FamilyBase is a service to monitor wireless activities and set usage limits and restrictions for each user on an account. FamilyBase can help your children better understand how to use their devices responsibly and safely. The insights this service provides, presented in one simple dashboard, are especially helpful for parents or anyone who has multiple family members on the same account. You can also use FamilyBase to avoid unexpected overage charges for your own device or any other devices on your account.
With FamilyBase, you can:
FamilyBase costs $5/month for up to 10 lines of service. There are no additional text or data charges.
Note: Each phone must have both a data and text plan with Verizon Wireless for FamilyBase to work properly.
To sign up, visit the FamilyBase website and follow the onscreen instructions to sign up for FamilyBase with a 30-day free trial.
Usage Controls is no longer available to be added to customer lines, but at $5/month for your entire account (up to 10 lines), FamilyBase is a better value. FamilyBase gives you all of the control options of Usage Controls, plus the ability to view the activity for each user on your account. This additional information can help parents determine additional limits that may be needed.
You can also use the FamilyBase app to access your account information right from a capable device. There is a FamilyBase Parent app (available on Android™ devices) and Parent mobile site (all other phones) for the account owners to access information. There’s also a FamilyBase Companion app for children’s devices. Additionally, all FamilyBase activities and controls that are available through the parent app or mobile site are available in My Verizon (hyperlink to familybase.vzw.com).
Here’s how Usage Controls compares to FamilyBase:
|Features||Usage Controls||Verizon |
|Price||$4.99/month for |
each line on an account
|$5/month for up to |
10 lines on one account
|Monitor text message activity||X|
|View top calls||X|
|View contacts by number||X|
View activities over the
|Receive daily and weekly|
|Receive instant text alerts||X|
|Lock child's phone*||X|
|View contacts by name*||X|
|View app installations and|
|Set data usage limits||X||X|
|Set text and multimedia|
|Emergency call notification||X||X|
|Set minute limits||X||X|
|Set time restrictions||X||X|
|Block contacts (up to 20)||X||X|
|Create Trusted Contacts|
(up to 20)
*FamilyBase Companion app must be installed on the child’s phone to use these features.Back to top
FamilyBase is compatible with most Verizon Wireless plans, including:
FamilyBase can be added to a line with a Global plan or feature. As long as the family member is within the Verizon Wireless coverage area, all FamilyBase functionality will work and your family member’s activities will be viewable. However, if the family member is not within the Verizon Wireless Coverage Area, FamilyBase functionality will be limited.Back to top
While using voice services outside the Verizon Wireless coverage area but on the CDMA network, you may be prompted to dial the number you’re calling a second time. FamilyBase will still work for monitoring and restricting calls to and from family members on your account.
For messaging and data services outside the Coverage Area on a CDMA network, FamilyBase may work if the roaming partner’s network settings are configured to work with Verizon’s network. However, if the roaming partner’s network settings are not configured to work with Verizon’s network, FamilyBase messaging and data services won’t work.
Note: While within the US, calls can be placed to and received from an international destination (a phone number with more than 10 digits). However, depending on your calling plan, this may require additional features to be added to the line, such as International Dialing.
FamilyBase can be added to a line with a global plan or feature. However, FamilyBase voice, messaging and data services may not work when the user is roaming internationally.
Yes, controlled lines on Family Locator can be located and will generate scheduled arrival and departure updates, except during restricted times set by the Account Owner or Account Manager within FamilyBase.
Note: Family Locator and FamilyBase are separate features. They must be set up independently of one another with monthly service fees that are billed separately.
FamilyBase works with most Verizon Wireless 4G LTE and 3G mobile devices. However, it's not compatible with:
Yes, both parents and children can use iPhone with FamilyBase. However, some of the on-device functionalities of FamilyBase are currently unavailable on iPhone.
