Online world is a pretty scary place these days, especially for growing up kids! Then there are employees who waste precious office hours and while away time playing games and/or using social media websites. We’ve tested endless number of computer monitoring software and detailed the top 3 for you. These are easily the most effective, all-round and well-priced options you can find in the market today.
- 1 Computer Monitoring Software Reviews
- 2 REFOG Personal Monitor
- 3 FlexiSpy Computer Monitoring Software
- 4 mSpy for Computers
Computer Monitoring Software Reviews
Whether you’re a concerned parent trying to keep tabs on your kids’ online activities, or a manager responsible for increasing his/her employees’ productivity scores, there are a number of computer monitoring software you can use to stay in complete control and well-informed about your children’s and employees’ computer activities.
The personal computers of today can bring the whole world to your desktop. However, with such freedom also comes a great deal of responsibility which not every computer user is able to shoulder. This is where computer monitoring software come into the picture. Such computer software are rapidly becoming a must-have for protecting organizations and families from digital mischief.
Pornography, cyber bullying and all kinds of online violence are commonplace in the Internet world today. However, you can shield your family and friends from all such unwanted exposure, with the use of an efficient computer monitoring software.
We’ve spent endless hours testing a great multitude of computer monitoring software in the marketplace, gone over exactly what each one of them offers, blocks and/or monitors, what is recorded for later review and which ones alert you whenever your child is in some type of online danger.
Based on all our research and testing, we’ve come to the conclusion that REFOG Personal Monitor is the best of all, closely followed by FlexiSpy and mSpy. Let’s provide you with a detailed overview and features of each one of them.
REFOG Personal Monitor
Although primarily targeted at kids, REFOG Personal Monitor works for anyone who wishes to effectively monitor someone else’s computer activities. It’s a given that kids are fond of online chatting and playing games on the Internet these days! However, how much of these games are too much and what’s the best way to stay on top of their online activities?
Enter REFOG Personal Monitor that helps you constantly guard your kids by monitoring their computer activities in the most unobtrusive manner.
REFOG Personal Monitor does its job by logging all the activities of a personal computer while its user is online. It logs each and everything including what has been typed, chat messages, sent logs, and creates a record of all the websites visited.
The tool also makes note of every program run and reports for how long it has been used. The VOIP and Skype conversations can be recorded as well to make sure that no one takes undue advantage of your kids. You can even create customized stop-phrase lists that alert you whenever a perceived threat is noticed.
Let’s take you through the main features of REFOG Personal Monitor:
Web history logging – The software retains the web history details in its online database even if the user deletes the browser history at his/her end. This web history can be accessed anytime using the reports function. Every relevant detail is collected in this log, including the page titles, visited URLs and the timestamps.
Once successfully installed on the target PC, REFOG constantly registers all the pressed keys too, thereby functioning as a key logger. It helps you capture every data that is entered by your employer or kid into his/her computer, using the keyboard, including usernames, passwords, chat messages, search queries, emails and other content. Apart from key logging, the software also maintains a log of the clipboard text.
History of screenshots
REFOG also allows you to take full-color screenshots of the target desktop’s screen at different times. It makes sure that whatever’s being typed by the user also gets backed up, thus providing you with visual evidence of the happenings. Employees and kids often get carried away and indulge in excessive online browsing, shopping and/or other unwanted tasks on their computers, in the absence of such active monitoring. Using the screenshot history, you can always gain ample evidence and prove that a certain employee has been wasting your company’s valuable time. The software supports multiple monitor configurations.
You don’t require physical access to the monitored computer to go through its logs. All reports are delivered via email, so you can read them from anywhere you like.
Monitoring IM messages
As REFOG is compatible with all the major IM software in the market, including Hangouts, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook Messenger, MSN, ICQ, Skype, AIM etc. it records both the outgoing and incoming messages on these platforms.
Reports and settings
You can set different control levels for the PC monitoring, disable/enable monitoring for certain users, filter log files, set up reports and alert keywords, and do much more using this software. As REFOG comes preconfigured, you can install it in a matter of few clicks and get going with default settings, without the need of any technical skills on your part.
