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      November 20, 2018

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Net Nanny vs PC Tattletale

Best Internet Filters

To help you find the Best Internet Filters, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Net Nanny and PC Tattletale.

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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.

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2018

Internet Filter Reviews

5 stars
Net Nanny

NET NANNY Visit Site

Cost:

$39.99 per device per year in an a la carte plan (Android and iOS not included)

$59.99 per year for up to 5 devices, $89.99 per year for up to 10 devices, or $119.99 per year for up to 15 devices in Family Pass plans (Android and iOS included)

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award NetNanny, owned by ContentWatch, has a long history of blocking unwanted content on the Internet. Debuting in the 2001, NetNanny filtering software has kept pornography at bay on family computers for over a decade. Over a million customers worldwide trust NetNanny to protect innocent eyes from violent, profane, and pornographic content. CyberPatrol, another once-popular filtering software, was bought by ContentWatch and made part of NetNanny.

If you have only one device to protect, NetNanny charges $39.99 per year which only includes Mac and PC and not Android or iOS devices. You can save money on yearly Family Pass plans if you protect up to 5, 10, or 15 devices, each of which supports iOS and Android mobile devices. For 5 devices it costs just $59.99 per year instead of the full price of $199.95 if bought individually. For 10 devices, you pay $89.99 per year. And for 15 devices you pay just $119.95 per year.

NetNanny's "No Hassle" billing setting automatically renews your subscription. If you don't want automatic renewal, simply turn that feature off and you'll get a reminder to renew your subscription. If you need a refund of an auto-renewal, you have 90 days within which to request it.

System requirements are at least Windows Vista, Mac OS X, Android 2.3, or iOS 8. 64-bit Mac 10.13 "High Sierra" is not yet supported.

The software includes a simple web-based console to administer user settings and see reports about all your protected devices. The software includes parental controls, internet filtering, time management, profanity masking, alerts and reporting about a child's online activity, remote administrator controls, and individual user profiles. You can customize user profile settings for each family member and there are unlimited user profiles on each computer.

Internet filtering with NetNanny keeps up with changes on the web using state-of-the-art technology that previews the content of any website in real time. In contexts that are ambiguous, such as when studying for an anatomy exam at school, NetNanny's filter can figure out when a bodily term is used in a scientific or medical context and allow the user to view the content.

If unwanted content in website advertisements is a problem, the software can detect and block that content on-the-fly. Profanity shown on a web page will be masked while the remaining words can still be shown. And if anything safe is miscategorized and blocked as unsafe, the administrator has the ability to make an exception in the settings as well as report the false-positive to NetNanny support.

Social media is one category of filtering that is not mentioned on the NetNanny site. A bit of research revealed that the social media filtering feature has been taken offline while it is fine tuned for re-release at a future date.

Parents who want to manage their children's time on the Internet can use NetNanny's time management feature to limit how long their kids are online on each day down to the half hour. There are reports of the total number of web pages blocked and warned for the week, top blocked domains, a list of web site categories blocked, and alerts for your license and subscription status.

NetNanny also provides an accountability feature. If a family member struggles with a content addiction, their accountability partner can see a report of what they browse and intervene when a problem arises.

NetNanny's remote management feature gives you the ability to change profile settings, check usage reports, and block content wherever you or the controlled devices happen to be.

Support is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Mountain Daylight Time via phone or email. They promise to complete responses by the end of the next business day. If you want to try self-help options, there are plenty, with separate FAQ sections on the website for every operating system, passwords, downloads, business solutions, and returns. Their helpful knowledge base is a good tool to use when researching problems. There is also a newsletter if you want to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings with the software and filtering in general.

ContentWatch, the company that publishes NetNanny software, is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, but they do have an A+ rating. A review of the complaints and ContentWatch's responses shows that they are responsive and are handling the complaints in an acceptable manner, including refunds, when the software doesn't meet the needs of a user.

NetNanny continues to top the heap of internet filtering products available today. The price is both affordable and competitive and it has good support and robust features. The NetNanny product name has longevity and brand recognition that shows it has made critical improvements over time.

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2 stars
PC Tattletale

PC TATTLETALE Visit Site

Cost:

$79 for up to 3 PCs

PC Tattletale markets itself as computer monitoring software that is simple to install, records everything a user does, and lets you view their activity in detail, even remotely.

PC Tattletale seems to cater to two types of purchasers: employers and families. For employers, the draw would be to watch every detail of every activity the employee does on the computer, without the employee being informed of the monitoring. This way, an employer can see whether the employee is looking for another job, stealing, following instructions, taking longer breaks than usual, browsing unapproved websites, playing games, or watching videos when they ought to be working.

For family users, PC Tattletale lets parents monitor their kids to see if they're being cyberbullied, playing too many video games, watching violent or pornographic YouTube videos, starting secret profiles and sharing inappropriate photos, as well as seeing who they're chatting with and sending email to.

The approach PC Tattletale takes is reactive. It has nothing to do with filtering (to prevent inappropriate activities before they occur) and only focuses on catching someone in the act and addressing the problem after the fact. While this may be the preferred approach of some families and employers, the approach is rather fear-based. There are a lot of good reasons to choose internet filtering and monitoring software that is not based on fear alone.

In researching this software, we wanted to know more from a pre-sales perspective about how the software actually functions, which options are available, and troubleshooting steps should something go wrong. Most software vendors have a support or help section that explains these things to anonymous visitors. PC Tattletale has this content available only to users having accounts and not people casually browsing their website to educate themselves before buying.

After signing up for a free account, which includes 7 free days of monitoring, we were able to find a little more support and help information as well as set up a device for free. Devices supported include Windows, Android or Kindle, and iPhone or iPad. Mac OS computers were not supported. For the free trial, some features are disabled until you upgrade.

The account overview screen shows the plan selected, days available of recording time under the trial, account identity information, and a button to close the account. A dashboard screen shows which devices have the software installed.

Once the software is installed, the user will not see the name "PC Tattletale" anywhere on their computer. The most they'll see is a reference to "Security Services", which seems fairly routine and innocuous to most users. For the administrator to be able to remove the software, they must run a removal tool which exposes the true location and name of the software for uninstallation.

Viewing activity remotely is just a matter of signing into the PC Tattletale members area online. You will see a screen split into two sections: a video and a bar graph showing click activity throughout the day. It also records keystrokes and displays them in a video overlay as they occur. This is potentially a privacy and legal concern for employees who have, whether for personal reasons or as a matter of their job duties, entered sensitive health information into their computers during the workday as they set doctor appointments or deal with health insurance information.

It appears that installing the software does leave certain traces in the user's Microsoft Edge browser such as cookies, browsing history, and cached data and files, and the setup file that must be deleted manually when uninstalling the software.

Once you have a paid account, you'll be able to take advantage of live monitoring and GPS tracking features.

Other questions we had, like whether the software works with multiple browsers or only with the decreasingly popular Microsoft Edge browser, remain unanswered by the support materials.

We have several concerns with this approach to monitoring, especially in absence of any filtering capabilities. Because PC Tattletale is reactive rather than proactive and has no options for filtering based on keywords or URLs, we suggest you look to other vendors if you want to build relationships of trust with your computer users or prevent unwanted behaviors proactively. However, it may be that there are situations that call for reactive exposure of a user's behaviors. Corporations may want to think twice about using this software for legal reasons and may even want to block it for security and intellectual property reasons so as to prevent non-authorized users from installing it on other employees' computers and spying on them.

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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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