If your child is using iPhone:
Yes, you can add FamilyBase to a tablet line. You can view your FamilyBase dashboard on a tablet by going to the FamilyBase website in your tablet's web browser and signing in with your My Verizon User ID and Password. You can also monitor and limit the data usage of any tablet on your account within FamilyBase Controls.
Note: Currently, there isn’t a FamilyBase app for tablets.
Yes, you won't be able to view the activity for your own phone, but you can use all of the FamilyBase Controls, like setting data limits, so you don't go over your monthly limit. Just assign your phone as a parent role and you're ready to use controls.Back to top
No, FamilyBase can’t prevent calls to and from services that allow you to dial vanity numbers that translate to a phone number, such as StarStar Me. If a blocked contact calls a phone on your account by dialing a vanity number, the call will connect. Similarly, if a phone on your account calls a blocked contact by dialing a vanity number, the call will connect. Vanity numbers can’t be added to your Blocked Contacts or Trusted Contacts lists.
However, FamilyBase will restrict calls to and from vanity numbers (and all other calls) during set time restrictions and after the calling limit is reached. Also, calls to and from vanity numbers will appear in the activity log for the phone on your account.
You can sign in to FamilyBase 3 different ways, from the:
In addition to the primary parent role, a second parent can access FamilyBase. You simply need to designate that second parent’s line as an Account Manager or Account Owner in My Verizon.
As an Account Manager, the second parent role can access all the FamilyBase functionality in My Verizon by signing in. However, at this time, text and email alerts can only be sent to the first parent role, which is usually an Account Owner.
The second parent can also use the FamilyBase app or mobile website from an Android device, iPhone or basic phone. Go to familybase.vzw.com from the device’s Internet browser to get the FamilyBase app or to view the mobile-optimized website.
Go to the FamilyBase Terms & Conditions page to see the full Terms & Conditions for this service.
Review the Activities Dashboard in FamilyBase. For step-by-step instructions, select the way you want to view call and text activity:
Text activities are displayed in the Activities Dashboard within FamilyBase. For step-by-step instructions to see how much your child texts, refer to the Viewing How Much Your Child Texts section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
Call activities are displayed in the Activities Dashboard within FamilyBase. For step-by-step instructions to see how much time your child spends talking on the phone, refer to the Viewing How Much Time Your Child Spends on Calls section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
No, when restrictions are applied to a device, text messages can’t be delivered and calls won’t connect on that phone. Because there won’t be any activity permitted, you won’t see any activity for that device in the FamilyBase Activity view.Back to top
No, FamilyBase doesn’t include the ability to view the content of your child’s text or multimedia (picture and video) messages.Back to top
Multimedia messages are listed in FamilyBase as picture messages. Timestamps for multimedia messages sent and received are based on the time they are received by our switches, which may not be the family member’s local time.
Note: Messages that are sent and received on our network are displayed as text or picture message activities in FamilyBase. Messaging activity through third party providers, such as iMessage®, can be monitored by FamilyBase and will display as app usage activities (amount of time app was in use). Similarly, FamilyBase Controls doesn’t restrict the use of third party services (e.g., Facebook® Messenger), except when the device is within a time restriction or locked by the on-demand lock.
No, FamilyBase shows who your child communicates with through text messages and calls, but it doesn’t show activity on Facebook, Twitter or other social media apps. Facebook, Twitter and other social media apps are shown as app usage only (i.e., the amount of time spent using that app).Back to top
Within FamilyBase Activities, click the Edit School Hours or Edit Night Hours buttons to set up school time and night time for your child. For step-by-step instructions, select the way you want to access your FamilyBase account:
Texting activity is displayed in the Activities Dashboard in FamilyBase. For step-by-step instructions on how to see if your child is texting during school or after bedtime, refer to the Viewing When Your Child Texts section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
To see information about the apps your child has downloaded, your child needs to have a device that is compatible with the FamilyBase Companion app, and the app needs to be installed on your child’s device. Once the Companion app is active on your child’s device, refer to the Viewing the Apps on Your Child’s Device section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
FamilyBase detects and reports app usage based on the following criteria:
Device activity may not immediately show in FamilyBase.
