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Safe Eyes Review

Wednesday, June 23rd

2021 Internet Filter Reviews

Safe Eyes Review 3.5 Star Rating

Safe Eyes

3.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $49.95 per year for up to 3 computers (Android and iOS not included)
  • $69.95 per year bundled with McAfee Antivirus for up to 3 computers (Android and iOS included)
  • $9.99 per month billed monthly (only available as a mobile purchase)
  • $8.33 per month billed annually (only available as a Windows purchase)

You may recognize the name McAfee from the familiar anti-virus software installed on most new computers. You may have even purchased and configured the Safe Eyes software McAfee publishes to help you filter and monitor your kids' activities online.

Safe Eyes is available for Windows, iOS and Android devices. Mac OS devices seem to have been left out of their offering at this time, which is unfortunate since Mac is becoming a more popular platform than Windows for family computing.

You can get the mobile app for $9.99 per month, billed monthly. Or you can buy the Windows-only $8.33 per month plan, billed annually. We found the name and pricing a little confusing because another McAfee website advertised McAfee "Safe Eyes" and the cost at $49.95 per year for up to 3 computers, but with no Android or iOS available. The alternative was $69.95 per year bundled with McAfee Antivirus for up to 3 computers, this time with Android and iOS included. The difference in name and price and which platforms were available at each price was a little baffling.

There is a 30-day money-back trial available if you want to see whether it will work for your family.

Safe Eyes lets you see each device's activity, including websites and applications accessed as well as the device's current location and places where the child used its check-in feature. So, for example, if your child is away from home going to the movies with friends, you'll get an alert when they arrive.

If you have a need to set rules and timeframes for access on a device, website, or app, you can use pre-defined age-based rules and customize them based on each child's needs. If there is any kind of exception needed for a particular rule, you can allow your child to request extra app time or access blocked apps or websites.

Best Internet Filters

Don't be surprised if you're confused as you try to figure out what Safe Eyes offers. When we reviewed the website, we found a three-column list of features which said the ones common to all platforms include:

  • Location alert history
  • System alert history
  • List of installed apps
  • App blocking
  • Screen time management
  • Digital time-out
  • Locate children on interactive map
  • Receive check-in alerts
  • Receive automatic alerts when kids arrive or leave a known place

However, we found that some of the iOS-only features it lists are "checked" on the three-column list. A link on the page specifically for iOS devices noted that the experience on Windows and Android devices differs from iOS because iOS is more advanced. For example, on iOS you can use "geofencing" to define "places" to send automatic notifications when your child arrives at or departs from the geofence. But those features are also listed for Android and Windows. On iOS you can be alerted in an activity feed when a child tries to uninstall Safe Eyes or disable features, but Windows and Android also show a list of installed apps for each device. The truly iOS-only features seemed to be reports of time usage limit violations on texting, phone or other apps that aren't blocked by Safe Eyes and seeing the last known location of your family member's device.

Support is available only via a McAfee general support portal website for all its products and not just for Safe Eyes. That site presents a lot of self-help and community-based options up front, but buries the contact Support button below the scroll line. On the direct contact page there is yet another list of categorized support options, now including social media, but, again, the "submit a case online" link is buried below the scroll line. That link only leads to a simple contact form where you submit your description and then wait for the page to refresh showing you a button to initiate chat. The page claims support is available 24/7. We were able to connect with chat in about 2 minutes. But an inquiry into the confusion of features on different platforms took about 20 minutes to complete, with the representative having to check with a higher-level team twice to get the correct answer.

McAfee has three listings with the Better Business Bureau, two of which are the same, but only one customer review, no accreditation and no rating. The one customer review was a complaint about not having authorized automatic billing. There was no response or resolution from McAfee. On iTunes, the iOS app enjoys a 4.5/5 star review with lesser-starred reviews complaining of kids being able to hack the app and turn everything off, too much difficulty in configuring it, and lack of comparable features on iOS as on Android. Another major review site gave it lower marks for being expensive, not available on Macs, and no web-based interface

Due to the confusing nature of the features list, a long support chat with an unknowledgeable support person, and problems with kids being able to hack the app and turn it off, our rating is lower than the overall iTunes Store rating. But the software might still be of good use for most users who already have McAfee products and want the convenience of adding Safe Eyes to that subscription set.

