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Internet Filter Review 2003

CYBERsitter

Cyber Patrol

Net Nanny

McAfee Parental Controls

Norton Parental Controls

ContentProtect

Child Safe

CyberSentinel

Cyber Snoop

FilterPak

Winguardian

ARTICLES

Internet Safety Tips

Tricks Pornographers Play

P2P Pornography— Kids Know! Do Mom and Dad?

Pornography Statistics











Reviews of Top Free Internet Filters - 2003

We-Blocker and iProtectYou, both considered the best free Internet filters available, have been reviewed with the latest software versions. How do free Internet filters and free parental control software rate compared to purchasable filtering products? How safe are your children on the Internet when relying on these free Internet filters? See below for your answers. Also included are review links to the top rated Internet filtering software.

Free Internet Filters

When installing an Internet filter, you want to make sure your family is protected from the objectionable content that may enter your computer. Donít get your hopes up for an excellent free family filtering solution. It doesnít exist. Free Internet filters, in general, are equivalent to the capabilities of the lower-end purchasable Internet filters. They do not have the rich feature set and filtering effectiveness of the higher-end purchasable Internet filters. Full product reviews of the free Internet filters We-Blocker and iProtectYou are available below.

 
    overall product ratings
    ContentProtect $49.95
    CYBERsitter $39.95
    NetNanny $39.95
    CyberPatrol $39.00
    FilterPak $49.95
    Cyber Sentinel $39.95
    McAfee Parental Controls $49.99
    Norton Parental Controls $69.95
    Cyber Snoop $49.95
    Child Safe $39.95
    iProtectYou FREE
    We-Blocker FREE
    Side by Side Product Comparison
iProtectYou 3.06    
     
         
     
       
The iProtectYou free Internet filter is a fair product, but not a great product. The biggest weakness with this free product is that about 50% of the time when blocking a website, you still see the entire website load into the browser and stay visible. This means that you see all of the objectionable content that should have been blocked. On these objectionable web sites, you do get a block message, but the content still shows through about 50% of the time.

Another drawback is that the Internet surfing time is impacted, about 2-3 times as long as normal.

Overblocking (websites that should not have been blocked) worked quite well. When you do get a blocked site, there is no immediate override function to get you past the blocked website. This is only a problem if you actually do want to get past the blocked website.

Underblocking (websites that should have been blocked, but were not) was a big problem. The application missed quite a few websites that it should have blocked. These were well known objectionable websites. Most of the foreign language objectionable websites didn’t get blocked when they should have.

IProtectYou had more free parental control options than We-Blocker, the only other free Internet filter product reviewed. These options included blocking chat, Instant Messaging, newsgroups, and popup ads. It didn’t have any peer-to-peer blocking capabilities.

Another drawback with the product is that you don’t get any updates as far as the list of websites to block. This means the product is out-of-date, five minutes after you install it. You have to purchase the iProtectYou “Pro” edition to get the updates.

It is an easy product to install and an easy product to use. The filtering effectiveness leaves a lot to be desired. It does have reporting capabilities for the activity logs. Overall, this Internet filtering product is rated as a fair product. The biggest concern is its inability to effectively block objectionable Internet content.


 
    overall product ratings
    ContentProtect $49.95
    CYBERsitter $39.95
    NetNanny $39.95
    CyberPatrol $39.00
    FilterPak $49.95
    Cyber Sentinel $39.95
    McAfee Parental Controls $49.99
    Norton Parental Controls $69.95
    Cyber Snoop $49.95
    Child Safe $39.95
    iProtectYou FREE
    We-Blocker FREE
    Side by Side Product Comparison
We-Blocker 2.0    
     
         
     
       

For this free Internet filtering tool, the common quote comes into play, “You get what you pay for.” Compared to iProtectYou and other purchasable Internet filtering products, We-Blocker would rate as a poor product, a rating of no stars. The biggest drawback to this product was the extreme impact to response time when surfing the web. It takes anywhere from 3-4 times as long to surf. Part of that wait time is probably due to the fact it is a proxy-based URL filtering tool, which means most of the content filtering is occurring on We-Blockers server.

Many times when getting blocked from an objectionable website you would hear a recurring voice sound of “blocked”. This annoying sound would continue to occur on just about every website you visit from that point on, regardless if it should have been blocked or not. This was extremely annoying.

Overblocking (websites that should not have been blocked) occurred quite often, making it quite restrictive in surfing the web. The product even blocked it's own www.we-blocker.com website. There are no override functions at the time of the block. With an available blocking sensitivity setting, you can change the overblocking, but it is difficult to understand where to adjust.

Underblocking (websites that should have been blocked, but were not) worked quite well, except for foreign language websites. It missed most of these.

Numerous times during the review of We-blocker, the product would display server error messages.

There are limited reporting capabilities. Don’t use the reporting activity log to make any determination as to where your child has been, because it is not accurate. It does not display all of the websites visited.

There are no parental controls for blocking or filtering chat, email, peer-to-peer, newsgroups, or Instant Messaging.

Compared to purchasable products, it has a very limited product feature set. It does have individual profiling and password controls. Even though it has a very easy installation process, overall, it has a long way to go to be compared to purchasable Internet filters.

Net Nanny, Cyber Patrol, CYBERsitter, McAfee Parental Controls, Norton Parental Controls, ContentProtect, CyberSentinal, Cyber Snoop, FilterPak, and Winguardian Child Safe have all been reviewed with the latest versions of Internet Filtering Software. A side-by-side Internet filter comparison is available at www.internetfilterreview.com.


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