PROS / Younger children will benefit from CYBERsitter's content filtering and blocking.
CONS / The lack of recording features may render the software ineffective to monitor older children.
VERDICT / Parents of teenagers may want to consider a more robust parental control application.
CYBERsitter can do exactly what its name suggests – watch your children online when you cannot. It is missing a few features compared to the best parental control software, including keylogging and screenshot recording, but the tools it does have are useful to any parent.
You will be able to block websites based on their content, with pre-set categories for more and less restriction. This parental filter software blocks adult websites automatically for all users from the time you first download it. You will be able to create whitelists of always-allowed sites and blacklists of never-allowed sites so that boundaries are clear.
The missing recording and reporting features make this parental monitoring software less effective for older children. Aside from missing screenshot and keylogging tools, CYBERsitter does not record chats and instant messaging conversations for you. That can be a real problem if you have a sneaky teen.
The installation of this child monitoring software is easy. Predefined settings allow for fast deployment. The control panel is simple in design, and the program consumes little hard drive space. Filtering and blocking functions do not slow the computer or drain the memory. Removal of the software occurs from the control panel. When the uninstall is complete, the parental filter software is completely removed, and no remnants of it can load.
Parents can customize the parental software in many ways. Options include the ability to set content filters, internet access times and passwords. Pre-configured settings include the blocking of malicious and phishing websites, as well as materials that are inappropriate for children. This parental software tracks all URL requests regardless of the application used to make the request.
The reporting features of this parental control software are limited. From the control panel, you must push an inconveniently located down arrow button to read the reports.
Once you successfully access them, a plain-text log file is available. The captured data is both time and date stamped. However, locating specific information is time consuming and tedious.
If you buy one license, you can install this software on up to three computers. The annual CYBERsitter subscription includes all application updates and upgrades for one year. Also included are daily filter updates, technical support and monthly newsletters.
The application comes equipped with embedded FAQs that are accessible through the software's control panel. Support is available through a website-hosted email form and by telephone.
CYBERsitter is an effective content filtering and blocking application that is quite helpful for young children. The application may not be an effective tool for monitoring tweens, teenagers or advanced computer users, though, because it does not have the recording and reporting features we identified as critical for that functionality.