If you’re using the FamilyBase Companion app:
- Refresh the activity by going to Settings on your device.
- Tap Apps.
- Tap FamilyBase.
- Tap Clear Data to refresh the activity.
Device with FamilyBase Companion app -- FamilyBase reports attempted calls (i.e., unanswered, blocked or ignored) for devices that have the FamilyBase Companion app installed.
Device without FamilyBase Companion app -- FamilyBase will only show call activity for calls that have actually been answered or received.
FamilyBase only shows text message activity for messages that are actually received (i.e., opened) or sent by the child device. Messages that fail to send won’t be reported. Also, messages from third party providers, such as iMessage, will display as app usage activities (i.e., amount of time app was in use).
Not all text messages sent to your child's phone will appear in the messaging app, as some apps use text messages to communicate with the Cloud. FamilyBase will report all text messages regardless of whether it shows in your child's messaging app or not.Back to top
FamilyBase reports all texts and calls to or from your child’s phone. These include short codes used by various services (some of which won’t show in your child's messaging app because they’re intercepted by other apps on the phone).
For example, certain email apps receive text messages from 6250, but these won’t show in your inbox. Also, private or restricted numbers, for which the actual phone number isn’t available, are often reported as negative numbers, such as -1, -2 and -3.
Alerts is an optional tool you can set up to notify you when there’s activity on your child’s phone that you may find concerning. For example, you can choose to receive an alert when your child sends a text message during designated school hours.
Preferences for alerts can be set up on your FamilyBase Alerts page. For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Viewing Alert History section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.
You can also request to receive an email or text message every time there’s an alert on your account. To set up email or text alerts, refer to the Managing Alerts section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.
By default, you’ll receive the following alerts:
Back to top
- Calls or texts late at night
- Calls or texts with a contact on the Watchlist
- Calls or texts with an unknown contact
- Calls or texts to 911
- On Demand Lock overrides
For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Managing Alerts section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Viewing Alert History section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
No, there isn’t an option to turn off any usage alerts at this time.
Yes, you’ll receive a free text message when the device is nearing a usage limit. Alerts are sent to the controlled device for the following reasons:
Yes, you can change how you’re notified when a child overrides a phone lock. For step-by-step instructions on setting up this alert, refer to the Setting Override Alerts section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
This alert appears whenever your child’s phone receives a text message or call from a number that’s not in that phone’s FamilyBase Contact List.
Generally, calls and texts from unknown contacts shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. However, the unknown contact alert may indicate that your child has been interacting with someone new.
Initially, the Contacts page shows the contacts from your child's address book* and any numbers with which your child’s phone has communicated. However, as you use the service, the goal of the contact list is not to mirror the child's address book exactly. Rather, it’s used as a tool to provide parents with a view of their child's friends by associating names to as many phone numbers in the activity list as possible.
*Requires the FamilyBase Companion app to be installed on your child’s device.
Yes, you can block up to 20 contacts from communicating with your child’s phone. All calls, text messages and multimedia messages to and from blocked contacts will be prevented. You can block:
- Domestic phone numbers
- International phone numbers
- Email addresses
- All incoming calls from numbers listed as private, restricted or unavailable
- Outgoing calls to 411, 1411, #411 and *411 directory assistance
You can’t block numbers that are within your own account or Trusted Contacts. You also can’t block 911.Back to top
Watchlist contacts allow you to monitor your child's interactions with contacts in their address book. Whenever your child texts or calls a Watchlist contact, you’ll be notified according to your alert preferences.
When a contact is added to the Watchlist, your child will receive a text message stating that calling and texting activity with this contact is being monitored.
Add a contact to the Watchlist from the Contacts page in FamilyBase. For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Adding a Contact to the Watchlist section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
Trusted Contacts can include any of the following:
Yes, you can restrict a device to only communicate with those you have designated as Trusted Contacts. To do this, set up a 24/7 time restriction, and then set up your Trusted Contacts list.
