Internet Filter and Parental Control Software Reviews
BUILT-IN PARENTAL CONTROLS FROM ISP
Note: The information in the following section may no longer be applicable, as now most people receive their Internet service through a telecom company like Verizon or a cable company like Comcast. Since this site is not being as actively updated, we have not been able to research what parental control features these services offer.
Most major ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) like America Online, MSN or Earthlink, provide parental controls that allow you to adjust the nature of content available to each screen name. This means each family member can have customized access to the Internet based on age at no additional charge. The following are links that explain how to use parental controls with EARTHLINK . AMERICA ONLINE and MSN .
A more aggressive option for filtering is a filtered or a “family-friendly” ISP. With a filtered ISP, content filtering is not an option you select and set up; it is built-in and automatic for all users. It cannot be bypassed or overridden. Here are links to some “family-friendly” ISP’s.
For more information on ISP-based filtering, click here . For a sampling of more filtering ISP�s, click here . For families using an ISP without the parental control feature, filtering software is recommended (see below).
CLIENT INTERNET FILTERING AND PARENTAL CONTROL SOFTWARE REVIEW
(Purchased and installed on your computer[s])
Here is a chart of some of the leading software products available. The ratings have been calculated based on several comparative reviews. For explanation of features, hover your mouse over the term you wish to have defined.
* BrowseControl provides discounts when purchased in bulk, like for a computer lab.
There are many commercially available products. Some filtering products, like Symantec and McAfee, are part of a package of software tools that also include virus protection, popup blockers, and other security features. The advantage: with one purchase, you can take care of several important concerns. The catch: these products typically cost more than a stand-alone internet filtering product and have annual subscriptions. The following links below provide additional information about commercially available internet filters.
INTERNET FILTERING ROUTER REVIEWS
For advanced users, commercial filtering may work for you if you meet these three conditions:
1) Your household has more than one computer
2) They are or will be networked (“talking” to each other)
3) You have a fast Internet connection (not dial-up)
The option is router-based filtering. A router is a piece of equipment that connects your computers to the Internet and to each other. Some come with options to filter content which means the filtering you set up will be applied to all computers in your network. Router-based filtering can be more complex to set up, but is also more difficult to bypass. There is an initial purchase cost, plus an annual subscription fee. Several reasonably-priced examples are shown below.
The first three in this list are fairly new options and block a loophole that some other routers do not handle.
Kibosh. $99 + $59.99/yr filtering service
Blocksi Router. $59.95 per 2 years’ subscription
ACCOUNTABILITY AND MONITORING SOFTWARE REVIEWS
- Ministry of xxxchurch.com (www.xxxchurch.com )
- Regularly sends list of questionable web visits to selected recepients
- Best free monitoring software
- X3watchPro version available for $14.95; includes tech support
- Mac compatible
- An internet usage tracking solution designed for companies and organizations
- Product is installed on a computer network and monitors internet usage (sites visits, length of time, etc.) for all computers used
- Prices vary by number of computers being monitored
- $19.95 for download
- Scans computer files and internet history for potentially offensive materials
- Deluxe version ($39.95 + S H): includes keystroke monitoring, scans, chats and emails, expanded dictionary of keywords
- $39.95 for download free trial
- Records emails, IM, websites, keystrokes, file access, screen snapshots
- website, email, chat, IM blocking
- Games and applications alerts blocking
- Monitor email, chat, IM, p2p applications
- Record keystrokes and downloads
- Websites blocking
- Records instant message (IM) conversations
- Login online to review IM conversations from within the last 24 hours
- Receive daily usage summary via email
- Receive alerts to dangerous conversations or watch-words via email