Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Spysure is a program that falls more into the category of website blocker than internet filter software , primarily because it doesn’t include the ability to filter websites by type. What this means is that you cannot set a control to render sites that may include pornography or profanity inaccessible. Despite this shortcoming, it is a highly effective internet safety program that, even though it doesn’t have automated cyberbullying detection features, can still tip you off if your child is being cyberbullied or approached by online predators.
An internet block feature is included, which allows you to prevent specific websites from being accessed. It also gives you the power to allow access to only certain websites you know are safe and do not contain any harmful images or content, thereby blocking all others. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the software doesn’t support the creation of individual profiles, there is no way to selectively allow or disallow certain sites based on age or maturity.
Where Spysure does excel greatly is in the area of activity monitoring. If you’re unsure what your child is up to when he or she gets online, the software contains features that can provide you with detailed information. In the admin dashboard settings, you can schedule screenshots to be taken at specific intervals for later review. By looking at screenshots regularly, you can manually review the email and chat messages your child is receiving, which can alert you to possible cyberbullying. There is also a file download monitor that can tell you what programs are being downloaded. A web analysis tool gives you a breakdown of all activity, so you can get a good idea of where your kids are spending the majority of their time online.
Because Spysure doesn’t have tools to filter sites by type or possible content, we gave it an incomplete rating in false positive accuracy testing that negatively impacted its score. Its lack of time management tools are also a liability if you want to exercise tight control on internet usage. These limitations are offset greatly by the software’s activity recording capabilities, in addition to its competent reporting and notification features.
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Help documentation can be found via a downloadable user manual, but there is little by way of a knowledgebase to get answers for difficult questions. Email communication with support is possible; however, there are no live chat or phone in options. Currently, Spysure only supports computers running Windows operating systems Vista, XP and 7.
Spysure effectively monitors all online activity of your household members through a combination of screenshots, keystroke recording, website blocking and reporting. Although it has no automated pornography filter or cyberbullying alert features, it can be used to great effect monitoring your child’s online activity to keep them safe from a variety of dangers.