Yes. For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Viewing Calls and Texts with a Specific Contact section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
Yes, you can see contacts that have been added to your child’s phone if it has the FamilyBase Companion app installed on it.
For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Viewing Recently Added Contacts section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.
A number on your Blocked Contacts list will still be blocked even if the caller has enabled Caller ID Blocking, as long as the number is recognized by our network.
Also, if you’ve chosen to block all private, restricted and unavailable numbers on your child’s phone, any caller using Caller ID Blocking will be prohibited from contacting your child.
Contact rank shows you which contacts your child communicates most frequently with by looking at the number of calls and texts with that contact. Contact ranks are calculated every 4 hours.Back to top
For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Setting Up Controls section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
No, this feature is included as part of the FamilyBase monthly subscription.Back to top
Changes to the Controls settings can be made at any time and as often as you like. The changes may take a few minutes to become effective.
When you first set up time restrictions, data limits and purchase limits on your child’s device, you’ll need to turn the device off and back on again after the Control is saved. This will allow the Control to become effective. You won’t need to do this if you make changes in the future.
From the FamilyBase Profiles page in My Verizon, you can add additional family members who have lines on your account to FamilyBase (up to 10 lines per account), edit parent and child roles, and update nicknames for each child's phone.Back to top
For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Managing Nicknames section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
No, but you can use Content Filtering. It’s a free service available through My Verizon, to set restrictions on what content can be viewed on your child’s device. Content Filtering uses age-based ratings to help parents set limits on the types of content their children can access.
Learn more about Content Filtering and how to set it up on your account. You can also learn about free Spam Controls in our FAQs.
Yes, you can select different limits and controls for each device on your account. Modify the settings at any time from the FamilyBase Dashboard page in My Verizon. Data, minute and text limits, and Trusted Contacts can also be managed in My Verizon Mobile.Back to top
You can send and receive text and multimedia messages to and from email addresses, but any messaging restrictions that have been set up will still apply to email addresses.
You can set up to 10 restricted time periods for each device on your account. These time periods can start and end at any time, and they can be any length (including 24/7).
Note: If you’re traveling to a destination in another time zone, time restrictions aren’t automatically adjusted to the new time zone. You must reset the restriction for the new time zone.
If your child has the FamilyBase Companion app installed on his or her device, time stamps for all SMS and Voice activity will reflect the child’s local time.
All activity will also show in the FamilyBase Dashboard in My Verizon. However, if your child doesn’t have the Companion app installed and travels to a time zone other than the one identified by the Account Owner’s current billing ZIP code, text and calling activity won’t be time stamped in the child’s local time. The activity also won’t reflect the child’s local time in the parent’s dashboard while the child remains in another time zone.
Time restrictions let you set specific times when activities on your child’s device are limited. This can help you ensure your child is being responsible with the use of his/her device after bedtime or during school, family meals or study time. Any messages sent to your family member during restricted times won’t be stored for delivery after the time restriction ends.
You can set up time restrictions to:
When your child tries to call or send a message to a contact that’s not designated as a Trusted Contact, the call won’t connect and the text message won’t be delivered. Your child will receive a free text alert indicating that a time restriction is preventing communications with that contact at this time.
If your child tries to access data during a restricted time, the device will function as if it’s in an area with no data service and the activity will be prevented. A device error message or network error message may appear stating, “network not available” or “no connectivity.” Messages vary by device.
Your child won’t receive a free text alert indicating the reason for this experience, because some apps are always allowed to access data. At this time, it’s not possible to distinguish which apps would need to trigger these alerts and which shouldn’t.
Time restriction settings may not immediately take effect on devices with "always on" data connections (e.g., smart phones). The first time you establish a time restriction, the controlled line's device must be powered off. Save the settings and after you've viewed the confirmation that settings have been saved, power the device back on. This ensures the settings will take effect.
