- PC user monitoring tools are different from spyware agents because the user is aware that their computer is being monitored. They are typically used to set parental control locks and to restrict employee application access.
- The best PC user monitoring software solutions are versatile and give you control over advanced settings. For example, you can create a schedule to allow access to certain programs or websites during specific hours.
- If you run a business, check out the best employee monitoring tools!
- Visit our Security and Privacy hub to read more awesome guides!
Many people confuse PC user monitoring tools with spyware. All spy agents use computer monitoring techniques, but not all PC monitoring tools are spyware. It depends on the reasons why you’re resorting to such a tool: to limit the time spent in front of the computer and to restrict access to certain applications or to invade someone’s privacy by monitoring and logging their activity.
Few scenarios make it acceptable to install monitoring software on someone’s computer.
For instance, you can set up a parental control lock to monitor your kids’ activity on the PC and block access to content-sensitive sites. The goal is to protect the online identity of your children and prevent them from accessing websites they’re too young for.
A PC monitoring tool can also be installed on an employee’s workstation to block access to sites unrelated to work, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Netflix. It’s common practice, even for work-from-home employees.
The best PC monitoring tools give you versatile options. For instance, you can set up a scheduler that allows taking a break from working or studying. What sets it apart from spyware is that the child or employee is aware of the monitor.
Many programs give you the possibility to keep track of someone’s computer. But we found and handpicked the top 5.
SpyAgent is award-winning spy software that has been available on the market for more than 17 years. This tool can run in stealth mode, so your kids or employees will not know that they are being monitored.
SpyAgent’s amazing set of features will invisibly monitor all computer usage and Internet activity, and it packs over 15 computer monitoring tools.
Here are the key features of SpyAgent:
- SpyAgent allows you to control your kids’ Internet while at the same time still allowing them to enjoy their time online.
- This is a reliable and affordable parental control software that can view transcripts of sent and received emails.
- You can also have a look at messaging conversations and activity on social media.
- Even if this program may seem a bit challenging to download and set, once you get the hang of things, it will be a piece of cake to use it.
- You can adjust filter settings and view activity reports according to your preferences.
- You will also be able to set the software to monitor activity only at certain times.
- This program comes with various reporting capabilities including reports delivered via email and remote reporting.
- Activity logs including screenshots can be filtered based on elements such as specific websites, time of day, restricted access attempts and also keystrokes.
- You will be able to download any reports and then save it to your system for later study.
ActivTrack allows you to keep track of your employees’ productivity.
If you are an employer and you’re looking to get a more in-depth look at what your employees are doing during working hours, ActivTrack is the perfect solution for your needs.
The software allows users to monitor a few employees’ computers at once and it also manages to provide detailed reports regarding the users’ activity.
Here are the key features of ActivTrack:
- You will be able to capture screenshots from your remote workstations regardless of their locations.
- Using Image Redaction, you will be able to keep sensitive information private.
- ActivTrack allows you to know what’s happening on your systems with real-time monitoring features.
- This tool is also able to tell you everything that is happening on your monitored workstations regardless if it’s about the web, applications and system usage.
- Using ActivTrack, you will be able to protect your systems and networks by restricting the access to malicious or unsavory websites.
- With this tool, you will be able to understand and enhance your employees’ productivity.
- You can record statistics on how and when applications are used.
- ActivTrack generates charts visualizing the time that was spent on various apps.
- This tool can be installed remotely if your company is using ActiveDirectory.
ActivTrack is a handy business development tool that offers user behavior analytics, and it comes with a really user-friendly interface.
It’s also straightforward to install, and it will be able to enhance both security and performance.
The tool will start gathering data in a few minutes after you install it. All the data will be stored securely on Amazon Cloud.
You can find out about ActivTrack’s features by heading over to its official website.
SurveilStar is a software that monitors and controls everything by policies. The high-quality features of this tool are able to record and control all activity of every employee’s system and web surfing.
SurveilStar users will be able to watch real-time screen Snapchat, and they can remotely control the employees’ computers.
This tool is one of the best ones for businesses thanks to its excellent set of features. Its exclusive functionalities offer you the maximum return regarding investment.
Here are the key features of SurveilStar:
- Once you begin using this tool, you will see that it comes with a user-friendly interface.
- SurveilStar offers you complete support for monitoring all employees in your company anytime and from anywhere.
- This software uses a smart approach to detect insider threats and to investigate employees and maximize the overall business productivity.
- Some of its most exciting functionalities include screen playback, monitoring website browsing, chat and instant messages, emails, bandwidth and network use, device usage, file printing, computer maintenance and many more.
Installing this software is really easy even for users who have not used such a tool before. The overall ease of use and the great set of features make this software one of the best employee monitoring tools that you can possibly find on the market.
If you are worried about the ways that your kid or your employee is using the PC, SniperSpy definitely has the potential of becoming your best buddy.
You will be able to watch what happens on a computer’s screen live.
This tool is also able to save screenshots and text logs of websites, chats, keystrokes in any language that you want.
Using SniperSpy, you will be able to remotely monitor everything that is going on on a computer while it’s being used.
Here are the key features of SniperSpy:
- This tool is easy to install and use even if you are not an expert in using this kind of software.
- After you install the program, you will get the chance to view the live screen and browse the file system from anywhere and anytime you want to.
- You will get an online control panel to view the logs.
- You can easily check out social media activities and filter websites, and chat messengers.
- This software gives you the chance to block websites, social networks, chat, and apps and send commands to the remote system.
TheOneSpy is one of the most advanced spy apps for computers, tablets, and smartphones. Using this software, you will be able to sneak into any device anytime without getting caught.
This tool comes with a lot of useful and interesting features for monitoring devices.
Here are the key features of TheOneSpy:
- The program has a lot of features for tracking, spying, remote monitoring, spy chat, and remote control.
- You will be able to keep an eye on your employees or kids without them knowing it.
- TheOneSpy allows you to monitor and listen to live surroundings because you can remotely activate the cell phone microphone.
- You can also listen to cell phone conversations online.
- This tool offers you the ability to remotely share live screens and view live visuals by using the spy camera app.
- This is an excellent cell phone monitoring and computer spy software that you can hide on the devices without leaving any noticeable track.
- All the information on the targeted device is automatically updated on the TheOneSpy user control panel, and you can access it by logging into your personalized user login from any system, and anytime you want.
There are a lot more cutting-edge and exclusive features that are packed in this tool, which you can explore right away.
These are our top picks regarding software to keep track of computer use and all these tools are compatible with Windows and pack some great sets of features and advantages.
It’s important to remember that monitoring another person’s computer without their knowledge or permission can be a federal crime, so make sure that you are aware of the very few specific conditions in which you are allowed to do this.
It’s best to consider all things involved before you proceed.
If you have any more questions, just reach for the comments section below.
FAQ: Learn more about PC monitoring tools
- How can I monitor employee activity on my computer?
Use one of the software solutions we listed above or check out the best employee monitoring programs for your Windows computer. You can resort to various tools to improve the productivity of your employees, including collaboration software.
- Is my computer being monitored?
If you fear that your computer is being monitored and your keystrokes are logged, use anti-keylogger software to find and uninstall any keyloggers from your Windows PC.
- Can someone track my Internet activity?
If your employer has this technology, they can track your Internet activity at work using browser history tracking tools. For example, many companies warn employees about downloading illegal torrents at work. Otherwise, they might receive a DMCA notice from the ISP since it can be traced back to the company.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.