While it might not have the deepest feature set of all of the applications that we reviewed, Iambigbrother does allow you to record the standard activity (such as emails, IMs, keystrokes and so on) as well as all programs that were run by the person you are monitoring. This is a great feature for parents who really want to get a sense of what their kids are spending their time doing. The way the information is displayed can be a little tedious to get through, but there is no question that it looks nice. It treats each website launched in its own window as a separate application, so it provides a quick overview of your child’s web surfing habits.
In addition to this, Iambigbrother also allows you to adjust the rate at which screenshots are taken. This is a nice feature that we wish all of the monitoring applications came standard with.
IAmBigBrother records the following information:
- Websites Visited
- Programs Run
Despite a slightly clunky interface, IAmBigBrother placed high on our list largely because they offer a web-based component, which in our opinion is a must-have for anyone attempting to monitor kids (especially teens who practically live on the computer). While some of IAmBigBrother’s core components are a little watered down in their scope and effectiveness, the fact that you can see what is being recorded from a different computer than the one that you are monitoring, is a HUGE advantage over the programs that force you to physically be at the monitored computer. It’s even a big advantage over the applications that try to overcome the proximity hurdle by emailing you activity reports.
The only drawback (and we’d officially like to beg IAmBigBrother to reconsider this policy) is that they charge a steep monthly fee ($10/month - $120/per year) just to use the web-based component. In fact, if it weren’t for this price, we might have scored them even higher. But at the end of the day, if you’re going to be monitoring your kids for several years, this becomes a VERY expensive choice. When compared to an application like WebWatcher which includes web-based monitoring as a standard feature, this fee looks pretty egregious to us. Buyer beware.