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What is Microsoft Family Safety?

Microsoft Family Safety is a device management and content filtering solution developed and published by Microsoft. Through the creation of a family group in a Microsoft account, this solution features the ability to set device screen time limits, block inappropriate content on some apps, provide device activity reports, and provide GPS-based location tracking.

Different solutions have their own sets of features, along with their own pros and cons. This article aims to help you to compare and evaluate the basic differences between Microsoft’s latest parental control platform and ours!

What devices can I use Microsoft Family Safety on?

Microsoft Family Safety works on Windows 10, iOS and iPadOS (Apple), and Android devices.

In comparison, Safe Surfer works on Windows 7 SP1 and higher (including Windows 10), macOS, iOS and iPadOS (Apple), and Android devices.

What apps work with Microsoft Family Safety’s filter system?

Microsoft Family Safety only applies filtering in Internet Explorer (on Windows) and Microsoft Edge (on all platforms). If you have any other web browsers (such as Google Chrome or Firefox) on your devices, these browsers will not be filtered. It is worth noting that a lot of Android devices come with built-in web browsers that cannot be disabled.

Comparing Microsoft Family Safety and Safe Surfer, what are some features and disadvantages I should take into consideration?

Screen time limits

Microsoft Family Safety supports configuring screen time limits for devices. Safe Surfer currently doesn’t support screen time limits in our apps, but we are keeping this in mind for the future.

Blocking inappropriate content

Along with setting video game classification limitations, Microsoft Family Safety also supports the blocking of inappropriate content in Internet Explorer (on Windows) and Microsoft Edge (on all platforms). Unfortunately, bright young minds will likely be able to work around these two web browsers on their own, which we think creates unnecessary risk.

Safe Surfer takes a different approach. Our methods apply filtering on devices at the internet networking level to provide the best level of protection possible. This means you can make your family’s browsing experience safer in your favourite web browsers—whether its Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, or others.

Activity reports

Both Microsoft Family Safety and Safe Surfer support activity report functionality so you can monitor how your family use their devices.

Finding your family

Microsoft Family Safety supports the ability to monitor where the devices of your family are located in the world. Safe Surfer currently doesn’t support providing device locations.


We think Microsoft Family Safety is a suitable platform for basic device protection and management, but we are concerned about easy filter workarounds that create unnecessary risk of exposure to inappropriate content. Of course, physical monitoring and review of devices is critical to protecting your family—no matter what solution you use. But we’re confident that our platform overall provides a considerably safer web experience for families. And we’re just getting started.

What modern technologies does Safe Surfer utilise?

Safe Surfer takes advantage of the latest and greatest technologies to make filtering better than traditional solutions. Here are some new things we’ve been working on recently:

Encrypted DNS functionality

Safe Surfer takes advantage of encrypted DNS solutions such as DNS over HTTPS (DoH) and DNS over TLS (DoT). These new technologies give us the ability to provide you with two primary benefits:

We can make the latest filtering data from our platform available almost instantaneously to devices protected with Safe Surfer globally.
We can encrypt your internet search request traffic between you and us—no risk of snooping from others! With regard to your privacy, we never sell your data. You can read our Privacy Policy here:

Smarter behind the scenes technology

The Safe Surfer team works with the latest technologies to make our infrastructure smarter and more resilient. This means that we can provide you with filtering solutions that are both powered by AI and kept available to our users as much as possible.

Configuration options for new providers and categories

Safe Surfer's smart infrastructure enables us to quickly provide you with new options to have control over the latest games and platforms. So, the time when the new craze inevitably hits the scene? We give you the ability to have control—quicker.

How can I find out more about Safe Surfer’s newest solutions?

Safe Surfer provides modern filtering solutions for lots of different kinds of devices. Discover our filter platform at and protect all your devices with ease.

Updated on: 13/01/2024

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