Net Nanny watches over your children’s interactions on the internet. This internet filter software emerged when ContentWatch, an industry leader in web filter technology and four-year TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winner, acquired the company. They combined Dynamic Contextual Analysis (DCA), remote administration, an innovative, user-friendly interface and a trusted name to create the best parental controls. This is an essential internet safety tool that uses the best filtering technology and continues to deliver compelling and innovating features suited for the home user in the dynamic online environment.
Net Nanny internet filter software includes a host of practical features, including remote management and remote reporting. The remote functionality allows you, as the administrator, to be anywhere in the world with a computer and internet connection to access activity logs and make configuration changes. You can stay current on the internet use in your home while at work or on vacation.
Dynamic Contextual Analysis is used to filter web content. Rather than blocking or allowing a given site based on comparison to an established, relatively static database, it analyzes content continuously for objectionable content. As an example, a legitimate news site might be blocked in the morning because of a particularly violent event. However, an hour later, when the website content changes, it will again be allowed. In the event that a parent deems a blocked site appropriate for a child to access, it can be overridden with the entry of a password.
There’s also the option of a “warning” function as opposed to a “blocking.” The user receives a warning of objectionable material, but then is afforded the option to proceed without interruption or restriction. This works nicely in conjunction with the parental notification system. Parents can be notified by email if children attempt to access objectionable content. Combining the notification with the warning can potentially be a more forceful learning tool than an outright content block. Notifications can be made in real-time through email or SMS if desired or reports can be made periodically as specified by the parent. Administrators can choose to have notifications sent hourly, daily or even weekly as well.
Profanity is another category addressed by this comprehensive internet filter software. The service can go through a website and make sure you aren't bombarded with vulgar language. It can be set to replace objectionable terms with random punctuation marks so that the entirety of the content isn’t lost.
Net Nanny has the ability to block certain PC games. The new feature utilizes the ESRB ratings so you can restrict games to exclude games with adult, mature or any other rating level. Games can also be restricted based on specific content categories. There’s also an option to block specific games by title.
As the use of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others has proliferated, the need to monitor and regulate kids’ access to them has become critical. Parents can now get detailed reports on profiles, including friends lists, pictures, videos, personal descriptions and wall posts. IM conversations can be monitored and inappropriate video streams can be blocked.
Proxy software tries to bypass filters to let users access objectionable content and can be a particularly difficult challenge for internet filter software to address. With Net Nanny, you can block these programs before they can create a serious lapse in security. It also blocks any websites that offer such functions. It blocks proxies, secure proxies, and local host proxies or application proxies.
Each child's search activity is visible including searches for web sites, videos and images. All the popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask are covered as are all browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari. The program breaks down these numbers into charts, graphs and other formats to give you a better sense of what your child is searching for.
This product is designed with people who are “technologically challenged” in mind. In fact, it starts working as soon as you’ve finished installation, making it perfect for the people who just want a simple setup without the need to tweak and modify.
For those who would prefer to personalize the settings more, there are plenty of options. In the Administration Tools interface, there are well-labeled categories under two headings—User Settings and Family Settings. The categories include Profile Settings, Time Controls, Reports and Email Notifications. The remote access interface is similar and just as easy to use.
Some users may find the program a bit frustrating to use in that it can slow down the surfing speed of your browser. You might notice a bit of a delay when navigating sites as the program does its job. We didn’t, however, find the slow-downs to be overly intrusive with a high-speed internet connection.
The product can be used in households with multiple computers. Net Nanny offers a subscription-based service with discounts for additional licenses. This makes it possible to protect multiple users for far less than most other products. This solution is also useful for small businesses or home offices that have multiple computers.
Net Nanny is completely customizable. You can choose what to filter and what to allow. It even incorporates age-based profiles to help you determine the best settings for each of your children. The product is quite simple to use and accommodates a variety of user levels. The interface is streamlined, the program is organized effectively, and navigation and use are remarkably intuitive.
The download and installation were quick and easy. If you need to install the product on multiple computers, the software allows you to carry over customized settings to each of your computers thus saving time and creating consistency.
Keeping the level of protection current is not a problem as automatic silent filter definition updates are included. And because the service is subscription based, you get any program updates that may occur.
We tested the software for overblocking (websites that should not have been blocked) and underblocking (websites that should have been blocked, but weren’t). The ideal internet filter should have a nice balance between detecting sites that might go unnoticed as inappropriate and releasing sites that may have subjects or keywords that seem inappropriate at first, but are not.
Net Nanny works particularly well because it doesn’t rely on a database of URLs. Rather, it analyzes websites in real time as you surf the internet. Pages that contain content that don’t meet your filtering criteria are identified then blocked. Net Nanny also blocks websites that contain keywords an administrator specifies.
The programming utilizes SSL (HTTPS) filtering to truly filter (not just block) questionable content in real time. This also enables it to proactively prevent attempts made to get around the filter by using secure proxy web sites, a common method used to circumvent filtering.
This internet filter software product passed our tests successfully but not perfectly. It performed better than almost all the competition; however, if anything, we found it to be a little overprotective. The program overblocks from time to time, but with the immediate override function, it isn’t generally a major inconvenience. We believe that most parents would rather err on the side of safety than to permit offensive material to slip through. Very few instances of underblocking occurred, even with foreign language websites, which are notorious for confusing internet filter programs. We were pleasantly surprised because most internet filtering programs have problems detecting pornography on foreign language websites. Even if you don’t visit such sites often, good protection is still provided, regardless of the language.
Net Nanny doesn’t stop with just websites. This tool can detect and block other sources such as instant messaging programs and email accounts. There are many different settings that allow you to customize the level of filtering. The filtering can even go beyond specific content. You can also monitor and regulate the amount of time that your children spend in specific areas.
This program has cutting edge technology to create the ultimate internet safety software. It has combined all the right features in an easy-to-use web filtering solution. No internet filter software can replace diligent parenting, but it’s hard to find a tool that is better at protecting kids online than Net Nanny.
The makers of Net Nanny also offer Net Nanny For Mac, ContentProtect Professional for small business use, and ContentProtect Security Appliance for larger, enterprise-level business use.
Net Nanny regulates social media, proxy sites and games.
It sometimes blocks harmless sites, which parents can then override.
Net Nanny is the most effective internet filter software.