn’t asking particularly complex questions.

However, I really like the website’s help center, which contains an extensive FAQ section broken up into several windows, with a long list of answers and guides available in each section. While the FAQ is great, it would be even better if there was a public forum and complete product manuals.

Aura Parental Controls Customer Support

Overall, Aura’s customer support is decent, but it could be better. I’d like to see it add a live chat option that’s not a bot (Norton Family is one of the few parental apps that has a 24/7 live chat) and product manuals in the help center.

So, Are Aura Parental Controls Worth The Cost?

I would say it’s worth the cost as long as you know what you’re getting. Aura’s parental controls are effective and beginner-friendly, but they’re pretty basic.

Starting with a positive, Aura has reliable web and app filtering that you can use to prevent your kids from visiting unwanted websites. It blocks fraudulent and malware-ridden sites, pornography, and violent material, while being fully customizable. You can also monitor your kid’s app and internet usage, pause the internet, and set timers for phone use and individual apps.

But while its core features are strong, there’s no location tracking or any extra features that better standalone options offer. The only extra thing you get is the Safe Gaming feature that’s only available on Windows, but that’s really the only parental control feature you get on desktop anyway — the rest are available on mobile only..

Aura’s real strength lies in the wide range of security features you get in the overall suite. On top of decent parental controls, it comes with a complete antivirus, a fairly fast VPN, a password manager, and more to completely protect you and your family’s devices.

Overall, Aura’s parental controls aren’t too bad, but I’d like to see improvement. It makes up for its simple features with the full internet security suite you get in one plan, but if you’re only looking for parental controls there are better standalone options out there. Still, since it comes with a 14-day free trial and a generous 60-day money-back guarantee, you can try it out risk-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Aura have a free plan?

Unfortunately, Aura doesn’t have a free plan. However, it does come with a 14-day free trial you can use to test its parental controls app (and the rest of it). It also comes with a pretty generous 60-day money-back guarantee, making it completely risk-free.

Are Aura parental controls good?

Aura parental controls are pretty good. You can monitor your children’s internet activity and easily set which websites your child can and can’t access. Plus, you can set time limits on phone usage and for individual apps, and you can pause the internet entirely whenever you need to.

It’s easy to work with and can be set up on your child’s device in a matter of minutes. Plus, it works well right out of the box, meaning its default restrictions will automatically block porn sites, fraudulent websites, and other online threats without you needing to tweak a single option.

Why are Aura plans pricey?

Because you get a full suite of various cybersecurity tools. On top of the parental controls, it includes an antivirus engine, a VPN, a simple password manager, identity theft protection, and a lot more.

If you plan on picking up Aura, it’s best to ensure you’re looking for all (or at least most) of its features. It’s still a little cheaper than buying multiple cybersecurity products separately and covers unlimited kids’ devices, but that initial price point can certainly be intimidating. Aura also comes with a 14-day trial of all of its plans, so you can try it without fully committing.

Are the parental controls secure?

Yes, Aura’s parental control apps are highly secure. Not only will they prevent your child from being able to access malware-ridden websites, but you’ll be able to completely monitor their activity.

Besides the parental controls, Aura’s malware engine scored pretty well during our in-house tests, and the VPN works to hide your kid’s IP address from strangers while they surf the web. You can also easily manage your kid’s online accounts with the password manager included in each plan.

Aura Parental Controls Products & Pricing

$32.00 / month
Bottom Line

Aura parental controls are beginner-friendly and good for controlling your child’s internet activity. You get good website and app content filtering, time limits for phone usage and individual apps, a list of blocked sites your kid tries to access, and a Safe Gaming feature for Windows. However, it does come with a few drawbacks — for example, it lacks location tracking, and none of its parental control features are available on desktop except for Safe Gaming. That said, the parental controls are a pretty decent part of Aura’s overall security suite that you can use to protect your kid (and yourself) from every online threat.

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About the Author

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."

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