Guard your computer with a feisty, professional WatchDog. Our “TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award” winner not only manages computer user times but also performs basic monitoring.
This software includes more control features than any other product we reviewed; this product can regulate time as well as program and Internet use, and includes numerous Microsoft Windows restrictions.
Although this program offers a high level of control, it is harder to use than our #1 choice, KidsWatch Time Control. Feature Set:
WatchDog Parental Control contains many more features than a typical time control program. WatchDog could actually be featured on our Monitoring Review site because a large part of the program is geared towards monitoring the activities of users. The time control and monitoring features combined allows parents to set time limitations as well as determine what users can do while they are using their computer time. For example, computer use can be blocked when parents are not home or late at night and access can be limited to programs appropriate for homework or approved entertainment.
In terms of time control, this program can limit time by day, week or month and has the ability to allow unlimited, restricted, session limits or one time use. You can also set specific time of day limitations, enable users to carry over unused time and pause times. Restrictions can also be placed upon program titles and game playing time. Web pages and system settings can be blocked or locked.
We gave a lower rating in ease of use because this program includes so many features, computer novices could easily become overwhelmed or confused. Seasoned computer users, on the other hand, will like the high level of control available.
Although to simplify things, they do provide a Normal Security setting, which computer novices may feel more comfortable using, and a High Security setting for advanced computer users.
We had no problems installing the program, though after installing and setting up an account, the main screen does not automatically load. You have to click on a tiny icon that WatchDog places on the task bar; this confused us for a moment.
WatchDog offers good inter–program help through detailed instructions with screen shots and a user guide. They also offer online a FAQs page, help and an email form for technical questions.
WatchDog does a solid job of controlling and monitoring time limitations.
WatchDog performs dual roles, one as a time controller and the other as a monitor. If you are primarily interested in time control, but would also like a bit of monitoring ability at a reasonable price and you have more than 1 computer that you need to control – this is a good choice. (You can install Watchdog on 3 computers in your home with the purchase of 1 license.)
However, if you are mostly interested in a monitoring program, see Monitoring Software Review.
Read review at TopTenReviews.com