How Bark Works for Dual Households
**Note: This post was updated on February 22, 2023.**
Raising kids can be hard. Raising them in two different households after a divorce or separation can be even harder. In our Parenting in a Tech World Facebook group, we see this theme pretty often. Different houses can have different rules, different standards, and different levels of supervision. That’s why monitoring with Bark can give parents peace of mind knowing that their kids are safer no matter where they are. Whether your family uses iPhones or Android devices, Bark can help you make sure your kids are better protected from digital dangers.
Monitoring With iOS Devices
Bark monitors texts, chat, email, YouTube, and more than 30+ social media platforms. Most of our monitoring is done at the account level, which means that no matter where your child goes, our technology can detect potential issues in real-time. But when it comes to monitoring what’s stored on the device itself — including text messages (deleted or otherwise) and saved photos/videos — Apple presents third-party apps with a unique challenge. iPhones have to be connected to your home Wi-Fi network to be analyzed. And they have to be analyzed before Bark can begin scanning for potential dangers.
Our one-of-a-kind solution: The Bark Home
Requiring this extra step of analysis means that iPhones can be monitored regularly on the Wi-Fi network at one house — but because the other house won’t have the same network, the device won’t be able to be analyzed there and alerts will be delayed. Fortunately, we have a solution. We created the Bark Home, an in-home filtering device that connects to your router and automatically filters internet-connected devices in the home. But! It also allows you to monitor iOS devices with it, too. For dual-household families, this means Bark can complete this "analysis step" through the Bark Home instead, without having to be on the Wi-Fi network of one house. All you have to do is add the Bark Home to your devices on your dashboard and you'll instantly start receiving alerts for all of your child's devices!
The Bark Home is a great solution for iOS families, but it also features more parental controls that all families can benefit from. Learn more about how the Bark Home can be a great addition to your family's online protection.
Can't get a Bark Home?
If you can't get a Bark Home, that's no problem! We have an alternative workaround to Apple's analysis issue. Parents of each household can install the Bark Desktop app for Mac or PC onto each of their computers and create a joint email account (“email@example.com”) for monitoring. Bark can complete analysis through any computer that has the app installed, so sharing login credentials for a single account allows both parents to receive alerts as if they were on the same network.
Of course, many iPhone families encounter the analysis issue when kids are at a sleepover or away at camp. Because of this, we suggest Androids as the better option.
3 Perks of Monitoring With Android
We discussed in a previous blog post why Androids are the safest bet for your child’s first phone — they play well with third-party apps and provide more monitoring coverage for Snapchat and Instagram. And if you haven't heard, Bark now has the Bark Phone, an Android that has all of our parental controls built-in to the phone. For dual-household families, we'd say that Androids (including the Bark Phone) offer the best experience when it comes to online monitoring. Here are three more reasons why Android makes the most sense for Bark users:
More frequent scans mean more consistent monitoring
The "analysis step" explained above is never required on an Android phone, so alerts from all accounts can be sent regularly throughout the day. This means that important, time-sensitive issues (like talk of self-harm or communications with predators) can be detected around the clock, rather than having to wait for the next time the device can be analyzed.
Easier setup for both parents
When a child has an Android, there are only two quick steps to get started: the Bark app has to be downloaded on the child’s phone and the parents’ phones. That’s all it takes for setup! Once your child enters the logins for their social accounts, Bark can be up and monitoring in minutes. Also, both parents can download the app separately and receive and access all alerts. And again for the Bark Phone, the parental controls are built-in — cutting down the setup process to practically nothing!
No computer needed
The dusty old desktop in the corner is quickly becoming obsolete. Many families rely on tablets, Chromebooks, or even just their phones to surf the web at home. However —without a Bark Home — iPhones actually require a computer to get Bark synced through the Bark Desktop App. Only afterward can you begin syncing through Wi-Fi. If your child has an Android, though, you’ll never need to connect to a computer.
Whether your family chooses to use Android or iPhone, Bark can help keep your child safe online and in real life. Sign up today for a free, one-week trial.
Bark is a comprehensive online safety solution that empowers families to monitor content, manage screen time, and filter websites to help protect their kids online. Our mission is to give parents and guardians the tools they need to raise kids in the digital age.