TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winner Net Nanny offers the perfect combination of tools to protect your children online. Unlike so much parental control software you'll find, this application is simple and easy to use, offering peace of mind with a relatively gentle learning curve.
With Net Nanny, you get a complete picture of what your child views online and will be able to set limits to prevent them from seeing anything that could be harmful. Some of the earliest steps with to take with Net Nanny involve setting up filters to keep your child away from formal content categories such as Adult/Mature, Gambling, Illegal Drugs, Pornography, Weapons and others. You can also block access to specific websites.
You can manage all of this remotely, which is terribly convenient. You just log in to look at a full report of your child's internet activities. You will know generally what categories of content they are looking at, and you can get specific information as well with actual search terms. Net Nanny covers such a wide range too.
This parental monitoring software can mask profanity, which is a huge bonus. You may want to allow your child to access sites like YouTube, for instance, but you don't want them to be bombarded by the colorful language in the comments. Net Nanny disguises that language with symbols instead. We love this product's tools for gaming too. You can block games based on their ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating or specific content.
With Net Nanny, you get to control the quantity, not just the quality, of internet use for your children. School districts around the USA report that many children arrive at school sleep deprived. Tired children sometimes experience falling grades and can perform poorly on tests. Staying up late to play online games, chat with friends or simply surf the web, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning, have caused more than one child to experience sleep deprivation. Net Nanny comes equipped with a scheduling feature that can grant or deny children internet access. Parents can deny access during normal sleep hours.
Net Nanny's other filtering and blocking capabilities include website filtering, website blocking, and chat filtering and blocking.
Net Nanny records all visited websites. Social networks pose numerous threats to children. Many parents have legitimate concerns regarding their child's online social networking profiles. Net Nanny may calm the fears of many parents because of its advanced social network monitoring capabilities. Parents can receive detailed reports regarding a child's Facebook, MySpace or other social networking profile. These detailed reports include a child's friends list, uploaded videos and pictures, wall posts and instant message conversations. To obtain this information, the monitored child must agree to install the targeted social network's app for Net Nanny on their personal profile. Should a child refuse permission, parents can easily block the child from accessing the site.
Unfortunately, Net Nanny only keeps the collected information for 24 hours. After the time has lapsed, the application removes the collected data. The company imposes this time limit to appease several social networking sites. This appeasement facilitates making the Net Nanny app available to teenagers and other people who use the targeted social networking sites.
This parental software can capture transcripts of conversations that occur in chat and instant message applications. It even records Facebook and MySpace instant messaging. During the monitoring of internet-based conversations, the app proactively scans the exchanges for dangerous communications that may include the sexual solicitation of the child, bullying, threats, aggressive language and profanity. Upon identification of a potentially ominous word or phrase, the app alerts parents to the situation by email. It also records the words and keywords used to perform online searches.
Net Nanny has two reporting methods. Parents can view collected information via the local monitored PC or access it remotely through the manufacturer-hosted website. In both methods, reports and collected data are identical.
Net Nanny is a subscription-based service. When you buy it, the publisher emails you a link for the download and an activation code. Installation is easy. After a reboot, the product is up and running. You don't have to be at the target machine to manage it or to get reports because you can take care of managing the installations online. Because of its proactive content filtering capabilities, the response times of both Firefox and Internet Explorer are slightly slower than normal. The application does seem to have a minimal draw on system memory and somewhat slows the monitored PC. The benefits of the application clearly outweigh this negligible depletion of system resources. Only advanced computer users will notice any slowing.
Parents can select what to filter and create filtering exceptions. The establishment of family-based, age-based and individual user profiles is a straightforward task. For parents who monitor several computers, the application allows you to export profiles to all monitored computers.
Each purchase of the subscription-based software allows you to install the application on one computer for one year. You will receive any updates to the program while you are a subscriber.
According to its website, Net Nanny was days away from being compatible with Windows 8 while we were researching this topic. We assume it will only be a short time before Net Nanny works in a Windows 8 environment. But Net Nanny does work on a wonderfully wide variety of device types already – Mac, Windows XP, Vista and 7. It even works on Android and iPhone handsets. That is a wonderful benefit for those who want to use the same child monitoring software to govern all of the ways children access the internet. You do not get compatibility with all devices with the purchase of one license, of course, but being able to use the same parental software to govern all devices is convenient, even if you have to purchase an app separately.
Technical support is available through live chat, email, telephone contact, user help files and a website-hosted FAQs area. Customer report inquiries result in a fast response, with the possible exception of chat, which is often offline.
Net Nanny parental software effectively regulates access to online games, social media sites, proxy sites and age-inappropriate internet content. You can manage Net Nanny installations online, so you don't have to be present at the computer that your child uses. You can block any personally identifying information from being posted outside of the home. If you want to know where your child goes on the internet and see the conversations that are happening, Net Nanny can assist you by monitoring and informing you of what you want to know, and by blocking the type of content you don't want your child to encounter.
Net Nanny is equipped with sophisticated filtering and blocking capabilities.
The application cannot capture keyboard strokes or desktop images.
Net Nanny is a reliable and remarkable child-monitoring tool that is also easy to use.