PROS / The program records everything, including keystrokes and webcam activity.
CONS / This program doesn’t have profanity masking capabilities.
VERDICT / Despite its limited help and support channels, SpyAgent performs exceptionally well and is successful at filtering and recording all online activity.
SpyAgent is a website blocker and internet filter software program that lives up to its name by providing you with complete control and oversight of everything that takes place on your computer. Pornography filters keep your children away from sites that could be damaging to them, while stealth monitoring features like keystroke recording and screenshots give you clear insight into the activities your children are participating in online. Not only is it a powerful internet safety tool, but it can also notify you of cyberbullying and other potential perils. For these reasons, we have awarded SpyAgent our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
Reporting & Notification
Once a user's activity has been recorded, there are two ways for you to access the data. The first is by logging into the admin account and pulling up a manual report. The second is to schedule the receipt of an email message, which provides you with a summary of activity.
SpyAgent also offers immediate alert notifications, which fire off a message via email whenever a user takes a specific action. These triggers can include accessing applications you have blocked or websites that you have flagged, along with numerous other configurable options. Unlike a small handful of other internet filter software programs on our top 10 list, SpyAgent cannot monitor activity on smartphones and therefore offers no reporting for the activity that may occur on your child's Android or iOS mobile device.
SpyAgent excels in the area of activity recording. It includes the ability to turn on keystroke recording, which creates a record of everything a user types into the computer keyboard – including login IDs and passwords to social media profiles or email accounts. This, along with screenshots that you can program to take place at specific intervals, is an effective way of monitoring your child's internet activity so that you can take measures to prevent potentially dangerous scenarios from unfolding.
Microphone and webcam activity can also be recorded with SpyAgent. Recording can be set to turn on automatically when the software detects activity on a webcam or a microphone. SpyAgent keeps an accurate record of all websites that a user visited or attempted to visit. You can also read all emails sent and received. The software also saves a record of all activity, including general computer usage that may not be related to online activities.
Filtering & Blocking
Although SpyAgent lacks the ability to automatically identify certain keywords and phrases associated with cyberbullying, it can be used as a tool to bring to your attention if your child is being cyberbullied. In addition to standard website blocker and pornography filter capabilities, SpyAgent lets you monitor and block chat applications, games and any other application you determine should be off limits. The added ability to set time management controls to lock down an entire computer at scheduled times is an added benefit, as is your ability to block specific URLs or allow only certain websites to be visited for unique user profiles. This is a practice known as blacklisting and whitelisting.
One feature that is missing from this internet blocking program is profanity masking, a tool found in our top pick that changes vulgar language into nonsense symbols to help shield children from reading it.
Installation & Support
SpyAgent’s Easy Configuration Wizard takes you through some of the program's most frequently used features and offers three separate configuration packages: complete and stealth configuration, complete configuration, and typical configuration. The difference between these three options is the level of stealth you can achieve, but if you find that you want to make changes later on, it's simple to relaunch the wizard at any time.
Help and support shortcuts are easily found on the program's dashboard interface, and in testing we discovered that you're never more than two clicks away from reaching technical support or pulling up the online manual. Unfortunately, the manual is not keyword searchable, which means that finding answers to specific technical issues may take you longer than you hoped.
You can get SpyAgent help and support through two methods: a 24/7 help desk that can be reached via email for troubleshooting issues and a searchable online knowledgebase for the DIY-oriented user. Email tech support was quick to respond, in our experience, and telephone support is available for quickly connecting with a live agent. An online user manual, how-to step guides, installation guides and FAQs make up the in-depth knowledgebase.
SpyAgent is a PC-centric internet monitoring and filter program that is compatible with computers running Windows operating systems. There is no support offered for Mac computers, just as there in no support for Android or iOS devices. For PC users looking for an all-encompassing software program that can control, monitor, record and report your child's internet usage, few other products on the market have the reach and flexibility of SpyAgent.