Top Software Reviews 2012

2017 Parental Control Software Reviews

Keep Your Kids Safe: Find Out What They're Really Doing Online.
Software to Record Chats, Email, Websit

Parental Control Software Reviews & Ratings

Spector Pro
Net Nanny
about this section...
This section of the site rates the computer monitoring software we've reviewed
with an emphasis on how the software performs in the role of parental control software.

More information on how these programs perform in other roles can be found here:
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WebWatcher Computer Monitoring Software
  (Regular price: $169.95 )
When it comes to parental control software, WebWatcher wins our top spot for 2010.

Whether it's proactive website blocking, recording instant messages, or catching dangerous behavior in easy-to-review screenshots, WebWatcher just makes it easier for parents to protect their children online.

And it's a good thing they do.

Inappropriate materials, bullies, predators, and even the things that kids themselves post on social networking sites give parents a lot to watch out for.

And besides offering the features parents expect from the best parental control software, WebWatcher is easy to use, which earns high marks from us.

With quality parental controls like WebWatcher, busy parents can rest assured that they're doing everything they can to watch over their children whenever they log on.

$97.00  (Regular price: $169.95 )

Save $20.00 on WebWatcher (Nearly 22% Off)

1 WebWatcher
2 SpyAgent
3 Spector Pro
4 eBlaster
5 CyberPatrol
6 IAmBigBrother
7 Net Nanny

SpyAgent Computer Monitoring Software
  (Regular price: $89.95 )
SpyAgent by Spytech has done a good job of improving their computer monitoring software this time around.

They offer some impressive tools in their parental control software arsenal, including quality website monitoring, very detailed reports, and an improved stealth mode.

As for remote monitoring in SpyAgent, Spytech doesn't make it perfectly clear that remote monitoring is possible, but only if parents purchase a secondary program called, "SpyAnywhere Suite."

The extra cost could be avoided by going with another parental control software program like eBlaster or WebWatcher.

And there are other little issues: a lack of focus for social networking sites, overcomplicated reporting options, and only basic filtering tool.

All-in-all, this mean SpyAgent is heavy in the monitoring, and less so on the more pro-active filtering that saves many parents some much-needed time.

$69.95  (Regular price: $89.95)
Save $20.00 on SpyAgent (Nearly 22% Off)

CyberPatrol Computer Monitoring Software
  (Regular price: $39.95 )
CyberPatrol's parental control software offers some nice features for parents who are interested in simple computer monitoring.

While it isn't the most comprehensive software available, some parents don't need software with all the bells-and-whistles.

It still has some good tools to work with, including website blocking, Instant Message/chat recording, and good computer usage limits.

CyberPatrol is highly customizable, with different settings that can be arranged with an eye towards multiple children in the same household who might need different degrees of computer monitoring.

This is a great draw for parents who want to customize their parental controls for individual children, their ages, and their Internet needs and behaviors.

Unfortunately CyberPatrol doesn't offer more powerful parental control features, like true stealth, remote monitoring, or screenshots.

This makes it a more suitable program for parents of younger kids, or for parents who have the time to monitor their child's computer use from their home PC.

$39.95  (Regular price: $39.95)
Save $70.00 on CyberPatrol (Nearly 41% Off)

Spector Pro Computer Monitoring Software
  (Regular price: $169.95 )
Thanks to powerful Internet and computer monitoring features and excellent usability and ease-of-use, Spector Pro easily coasts into second place in our parental control software reviews this year.

We were impressed with Spector Pro's extensive monitoring, excellent user interface, and solid stealth / invisibility.

Overall, Spector Pro is an excellent choice for a single PC home or for parents who're more concerned about monitoring Internet and computer activity than website blocking.

This is because, while it is top notch parental control software (and also excellent as an all-around monitoring program), Spector Pro doesn't make blocking as easy as some competitors, Net Nanny and WebWatcher in particular.

Since Spector Pro still doesn't allow for easier, more proactive Internet filtering this leaves parents to block websites and disallow certain activities only after those activities have occurred.

While we understand their logic, namely that blocking and filtering Internet activities after the fact is more effective than doing so beforehand, we think that many busy parents want and need more flexible tools when it comes to protecting their kids from the dangers of the Internet.

$99.95  (Regular price: $169.95)
Save $70.00 on Spector Pro (Nearly 41% Off)

eBlaster Computer Monitoring Software
eBlaster comes in right behind Spector Pro in our reviews of today's best parental control software, mainly because they're functionally such similar products.

They're both high-quality programs made by Spector Soft, and both offer the features that most parents will likely need to monitor a child's Internet use.

Unlike Spector Pro, eBlaster also offers remote monitoring via email notifications, allowing parents to keep an eye on their child's Internet use from work (or anywhere else for that matter.)

While we consider remote monitoring a "must-have" in terms of parental control software, we were disappointed to see that eBlaster only offers keyword-based screenshots and doesn't have the ability to automatically take screenshots at certain intervals.

This can leave a bit of a gap in what parents may need to see to fully understand what their kids are up to online. Likewise, it also means that parents must pre-define a list of keywords for eBlaster to be on the alert for. If you're concerned that your kids are getting involved with drugs, for example, it may be difficult to come up with a complete list of keywords for eBlaster to monitor.

In fact, the lack of screenshots is the main reason we place it 3rd rather than higher in our ratings.

And finally, like its counterpart Spector Pro, eBlaster doesn't proactively filter Internet content - parents have to decide to block a website or instant messaging partner after something inappropriate has occurred.

This is based on Spector Soft's notion that parental monitoring is most effective when parents monitor first and block second.

For some parents this might be acceptable, but we think that others might prefer a program that's more aggressive when it comes to protecting their kids online.


Net Nanny Parental Controls
If you're looking for an easy-to-use family filter Net Nanny is among the easiest; however, it lacks a software keylogger, which significantly reduces its usefulness as child monitoring software.

Without a keylogger, we feel it really only provides the kind of computer monitoring appropriate for smaller kids, or for parents who feel they don't need to see who their child is talking to online or what they're typing once they get to a website.

Frankly, a keylogger is so important to computer monitoring, its absence is a huge oversight--even more so than remote monitoring (which Net Nanny has).

While Net Nanny has built its reputation as an excellent family filter, it takes a lot more than good branding to make the best overall parental control software.

That said, Net Nanny's filtering really is excellent and now includes "Dynamic Contextual Analysis" to filter pages in realtime plus a unique video game content restriction feature that uses the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)'s ratings to block access to certain content.

So while we think that NetNanny has a lot of things going for it, its lack of keylogger software is a glaring omission we can't overlook.

Hopefully, Content Protect, makers of Net Nanny, will consider adding keylogging functionality in a future version.


IAmBigBrother Parental Controls
IAmBigBrother advertises itself as one of the lowest priced parental control programs on the market today.

And while it's good to offer computer monitoring to parents that's priced to be more affordable, the compromise comes in a relative lack of features.

For the most part, IAmBigBrother is all about computer monitoring, and offers little in the way of filtering.

This means that while parents will know what their kids are up to online, they won't be able to do much about it.

As for remote monitoring, IAmBigBrother does offer it, but it's at a cost of $9.99/mo, which means a year of IAmBigBrother, along with the software itself, is $149.87, making it the most expensive remote parental control software option in the process.

Because of the expensive remote monitoring option, incomplete features, and lack of more pro-active filtering, IAmBigBrother comes in last on our list.


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