Net Nanny Full Review
Our Rating Scored: 10 out of 10
Pros: Not seen with any other parental control, Net Nanny can filter secure websites and secure proxies. Advanced game management with ESRB ratings. Settings made will synchronize instantly to any of your computers with Net Nanny installed. Social Networking reports. Alerts for online predators and cyberbullies. New, slick and simple to use UI. Extremely difficult to circumvent and handles its analysis at the protocol level, making it compatible with any browser or IM client. ContentWatch also offers a Net Nanny for Mac version, which is tailored to meet the unique needs of Macintosh users with the slick Apple interface.
Cons: The Windows and Mac versions are not the same and settings will not be synchronized across these two operating systems. In the Windows version, there is still no ability to add your own keywords to block. The Mac version does not have remote management. It can take a while to download if you’re on a dial-up connection.
Summary Net Nanny 6.0 has taken parental control software to the next level. With Net Nanny 6.0 you can expect some of the most unique and necessary features not seen in any other parental control product. With an updated user interface (UI) that enhances its simplicity and a sharper reporting interface, Net Nanny 6.0 is an astonishing content blocker. Net Nanny has addressed some of the new and apparent dangers, more prominent with web 2.0 such as social networking, Cyberbullying, online predators and pc games. Net Nanny has taken user management to the next level and is one of the most accurate filters available today.
Installation/Setup The installation of Net Nanny 6.0 was much like previous versions, easy, fast and intuitive. It still took a little while to download, approximately five minutes on a broadband connection, but has been simplified and is more compatible with common firewalls and anti-virus products. Like previous versions, during installation you will create a special password and secret question to prevent unauthorized changes to your settings.
Another new thing with Net Nanny 6.0 is its age-based profile settings. You can create any number of users you need based on pre-defined settings that are appropriate for each age group. If you’d prefer, you can skip this step and use Net Nanny’s default settings, which can also be changed later if necessary.
If you want to purchase and install Net Nanny on additional computers, you can do so from the Net Nanny “My Account”. If you have already purchased Net Nanny, each additional computer is only $19.99. When you do install on the additional computers, use the same registration number and Net Nanny will import your settings automatically.
Management Net Nanny 6.0 is extraordinary with its new set of unique and innovative features. You can manage your settings by clicking on the Net Nanny icon or by visiting http://manage.netnanny.com. With this version, any changes you make from the website will update on all computers almost instantly. In addition to the features you’d expect from parental controls like time management, peer-to-peer and newsgroup blocking, and IM logging, here are the latest and greatest features available almost exclusively in Net Nanny 6.0: As promised, Net Nanny has enhanced its game management to allow parents to block inappropriate games based on ESRB ratings and/or the type of content in the game. With the dangers of social networking, such as online predators and the worries that your kids may be giving out too much personal information, Net Nanny has provided parents with a way to see what your kids are doing on websites like Facebook. Net Nanny currently supports Facebook, with plans to support MySpace, Bebo and other popular social networking websites in the future. Net Nanny also takes the concerns parents have with IM, especially with online predators and cyberbullying. In your IM reports, Net Nanny will flag conversations and alert parents to conversations that pose these potential dangers. You can customize your alerts to display alerts for several categories including: personal information, direct contact, threats, sexual content and many more. Net Nanny 6.0 has also provided users with “White List” functionality. This is the ability to create a list of “allowed” websites, while blocking out all others. This is especially useful for families or businesses that want to restrict web browsing to a specific list of approved sites. Although it is a simple feature, it makes this version of Net Nanny that much more user friendly. One of the most common methods used by tech savvy teens and employees to circumvent internet filters such as CyberPatrol, CyberSitter, SafeEyes, BSafe, K9, etc. is through secure proxies or secure websites. You can identify a secure website by the “https://” prefix in the website address, as apposed to “http://”. Net Nanny is the first to introduce secure filtering, which covers this enormous hole. If your current internet filter does not have this feature, it may be time to switch to Net Nanny. Even Microsoft’s parental controls can’t do anything about this. A huge, thank you and hoorah to ContentWatch for introducing this feature into Net Nanny 6.0.
Accuracy Net Nanny categorizes websites based on 31 different categories. You can choose to block categories that you feel are objectionable for one user and allow it for other users. You can even choose to set a category to “Warn” if you prefer to let the user make the decision to proceed or not. Because Net Nanny uses a combination of list based technologies and dynamic contextual analysis, Net Nanny is one of the most accurate filters available.
List based and keyword-based technologies alone are just not enough anymore. These, in conjunction to dynamic contextual analysis are the best way to analyze web content. Dynamic contextual analysis describes the ability to analyze words on a website and determine the context of each of the words displayed. For example, if the word “breast” is displayed, Net Nanny will determine if it is referring to chicken breast or if it is related to medical or sexual content, and block when appropriate.
As mentioned above, secure proxies and “https://” websites are quickly becoming the way to circumvent filters like CyberPatrol, CyberSitter, and even Microsoft’s parental controls. Net Nanny will filter these sites with the same accuracy seen on regular websites, while maintaining your personal privacy and security.
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