You can do this through the FamilyBase app if your child has a device that’s compatible with the FamilyBase Companion app.
For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Locking Your Child’s Phone section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.
No, when your family member's phone is locked, you can’t call or text with that individual, even if you’re a Trusted Contact.Back to top
After selecting Lock in your FamilyBase account, it may take a minute or two for the phone to lock.
After a few minutes, if your child's phone still doesn't lock, please check the following:
If you lock your child’s phone, an override is an optional feature that allows your child to unlock it again.* Overrides aren’t enabled by default. To enable the feature, refer to the How to Enable Overrides section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase for instructions.
With overrides enabled, an Override button will appear on your child’s screen when the phone is locked. After pressing the button, a confirmation will appear on the screen. If your child accepts the confirmation, the phone will be unlocked.
You can choose to receive a text message or email alert any time an override is used on a locked phone. For step-by-step instructions on setting up these alerts, refer to the Override Alerts section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.
*Requires the FamilyBase Companion app to be installed.
You can enable overrides on the FamilyBase Dashboard page. For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Enabling Overrides on Your Child’s Phone section of our How to Use Guide: FamilyBase.Back to top
In order to prevent overages, the data, minute, messaging and purchase limits should not be set higher than your plan. Devices on your account will be billed for all usage, including any applicable overage charges.
If the minute, messaging, purchase and data limits are set lower than the current bill cycle usage, you may not utilize all services that you’ve paid for, depending on the settings that you’ve selected for each device. The devices on your account will receive an alert when the limit has been reached, and your account will be billed for all usage, including any applicable overage charges.
Yes, you can set a limit for each of the following types of usage for each device on your account:
There are two options for controlling calling usage and alerts are sent with both options:
Some messages don’t count toward the messaging limit:
There are two options for controlling data usage and alerts are sent with both options:
The first time you establish a time restriction or a data limit, or if you're making changes to your data limit settings, your child’s device must be turned off. After you save the settings in your FamilyBase account and view the confirmation that the settings have been saved, turn the device back on. This ensures that the settings will take effect.Back to top
Some apps require data usage that we don’t bill you for. These apps include My Verizon Mobile, Data Usage Meter, Verizon Cloud and multimedia messages to and from Trusted Contacts. If you have a 3G device, the data usage from those apps will still count toward any data limit that you set using FamilyBase. As a result, you may find that your actual data usage may be higher than your data limit.
If you have a 4G LTE device, data usage from those apps won’t count toward any data allowance that you set using FamilyBase. You’ll continue to be able to use those apps even after your data limit has been reached.
Yes, you can set a spending limit in dollars for purchases of Verizon branded apps for each device on your account. Spending limits don’t apply to third-party apps and services, such as Apple App StoreSM, Google Play, and Amazon® Appstore. Check with the third-party app or service provider to find out if it offers or enforces its own spending limits.
The devices on your account will receive a free text alert when they are within $3 of the purchase limit. When the purchase limit for a device is reached, the Account Owner and the device will receive a free text alert. If an alternate phone number or email address has been set up within FamilyBase, these individuals will also receive usage alerts.
When the limit is reached, the device will no longer be able to download or purchase Verizon branded apps until the next bill cycle.
Note: Purchase limits don’t include data usage fees, monthly subscription fees or fees for certain data services and apps, (e.g., Family Locator, VZ Navigator® and Verizon Cloud). When a device purchases a subscription service, the Account Owner will be notified of this purchase by a free text message. Monthly recurring fees for subscription services won’t be controlled by purchase limits. The free text message to the Account Owner may be delayed by a few hours from the time the device purchases the subscription.
For devices with Media Store software version 3.0 or higher, purchases made from Media Store on the device will be counted toward the purchase limit. If the device has Media Store software version 3.0 or lower, purchase limits aren’t compatible and you’ll receive an error message when attempting to set up a purchase limit for the device.
