McAfee Safe Eyes 6.1.123 Review

Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Parental Software here.

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

McAfee Safe Eyes goes beyond internet filtering to provide control over videos, internet TV, music, instant messaging, games, social networking and email.


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    Safe Eyes covers three computers with one license.


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    Safe Eyes runs on Windows, Macs and iOS, but the Android version is not yet available.

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Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Parental Software here.

Safe Eyes stands out in many good ways among parental control software, but one of the first things you may notice is its ability to work on a wide range of devices. It also works on iPhones, which will be especially helpful as your children access the internet more and more on their phones.

Safe Eyes does much more than play well with multiple operating systems; it offers a comprehensive tool set to protect your children online – from predators, pornography and anything else you want them to avoid.

The whole philosophy behind this product will work well for most families. Safe Eyes encourages open discussions with your kids about which websites and content you will be blocking and why. Your children will know that Safe Eyes is monitoring them, and this can lead to healthy discussions about what behavior is safe and what is not. Safe Eyes even offers a suggested set of internet rules to have both you and your child sign.

Safe Eyes categorizes websites in 35 ways to make it convenient for you to prohibit access to whole classes of online content. You can also prohibit access to websites based on keywords. Or, you can list any site that you want to specifically block. This product can block web-based email and popular IM programs. If you don't want to allow access to Facebook, just block it. And that goes for any social networking platform. If your child tries to go to a site you have placed out of bounds, you will receive an alert by email, phone or text, according to your preference. You can also filter online TV according to ratings and block media players.

Parental control software is all about monitoring children's online behavior. Safe Eyes instantly alerts you whenever a child attempts to access a site that you have placed off limits. You can opt to receive daily or weekly activity summaries by email. And, you always have real-time access to online reports. This software will log both sides of an IM conversation and record whenever a child posts sensitive information on social networks.

You have the option to monitor any personal information that your children share on social networking sites. This parental software will record any profanity or sexually explicit terms used on the sites. The application will record all website activity and send you a report showing when your children were active, any searches they conducted and which sites they visited most frequently. If your children watched any online videos, you can find them and see them as well. Any music that a child listened to is also available to you. Safe Eyes monitors instant messaging conversations and records them in full for you to review.

Safe Eyes creates useful reports that show when children go online, their top searches and the top sites they visit. The Activity Report has a videos pane that lets you know which videos are being watched and which are being blocked. It also shows the video ratings of the videos that your children are watching or being refused access to. You can access the activity reports through the Safe Eyes online interface. But you can also get activity summaries by email, which are condensed versions of the full reports that the product pushes out to you.

Installation is free of drama. You can manage all Safe Eyes installations online whether you have deployed it on a Windows machine, a Mac or an iPhone. Buy one product license and you can install the software on three different computers – any combination of Windows and Apple computers.

To prevent children from easily uninstalling this parental filter software, the publisher requires you to send the username and administrator password to request the uninstall code, which you can use only on the same day that you receive it. The uninstallation protocol should thwart attempts by even precocious children to disable Safe Eyes.

Highly configurable without causing bewilderment, Safe Eyes provides you with the tools to customize profiles for each child. You can assign how much online time to permit, and you can establish the days and times when your children can spend their online time allowances. If, for some reason, you need to extend more time to a child, as an administrator, you can assign more time for that day, and then the program will return to the regular schedule on the next day. To customize the schedule, you work with a table showing blocks of days and times so that you can see a week at a glance.

Among the best in the parental control software on the market, McAfee Safe Eyes evolves its feature set based on listening to parents and considering market research data. The product design philosophy assumes that the software is a tool augmented by ongoing talks between parents and children. Rather than simply monitoring a child's activity, Safe Eyes provides the ability to completely block access to inappropriate sites, games, music, videos, chat rooms and social networks. Inappropriate content is not the only danger that this product minimizes. Another danger to children (or anyone) is too much time on the computer, which is why Safe Eyes lets you designate how much time a child can have and when the child can have it.

You can't always physically be with a child who is accessing the internet. McAfee Safe Eyes extends your parental reach so that you can virtually shape your children's development in the way that you deem best as you groom them to be healthy and successful.

Nicole Johnston

Nicole writes for multiple Future Publishing brands covering topics from antivirus to kitchen appliances to SAS. She has over 15 years of research and writing experience, including eight years of testing and reviewing consumer products. Nicole earned bachelor’s degrees in both English and Political Science with a focus on empirical research. In her spare time, Nicole serves as a member of several school councils and volunteers for a local arts board.