File tracking and application monitoring
REFOG actively keeps a record of all the programs run on the target PC. So you get to know when your kid has been playing games instead of doing his/her homework; when an employee has been wasting time on the Internet and more. Additionally, all the file operations, for instance, open, delete, copy, etc. get stored by the software too. These can tell you if an employee has been accessing and deleting confidential office documents.
Password protection and the invisible mode
REFOG works in a manner that it stays completely under-the-radar on the target PC, keeping it absolutely invisible, even if the concerned user is a skilled PC expert. It can’t be found in any of the program folders or the control panel. Whenever you need to access the program, it can only be revealed by using a hotkey or a special command. Furthermore, you can even protect the REFOG installation using a password, ensuring that the user doesn’t delete any of the logs.
REFOG Personal Monitor has been developed in a manner that it can be installed and configured without any external technical assistance. Anyone in your family can install and use the software, even elderly who might not be very tech savvy.
You can buy REFOG Personal Monitor for both Windows PC as well as Mac. Following is what the costing looks like:
- 1 year’s license – $ 82
- 3 years’ license – $ 99
FlexiSpy Computer Monitoring Software
FlexiSpy is a highly efficient computer monitoring software that can be used by anyone who wishes to protect himself/herself or the people he/she cares for, from all kinds of cyber threats.
Parents can make efficient use of FlexiSpy through its comprehensive suite of parental controls, and thus supervise their children’s Internet activities. Doing this, they can constantly stay on top of the websites visited, people interacted with (via email or IM), applications installed and more on their kids’ computers.
Employers on the other hand can use FlexiSpy to constantly monitor employee productivity, emails, browser history, USB connections, keystrokes, desktop screenshots and more. They can even monitor the network bandwidth used by the employees and prevent any potential data breaches using the file activity tracking feature.
Comprising of over 40 different features, and more being added each month, FlexiSpy offers the users a whole lot more options than any other similar software in the market. They even offer a trade-in service through which you can replace any other computer monitoring software subscription with FlexiSpy, at a prorata discount.
What all does FlexiSpy computer monitoring software do?
FlexiSpy software once installed on the target PC or Mac, uploads all its data on the FlexiSpy server, that can then be accessed online. It constantly monitors the target computer, staying completely invisible, and records everything in the background.
Following are some of the main features of FlexiSpy software:
Monitoring of IM messages
The software allows you to see every word typed into the IM platforms used on the target computer. You can view content of majority of IM chat services including WhatsApp, LINE, Facebook and more, even the records that have been deleted from the system.
Monitoring network activities
This feature keeps track of all the network connections on the target computer, reporting many details including the user logins, print jobs, bandwidth usage and more.
Spying on Internet activities
You get complete access to the website history as well as bookmarks on the target computer. Other pertinent details you get access to include URLs, times and dates of visiting the websites and more.
FlexiSpy does an excellent job at monitoring all the file activity and data transfer on the concerned computer. You get to know when a particular file was opened, who modified it and the destination it was sent. This is done using the file activity and transfer tracking feature of the software.
The software allows you to run it both in hidden or the visible mode, on the target computer. Not many monitoring software provide this kind of flexibility.
Easily viewable computer data
The target computer’s data is uploaded on a regular basis, to the FlexiSpy portal. You can later access and view all this data either online from your laptop/computer or using the Mobile viewer app (on a smartphone).
As is expected from any top-notch computer monitoring software, FlexiSpy also offers a comprehensive key logging feature. It tells you what ever is being typed on the target computer, even if the user deletes it later. You can go through all these search terms, personal notes, usernames, passwords and more.
The software instantly records all the outgoing and incoming emails on the target computer, including pertinent details like the time of those emails and the contact information of the senders.
What makes FlexiSpy one of the best computer monitoring program?
Any top-notch computer monitoring software would offer you a great variety of features, excellent customer support, absolute reliability and the flexibility to upgrade to higher versions, depending on your growing needs. FlexiSpy does all, and does it pretty well!