What is the Best Internet Filter?

Internet Filters are more important now than ever. One of the very first things to make its way to the Internet was pornography and other offensive content. Because pornography companies are privately held, nobody knows for sure how much revenue the porn industry generates. However, estimates range from $5 billion to as much as $97 billion per year, with a social cost much higher than that.

It might be surprising to know that websites displaying porn get more traffic than Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter combined. Every week there are thousands of new porn sites created, with a nearly uncountable number of porn sites today. The best internet filters can block these sites, because this is a problem that is not going away anytime soon.

The Best Internet Filters Compare Internet Filters Compare Internet Filter Reviews What are the best Internet Filters Best Internet Filter Reviews

Internet Filter FAQ

Internet filters are useful for anyone who wants to ensure that illicit content is not available to users of their Internet connections and services. Customers of Internet filtering solutions tend to be parents, with the remainder being libraries, religious and community organizations, and businesses.
Internet filtering solutions are more commonly designed and implemented on an individual basis, particularly for parents who are concerned about their children accessing problematic content online. However, businesses are also customers of Internet filtering software companies because they have specific liabilities they want to avoid when it comes to employees accessing pornography, gambling, or engaging in other online activities that are not part of their job descriptions.
Internet filtering software costs differ depending on the pricing and subscription models each vendor follows. They can range from under $10/month per device to $70-$150 for multiple computers. Cost will also vary depending on the number and complexity of the features involved in the software.
There are many different kinds of filters: software, hardware, DNS, proxy, and Virtual Private Network (VPN). Each of these has a different way of detecting and blocking access to sites known to contain or link to undesirable content. Some rely on "allow lists" of good online resources and block lists of bad online resources. Others have sophisticated programming that scans and analyzes a site prior to allowing or blocking access to it on screen.
Setting up an Internet filter should only take a few minutes if the software is designed well. The best Internet filtering software typically has a configuration "wizard" routine that will walk you through all the default and recommended settings to get you started right away. Once the software is set up, it shouldn't take any further configuration or intervention beyond the occasional adjustment for newly problematic websites.
No internet filtering solution is perfect. Users have been able to successfully interfere with almost every internet filtering software solution in existence. They often get "cheats" and special code or passwords from friends or online resources where such things are published. It is important for the administrator of the software to regularly review access logs and determine whether a particular user is abiding by the rules and agreements around the devices and use of the internet connection they have access to.
Internet filtering software should include such features as remote and local administrator controls, time management, profanity masking, alerts and notifications, reports about a user's online activity, individual user profiles, and controls to fine tune the specific websites that might have been blocked but that the user should still have access to. It should also have good support from the software vendor, the very least of which should be email and chat with a customer service representative at extended hours.
At times, internet filtering software can be either over or under aggressive in blocking specific types of content. For example, information about the human body, which may include reproductive organ descriptions, could be blocked when a student is doing a science report for an anatomy class. That would be an example of overblocking. An example of underblocking is when a website for a video game is mainly graphical and changes often, thus not providing enough current information in a textual format that is easy for the software to interpret and execute a blocking routine on.
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Continued from above...

Fortunately, internet filter programs exist to keep objectionable content away from innocent children. These programs each have a unique way of dealing with this difficult challenge.

There are a number of factors to consider when shopping for an internet filter. Some of these include:

  • Features. Can you only block websites? What about blocking or filtering email, file-sharing services, and chat rooms? Most of all, are they easy to use and difficult for children to circumvent?
  • Support. Look for as much support as you can get: toll-free phone service, chat, and email support taking no longer than 3 days from beginning to resolution.
  • Cost. Look out for services that charge you a fee to answer your questions. Pay attention to the full cost of the software and keep an eye on the number of months or years you're subscribing to.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best internet filters available today. We hope this information helps you protect you and your family right away!

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