What differs Spytech SpyAgent?
Spytech SpyAgent may be installed via two modes. The first mode is Administrator/Tester mode. When the software is installed via this method, the SpyAgent icon is viewable by all users in the system tray. The program is accessible through the Windows Start menu, and all Help files are visible. The second mode of installation is Stealth mode. When the program is installed via the Stealth method, the software runs on the monitored computer undetectable by anti-spyware and anti-virus programs. In addition, the program is not found with the Windows Task Manager.
Stealth Method Warning
No Desktop shortcuts or Help files are installed using the Stealth installation method. New users and those testing the software are advised to use the Administrator/Tester option.
SpyAgent monitors Internet activity by surveillance of all Internet connection requests, both incoming and outgoing. Not only will SpyAgent block specified URLs, the administrator may configure the program to block sites based on keywords. This is a feature not found in many parental control content monitoring programs.
One unique feature of SpyAgent is that the program automatically pauses when online activity on the monitored computer stops. SpyAgent also monitors email communications, as well as FTP transfers. SpyAgent also tracks the windows viewed by the child, the applications that are accessed, clipboard functions and total computer usage.
Limit Program Access
Another unique feature of SpyAgent is the parent’s ability to limit access to specified programs. Using the Administration control panel, the parent as administrator may deem a particular program, or group of programs, off limits to the child.
SpyAgent includes complete reporting features that allow the parent to send monitoring reports via email or to an FTP site for easy download. The USB reporting feature allows the parent to “flush” monitoring data and save the data on a USB drive.
Stats and More Reports
With access to the monitored computer, parents are able to view and print several “canned” reports provided by the interface, such as the Top 10 Applications Used, Top 10 Chatters, Top 10 Email Senders, etc. In addition, parents may export reports to HTML format and cross-reference monitoring data.
Spytech SpyAgent is sold in separate components. Where other parental control software includes real time viewing features, this functionality is sold as a separate component of the SpyAgent package.
Another fault of this parental control content management software is that Windows Defender found and identified the program when installed using the Stealth method. In addition, some anti-malware programs will also find SpyAgent when installed using Stealth. A workaround for this issue is to create an exception in the Windows Defender program, as well as with any other anti-malware applications that find SpyAgent. SpyAgent is a bit difficult to install in Stealth mode, as the administrator is required to rename files to hide the program on the monitored machine.
Though Spytech SpyAgent is a worthy contender for our review list, this monitoring software is not nearly as robust as WebWatcher, which we rated as the #1 monitoring program.