FlexiSpy deserves a place in our top three rankings owing to its following major qualities:
As also highlighted earlier, FlexiSpy monitoring software provides more than 40 effective features to the users, a good number of which aren’t available in most of the competitors’ offerings. It gives you information, insights and details that aren’t offered by any other product.
The software allows you to view your data from anywhere anytime using their efficient mobile application. All you need to do is log into the FlexiSpy website and go through all the details captured from the target computer.
Excellent customer support
Every purchase of FlexiSpy computer monitoring software comes with an efficient and round-the-clock customer support. Hence, you will always have someone to turn to if you run into any problems (which is highly unlikely with the software).
Support for multiple devices
The FlexiSpy website allows you to monitor computers, tablet PCs and mobile devices all from one single platform. You can easily move your product license across different devices, at any point of time during your subscription period.
You can start spying on a target Windows or Mac computer using the following three different pricing options:
- 1 month’s license – $ 68
- 3 months’ license – $ 99
- 12 months’ license – $ 149
mSpy for Computers
mSpy which is already very popular for its mobile phone spying software, is also rapidly becoming a name to reckon with among the computer monitoring software. It lets you get completely involved in the digital lives of your kids, thereby preventing cyber bullying and interactions with potential online predators. Other than that, employers also use it actively to spy on their employees’ online activities.
Regardless of who uses it, the software’s focus is always on a bunch of necessary options and features that are a must in any such product, at an affordable price.
Primary features of mSpy computer monitoring software
The best feature of mSpy software is that it can be used on all devices, including desktops, laptops, tablet PCs and smartphones running any operating system such as Mac OS, Windows, iOS and Android. Furthermore, it tracks activities of all major browsers such as Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and more. However, the features offered on different devices might vary slightly.
Let’s provide you with a basic overview of the general features offered by mSpy computer monitoring software:
The software enables you to actively spy on the desktop/laptop computers through screenshots. It would show you what the target user has been up to from time to time. If you are an employer, you’d be able to view screenshots of all computer activities indulged in by your employee/s. In addition, the data can be accessed through the mSpy’s control panel, regardless of where you might be in the world. Furthermore, such screenshots can serve as excellent evidence in any disputable situations.
This mSpy feature enables you to monitor all the keystrokes on the target computer. You can get this information even if it has been deleted from the system. This can be immensely useful if you’re keen on learning what your employee was typing during the meeting or if your kids have been typing their homework or something else into the system.
Keylogger word search
It’s no news that Internet is full of dangers despite offering a whole lot of opportunities as well. This is especially true in case of youngsters who can easily get lost in the cyberspace. Hence, parents need to do all they can to guard their children from any unwanted online content, especially the kind which promotes violence, bullies, extorts money (malware) and adult content.
This feature of mSpy computer monitoring software keeps track of all the applications installed and used on the target computer, giving you complete access to each one of them.
This mSpy software feature tells you for how long the concerned user was active during each one of his/her computer session. This helps a great deal in ensuring that your employees actually work, and not just pretend to work, during the official hours.
Some of the other aspects that make mSpy computer monitoring software an ideal choice among the concerned parents and employers are:
Round-the-clock multilingual support – Every purchase of mSpy computer monitoring software comes with 24/7 multilingual customer support through live chat, email or phone. Hence, you’d always find someone to help you if you run into trouble, at any time of day or night.
High customer satisfaction score – mSpy computer monitoring software boasts of an impressive 95% customer satisfaction score. They treat customer satisfaction with great importance and it shows in the effectiveness of their product.
The software has also been featured at top online/off-line platforms including Forbes, TNW, IBM, Fatherly, FOX2now, TopTenReviews and more.
mSpy computer monitoring software is available for both Mac and Windows platforms. You can avail the following buying options on the mSpy official website:
- 1 month’s license – $ 22.49
- 3 months’ license – $ 29.99
- 12 months’ license – $ 52.49
The payment can be made using all major secure online payment options such as PayPal, wire transfer, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, JCB and more. Furthermore, every purchase comes with the option of a full refund within 10 days of purchase (provided the refund reason doesn’t contradict with their refund policy).