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WebWatcher Review

PROS / This application detects searches and visits to pornography websites. It offers a host of features and tools to monitor, filter, block and report computer and internet use.

CONS / In order to contact WebWatcher via email, you must use its online contact form. There is no way to send a direct email.

 VERDICT / This is a good computer and internet monitoring software to help you detect and block unwanted internet and computer activities.

WebWatcher offers strong internet and computer monitoring tools. Replete with filtering, blocking and reporting features, this monitoring software is a great product. It can help keep tabs on computer use of your children or others.

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Los Angeles-based Awareness Technologies, a producer of monitoring software since 1996, developed WebWatcher. It earns our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award in monitoring software.

  1. Months after purchase when free upgrades are included.
    More is better
  2. 2 WebWatcher
    0 Number
  3. 2 Number
  4. 12 Number
  5. Category Average
    205.00 Number

This product stores monitored data only for seven days, but it does offer longer storage packages for additional fees. It takes up to 1,000 screenshots of questionable activities, but more screenshots can be purchased for an additional fee.

Monitoring Activities

WebWatcher's website recording component logs all of a user's web activities. This monitoring software creates a list of visited URLs as well as the frequency, hour and duration of each visit. Moreover, owners can specify keywords, disallow websites by URL, allow websites and customize the app to an assortment of settings. These features are useful in preventing a user from accessing online pornography, gambling, social networking and gaming websites.

This monitoring software's Alert Word system can assist parents in protecting their children. Upon designation of a concerning word or phrase, WebWatcher actively scans all monitored communications seeking the specified word or phrase. Examples of keywords and phrases can include pornography, gambling, dating, sex and more.

Upon discovery of an alert word, WebWatcher's Smart Camera takes a screenshot of the text in question and sends an email notifying the computer owner of a potential compromising situation. The Smart Camera shows what the monitored user had open on his or her desktop at the time of the email alert. For easy viewing, the application stores all captured screenshots in sequential order. Computer owners can choose to isolate the images and view them one-by-one or implement a video-type playback of the recorded screenshots. Each purchase of the monitoring software comes with 1,000 complimentary screenshots. More desktop images are available for an extra fee.

This monitoring software records all online searches. If the results of an online search contain one of the designated alert words or phrases, you can set WebWatcher's preferences to show a blank browser page for the user, instead of the webpage that triggered the alert.

The email-monitoring component of WebWatcher records the contents of all emails. Supported email applications are Outlook and Outlook Express. WebWatcher can also record communications sent through web-based email providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and others. Moreover, the software logs the transcripts of conversations that occur via chat and instant messaging.

Blocking & Controls

After purchase, Awareness Technologies sends the buyer an email that contains a login for the product's website and software download instructions. The installation of this application is fast and simple.

Once installed, it runs in stealth mode and is invisible to all users of the monitored computer. The monitoring software secretly operates with virtually no depletion of other critical system resources or bandwidth.

You can monitor both computer and smartphone activity from the same web-based interface. This software can tell you locations of activities you're tracking, whether they occur on a desktop, smartphone, laptop or other mobile device.

Removing the monitoring software requires the input of a series of hotkeys and correctly entering the administrative password. These combined security features prevent the monitored users from meddling with the software's secret settings.

The monitoring software has numerous customization settings. In Basic Mode, the default option performs surveillance of all users of the monitored computer. The Advanced Mode allows computer owners to assign different recording levels to the individual users of the monitored computer.

WebWatcher's advanced keylogger records all keyboard strokes. This monitoring software's formatting of the strokes is easy to read. The software catches profanities and other obscene phrases. The keylogger can help to determine if a child-user is the recipient of inappropriate materials or is sending personal information to individuals on the internet.

If concerns regarding the viewing of pornography exist, the monitoring software can log the frequency of user-launched applications. Examples of these types of computer programs include video player software such as QuickTime, Real Player, Media Player and others. Additional information provided by this monitoring software includes the most frequently launched computer application as well as the duration of use.

Reporting

WebWatcher has strong blocking and filtering capabilities. Computer owners can block websites by URL or page content. The online monitoring feature of the software can also filter content on the fly. It actively scans online searches and website content for inappropriate or objectionable material.

You can prevent users from executing certain types of applications as well. Category-based blocking allows you to block applications by group, such as web browsers, instant messaging software and email clients. Blocking by the software's given name is also possible.

Help & Support

WebWatcher has remote reporting capabilities. Gathered information is viewable from any internet-connected computer. The manufacturer's reporting interface is intuitive. Beginning computer users will have no trouble locating the saved data, and the reports are easy to read and interpret. The reporting system sorts the information by application type and in chronological order. The Alert Word system marks all information that contains the specified alert words and phrases.

You can view monitoring reports on a web-based interface and as a local program on the monitored computer. This monitoring software also offers customized email reports that can be sent daily, weekly or monthly. It sends email alerts for more immediate review.

Data enclosed in email alerts contain information that is alert-word specific. The manufacturer keeps gathered data on its website for seven days. Longer data retention options are available for additional fees.

Summary

WebWatcher is strong and comprehensive monitoring software that can prevent users from viewing pornography or engaging in online gambling. It offers a host of features to monitor and block computer use and can keep your home free of unwanted influences. It's easy to use and works well.

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