Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gecko Monitor Software Review and Giveaway

The Good:
Does the important stuff well and out-of-sight. Simple to install and use.

The Bad:
Keylogger did not always work. Price is fair, but not down to today's expectations.

The Bottom Line:
If you need a stable, discreet monitoring software, this is it.
If you want free and basic, it's not.
If you want to filter internet, that's a different product.

When I was asked to review this product, I was thinking about how clunky my present internet filtering program is and how I would not mind replacing it. When I installed Gecko (which was an absolute breeze), I realized that it was not what I was looking for and doubted that I would have much use for it. Surprise! I did.

It just happened that at this time, a certain tween has been doing computer programming AND, um, uh, “testing” of the games – I mean “programs”. So it has been a little programming and a lot of games. Well, the issues became clearer when Gecko began taking screen shots every so often. Suddenly, I knew what was going on throughout the hours. Yes, there was the online homework and math help sites, but there were also a number of hours where the Gecko screen shot showed no change in the code, just more games. It gave us all a common data set to talk about time management and setting limits. I am sure it will come in handy as the children get older and use the computer(s) more and more often.

The screenshot feature was very helpful, but Gecko also tracks the keystrokes (careful! even your own passwords!) web sites visited, applications used, printing activity, and so on. The “Timeline” feature is handy, just giving the highlights over time so you can quickly zoom in on activities as needed. You can even set it up to send you email reports, although gmail gave me a bit of trouble (not Gecko's fault).

One trouble I had was that the keylogger did not work all that well or that the files were somehow lost. They tracked me as I was testing it, but I could not find the archives over the past couple of weeks.

All in all, it is a handy program that does exactly what it says it does, and discreetly. If it is worth it to you, then spend the money. Less than $40 is cheap compared to the myriad problems that the software may point out before it gets too late.

If you are interested in a monitoring program AND an internet filter, there is nothing that beats the following: place the computer in the middle of the house within easy sight of everyone.

If you would like a free trial of this software, the first 10 people to leave a comment will win a chance to try!
Here's how:
1. Let me know what your biggest kid internet concern is.
2. Leave your email address

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.