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Net Nanny vs Safe Eyes

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NET NANNY

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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SAFE EYES

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.

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.

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Best Internet Filters

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

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.

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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