Purchases made through Mobile Web and the Media Store will be tracked and counted towards the purchase limit. However, features with monthly fees won’t be tracked or counted towards the purchase limit.
No, FamilyBase won’t block these types of services. However, you can block these specific services without any charge through the Service Blocks page in My Verizon.
Learn more about Service Blocks.
The FamilyBase app lets parents to monitor their children’s wireless activities and lock their child’s device on-demand.
The FamilyBase app is compatible with most Android devices version 2.1 and higher. However, the FamilyBase app isn’t currently available for the devices listed below:
|Casio||G'zOne Ravine 2||C781|
|HTC||Windows Phone 8X||HTC6690|
FamilyBase Companion is an app for your child's Android phone that provides additional insights and controls within FamilyBase, including:
The FamilyBase Companion app is compatible with most Android devices version 2.1 and higher. However, the FamilyBase Companion app isn’t currently available for the devices listed below.
Note: Some functionality, such as on-demand locks, viewing app usage activity, and viewing the child’s address book contacts, may not be available for devices that aren’t compatible with the FamilyBase Companion app.
|Casio||Commando 4G LTE||C811|
|HTC||Droid Incredible 2||ADR6350|
|HTC||One Max||T6 HTC6600LVW|
|Samsung||Galaxy Nexus ||SCH-I515|
|Casio||G'zOne Ravine 2||C781|
|HTC||Windows Phone 8x||HTC6690|
If your child removes or disables the FamilyBase Companion app, you’ll be alerted within 24 hours and be provided instructions for how to reinstall the Companion app. When this occurs, FamilyBase won’t be able to detect phone activity between the time when the app is disabled or removed and the time when the alert is sent.
If your child continually removes the FamilyBase Companion app to get around the on-demand lock feature, try using the time restrictions in FamilyBase to set times for appropriate phone use.
When you install and open FamilyBase Companion, it may take a few minutes for your FamilyBase account to detect that it’s been installed.
If you've waited a few minutes and are still experiencing the issue, please check the following:
On a few devices, after the FamilyBase Companion app is uninstalled, the device may receive free text messages from our server for up to 24 hours. These messages can be ignored and deleted.
Below is a list of devices that may receive these server text messages in their messaging app:
|HTC||Droid Incredible 4G LTE||ADR6410L|
|Motorola||Droid 2 Global||A956|
Yes, the FamilyBase Controls feature doesn’t restrict phones on your account from calling or receiving calls from 911. If a phone on your account calls 911, calling restrictions set for that phone will be automatically suspended until the Account Owner re-establishes the settings for that line of service.
The capability to text 911 may be available in select markets. When a device on your account sends a text to 911 in a supported market, the device will be able to receive text replies back from 911. If it’s not a supported market, the device will receive an automated reply that text to 911 service isn’t available and the user will need to call 911 instead. If they call 911, any voice restrictions that are on the line will be suspended to allow a voice call back from the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). However, if the user doesn’t call 911 after receiving the automated reply, any voice restrictions that have been set for that phone will continue to apply.
All voice, messaging and data usage will be billed in accordance with the applicable plan, feature or package.
When a controlled phone dials 911, calling restrictions are automatically suspended until the Account Owner reestablishes the settings for that line of service. A free text message is also sent to the Account Owner stating that:
If a phone on your FamilyBase account places a call to 911 from the network of a carrier that Verizon Wireless doesn’t have a roaming agreement with, it‘s not possible to provide callback capability from the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) to the phone. In these cases where the phone roams outside of the Verizon Wireless network, voice usage will only be “soft stopped” and won’t be restricted in order to allow the PSAP to call the phone.
Android is a trademark of Google, Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Permissions. Apple, iPhone, App Store and iMessage are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. Amazon Appstore is a trademark of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates."SAMSUNG" is a trademark of SAMSUNG in the United States or other countries. Unauthorized use or duplication of these marks is strictly prohibited by law. Spectrum is a trademark of LG Electronics, Inc.