Parents worried about what their kids are accessing online are constantly looking at ways to make the family PC a safer place and implementing parental controls goes some way towards safeguarding those most vulnerable when using a computer.
Monitoring software goes even further than that and the wealth of programs available allow you to log everything from the web sites visited and screenshots to recording keystrokes and completely blocking certain sites.
There are a number of excellent examples of free monitoring software available and what follows is a list of the top five free monitoring software programs of 2015
Revealer Keylogger Free
Best suited to a PC where the user is likely to be less aware of a key logger in use, Revealer Keylogger Free is a limited monitoring program that comes into its own even before the premium features are unlocked for a fee.
The free version allows you to click start every time you want to start logging the keystrokes online and will give you a run down of all sites visited, words typed and allow you to save these logs to access at a later date. It has one other feature that lets you apply password protection to the program itself so that it runs stealthily without any users noticing.
Using it in stealth is as simple as closing the window down and then using the designated hotkey and password to open it back up to check up on the results of the monitoring. Obviously wanting you to upgrade to the premium version, Revealer Keylogger Free hides the password protection in the settings menu due to the fact it compares favourably with the full invisible mode that is part of the paid-for incarnation.
Even with so many features such as desktop or active window screen capture, full invisible mode, and remote monitoring via email, ftp or local network behind a paywall, Revealer Keylogger Free remains a great monitoring program.
Free Keylogger Pro
Itemised reports and hiding itself are major parts of what makes Free Keylogger Pro a solution that will appeal to people that want a keylogger to keep an eye on what is going on. Free Keylogger Pro can be set up to launch on Windows startup and further to this it will start in hidden mode if you tell it to, which means the tray icon will not be visible.
Free Keylogger Pro comes into its own through its itemised reports that class logs by date and separates them out by keystrokes, clipboard and visited sites. Unfortunately there’s no way to group these together as one report and it’s just one of the areas that Free Keylogger Pro falls back slightly.
The others is that the only way to get the program back up is to use the default hotkey that is Shift + Ctrl + Alt + K and there’s no way to change this to something a little more simple. Free Keylogger Pro also lacks any password protection thus meaning anyone that finds it on the PC and gains access can delete logs and alter the way it works.
Those wanting increased protection of their monitoring should look elsewhere, but for a simplified solution Free Keylogger Pro doesn’t do much wrong.
Refog Free Keylogger
Developed by the company of the same name, Refog Free Keylogger brings an much more advanced set of tools to the table alongside the keylogging options that are the fabric of most monitoring programs.
From the get-go PC owners or administrators can monitor keystrokes typed, websites visited and clipboards like all the other services mentioned so far. Although it also offers the ability to monitor chat activity, program activity, and computer activity, take screenshots and webcam shots, and also record calls and track files without an extra charge.
All of the results are sorted into separate categories and can be viewed by clicking each one or alternatively as a list that includes every category so that you can easily keep tabs on what is being used on your computer.
Screenshots are taken automatically by the software at random intervals, which can be defined by the user, to give you even more of an idea as to what is going on and the whole system is protected by a master password that must be set up when installing it.
For users that want a more basic experience this has an advanced set of features that can feel like they are cluttering the screen and the free version only lets you look at tracking for the last three days, meaning you cannot even narrow it down to the current day. Even taking this into consideration it’s arguably the most extensive free monitoring program around.
The Web Blocker
Blocking websites before they can be accessed is another way to control the activity on your PC, and The Web Blocker offers one of the best ways to do this with options to block individual websites or types of content.
Branding itself as ‘Internet Parental Control Made Easy’, it focuses primarily on filtering content with social networking, adult material, and games, gambling and videos the three categories that it chooses to focus on. You can tick boxes next to as many as you’d like to select and turn filtering on or off depending on the user. There’s also the chance to turn on proxy servers, which is recommended by the program itself.
The one thing we would say about blocking programs of this ilk is that they can unwittingly block websites that don’t contain any offensive content and this is something to watch out for when using the software.
Even though it doesn’t offer some of the advanced capabilities that come bundled in other key logging programs, parents wanting to block certain sites will take a lot of comfort in the features offered by The Web Blocker.
Following in the footsteps of its peers, Keylogger Free is another program that records the keystrokes of those using the PCs and for beginners this the simplest to get your head around of the lot.
There are no fancy screenshot recording modes to be seen and Keylogger Free simply records anything that happens on the system and saves it into a log file that is updated regularly by the program.
It can be put into hidden mode much like every other key logger out there and a customisable hot key brings it back from spying mode. One thing that is sorely lacking from the program is the ability to protect it with a password and those requiring that extra layer of protection need to look beyond Keylogger Free.
SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:
- View Real-time Screen Snapshot
- Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
- Record Emails
- Track web browsing history
- Block access to any website
- Remote PC Maintenance
- Program Activity
If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.
A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.